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How can you show loving kindness in today’s world?

In response to a post from an American lady on Linkedkin, I thought I’d write a blog about the topic of “Tikkun Olam”, a central Jewish value which focuses around taking positive action to improve the world.

As well as in the US, we teach children in Jewish schools in the UK how to be a “Mensch”, a person with integrity and honour, and how we can best show kindness to others.

Imagine for a moment what the world would be like if all cultures taught their children to be a “Mensch” and to do “Tikkun Olam” 💡🕊️🌈☮️💕

Not every Jewish person is perfect of course but neither is any other human being. We can only do our best to show the world the best of our human nature. This is all we can do.

Just imagine it. How amazing would the world be if young people from a very young age could learn what it really means to be a good person, how to show love and kindness to people, and how to develop a sense of compassion with others.

Of course there is only so much teachers can do at school if they aren’t also learning it in parallel at home too.

Being a good person or a “Mensch” is a way of life –  we also learn a lot from what we have been taught by our parents.

There are certain people on this planet who are determined to destroy humanity and tear people down with their hatred, lies and false propaganda. However, love, inclusiveness and unity is the only thing that’ll help us win this battle between good and evil, which is essentially what it all boils down to.

There is such barbarism and evil on this planet right now. Nevertheless, all we can do is focus what is within our control.

This is what I love about the Jewish spirit, is that even though we have experienced such immense trauma as a collective, we still do what we can to make the best of life, celebrate the joys, our wins, our achievements, whether it is through the festivals that happen regularly throughout the year, or just by the way we innately are as human beings after all that we have been through in the past.

None of us are perfect by any means, like all other humans on this earth, but we work really hard to be seen in a good light, to do good in our lives, to make great, positive change in the world. We are doing our best to thrive – this is the best choice we can make, otherwise our lives would go in a downward spiral. In order to live our best, most successful and happiest life, we must go upwards and live our life in the most positive way we can and appreciate all that is around us, be kind to others, and be respectful of each others’ differences.

All schools need to provide better education about the Holocaust and the real, authentic truth about Jewish trauma and what we have had to go through in the past using the Holocaust as a prime example, and also, what the evil of antisemitism can do to humanity, and the importance of not allowing the past to repeat itself again as it did on October 7th in Israel.

There have been a lot of lies being spread about Jewish people and what happened during the Holocaust and why October 7th happened. This can ONLY be addressed through improving the education given in schools – there is a staggering amount of ignorance amongst young people now that are essentially now supporting terrorism and helping to spread hatred and lies about Jewish people all over the UK (and the world too).

Let’s help to change the course of reality to help people understand what being Jewish really means, what it means to be a good human being, the innate truth of who we are as people, and maybe other people can learn something from us too in embracing our truth!

Unfortunately, we as Jewish people are still not enough for some people, a very loud and vocal minority, the haters, the terrorists, the terrorist sympathisers, who prefer to see us as the victim, like Jewish people all over the world were in the Holocaust where we were forced to hide as our lives were in so much danger.

But you know what, we survived! And then we thrived! This certainly isn’t a good reason to destroy us now. We have worked hard to get to where we have achieved now. It hasn’t been by any means a plain sailing journey working our way through this trauma of the past, but sadly, we are having to sadly sail this journey all over again and relive our trauma, especially those Holocaust survivors who relate to the suffering of October 7th and for Jewish people all over the world who are reliving the fear Jewish people felt about 80 years ago.

We always had to hide for our safety. Now, however, we are not willing to be the Jew that hides out anymore… Why should we??? We have so much to be proud of.

The democratic society in the UK we live in is full of different types of people of all religions and ethnicities, of all genders, which we have openly embraced and respected for many years, and which included Jewish people too.

However, since October 7th, which was the worst massacre committed against Jews since the Holocaust, the hatred and antisemitism all over the world has been truly awful, and for one reason only, because we are Jewish.

