Tag Archives: happiness

Radio interview from 4 years ago

Sorting out my folders from way back, I have come across this interview. It is amazing how I am talking about using photography to help others heal. Very much in the first stages of photo therapy!

I talk about how the question of ‘If you had 6 weeks to live, what would you do?’ My motivation to start on this path and actually start living my life.

Talking about body image and how so many women used to ask me to photo shop them to look ‘better’ but in principal, I never did. I talk about how the first steps to body confidence is to learn to like ourselves and turn all the negative talk from others to positive talk within ourselves.

I talk about gratitude practice and how it can change our perception of our lives and help with our mental health. I used to offer listening sessions but now as a qualified counsellor I feel confident in offering these sessions, knowing I have had the proper training to hold a safe space for others.

I had been offering online courses where others were being helped so much with one participant coming off her antidepressant medication from doing the photo exercises and a woman facing a midlife crisis accepting herself.

And I define what success for me is; seeing clients feel happier in themselves and knowing I have done my part and given back to the wider community at large.

This journey is not an easy one, with lots of ups and downs, learning so much about myself, changing, building my self awareness and being the truest self I can be. The first step, stopping myself standing in my own way.

And my one bit of wisdom I would tell my younger self? Trust your instincts, believe in yourself, ask yourself what your needs are and what you need to do to meet them.

Have a listen and let me know what resonates:


Bigger Picture

Image result for future

Once you have created time and space to think and be, you can start looking at the bigger picture, asking yourself questions like:

What kind of person do I want my baby to see me as?
What kind of family do I want to have? (and not what society is telling me!!)
What are my dreams?
What do I want to achieve?

By managing your time, creating boundaries and getting time to yourself, you can start doing 1 thing every day, or every week to create the picture you want to reflect the life you want. This will take a long time and it is an on going practice.

As cliché as it sounds, it is all about the journey.


Image result for connections

One question I always ask clients before I start working with them is:

Who is in your support network?

Think about that for a moment and write them down:

Are these people around you supporting you in the way YOU need? Studies have shown that connecting with loved ones do help you feel happier.

When a new baby comes into the household, everything changes. Even the dynamics between you and your partner will change. It is very important to be aware of these new dynamics and manage the change.

Have a think of your support network and ask yourself these questions:
Am I being listened to?
Do I feel drained or energised after seeing people from my network?
Are they respecting my boundaries?
Do I need to set some emotional boundaries? Maybe even making appointments in my diary if some are taking too much of my time?

There are a lot more questions you can ask yourself but the important thing is that you are concentrating on looking after yourself first. If you are not on top form, you might not be able to give as much as you want to your new baby.
Remember the safety messages when you are on an aeroplane? Put your own oxygen mask on first before anyone else.

You have permission to live your life YOUR way by being lovingly assertive and creating boundaries if needed.

The Washing Machine

When I did my Samaritans training, there was a fab example we were given to actually learn to see what is going on.

The trainer did a role play in front of the class. She picked up a cardboard washing machine and started talking.

She started by complaining about the washing machine and how she has had it for so many years and it’s the first time it’s broken.

“Of course Stan used to maintain it when he was alive, bless his soul” and then went on to complain about the washing machine.

Out of a 10 minute speech, Stan was only mentioned once, the rest of the conversation was about the washing machine.

We then went on to discuss if that was a caller and they just talked about the washing machine. A few picked up she was recently widowed and might be lonely and some suggested that she was lonely, scared and trying to figure how to do things without her husband, maybe struggling and still grieving.

This really made me think of the times clients talk about weight, or a messy house – what is actually behind this? I believe when we work on what is within, the outside world (washing machines, chores etc) all fall into place.

So, the next time you find yourself unhappy with a situation, check in with yourself and see what is behind the unhappiness and what is really going on x

Be Selfish

Yes, that right, I said selfish. Now this word has been used in a negative way for such a long time, I want to give it a new identity.

Think of the safety advice you get when you are on an aeroplane if there is an emergency;
“Put on your oxygen mask on first before you help others”.
Well, you wouldn’t be much use to anyone trying to put a mask on them if you are passed out now, are you?

Same goes for life. If you are running around caring for everyone else and keep putting your needs last, what is going to happen to you? If you are doing so much that you are constantly anxious and exhausted, something has got to give. Do you really want the thing to give out to be you? Then who will care for those around you?

Being selfish means taking time out to recharge, to fill your cup, to breathe in that oxygen and fill your lungs. Being selfish means you are in a much better place to be able to be there for others from a place of love and giving rather than exhaustion and resentment.

So have a think about what recharges you, what do you do that looses time where you are having fun and reconnecting with your inner self?

I’ve had a mix of examples for this;
having a candle lit bubble bath with loud music
going for a walk
playing a game
sitting doing nothing

What do you want to do that you have been wanting to do for ages but have never allowed yourself to do? I now give you permission if you need it.

You are allowed to put yourself first. Actually, you HAVE to put yourself first if you want to be happy. Oh, and a bonus of doing this exercise? In being happier, you will find others around you will be happier too.

Love Your Body

downloadFirst few paragraphs of my 7 steps to Start Loving Your Body, free for you!

“I personally feel a lot of our body issues are projections of things going on in our minds. Because maybe we cannot understand or accept them, we project them onto our physical being to gain some control.

There is no magic cure on how to love your body but what I am offering you here, with these 7 steps, is the chance to change your mindset, to see things in a different light and to explore yourself and hear what the real YOU wants.

I know it’s not easy when life gets in the way or you find that you haven’t got the time, or sometimes you simply haven’t got the emotional energy to do any more.

But what is the alternative?

To continue to feel rotten when you can’t find anything to wear? Not looking people in the eye when you walk past them worrying that they’ll notice that one thing you are really worried about? Or maybe you don’t even go out anymore because the effort to cover up all those things that are wrong with you is just too much? Or you simply cry yourself to sleep every night because you just hate your body? Maybe you feel you don’t actually deserve to love your body or you don’t feel you deserve to love yourself?

This is your life and if you need permission to allow yourself to do this, then I give it to you. There comes a time when enough is enough, to stop the emotional roller coaster you are on and take a break. So make some regular time for yourself and tackle these 7 steps to finding your body confidence.

You have been given one life and you are in control of it. You and only you can decide which direction to take, even if that means a whole new path in life. You know what? You are worth it and you deserve it 😀

It is scary trying to do new things, but I promise you these exercises are not scary and are so simple to follow. You just have to allow yourself the time and space to go through the process, hear your inner voice and be honest with your answers. You will be able to learn so much about yourself, things you have forgotten and things you haven’t realised yet.

This is a safe, secure space where no one will judge you and you can finally be the YOU that you want to be.

Doesn’t that sound good? Are you ready for the first step?

Take my hand and let us begin…

First step, download your 7 steps to Start Loving Your Body copy and let me know how you get on!