You’re great, you can do it.

I’ve been thinking today about how important encouragement is.

The word ‘encourage’ comes from Old French word ‘encoragier’ – which means ‘make strong, hearten’. And who on this planet doesn’t need that?

I don’t care how independent and strong we may try be, we all need encouragement from time to time. A friend saying ‘You can do this’, ‘I love you’, ‘I have total faith in you,’ can make the difference between you giving up or keeping going.

I am so beyond lucky to have friends who are doing this for me at the moment. They have faith in me, even when I don’t. They keep me going and keep me trying. They are my cheerleaders and my safety net.

So I guess I was just thinking about how we make more difference in people’s lives than we might realise; saying a kind, supportive word to someone who is struggling in the office might stop them from going into the loos and crying all lunch hour. A teacher encouraging a pupil might change their whole life.

Often we think that it goes without saying that your colleague is great at their job, or that your friend is lovely and will find the love soon, but nothing goes without saying. Always say the nice thing. Even when you’re feeling grumpy and hard done by and don’t feel like you have kindness to spare, say the nice thing.

Let’s all try to encourage each other, to remind each other that we are great and even if life feels like a giant old sh*t show, it will, get better. It really will. Just by getting up every morning and trying our best, we are all, in our own small way, winners.

Love to you all.
I think you are GREAT.

My only New Year’s resolution

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 19.03.29This year, as I do most Christmases, I watched Bridget Jones’ Diary on the telly (while eating cheese and drinking whiskey). And this year, as I do most Christmases, I shed a little tear when hot lawyer Mark Darcy tells Bridget that he likes her. Just as she is.

‘There are elements of the ridiculous about you,’ he says in typical bumbling Rom Com style. ‘Your mother’s pretty interesting. And you really are an appallingly bad public speaker. And, um, you tend to let whatever’s in your head come out of your mouth without much consideration of the consequences… But the thing is, um, what I’m trying to say, very inarticulately, is that, um, in fact, perhaps despite appearances, I like you, very much. Just as you are.’

I like you very much. Just as you are. 

What a line.

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Time to rest

It’s 27th December and it’s rainy outside and I am in my pyjamas for the second day running. I am lying on the sofa, watching telly and making my way through a box of Milk Trays,  on the grounds that we’ll all be better off when they’re gone and the only way for them to be gone is to… eat them.

You know the logic.

Just when I think I can’t eat any more, I do. Oh well. It’s been nice.

The whole Christmas has been nice. Everyone behaved themselves. We ate, drank, read some crap cracker jokes and then fell asleep. I think that post lunch nap (coma) on the sofa on Christmas day might just be my favourite part of the year. Dead to the world, there’s nowhere else you have to be, nothing you should be doing.

It’s like being in a little bubble. Real life can’t touch you.

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A pink towel and a finished book

MARIANNEAbout eight years ago I was in TK Maxx with my best friend, Grainne, looking at towels. She picked up a giant hot pink one and asked me what I thought.

I liked it.

‘Would it look good in the cottage?’ she asked.

‘Definitely’ I said.

Grainne was hoping to buy an old cottage on the West Coast of Ireland, near where she grew up – and even though no cottage had yet been bought we had decorating it in our heads ten times over.

All our conversations now revolved around the pros and cons of marble versus slate, wood compared to tiles, original fireplace versus wood burner…

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I’m done

morning gloryYesterday I got up at 6.30 am to go to a morning rave. For three hours I danced with hula hooping toddlers, glitter girls and a man who, I think, was dressed like a carrot. It was bloody brilliant.

These early morning parties, called Morning Glory, happen about once a month in cities around the world.

It’s all very hippy and happy.

They serve £3.50 cappuccinos rather than beers, and raw cacao shots instead of drugs.

I danced non stop from 7.30 – 10.15 am. Seriously, non-stop. I bounced, I whooped, I flung my hands up in the air…I sweated like a glorious partying pig.

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A reality check

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 12.12.00I’ve just been reading about the migrant shipwreck which has killed hundreds of African and Bangladeshi migrants trying to escape war and poverty.

In today’s paper rescuers describe a ‘cemetery in the sea’, while yesterday one of the survivors told how hundreds perished because they were locked up below deck ‘like rats in a cage’.

It’s hellish. Whatever your views on immigration, what happened to those people – fellow human beings – is hellish. And heartbreaking.

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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.

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IMG_3251-2Could you go seven days without thinking anything negative about yourself, about your situation, about other people? Could you manage NOT to get pissed off on your journey to work, NOT panic at your phone bill and NOT worry about the future?

That’s what I’m doing right now. It’s something Tony calls a 7 DAY MENTAL DIET.

He reckons that the quality of our thoughts is the quality of our lives – and so if we have crappy thoughts, even if we live in a lovely house, with a lovely family, and have a lovely job – it’s going to feel crappy.

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How to be in a PEAK STATE, even on a Monday morning

This morning I set my alarm for 6.30am and I actually got up. No, really I did. No snoozing, no groaning, no anything except getting up.

Then I sat on my bed did something called PRIMING for ten minutes (see below).

THEN I went for a very brisk walk around the block before coming back and drinking about four glasses of water with lemon (I had coffee too) and dancing around the kitchen to Calvin Harris and that Radioactive song I’m obsessed with. I literally jumped up and down, putting my hands up in the air. The cat looked truly confused.

At 7.40, a time when I’m usually still under my duvet, I was at my computer writing an article that was finished by 10.30am, when I made myself a green juice.

If I was any more efficient, I would be running the country. I don’t recognise myself anymore.

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I want to be significant

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 08.07.18Tony Robbins, aka my boyfriend, reckons that there are six basic human needs that drive absolutely everything we do. Here they are:

Need 1: Certainty/Comfort
Our need to feel in control and secure.
Need 2: Uncertainty/Variety
Our need for variety, surprises.
Need 3: Significance
We all need to feel important, special, unique, or needed – some of us get a feeling of significance from our work, some do it by having a flash car or by getting a thousand Twitter followers. You can get significance by having more or bigger problems than anybody else (moi) and criminals get it by the attention they get for their crimes.
Need 4: Love & Connection
We all need love but many of us are terrified of it and settle for connection, through our romantic relationships, friendships, our pets, walking through nature.
Need 5: Growth
If you’re not growing, you’re dying – whether that’s growing your business, your relationships, your education etc.
Need 6: Contribution
‘Life’s not about me; it’s about we,’ says Tony, who reckons that giving is what life’s all about.

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