Yes, there are a lot of Jewish people living in Israel but it’s not as black and white as people seem to think. It is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic country and people of all cultures and religions can practice their traditions as freely as they want – they are very well respected there. Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East!

It’s also really not just about the Jews anymore. The fear, threats, violence and social disorder are happening all over the world, which is why we must all put an end to this rising intense hatred from terror groups and terrorist sympathisers – to stop it before it gets even worse.

The one Jewish state that we have, Israel, is responsible for creating so much positive change in the world, yet people still choose to choose to see us in the worst possible light based on lies and false propaganda.

I have faith there are plenty of good people in this world, but unfortunately, some really evil people are still lurking about who we can now all see very clearly would have behaved exactly like the Nazis and their followers back in 1930. Useful idiots and those intentionally wanting to see the extermination of me (as a Jewish person), my family, my friends, my communities of beautiful Jewish human beings all over the world, who only want to get on with their lives in peace and tranquillity.

Never again must another Holocaust happen. Never again after October 7th. Never again is now, and we mustn’t ever allow this genocide to happen again.

Never Again does really need to mean NEVER AGAIN this time.

Now, more than ever, I appreciate those people around me who really value human life, good human beings, Jewish, non-Jewish people from all kinds of backgrounds, who have showed kindness and compassion during these turbulent times to me, my extended family and community in Israel.

I love this quote I came across on social media:

“Whilst I don’t live in Israel, Israel lives in me.”

Our connection with Israel is strong right now, and united ❤️🇮🇱

Praying for peace for all and for good to prevail in the name of loving kindness 🙏 Amen.

Let’s light up the world in 2024

Wow, what an eventful year it has been, and now is the perfect time to reflect on everything I can be grateful for and the lessons learned over the course of the past year…

I discovered my love for music even more through sound healing and chakra dancing after the Chakra Dancing retreat I attended last April. Aside from meeting some lovely people on the course, it helped me to reconnect with my peace and joy within, the person I am becoming and all things musical which is my joy. It inspired me to get in tune with my own energy, and also to practice Qi Gong which I do my best to practice regularly as it brings me calm and peace alongside regular meditation, working out at the gym, doing pilates and singing karaoke-style with my community group or in my local Rock Choir. It also inspired me to start playing my flute again which was on pause after my Mum passed away the year before. I now love all things related to energy healing and this year, I have been slowly building upon my self-care practices that I find very therapeutic and calming amongst the chaos of my everyday life.

This year has been a big test of my resilience and finding out who I am at my core.

I never gave up – I got a new job! I had lots of interviews, which was a positive thing of course – showing that my CV and covering letter was in order – but at the same time, I did get a lot of rejections which I had to digest. After feedback, if received, or based on my own intuition, I did my best to work out what went wrong, forgive myself where need be, and learned to get myself back up again into “my big girl’s pants”. Each time, I learned a lesson or two – the rest was mostly out of my control when it came to managing interview nerves and whether the company liked or resonated with me and the person I am. After each application and each interview, I strengthened my resolve to be able to make the progress I needed to be able to catch the employer’s attention, improving my tactics, reading new inspiring books and making my answers better each time. In the process, I created a mammoth interview preparation document which was a great help to me!

To top it off, aside from still grieving the loss of my Mum (an ongoing process) and looking for a new job, my faith was tested big time this year.

My heart and spirit were cracked open this year after the terrible atrocities and massacre that happened in Israel on October 7th in Kibbutz Be’eri that were totally unjustified and inhumane beyond words, and since then, the evil of antisemitism that has spread across the UK and world.

Never have I felt so much hate in the world for being the Jewish person (and human being) that I am. Never also at the same time have I felt so much love and gratitude for the core essence of who I am, my Jewish spiritual being, and the values I hold close to my heart alongside my extended Jewish family all over the world and in Israel who are suffering.

I don’t know how anyone can comprehend, celebrate or salute this kind of inhumanity, the sheer evil of terrorism that has been bestowed upon innocent people (children, babies and toddlers included), the evil that antisemitism has led to again. Never again was history supposed to ever repeat itself, especially after the Holocaust where 6 million men, women and children were killed and tortured purely because they were Jewish. Never again is now, and digesting all of that has been very tough.

