Thursday, 23 February 2012

Hope and Honesty

For several years now I have used my surname as an acronym around ways to make life easier and happier, e.g. in my blog about easing the pain of loss.

Yesterday as I drove home from a wonderful day at the Open University I realised I had been through a 'H' day - hope and honesty.

The event at the OU was to seek approval from the Nursing and Midwifery council on a new pre-registration Nursing Degree. I was invited as part of my role as service user representative on the Nursing Programme Committee. I never realised how much work or scrutiny went into the formation of a new degree course. The gathered academics, practitioners, stake-holders, etc, all met up with the hope that all their dedication and hard work would be worthwhile - with a few tweaks the new degree was approved and praised. Some of the success stories of people who have achieved a degree through the OU is truly inspirational.

Hope is something you can have that something will happen - you do however usually have to make an effort too! The team yesterday certainly had done that and I feel proud and honoured to be part of them.

'Hope doesn't come from calculating whether the good news is winning out over the bad. It's simply a choice to take action'.  
Anna Lappe.

Another aspect of hope brought a smile to my heart yesterday. During one of the breaks I checked my phone for messages to find one about a friend who had delivered two healthy girls yesterday. For many years she and her husband have faced the stress and heartache of being unable to conceive. As a couple they have so much to offer - love, stability, a supportive family. They could have become bitter - why when they have so much to give could they not have a child? Instead they kept hold of hope. They took action. They didn't give up even when their dream was crushed many times. Yesterday twin girls safely delivered! Fantastic!

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.
Dale Carnegie

In both of the above examples people have made choices, communicated well and cared about the outcome. They have been honest about their goals and feelings along the way.

Yesterday morning I was faced with a decision about honesty. I did something foolish. In getting ready in the hotel room I used my curling tongs. The position of the plug and mirror was a bit awkward and I was rushing (pathetic excuses). I curled my hair, unplugged the curling tong and (yes!) threw it on the bed for a few moments whilst I went to check my hair in the bathroom mirror. When I can back through to the bedroom I realised the stupid thing I had done - sure enough, I had scorched the beautiful white duvet cover. Oh no!

So what could I do? Turn it over and hope the chambermaid wouldn't notice as she striped the bed and tossed it amongst the rest of the linen on the corridor? Surely I would get away with it? I have never, ever damaged a hotel room before. Surely this once didn't matter did it? The hotel are a multi-national chain and must have insurance, so it didn't matter, did it? The Open University were paying my expenses and they wouldn't notice either. So that didn't matter ....

To me it did. How can I speak and write about honesty and authenticity if I don't apply it to myself? How could I spend the rest of the day being welcomed by warm, friendly and professional people knowing I had left 'damage'?  Simply, I couldn't. I had done something wrong. Charged as guilty. It was my fault and I had to take responsibility.

As I checked out and was politely told 'Everything is fine' I confessed that it wasn't! I explained what I had done; how sorry I was and to please let me know if I needed to pay for a replacement. I was thanked for my honesty and left the hotel feeling far better than had I said nothing! As the day progressed I knew that had I not been honest it would have played on my mind all day/week/forever. What if they rang the OU to complain and report me? What if I damaged their reputation in addition to my own?  It was not worth the worry and reputation damage. 

If the cost is for a replacement it is far better than living with the cost of guilt - because I HAD done something wrong.

Being honest cheered me up rather than feeling glum and worried! 

If you need cheering up in another way look at this Cheergiving website

The past is a source of knowledge, 
and the future is a source of hope.
Stephen Ambrose

I have made a decision today too - my new website will launch on Monday 5th March! I am hopeful and being honest!!

What are you hopeful for? What are you being honest about?

Elaine x

Monday, 20 February 2012

I won't give up - on fighting postnatal depression

In a week where I could have given up and dwelt on the past it is incredible how my purpose in life to help others who struggle with postnatal illness has been boosted!

Last Monday I was called by BBC Radio Surrey and Sussex to talk about mothers who do not bond with their babies. I spoke on the Allison Ferns programme just after 12.30 p.m. (see my previous blog on BBC London for the content). I remembered to say how much I love Dominic this time!

