In 2008 my life was about to change, but not how I thought it would. My business partner and I decided to fold our staffing agency called The Ansa. We had lost a huge contract to another agency and to be honest it had been a struggle from the start due to the politics of other companies. The stress had been immense, a constant fight to keep what we had.
On the up side, we were well on our way to making our first million, but the stress wasn’t worth it for me. So on the 30th September 2008 my partner and I made a CHOICE to fold the company.
November 2009 I met a close friend for coffee. Financially life wasn’t great for either of us. I was working freelance and due to the global recession a few companies who owed me money had gone bust. There was little hope of me recovering the monies, which were now into thousands, and as we sat discussing our woes over coffee, I did something… I made a CHOICE. I would move on from trying to regain my lost money and look at what else I enjoyed doing.
In 2003 and 2005 it had been suggested to me that I was a fantastic motivator. Friends always contacted me when they needed what they would call a “tonic”. My corporate acting clients always gave me their top clients to work with. As one company director from Cragrats the theatre company said, ”You always were a diamond, you have that little something”.
I love seeing happiness on the faces of people, but how do you empower people on a larger scale?
By chance I was given a ticket to see top motivational speaker Tony Robbins. I sat in an audience with just under 10,000 people. Every single person was on a high. Now I’m not saying I agree with everything he does, but people left the conference with a stronger sense of self-belief.
I made a CHOICE that day. I too would empower people on a larger scale. What was my action plan going to be? Because having a dream without an action plan is like trekking the Sahara without taking any water. Then as if by magic the ball started to roll. I kept meeting people that were in the speaking business some motivational, marketing and sales speakers. I needed to know more so I asked if I could shadow them. I went along to seminars with Geoff Ramm, John Hotowka and Richard McCann all speakers who are at the top of their game.
I looked at what I had to offer businesses, conferences, and networking events, wrote my keynote and picked up the phone. I started calling companies and organizations that I thought I could give value to, specifically to their work forces. From my first keynote presentation, which I delivered on the 10th of December 2010 the Dream Alchemist was born, and what a journey this has been.
On the 13th of March 2013 I became an international speaker. Opening The Women’s Leadership and Empowerment Conference in Bangkok, Thailand. I addressed over 15 different countries across the globe. The audience was a mix of members of Parliament to university professors.
In 2008 when we folded our company I never thought it would open the door to an experience that I never would have imagined. In 2009 when I made the CHOICE to let go of what I couldn’t control i.e., the global recession, and the loss of money. I made a CHOICE, a CHOICE not to live in fear like a huge proportion of society did, a CHOICE to put into action another dream of mine.
The CHOICES you make today could set in motion a very different kind of year that you may never have imagined possible. Remember you have a CHOICE no matter where you start from in life.
So let me leave you with this…
“The world belongs to the endlessly curious – to everyone who experiences the world with eyes wide open, who never stops exploring, discovering and evolving. Here’s to uncovering every possibility the world holds for us all.”
Happy late Easter!!!
Looking down onto the snowy White Mountains while riding the ski lift in Andorra took my breath away. The feeling of peace as I climbed the mountain was something I had never felt before. There wasn’t a single sound. It was breath taking! If there is a heaven surely this is what it is like. From that moment my search began to keep that peaceful feeling within me.
For the last two years I have been really big on meditation. I dabbled a bit with it in my late twenties, and found beneficial results but never stuck with it, thinking it took up too much time when I had other things to do, like watching TV etc.
I’d heard about silent meditation retreats and wondered what it would be like. A friend showed me a video of what to expect and you could feel the tranquility ooze from the screen. This is what I had been looking for.
A year later a teacher at a yoga class I attended mentioned she visited a silent retreat every year. Now, if you see this woman you will want a little of what ever she has, she oozes peace, confidence, and constantly glows. She mentioned a type of meditation called Vipassana, which also offers a 10-day silent meditation retreat.
