Tag Archives: Happiness

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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I’m on the cover of the Irish Independent magazine!

Thank you VERY much to the Irish Independent magazine for running a big TWO page feature on the blog. Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah.

And here’s me in my blue frock. ON THE COVER. Did I mention it was ON THE COVER???!!

Click here to read the article…. Only if you want to, of course.

No doubt normal semi-miserable service will resume tomorrow… but for now I’m excited and delighted. THANK YOU to my Leslieann Horgan and Yvonne Hogan who made it happen.

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Day 5 and 6 done – feeling sickeningly effective

A really quick one just to say that all good. Yesterday and today I did the full shebang – meditate, exercise, check bank balances (not good), planned my days (and stuck to plans), didn’t drink and all around got A LOT DONE. Seriously, this no-boozing business does wonders for my productivity. I feel like my brain has gone from this:

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The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

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Right, OK. Here we go – it’s time to sit up straight and concentrate. We’re about to become HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE. Oh yes.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey (once described as the American Socrates) is one of those self-help classics (20 million copies sold in 38 languages) that most people know the name of but nobody has actually read. At least not past chapter one.

I’ve had this book for nearly ten years and have never got past the first few pages of the 300 page textbook – even though I’ve tried a couple of times. Every time I try my eyes just slip right off the page and into a deep meditation about what to eat for dinner. Or how spotty I am. Or whether I should sell some dresses on Ebay. It makes me the very opposite of Highly Effective.

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A small good thing


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Last year mum made a vanilla and strawberry cake for my sister’s birthday.

I carried it from Surrey to my sister’s place in East London, via two trains and a bus.  Mum didn’t have a tupperware container big enough for it so it was on a plate and there was some strange net thing put over it, the kind of thing that you put over food when it’s outside on a summer’s day. Something to stop the flies.

This made travelling in rush hour pretty challenging – I kept thinking someone was going to bump into the cake and send it flying but they didn’t. Rush hour that evening was like no other rush hour I’ve ever experienced. People smiled at me, people moved out of my way, people even chatted; ‘That looks nice,’ they’d say, looking at the cake. Their face would soften. The hard, tired, determined, ‘I hate life’ look most us adopt on tubes would melt.

It was really weird. It was like everyone become human again.

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My story

Screen Shot 2014-10-03 at 08.04.13I’ve been thinking a lot about vulnerability and how nearly two years ago it changed me life.

In the last post I gave you a lot of back-story about being sick throughout my twenties. I hated putting up that post. I felt exposed, embarrassed and like everybody would be judging me. I have always felt that getting sick  is a huge weakness, something to be ashamed of.

I experienced what Brene Brown calls a ‘vulnerability hangover’ – which is where you cringe about what you’ve just shared. You want to run away and pretend it didn’t happen. It was like when you say something stupid in front of a guy and just the memory of it makes you feel hot and sick weeks later.

Anyway, no doubt I’m heading for another vulnerability hangover but I’m going to finish the back-story…

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Book deal part two and a half: leaning into joy…

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Wow, thank you so much for all the lovely comments yesterday. It was a good day and with your encouragement I let myself be properly happy.

Every time a ‘Who do you think you are?, this is all going to go wrong, you shouldn’t have told people’ voice came into my head I told myself that this is an old pattern of thinking and that it’s not being big-headed to celebrate and share good news.

In our house the worst thing you could ever be is ‘full of yourself’ (a very Irish thing) but while modesty is charming to a point, if  we don’t celebrate the good stuff, what is the point of life? The other oft-repeated phrase in our house was ‘Pride goes before a fall….’ so I always associate rare moments of being proud with the dread that something bad is going to happen. But apparently that’s normal.

I wrote a bit about this yesterday but Brene says that one of the most terrifying emotions we have is joy.

She says: ‘How many of us have thought, “Work’s going well. Good relationship with my partner. Holy crap, something bad’s going to happen.” So what is that? It’s when we lose our tolerance for vulnerability. It’s when joy becomes foreboding. We think, “I’m not gonna soften into this moment because I’m scared it’s going to be taken away. We dress rehearse tragedy to beat vulnerability to the punch.’

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I give up

It’s nearly midnight on a Friday night and I’m at my mum’s watching junk on Netflix and hating myself. I’ve spent the last week going through three shoe boxes of receipts dating back 18 months. All my spending habits there in black and white, on faded, scrunched up slips of paper.

When I cried my way through February, my month of Money, A Love Story, I vowed to change my ways and I did a bit but not enough. I got stuck into the Secret and figured that ‘abundant thoughts’ would translate into an abundant bank balance. They didn’t. Then there was two months of rejection therapy which made me so miserable I took to drink. Which is expensive. Then lovely trips to Italy with F**K It.

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Say F**K it to a book deal

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A couple of months ago I said F**K It to something quite major and I didn’t tell you about it because I worried I’d made a big mistake. I was worried that it was a sure sign that self-help had made me crazy.

In April I was offered a book deal and I turned it down.

I was offered something that I’ve dreamt of my whole life and said ‘No, thanks.’

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Self-help in the sun. With wine. What’s not to like? My F**K it week with John C Parkin

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Well I’m back from my F**K It week and I don’t know what to say except it’s been emotional. Much more than I was expecting. I thought the week would involve standing in the sun shouting ‘F**K It’ with a bunch of strangers and then maybe doing some sort of embarrassing dancing. And maybe some tree-hugging.

As it turned out there was no dancing and only one tiny little bit of shouting, right on the last day. There wasn’t even much swearing, actually. In fact it was more deep and beautiful than boisterous and funny (the tone of the book) and that’s a good thing. Although I did hug a tree – but that was for a laugh. The tree did not laugh back, which is a relief.

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