Then on Wednesday I was invited to make a film for a joint project between NHS Choices and ITN to be launched later in the year. I was thrilled that some of the Mums there had agreed to talk about postnatal illness due to my plea via Facebook - lovely to meet you ladies and your gorgeous babies! Thank you for sharing.  Chris Bingley  from The Joanne Bingley Memorial Foundation came along with his friend Lee and the three of us did a session on postnatal depression and partners, e.g. spotting the signs.

This morning I have been approached by another film company who are making a documentary on the subject. Yes I admit I enjoy the media aspects of my purpose yet my true reward is the (often unknown) impact that sharing my experiences of postnatal depression has. I recently received this message, which is shared with the writer's consent, because I feel it is important to show that by letting other sufferers know they are not alone, we CAN make a positive difference to others:-

Dear Elaine,
I think you are an amazing woman and admire all your work. I often speak about you to the women that come along to our Mums Matter groups. Many of these women are in a dark and lonely place, just like myself five years ago after the birth of my much awaited second child. I too suffered severe PND and am all too aware of the devastation it causes both during the illness and after. I have now moved on so much, that I now say PND was one of the worst experiences I have ever had, but believe I suffered for a reason! My reason being to be able to share my experience with families and give them hope, when their life feels as though they are walking through a long dark tunnel with no sign of light or way out. I have now begun the process of setting up PND Aware - a trust aimed at raising awareness of PND and supporting services which work with women and their families living with PND. I would love one day to be able to come to one of your events and meet you in person as I see myself one day working along side you! I would love that, two women who have lived fought and won the battle, illuminating the severity of this illness and the need for more specialised services in this country. Sorry for going on I am so passionate and probably deep down want to save the world! X

In addition I have heard from another former sufferer, Sarah, who is based in Nottingham, and has asked me to share her information. She been very busy trying to set up a peer support group in her area for those affected by PND. 

Sarah has had fantastic support from an organisation called Self Help Nottingham and here is the link for her poster for a planning/information meeting to be held at their office on 1st March:-
There is a Facebook page set up - "Open House Nottingham".

As I continue to work on my new website I continue to be inspired by those who share my purpose and passion on this subject.

Please can you email me directly if you are a Mum or Dad who have been affected by postnatal illness and would be happy to share your story. I am often asked by the media for those willing to share their experiences. We can't have too many! Please email me at . I will not pass on your details without your permission but may pass enquiries directly for you to decide if you wish to respond.

I guess this song sums me up!

Elaine x

Saturday, 18 February 2012

A promising future ...... one year on.

Clive Edward Gott - left us last year at 8.50 pm on  Saturday 19th February.

His purpose was

' To be a permanent inspiration to anyone and everyone who seeks it. To constantly challenge myself in ways that test my emotional or physical strength, my integrity and my values. To prove to the best of my abilities that anything is possible to those who are prepared to step out of their self, or environmentally, inflicted comfort zones.

Then to deliver a message of inspiration to anyone and everyone who seeks the same and to do this with humour and abundance'.

He left us written instructions that his life be celebrated, not mourned. His brother and sister assure me that he would want us to treat tomorrow as any other day.

So let's smile as we remember and perhaps perform a small act of kindness or abundance in his memory..... and look to a promising, happy and fulfilled future where 'anything is possible'.

Elaine x

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Remembering Clive Gott on the 1st anniversary of his death

I have finally decided how to mark the anniversary of Clive's death next Sunday, 19th February.

It comes down to the three areas that I have identified over the past year in living without him - choices, communication and kindness.

He used to talk about authenticity from both the platform and in his writing. I agree with him that in our role as speaker and author we have to 'walk our talk'. I have been inspiring myself (and others, judging by the feedback you give me) so I would be letting us all down if I did not apply these principles for next Sunday.

I could choose to be morose and miserable, reliving the day and awful evening. I could choose to hide away and cry myself silly. Yet I ask myself, what good would this do?  I could choose to wallow in what a dreadful time I have had since he died so suddenly and ignore anything that has been good. I could be bitter and angry, cursing everything and everybody. Instead I shall choose to smile as I remember what a special man he was; how he is missed by many for his inspiration, laughter, hugs - or even annoyance! He was the first to admit that he was Marmite - people either loved him or otherwise! I have to remember that he did not suffer a long and painful death - something I feel we all hope we avoid. I will choose to remember the happy times we had. I also have to accept it is in the past and has gone.