I’ve felt a whole host of emotions these past few months, but overall, it has been a really humbling experience and if anything, it has made me really feel such gratitude for being alive and allowed me to delve deeper into all that I love about being Jewish.

Even though I’m not religious, being Jewish is the spiritual essence of who I am which brings me joy and lights me up inside. It’s who I’m proud to be and nothing will ever change that. Whilst being surrounded by so much hate, I have learned to appreciate all those who love me as I am, and all the love generally that is around me, and the good people that there are in the world, because there are many. They just aren’t shouting as loudly as the haters.

All I see now is that we all have an obligation to speak out, to speak our truth, to spread the joy, peace and love that we want to see in this world in the future. This is the choice we all need to make if we are to preserve the values we hold as a collective of humanity, whatever race, gender, nationality you are.

I pray more people will speak out in 2024 against all the hate and antisemitism being spread all over London, UK and worldwide. Jewish people or Israelis cannot do this alone. I pray that the world as a whole finds its moral compass. Let’s do what is within our control and support the good in this world – allow the light to rise up and shine brightly so that humanity can thrive.

Here’s my New Year Message to you:

In my ideal world, I would love everyone to embrace the concept of the Shamash in 2024, like the master candle that lights all the other candles during the 8 days of Chanukah, the Jewish festival of lights that we celebrated in December.

As well as during Chanukah, I believe we can all embrace this concept throughout the whole year too – you don’t need to be Jewish! You just need to be human and love humanity, every part of it.

It’s time for everyone to step up and light our own flames so that we can find our way out of the darkness and be a source of inspiration for others to do the same. This is what I want to see more within myself and what I want to see much more of in the world around me too.

“For though my faith is not your’s and your faith is not mine, if we are each free to light our own flame, together we can banish some of the darkness of the world” late Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks

Be the Shamash, be the master flame that lights up the lives around you, light your way through the darkness.

Ignite your own light within, ignite that which brings you joy and all that brings you gratitude and light.

Shine your light even brighter whatever faith or religion you are, whatever your beliefs💡It simply doesn’t matter anymore. Be the light in whatever way suits you.

JOY is the key word I will be focusing on this year as this is what in my mind will help bring more light, increase faith, and bring peace and healing to myself and the world. Joy is the foundation of it all.

Let’s make 2024 an amazing year filled with all that we desire, pray for and all the love and compassion we can nurture within ourselves to create a better world on the outside 🙏 ❤️

What does it mean to be Jewish

Being Jewish is intense – there is no other word to describe our experience. There are so many emotions that we feel, from all the highs – the joy, gratitude, love and connection, to the lows – the grief, despair, anger, fear and sadness. It’s like the flow of life that we all experience but it can feel more complicated, challenging and full of resistance as we work our way back to the higher vibe, more peaceful, positive emotions again.

Being the best people we can be and our authentic selves is constant “work in progress” whilst we ride the waves of consciousness and resilience. Constantly having to fight for our existence, that constant battle to get people to understand all the positive things that we as Jewish people stand for, the love and light that we are, and at the same time, to stay in the light, amongst all the hate, sadness and grief that is around us too.

How much tragedy do we have to experience in our lifetime as Jewish people to be able to open everyone’s eyes to the injustice we have suffered. We will not allow a repeat of the way the Jewish people were treated during the Holocaust. We cannot play small anymore and let the fear take over and divide us. Also, more than enough damage was done in the brutal attack on Israel on October 7th and as if it wasn’t enough, by taking all those hostages. Never again is now. We mustn’t allow this evil to continue.

It’s time to unite with Jewish people with the values we stand for in line with the values British people hold, in the multi-cultural society we live in, along with people all around the globe. We all have our differences but we must learn to co-exist, to respect each other and our differences even if it isn’t something you personally believe in.