Vipassana, which means, “to see things as they really are”, is an ancient Buddhist technique popularized by a SN Goenka. Vipassana is about focusing your attention on sensations of the body and not reacting to them.
Meditation is not all about clearing the mind which is what a lot of people think meditation is all about, which can sound too difficult and put people off.
So off I went for a 10 day silent retreat in Herefordshire. No contact with the outside world is allowed, so no phones, emails, reading or writing just 12 hours of meditation a day. I arrived late but just in time to speak with my roommate a woman called Carolyn Faulkner the Astrologer, www.carolynefaulkner.co.uk
From the moment we started talking we got on like a house on fire, we had 30 minutes of talk time before the silence began and we would start our typical day.
I lay out my bedding, which I brought from home, and realized that Carolyne and I had brought the same bedding, which read the words…”LOVE”.
Not only were we the same age and both worked in TV we had the same bedding how bizarre, as roommates are picked at random we later found out.
This was a typical day:
4.00 am Morning wake up gong
4.30 am Meditation
6.30 am Breakfast
8.00 am Meditation
11.00 am lunch
1.00 pm Meditation
5.00 pm Tea, which you are allowed two pieces of fruit, or if you have attended before you drink only lemon water.
More meditation till 9pm and in between you are encouraged by Goenka via the big screen to “Work hard and accept the sensations as they arise, without attachment or craving”.
I actually thought I would find not talking difficult maybe even frustrating and I actually found it a breeze. With silence I found I could really see what I spent time thinking about and how much junk actually passed through my mind. What I should have said to so and so when they said whatever ten years ago, and if I see them again I’ll say this… (You get the picture) If you believe in thoughts that create your experiences I was in for a load of doom the way that day carried on
I also found myself looking for ways to be more helpful to others. It was simple things like making sure the teapot had hot water in it ready for the next person or leaving the serving spoon handle in a position so the person behind you could take it with ease. You actually had time to think, really take a look at yourself how your actions helped or affected others.
I have to be honest, I did find myself dancing in the toilet cubicle to the Diana Ross classic “I’m coming out” it sounded fantastic sung in my head. I felt blessed to give myself 10 days of pure personal development with no contact with the outside world.
Usually being self-employed especially in the acting world having your phone switched off is a NO NO. What if Spielberg calls your agent and wants you for a last minute casting and you’re not around?
That is when I knew I had changed; my happiness was no longer centered on getting more acting or speaking gigs. My happiness came deep within. The fear had gone. I knew my worth and it definitely didn’t come from whatever six figure sum I can turn over or whatever TV credits my name is/or will be on.
The fact that HAPPINESS IS A STATE OF MIND and can be created without any of that has been the greatest gift I have received.
Meditation is not about clearing your mind, seeing white lights or traveling to another plane. It’s about peace, a time to connect with yourself, your true self. Read, The 10 second philosophy
There are many different types of meditation so I suggest you give them a try and see what sits right with you. If you are interested in the retreat I attended have a look at www.dipa.dhamma.org
I have to say Meditation has been life changing for me in many ways and if you have not tried it give it a go.
In the spirit of Vipassana…HAPPINESS TO ALL BEINGS XX
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence, so don’t let noisy neighbours spoil it.
When you walk in a room think of everyone as your friend, that’s the advice from my uncle Billy.
Also be aware of the ones who smile to your face and stick TWO FINGERS up behind your back.
Never compare yourself to any model in a fashion magazine, they don’t even look that way and are mostly airbrushed… always feel GOOD ENOUGH.
Never look at anyone’s FACEBOOK life and want to swap it for yours.
Enjoy magical moments that come into your life, and say THANK YOU EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Live YOUR LIFE, not anyone else’s. Exercise, eat well, and if you get the chance MAKE LOVE in many different ways.
Be yourself. Don’t put someone on a pedestal, remember we are all made of the good stuff, so I’m not better than anyone else, and no one is better than me.
Find a Mentor, Someone whose values match yours, a person who will only encourage you to do well.