I also choose to acknowledge some of the positives that have come out of the past year. I have met some incredible people; had some fantastic opportunities and done some wonderful things in spite of the severe grief I have experienced. I have been able to help, support and inspire others. Although I loved being with Clive I always pined for my family back in Cheshire - I am now back living amongst them, which brings me joy and contentment. Sharing love and laughter with my son and niece on a regular basis is especially wonderful.  I love my own home and enjoy the time I spend here either on my own or with company. If I don't learn to love myself how can I expect others to? Clive's death happened - I have had to deal with it.

I choose to acknowledge that I am happy again and excited about my future.

So next Sunday I choose to move on and put more of the past behind me. When Clive and I were creating our home together we sold many of our 'old' and unwanted possessions to create a new living room - television, furniture and soft furnishings. His notion was that why hang onto 'stuff' that you no longer need - let it become a means for others to enjoy and make new memories. So we had a clear out and were thrilled with the room we created. He also used to joke from the platform about how as Brits we have a habit of moving boxes from loft to loft when we move house and never even open them!

When I moved a couple of months ago I did this! So I am in the process of opening those boxes and letting go. I have a heap of my old clothes on Ebay and bit by bit am working my way through my possessions. Next Sunday there is a local table top sale. I have just booked a table and shall spend the bulk of the day finally selling the jewellery and cosmetic stocks from when I did Virgin Vie sales. Clive got fed up of me intending to do it and I never did! I can see him rolling his eyes and saying 'about time too'. I shall be amongst other people and have to be sociable. Have you ever noticed that if you, smile the world smiles with you?

I intend to make my family a meal and then settle down to Dancing on Ice and The Midwife on television. At 8.50 pm we shall raise a glass to him. I am arranging for my Ebay sales to finish between 9 - 9.30 pm so I shall have something exciting to look forward to immediately! Then parcels to sort!

By the end of next Sunday I should have a few pounds to then treat myself to some new clothes for the spring, in line with my new branding. I should have a wardrobe rail that is less packed and some empty boxes. I should slide into bed that night feeling that it has been a productive day and one that I am proud of myself for. I shall remember Clive but looking forward to the future.

So communication? Well I have told you about it, sent the booking email, invited my family and later today will do my Ebay listings. Targets and goals are far more likely to be achieved if you share intentions.

Caring? I care about myself (I have to first so that I can care for others). I want to avoid the tears and upset which we all know I have had over the past year. As my wonderful Mum would say to me 'why torture yourself Elaine?'
I care about my family - I have caused them much worry and concern over recent years. I want to continue to change that. I want to add to their happiness and contribute to their lives. I want to spend part of next Sunday with them.
I care about those of you who have followed and supported me. I want to avoid giving you a reason to cry, a reason to mourn and be upset again over Clive. His purpose was to make this world better for him having visited. He undoubtedly did that. His legacy has to be a positive one.

Whitney Houston died today. She was 48, as I am. I know I haven't abused my body with drugs and alcohol as it seems she did, but the news reminds me that none of us will live forever. Whilst we are here we therefore must celebrate graciously each day we are privileged to live.

If this was to be your last day, would you be happy with how you have spent it?

Elaine x

Friday, 10 February 2012

Mums who don't love their babies

Yesterday morning I was given a call by BBC Radio London in response to an article in the Daily Mail about mothers who do not love their babies. I was invited to speak to Vanessa Feltz on her programme - listen again here  (go to 2.08 - 2.15).

The Daily Mail article is well worth a read.

I explained the title of my book, and why my eyes did not sparkle with postnatal depression.
I said I was excited and had expectations about motherhood but spiralled out of control. I admitted that for a while I did not bond with my son as I developed puerperal psychosis. We spoke more about expectations - what I expected and what I got. I didn't expect to be so tired, failing, out of control and feeling like a 'bad' mother.

