The Truth is Revealed



My relationship with the book The Beautiful Life (now published as The Journey Home) by Simon Parke began in 2007. As the republished name suggests, I keep coming home to it and have done so over the last 10 years. It sits by my bedside and is a wonderful companion to my personal development journey. The chapter ‘Prepare for Truth’ reminds me that when I become quiet and present, there is more opportunity for the truth to be revealed. Here is my version of the truth from The Golden Venture E book;

Truth, like gold, is to be obtained not by its growth, but by washing away from it all that is not gold.’ Leo Tolstoy

When we come face to face with truth we put our hands over our eyes or over our ears to block it out. We are afraid of anything that will be revealed. Truth is accused of causing hurt. Truth hasn’t created hurt; it has peeled back the layers of deception, distraction and avoidance. These protective factors guard our vulnerability, including hurt.

We build walls, put up barriers and lock ourselves away. I am in my castle behind locked doors, the drawbridge is up, and truth cannot reach me. I am safe, I am isolated.

Truth reveals hurt. The exposure may feel like a sting, a bite or a cut. Truth may soothe, comfort or caress you. How will you know unless you open up your eyes, you ears, and lower the drawbridge to your heart?

Truth is a healer; it exposes hurt and provides an opportunity for healing. Choose your truth sayer wisely; choose someone who is patient, kind and considerate. Someone who will tend your wounds, nurture and heal you. That person could be you.

  1. Are you defending or healing yourself?
  2. Are you attacking or healing others?

Tell them all the truth but tell it slant-Emily Dickinson



Your Xmas Present


One of my favourite self help books is ‘The Dance of Intimacy’ by Harriet G. Lerner. One of the quotes that I have adopted from the book is ‘Don’t just do something, stand there’. This is in complete contrast to the need to rush in, rescue, problem solve for others. This quote reminds me to be present, here is an excerpt from The Golden Venture E book;

‘Rejoice in the things that are present; all else is beyond thee.’ Michel de Montaigne

Make a date with your self, meet up right here – now. Give your self a gift; describe what you can see all around you. Notice the details and then look again further and deeper.

Describe what you can hear around you. Listen out for the pitch and the volume, listen within for the sounds of your breathing.

Describe what you can smell right now or describe the most pleasant smell you know. Describe the most luscious taste in the most desirable way.

Touch whatever is nearest to you, notice how it feels; describe the texture and the sensations that you feel.

Wrap this gift up and give your self permission to receive it…….. “this is your present”.

       ‘Don’t just do something, stand there’.  Harriet G. Lerner



Listening is Awareness



One of the books that inspired my personal development journey was The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. Habit 5 is ‘Seek first to understand and then to be understood’. Listening is a tool that can lead towards understanding. Here are my thoughts on listening taken from my E book,The Golden Venture.

‘Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand’ Karl A. Menninger

Being understood is the emotional air that we breathe. When  some-one is gasping for air (or understanding) nothing else matters. Seeking to understand is giving; time, attention, your self. It communicates love and commitment and generates self-esteem. Listening is awareness. Close your eyes and notice what you can hear. Of the many things you can hear, choose what you wish to pay attention to. Recognise that you have the power to choose what you pay attention to everyday.

Listen to your inner conflict, seek to understand it.

Listen without judgement; give each voice space and permission to be heard. Accept what you hear as an opinion, a feeling or a belief. Notice how the inner conflict quietens down when the voices are no longer gasping for air.

‘I don’t care how much you know, until I know how much you care’ Stephen Covey.  


What is confidence?



One of the books that I read at the beginning of my personal development journey was Feel the Fear & Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers. The learning from this book inspired me to write about what confidence means to me. Here is an excerpt from My Golden Venture E book 

‘When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. When you have fun, you can do amazing things’ Joe Namath

Most of us are scared most of the time. We are afraid of not being good enough, getting it wrong, losing everything. What confident people are skilled at is managing their fear. They accept that fear is a normal emotion and they know that they can handle it.

Confidence is trust in your own ability, believing in your self. Confidence is challenging your doubts and questioning their validity.

“I could never do that..” – act as if you can. This builds up the neural pathways that are needed for that action. You can do it. If you think you can, you can.

 ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ Susan Jeffers.


