A man came up to me on the street…

An extraordinary thing happened to me last Sunday morning. A man came up to me on the street, near where I live, and said ‘Are you Marianne?’.

I said ‘yes’ and did that thing where you flip through the rolodex in your brain trying to think of how I knew him. Turns out I didn’t.

‘You don’t know me but I read your blog,’ he said.

I was stunned. Totally stunned. A total stranger on the street coming up to me because he’d read my blog. BLOODY HELL.

He explained that he’d read a piece I did on meditation in the Daily Mail years ago and has been following my stuff since. ‘I promise, I’m not a stalker!’ he said.

He didn’t seem like a stalker – but I couldn’t have cared less if he was one – I was just so blown away by the fact that a real life stranger came up to me on the street because he’d been reading my blog.

I stood grinning at him. He grinned back. There was a second of silence.

‘This is weird,’ he said. ‘Because I feel like I know everything about you…’

Me: ‘Well, you do!’

And he really did. He knew all about the Greek, about dating month (he told me it wasn’t cool the way I wrote about the guys, I agreed…), about money month…

He asked if Tony Robbins was life changing and I said, ‘Yes it was great, but you know… I’m still me… I’m still sh*t with money, I still worry, I’m not FIXED!’

He looked me straight in the eye and said: ‘You’ve got to stop doing that; you’ve got to stop being so down on yourself all the time.’

He then proceeded to give me some very valuable feedback.

‘I think I’m happier than you but I keep reading your blog because I learn something from it. It makes me think. When you’re talking about things, like going up to that guy in the coffee shop I could relate to that. I like you because you’re honest and I can relate to you more than Tony Robbins.

‘But I don’t want to read this blog six months from now and read about you thinking the same bad things about yourself. What would be the point in me reading it? Or anyone reading it? What would be the point in your doing everything you’ve done?’

He asked if I thought self-help had helped me at all and I said, ‘Yes, I feel utterly changed’.

‘That doesn’t come across’ he said.

Oh.

The truth is I do feel utterly different to a year ago. The way I see the world is different. The way I see others. The way I see myself. I am less judgemental, less scared, more open – and believe it or not, a lot less hard on myself than I used to be.

The fact that I only pinged my rubber band six times yesterday (I’m pinging every time I have a negative thought) is almost miraculous by my standards! More and more I wake up with a feeling of happiness rather than dread. I no longer go into every situation thinking ‘What could and will go wrong here?’

That I don’t spend more time acknowledging is very telling.

I think there are two reasons why:

1) I have this fear of being smug or annoying or arrogant, so I always play on the negative. I think that if I say something positive about myself, somebody is going to put me down or take the p*ss – and so I put myself down first. I focus on where I’ve messed up, I write about the bad days… I think this is a very Irish/English thing. We like lights to be hidden under bushels.

2) But on a deeper level, I really have realised that I’m quite wedded to the ‘Poor Me, I’m Crap, Victim’ stuff.  Tony Robbins says that most of us are ‘addicted to our problems’. Ain’t that the truth? I have built a whole identity around mine. So while I’m doing all this crazy stuff to improve myself, a part of me is still clinging to my old identify, my old stories.

To let go of those would feel like letting go of me. 

But really and truly it’s time to let go of that old me.

Tony reckons that we only make changes for two reasons.

Either we’re in so much pain we have to make the change or the reward for making the change is too great to ignore. I started all this because I was so unhappy I couldn’t carry on the way I was – drastic action was needed.

And it worked. I’m not miserable. But I want more than ‘not being miserable’. I want to focus on the reward of how much better things could be if I really stepped things up…

Which brings me to MY FINAL BOOK – You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay – which is all about LOVING YOURSELF. Hay says that until we truly, truly love ourselves, we will always feel stuck. That we’ll take one step forward and two steps back.

Hay is big into affirmations, including actually looking in the mirror and telling yourself ‘I love and accept myself…’ Cringe. So yes, I’m going full circle to affirmations, which some of you might remember I did in my first ever Feel the Fear month. Worryingly, I’m looking forward to it.

I’m just going to be doing two weeks of posts on Louise Hay because then, on the 6th May, I’ve booked to do a 10 day silent meditation retreat called Vipassana.

It sounds like a torture and I honestly don’t know if I’ll be able to do it but I want to try. I think it’ll be a good opportunity to process all that’s happened over the last year and a bit – a time to get a bit of distance.

After that I’ll be going away to write MY AWARD WINNING BESTSELLING BOOK. It’s due with the Brazilian publisher on 31st July, and then I’ll have a full finished book to tout around to UK publishers and if I don’t get offered the right deal then I’ll self-publish. So an English language book will exist at some point for you ALL to read and buy for EVERYBODY YOU KNOW!

As for the blog, I won’t be updating it quite so much while I’m writing the book but it’s not going anywhere. I have some ideas but I want it to keep going and growing and for you all to play a part in that, if you’d like – but I’ll talk more about that another time.