My main messages were that you must be honest about it if you feel like this. Don't suffer in silence; it's not just you. You are not a bad mother just one who needs more help. It is okay to admit if you feel like this - you need time to talk about how you feel.
Those around can help by being supportive and avoid platitudes and judgements.

I suggested that people contacted their GP's or health visitors; look at The Joanne (Joe) Bingley Memorial Foundation and seek help via 

I didn't say how much I love my gorgeous Dominic and it was just a blip!!!! Ooops!

Elaine x

Calling Mums and Dads happy to talk about PND in Manchester on 15th Feb!

I have been asked by Claudia (see message below) to spread this message. I will be going along.

We especially need some Dads!

I am currently working on a project called Digital Babies (a Digital Care Social Enterprise) which is a collaboration between ITN, NHS Choices and The Royal College of Midwives.

We are making lots of short, minute-or-so long videos that will eventually appear on the NHS Choices website, covering a huge range of issues about pregnancy, birth and babies.

Some films will be from midwives, giving medical advice on some subjects. But many will also come from real people; real parents who have been there, experienced it and bought the t-shirt.

One issue that is vitally important is Post Natal Depression. Many women suffer from it, but many don’t know they have it, how to deal with it or where to get help.

We ideally would need three or four women you may know, who have experienced PND who are happy talking about their experience. They would be filmed in a closed studio (no audience, just the crew) in Manchester on Wednesday 15th February. We would love them to bring their babies too! Ideally (I know I’m asking a lot) but if they have a partner who could also come and discuss, separately, how partners can support women suffering from PND, that would be amazing.

We can pay for their travel costs/organise travel and we will supply them with make-up and hair, food and drinks. But they need to be confident to talk about this very personal issue openly. We’d like to talk with them first over the phone to let them know more about the day, to assess their suitability, and to talk about the kind of things we’d want them to discuss. The filming will not be a one-on-one interview, just three or four women who have all been through PDN, sitting together and discussing it together, in order to eventually encourage other women who have experienced it to get support and help.

If you think you may know of some people who would be interested, please contact me on 0207 833 3000 extn 2076 or drop me a return email.

Kindest regards,



T +44 207 833 3000


Please share with any relevant contacts you may have.

Elaine x

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

'Don't count your days. Make your days count.'

I am grateful to fellow speaker, author and friend Paul McGee for the following reminder in his latest newsletter:-
'Don't count your days. Make your days count.'

How often do we count the days? Usually it is for one of two reasons - either towards something we are looking forward to, such as the next time we see a loved one again OR something we don't really want to happen, e.g. the end of a holiday!

In doing so we are actually in danger of missing 'now'. As I was poorly when Dominic was a baby I know I missed out on the pure enjoyment of his daily progress. I was always too busy counting the days in panic for when my sick note would expire and I might be told I had to go back to work, when I knew I could not cope with it. I also did not appreciate how precious each day was and how quickly he would grow up. How often as new parents are we waiting for the 'next' stage - sitting, walking, climbing, talking? We are in danger of wishing their childhood away.

Being self-employed does give me the luxury of working at the times I choose and also being of use to my family plus giving me pleasure in the process. Now back in Cheshire near my family, I am involved on a Tuesday morning to pick up niece Sophie from my sister's so she can go to work. My parents have Sophie for that day but it is early for them to collect her and I am between the two homes - the early pick up makes sense for me to do. Sophie has now got used to our Tuesday breakfast routine as we come back to 'Laine's house' for a couple of hours. I have learnt and appreciate the magic of this time. I give her my complete attention and we curl up on my sofa, munch our breakfast and watch a Disney film.

I like it at my Auntie Elaine's!
This week she was wearing the cardigan I had knitted last year. I smiled at the thought of how different life has become in recent months after all the trauma and grief. My favourite bit is dancing with her! She then cleans my bathroom whilst I put on my make-up and asks for lipstick before we head off. We often nip to Morrisons, then for petrol and arrive at my parents for coffee and toast. By late morning I am home again and ready to work and if I am still at my desk at 9 pm that evening, so be it. I can emphatically say I enjoyed 'now'. She is two next Tuesday.