World Kindness Day



Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.’  Eric Hoffer

Kindness is like liquid gold. It smooths, soothes and enriches your relationships. Acts of kindness cost little and pay huge dividends. Whatever you do, do it with kindness. Kindness and gentleness build trust in relationships. If my memories tell me that you treat me kindly I will open my heart to you. If my memories tell me that you treat me harshly I will build walls around my heart to protect me. Hold someone’s heart in your hands with kindness.

Being kind when you feel loving and trusting is easy. Being kind when you feel angry and hurt is a skill. Learn it and you will feel amazing. Kindness is the antidote to blame and criticism. When a relationship is filled with blame and criticism souls are buried alive, when kindness is poured into a relationship souls thrive.

Love is kind. Forgiveness is kind. Treat yourself with kindness.

You deserve kindness in your life so actively seek it out. Look for it, notice it in others, and notice it in your self. Build on it and nurture it.

We can be our harshest critics. Decide today to challenge this – with kindness. For every criticism you give your self, respond with two positive messages.

I treat others kindly by,

  1. ……………………………………….
  2. ……………………………………….
  3. …………………………………………

I treat my self kindly by,

  1. ……………………………………..
  2. ……………………………………..
  3. ……………………………………..


‘Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love’ Lao Tzu

From: The Golden Venture – A Journey of Self Development

The Golden Venture


This is my Golden Venture, a journey to self-discovery. It is simply a reflection of my own experiences, which you may connect with. Filled with golden nuggets and tips, this E Book will accompany you on your own golden venture. If the Golden Venture inspires you in any way to reflect within your self then it has achieved its purpose.

Walking All Over Cancer -Week 2 


 Day 5 – 15,602 steps


This was always going to be a good day for steps but I didn’t expect this many. School run this morning got me started, followed by Fresh Air Fridays (FAF) a walking personal development group, and a walk with my walking buddy. I am top of my Fitbit challenge group – that has never happened before!! Another first today – I did a headstand at yoga. I will credit FAF for that achievement. I have thought about attempting a headstand at least 10 times before and backed out. Topic of today’s FAF session was our ‘comfort zone’. I got out of mine and saw the world up side down. It felt good.  Photos – gifts from my walk along the Basingstoke canal.

Day 6 – 12,971 steps

Started the day with a short walk, listened to Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg on Audible. Reflected on giving feedback, letting go of judgments and being specific about naming behaviour. It was a challenge to go out for a 2nd walk I would have rather sat and had a coffee! Pushed my total up to 8,954, confident that this would rise to 10,000 walking from car park to Mayflower Theatre to see Sister Act. Added on a few more with a trip to the bar and dancing to the final song. It was a super show …Alexander Burke was great.

Day 7 – 7,504 steps 

Difficult to walk today, my Uncle passed away last night. I visited him for his 80th birthday celebration in Australia 6 months ago. Prior to this visit I hadn’t spent time with him for 40 years. I am so glad I seized the day.

Day 8 – 11,189 steps

This morning I made it to circle dancing and it was an enjoyable way to gain 3,200 steps. It was confusing for some voters who found themselves faced with prancing women rather than poll booths. They realised their error before entering the hall and were able to access the correct room. I discovered that shopping for clothes is another pleasant way to increase steps. The rain didn’t deter me from walking to vote (daily total 7, 800) and then continuing to walk after voting which took me to 10,000. A theme of honest communication today; I am inspired by 2 women who were brave enough to say exactly how they felt and what they needed. After a busy day the walking cleared my head and I realise I like ‘walking in the rain with the one I love’ …. and by myself.

Day 9 – 14,113 steps 

A lovely walk along Highcliffe beach, it was so peaceful and took me to 8,099 steps. It reminded me of days spent on Canggu beach in Bali. That evening I saw Take That concert screened live in the cinema, dancing added another 3,990 steps. My favourite song in the concert was Hope.

‘Everybody needs a little hope….learn from every lesson, face the lonely fear, bathe in every blessing, burn your brightest flame….

Day 10 – 15,364 steps 

FAF in Pamber forest, the trees are immense, I really felt like I wanted to hug a tree, I gained 7,890 steps. A family tradition is to collect small change through the year, bag it up and take to the carnival. Walking there, around the fair and back added 5,000 steps.  A bit of discrete dancing to a 60’s, 70,s, 80s DJ – Daughter amused at the stall holders of a certain age jigging to ‘storm in a teacup’ by The Fortunes.

Day 11 – 11,674 steps

Oh dear! I may have drunk just a little bit too much last night. It is 11am and I have completed 266 steps. A 45 minute walk with a bottle of water and music has got me halfway to my 10,000.