Treat yourself you deserve it, but don’t do it if it’s to fill the void of a loss in your life. You may end up regretting it.
Sing out loud in the street and dance if you feel like it, yeah go on, dance and sing like you never have before.
When your wake-up call comes, listen, don’t be afraid, and remember it’s all part of living your LIFE PURPOSE.
Being able to forgive is one of the most humbling things you can do. As Oprah said, “You don’t have to have someone to dinner to be able to forgive”.
Never look down, there is nothing for you on the ground, looking down won’t help you reach for the stars when you’re trying to live your dream.
When you do get the chance for love, take your shoes and socks off and dip your toe in the water. If it doesn’t work out, don’t hold back, there are over 7.04 billion humans on the planet… so TRY, TRY again.
Philip Hesketh international speaker suggest you write your own Desiderata. I have and so could you.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
So DREAM BIG, MAKE LOVE and EAT HEALTHY…because IT IS a beautiful world.
From Friday the 27th of July until Sunday the 9th of September 2012 Great Britain shone brighter than it ever has. The energy in the air was different, people were happy, and even the weather brightened up. Countries who are usually at war spoke peacefully to each other and wished each other well. There was LOVE IN THE AIR!!
I haven’t watch television in a long time. I learnt how to do the MOBOT, I watched Sarah Attar and Wojan Shahrkhani Saudi Arabia’s first ever female athletes hold their heads high after all the abuse they received for attending the games. Britain’s Richard Whitehead became the first leg amputee to break the three-hour barrier for a marathon in the Paralympics and Irish sprinter Jason Smyth became the fastest Paralympian on the planet. Even Olympic torchbearers took to carrying their torches everywhere they went. Every day something amazing happened, the whole world joined together as a team, a family.
Do we need something as big as the Olympics and the Paralympics to keep the energy up or can we do it without???
Three of my best ever moments in my life was sharing a sandwich and a drink with an elderly relative of mine, passing work to an associate to help them in their business, volunteering my time for a local cancer charity. No I didn’t receive a Gold Medal for it, but I did receive a sense of satisfaction that I’d given someone a chance to shine.
We can create the ENERGY of the Olympics every single day if we really want to. Be an inspiration everyday. Think!!! Think, how can I be of service in all my relationships (friendships, business etc)?
Will it give you the GOLD MEDAL feeling?? Who knows, who can say, but being of service helps the world go round so let’s keep it spinning.
With 4 months left to go until we start to look at our New Year Resolutions, how far have you come with the ones you set at the beginning of 2012?
A great way to keep on top of your goals is to take a fresh look at them.
1: Update your goals by rewriting them. Think of the sexiest person alive. You have a dinner date with them in 1 hour, how quick would you be able to make it?
Write your goals with the passion and enthusiasm you would have for your date. If Tyson Beckford and Channing Tatum called me (yes I’m greedy), I’m not hanging around! Your goal will be your date of a lifetime.
2: What will it take for you to keep going with your goals? How will it make a difference in your life? How will what you want to achieve serve others?
I’ve recently looked at my goals as if I had six months to live (don’t panic I’m ok), from now until the end of the year I cross every day off my calendar. Seeing the days go by really makes you look at what little time you have left. This way I don’t put off what I have to do until tomorrow.
It definitely ups the Anti.
3: Track and monitor what you are doing. What are you doing to achieve your goals? Is there anything holding you back? Give yourself a review every 10 days and see how you can make the shift.
Do you have beliefs holding you back? Do you think you are worthy of your goal?
4: Share your goal with a trusted friend. Ask them to hold you accountable for your goals. Maybe they can help you create a strategy to complete what you want to achieve.
Having focus and direction is always a great place to start. I understand that life can get in the way at times when you’re on the road to success. Make your goal clear and put it where you can see it.
Read over them every day so you remind yourself about what you really want to achieve.
Keep focused, disciplined and be gentle with yourself… you’ll get there.