What do you do on a regular basis that you can honestly say you soak up every moment? Or are you always onto the next thing/task in your head? I am probably most productive on a Tuesday afternoon as a result!

As a teacher for years, the demotivated team would start each day with a count down - 'only 4 weeks, 3 days until half-term', as appropriate. For a while I was guilty of joining in with that. I didn't like the disillusioned 'me' that I had become in the last years of teaching. I now accept that it was my responsibility to say what bothered me at the time and do something about it - instead I suffered in silence, muttered and moaned and made myself and those around me miserable! If I knew then what I have learnt in recent years my whole approach would have been different! I loved the children in my care but I could have been a happier, more efficient and content person if I had taken the right approach and actions.

Key to that is speak up! By explaining why you feel as you do and suggest ways to improve it then positive actions can be taken. If they are not, at least you can maybe move on but content knowing that you have no regrets (see last blog on regrets and choices).

I don't think I have ever really been guilty of rushing through a holiday with the 'doom' of back home in so many days. I remember having my nails done last year and the owner of the salon was moaning about everything! Her assistant was doing her best to buck her up and reminded her that she was soon to be having her holiday 'But I'll be back soon' was her retort!

I know that there are more moves within society, business and well being for us all to take time out to relax, meditate, etc. I believe very much in this. When I begin to feel overwhelmed I know I become unproductive. My new website is now designed and waiting for me to update the content. I am very pleased with Paul at Leeds Graphic Designers as he has built my blog into it and remarkably has been able to transfer all of my 667 posts! The beauty of my new one is that I can categorise it, so if you are here to learn about postnatal depression, coping with bereavement or even enjoy my taste in music, it will be sorted out. The snag? I have all of them to go through and categorise! Now that is a task! When I began it on Friday, with my impatience for wanting it all done NOW, by Saturday teatime with square eyes I got tearful! 

So what did I do?
1. Acknowledged that it will take as long as it takes and if it's worth doing (which I believe it is) then it is worth doing. Exhaustion will achieve nothing.
2. It doesn't all need doing NOW - be honest with myself.
3. There are 32 pages to edit, with 20 posts per page. Each takes about an hour. So I have applied the 'small steps' approach and have set myself the challenge of one per day. So far I have done 7 and am happy with that. Some days I may do more, some a little less. Either way, in small chunks.

I know when I am really looking forward to something there is the tendency for the days leading up to it to drag! Simple steps such as re-framing your outlook can help, e.g. change 'Oh no, 13 days to go' to 'Great, less than two weeks to go'. Also fill in the potentially dragging days with events, people and constructive activities! That way the time will appear to pass sooner AND when the happy event arrives you will enjoy it even more because you have been so productive! A win, win situation!

I have been getting some lovely messages from people saying how they are thinking of me as the first anniversary of Clive's death approaches on the 19th February. I am very aware of this and perhaps was allowing myself to dread it. I was in danger of dragging myself down with the expectation that on that day I am going to be very upset and the grief will be magnified again. What do I do that day? Where do I want to be? Who do I want to be with to 'get through' it? How do I 'get though' the awful memories of that evening?

In recent days I have decided to re-frame it. To begin with his sister shared with me that when it was the anniversary of their Dad's death, Clive's reaction was to 'just treat it like any other day'. I also have reminded myself of the wishes in his Will - that his life had to be celebrated, not mourned. The message in his last book was that NOW is the only time we have.

From all I have learned and achieved I now recognise that if I lead a 'mourning' on the 19th I would not only be letting his memory down, but myself and all those who have supported and followed me over the year.

I am not saying that I shall have a wild party and get drunk!  I am still not decided but I do know I shall not count down the days now to it with doom and dread. I shall approach it with positivity, hope and a heartfelt appreciate and celebration for all that Clive Gott was to me, his family and many, many others. I will reflect on the past year and acknowledge what I have learnt and how far I have come. I shall express gratitude for the many blessings I have in my life and for those around me as we all step into the future. Maybe I shall dance - even in the kitchen with Sophie!

Yet again I find myself back to my 3 C's in 'Don't count your days. Make your days count.'