For now, as ever, thank you very much for reading and encouraging and even caring about my crazy mission. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to write to me and thank you especially to the man who came up to me on Sunday. I won’t say his name because I got the impression that he’s a private person – but if you are reading, thank you. You really made me think.

xx

9 thoughts on “A man came up to me on the street…

  1. Rebecca Catterall

    Yay! So glad you got a wee mental slap. I love you and your writing dearly but like your ‘not stalker’ I worried about the many negative comments and worries you were still showing. You do inspire me muchly especially as we have similar dating woes, money issues and self beliefs so thank you for that and for opening my eyes to the many techniques and methods to continue my own path of self improvement and discovery. I can’t wait to read the book when IT IS published in the UK and I look forward to stalking you on your book tour and getting a beautiful signed copy. Enjoy the retreat (yeah.. 10 days.. !). x

    Reply
    1. Marianne Power Post author

      Ha Rebecca! I look forward to you stalking my book tour too! Thanks for this comment and also for the comment you made on dating month when I was going down the wrong path. Like this man on the street – it was a mental slap that I needed. You’re very astute. Are you getting anywhere with your dating woes, money issues and self-beliefs? I hope so and thanks again. x

      Reply
  2. Elaine

    I had a little burst of commenting a while back, but I find that I read, I thoroughly enjoy, I then come to comment and hesitate to put into words… but just so you know that I have loved reading your post, loved the changes, loved the fun, related to just about everything! Have been wearing my pink rubber band and will continue to do so for the time being!!!…. Have been wondering how to make a lasting change and not go round in circles… even considered giving myself a nick name… out with the old in with the new !!!??!!! I have Louise Hays book, so will be re-reading along with you, and am sure there will be more mirror talking …. and am very pleased there will still be posts even when the last book is read…. Good luck with the retreat …. You sure have been/are walking the walk not just reading the book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So with the inspiration of the man on the street, I will click to post….. xx hugs ‘El’ (can’t decide on the nick name… not much you can make from Elaine!!)

    Reply
    1. Marianne Power Post author

      Elaine, thank you! Lasting change is the thing, isn’t it? How to really really change not just for a week or two but in a long and meaningful way. I think that so much stuff is deeply engrained in us from childhood – what we think about ourselves and our world – and it takes something quite deep and profound to get out of that. Some people say that hypnotherapy helps – because you’re talking to the unconscious then – others that affirmations, repeated time and time again will slowly change the record in your head. And Eckhart Tolle would just say sit still and realise that the voice in your head is just the voice in your head and all that matters is that your bum is on a warm seat and all is well. And John Parkin would just say F**K IT you’re fine! Ha ha ha. I have multiple self-help personalities in my head these days. Thank you very much for reading the blog and for writing, comments make my day. Have a nice weekend. xx

      Reply
  3. Pat H

    Great blog, tried to email on the outlook address and it bounced mailbox unavailable, used your contact form and that was unavailable try later or contact admin??

    Reply
  4. Michelle

    Marianne! You sound in flying form! A few friends I sent to your blog a while back were chatting about your latest posts and I felt awfully out of the loop and plain neglectful! Not by design – been so busy and running around headless chickeny a while, but feeling utterly enriched and all the better for my Marianne fix! Brill schtuff altogether girleen. So excited you’re off to scribble your book soon. I did Vipassana a few years back. It’s tough but so worth it. Looking forward to hearing how you get on – and having a pint of the black or the green stuff with you next time you’re in Dublin 🙂 We’re all very proud of you! Big love and hugs, Michelle xxx

    Reply
  5. Margaret

    Hi Marianne, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog this last year and am so glad it isn’t going to finish completely. I , like you, have read many self help books and I think that the biggest a-ha moment I have ever had is that at the end of the day, you are all that you truly have. That realisation made me decide to be my own best friend and I have been a lot nicer to myself ever since. The flip side of that is that I really appreciate anything anyone does for me because I don’t expect it. And as the law of attraction tells us, the more you appreciate, the more that comes back to you to appreciate!
    I think you sound like a lovely person and your humanness is part of that charm, don’t berate yourself for it. We are all a work-in -progress, who wants to be perfect?!
    I hope you have an inspirational time at the retreat and I hope you will tell us all about it on your return. In the meantime I look forward to reading your book and getting that autographed copy on the worldwide book tour!!
    Stay as cool as you are!!
    xxx

    Reply
    1. Marianne Power Post author

      AH Margaret – thanks for this comment! I’ll stay cool! You do too. I’m getting to the same realisation that you are at now about being your own best friend. And all things considered I’d want to be my friend if I wasn’t me, so why not?! Ha! Thanks very much for reading and taking the time to write. Are there any self-help books that really had an impact on you? Or do you think that it was basically you deciding to approach life differently that made the difference? x

      Reply
      1. Margaret

        I think a bit of both. Most books I have read I have gleaned some nugget of wisdom from that has made me think.
        I would say that the 2 books which have had the biggest impact on my life have been Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach and A Complaint Free World by Will Bowen. Simple Abundance was the first book I read which introduced the idea of the gratitude journal and also deals with the idea of living authentically and simply. I was one of life’s biggest whingers before I read A Complaint Free World, it really made me think and act differently. Both highly recommended!! xx

        Reply

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