Music on shuffle gave me;

Most joyful – I just called to say I love you, Stevie Wonder

Most moving- Supermarket Flowers, Ed Sheeran

Most surprising – We all stand together, Paul McCartney

An evening walk takes me over the 10,000 mark.


What I have learnt so far on my 10,000 a day challenge;

I am aware that the extra steps are costing me time. It is a challenge to make the time for an extra 45 minutes daily walking. I have been creative in my collection of steps and I am learning that I don’t have to rely on walking to provide the steps, I could dance more daily.

The extra steps add joy to my life in many ways – being outdoors, connecting with others, feeling fitter, gaining gifts of nature, being touched by music and using my passion for writing to record the journey.


Walking All Over Cancer – Week One


Day 1  9, 287 stepsDancing queen

The challenge did not get off to a great start … I went out for a walk without my Fitbit on and thought that I had lost my steps (showing as 3,000 on my phone) my daughter calmly taught me how to add them manually. The rose in the photo is called Dancing Queen. It was the first song that Steve & I danced to 40 years ago – I just had to buy it. Today this represents – stopping to smell the roses.
 Day 2  10, 278 steps 
                     white flowers   Nanny - I love you
Not ‘two walks a day’ today but three. First walk to shop in morning. Typical shopping trip as bought more than I could easily carry and didn’t buy what I went in for – milk. Later challenged by needing to take into account 5, 7 & 12 year old.  12 year old surprisingly willing to walk anywhere, 5 year old doesn’t want to walk anywhere. 7 year old happy to go to the park and others agreed= walk 2. Later when 7 year old gone home and 5 year old in bed, 12 year old and I have a pleasant walk to the shop with non stop chat = walk 3 Mission accomplished on two counts now have milk and 10000 steps.The photo’s represent the pure beauty of children and the simplicity of their words
Day 3  10,716 steps
                               extraordinary sights
Took 5 year old to Flip Out birthday party shame he didn’t wear my Fitbit, he jumped for an hour.  Only 3000 steps at 6pm. Waited for temperature to drop as it has been hot today. Waited too long! Just started to rain as I was putting on my trainers. It didn’t last long though and I walked for over an hour. Spoke to lovely mum on mobile who at 85 years old walks an hour a day – inspiration. Listened to audible ‘Change your questions – Change your life’ reflected on judgments and assumptions. Also the value of asking questions to expand options – love the creativity in that. Photo represents the extra in the ordinary.
Day 4 – 11,383 steps

                              Salix flamingo

Playing Boules with 7 year old in the sunshine is a good way to get some steps. One long walk gains 7,000 steps, followed by a 20 minute walk on a gorgeous evening to top up to 10,000. Couldn’t resist a dance to Little Mix on One Love Manchester tonight. Photo is a Salix Flamingo, a lovely delicate flower that I adore. Once on a training course I was asked to name an animal that means something to me, I choose a flamingo. I think the trainer was as surprised as I was. Where did that come from? I later looked up the symbolic meaning of flamingo’s; balance, beauty and grace……
                      flamingo-totem  I’ll take that!

What do you do when you are not working?


Someone asked me ‘what do you do when you are not working?’ the other day and it took me by surprise. On reflection I am interested in two aspects of this, the fact that the question took me by surprise and the instant response I gave to the question.


Not many people ask me this question they are likely to ask ‘what do you do?’ meaning what work do you do. Often people are defined by their work roles rather than their interests in life. Following this line of thought my surprise was that I was at work in my work role and someone was interested in me as a person rather than the role I was in. My surprise was also that I had to think hard about the answer.

My response

I responded with what I normally ‘do ‘ at weekends which is to spend time with my family, this is something I love to do but not who I consider myself to be. This came later when I said ‘I dance’.

What I didn’t say was I appreciate flowers, I listen to what children say, I write, I read, I stretch, I recharge, I laugh, I rest, I swim. These are the things I like to do when I am not working.

With love or fear?


Our motivation to do or say anything comes from a place of love or fear. When you are noticing behaviour or words ask yourself what is the possible source – love or fear. When I have experienced negativity before and remembered to ask myself  ‘is this coming from love or fear’ I realise that negativity often comes from fear. Knowing this I have more understanding of how the other person feels, I can then reassure them and myself that there is nothing to fear. When someone communicates with you from a place of love there is no resistance or barriers, there is trust that you are ok.

Do you treat yourself with love or fear?