1. Choices - we all can take personal responsibility for making our days count either leading to something great or not as great. Choose how you think about it. We cannot make the time we have speed up or slow down but we can make it appear to in how we live our lives.
2. Communication - when you have made your (positive) choices, then to make them happen, tell others! They can support you and will respond how you do. Moan and they will moan with you - be optimistic and they will also be lifted.
3. Caring - why make yourself unhappy? You probably wouldn't chose to make anyone else miserable so why do it to yourself. Think, act, speak with kindness to yourself and others.

So if you are 'counting' for whatever reason, how can you do things differently to enjoy, appreciate and shine in this life? 

Elaine x

Friday, 3 February 2012

Regrets and choices

If you were only given a matter of weeks or months to live what would you do differently? I wonder if Clive had been told this time last year that he had a matter of days left on this earth what would he have done differently? As his partner what might I have done differently? Would we have made different choices? In some things I guess we would - such as paperwork! In others I have no regrets as I know he knew I loved him and vice versa. Clive had only told someone two weeks before he died how happy and content he was and that gives me great comfort.

I am grateful to Pennie Lordan for posting a reference to an article on Facebook about Regrets of the Dying, based on the observations of a palliative nurse. It is similar to the work by Elisabeth Kubler Ross whose work I read last year and lessons I apply to my life now.

The link to the article is here however read on for the details from the actual site below.

From :-

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone's capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. 

This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn't work so hard. 

This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 

Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. 

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

So on reflection:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me. 

I guess I did and I do this! Hence my move to Tadcaster to be with Clive in the first place. Likewise now he has gone I know I have been and will be criticised for what I do/don't do. I know I have to do what I feel is right for me.

2. I wish I didn't work so hard. 

That's easy at the moment! I am still in 'be kind to me mode'! However I am also VERY excited because my new website is well on it's way, thanks to Paul at Leeds Graphic Designers and Sammy at Ice Innovation. Watch this space! One of my tasks is to go back through the 700 blog entries here to categorise them! What's that about not working too hard? My 'work' is my passion.

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.

Somehow I know I am okay on this one! My blogs say it all! This post should take it to over 70,000 views! It is something I have improved on whilst I was with Clive and my relationships now. I often used to suppress my feelings for fear of upsetting others. I now let rip!

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. 

12 months ago I was guilty of this. I have learnt that family are so important but also friends are. I now do my best to do this. I truly value and appreciate my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier. 

Clive's sudden death has REALLY taught me how fragile life is. How precious each moment is - there may not be others. With him I learnt to really laugh and have fun again - that builds a great foundation upon which to grow and develop. He loved to see me smile and make me laugh - and that is how I intend to live my life again.

Even with someone else......

How can you answer those 5 'regrets' and what can you do differently? What choices can you make NOW so that you can live the rest of your days at peace?

Elaine x

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Do you consider taking a break and being good to yourself as 'Fluffy'?

When you are stressed are you at your most productive?
If you are snappy with yourself how can you expect to be good and productive with others?

I always speak about the importance of being good to yourself so that you can help others. It isn't about being selfish - quite the opposite. When I talk about having a 'feel good' First Aid tool kit, it is about being prepared with sensations that help you feel calmer, more relaxed and then more productive.

When I have been stressed, upset and pretty useless at times I find that by allowing myself to indulge and take a break really does help. I know that some business people consider that making room for the emotions is far too 'fluffy' and they are far too busy to consider it..... will they be the ones who 'go under' I wonder in the long run? Will they be the ones with a high sickness rate and employees on long term leave for stress related conditions? Or worse still, early heart attacks and strokes?

I was delighted to be told of this information about the top 10 big companies who actually build 'space' into working days for people to relax, meditate or simply 'chill' for a while.

Have a read of 

I just did a Google search for 'Happy Music' to give us a lift. I came across some relevant information on 
 - have a look at
Bet you feel better now!!

I also like a quote of theirs 'Stop holding on to what hurts so you can make room for what heals.'

And here's one to dance around to ..

'Everytime you get up
And get back in the race
One more small piece of you
Starts to fall into place'

So what can you do to 'switch-off' for a short while so that you'll return firing on all cylinders?

And get back in the race?

Elaine x