Whilst these beliefs or differences are doing no-one any harm, let’s choose to let people live their lives peacefully as they choose with the traditions and customs that are close to their hearts. Surely, as long as they are showing love, kindness and respect to those around them, why can’t we just leave them be?

We have such a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society here in London – make the choice to accept and embrace the diversity of what is around us instead of all the vile hatred that is being spread right now about Jewish people, otherwise known as antisemitism. Even though Jews are such a small percentage of the population, if we let this antisemitic movement of hatred grow, there isn’t much hope for humanity going forwards into the future as we really would have a future to fear, which is I truly hope is a future no-one would want to see.

This is all we ever want as Jewish people, just to be able to get on with our lives and do what fills our hearts with joy and love. Our connection with Israel is strong. Family means a lot to us, and community spirit too. Despite what some people believe, we are the better side of humanity – Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East. Of course none of us are perfect, but we are doing our best in the face of everything to stay strong, resilient and true to ourselves. These are such turbulent times. It’s not easy.

Who you are, your beliefs, your traditions, your cultural way of living is personal to you and how you live your life – it’s intrinsic to your way of being.  Once your identity is attacked, it does make you realise what really matters in life to the core of your being.

We are all affected. As Damian Barr says “We are not all in the same boat. We are in the same storm. Some have yachts, some have canoes, and some are drowning. Just be kind and help whoever you can.”

All we can do from here onwards, all that is within our control, is to look after ourselves in the best way possible and keep a distance from negativity and hate as much as possible. Our responsibility is now to show up as the amazing people that we are, all of us. We are the light that not a lot of people can see clearly – this is why we must shine our lights as brightly as possible. The light will shine much brighter in the darkness.  Focus on your inner peace and what serves you the best.

It is all very difficult as that awareness, that sadness, those ongoing battles against the extreme hate that is out there is there in the background, is never going to completely go away. However, whilst we are all united, Jews and non-Jews together, love will only get stronger as we learn to drown out the hate. The more we speak our truths and open our minds and hearts to what we really want to be seeing in tomorrow’s future, the brighter our future will be.

Celebrate life. Live from the heart, be kind, be the light.

Are you getting any sunlight?

In these difficult times when you might be feeling like your world is falling apart, you still need to get some sunlight and make a proactive, conscious effort to look after both your mental and physical well-being. Even when you think you can’t, make the time for you. Your health matters. You matter.

Somehow we have to find a way to carry on and give ourselves some respite from it all. We need to look after ourselves even more in these difficult times and allow some time in the day to relax and nurture our mind. It’s impossible to live life with our minds in overdrive all the time, with such a lot of overwhelm and stress in our everyday lives. We must learn to stop sometimes or at least slow down a notch.

Sunlight doesn’t have to be anything big, and it’s not just about taking Vitamin D. It can be the little things you might be taking for granted in your everyday life. It can also be for 10 minutes at a time, or more if you can manage it. Shut the door behind you and take that quiet for yourself in whatever way that feels good for you, go for a walk, breathe in the fresh air, look at the beauty around you. Look at the kind people that ARE around you when you walk around.

I know it’s tough as there is so much fear and negativity in the world today. I know there is a tendency to be drawn to the news right now, but try your best to reduce the things you expose yourself to that make your energy sink and your fear kick in. Reduce your intake of negativity. Create that inner sense of peace and joy whatever that looks like for you.

We can’t just sit back and watch humanity crumble.

We must shine our lights so brightly even in moments you may not feel like it, even if it is “just” to prioritise your own well-being and look after yourself. You matter. Make time in between all the negativity and do things that light you up a little, that make you feel good. Don’t feel guilty for it, what’s important is that you do what brings you peace, calm and also those things that uplift you to give you a feeling of joy, because this is what will ultimately help you to get through it all over time.

Here are some tips of mine which I hope will guide you towards the sunlight:

  • Go outdoors, put your face in the sunshine, wander around the garden if you have one, go to the park, walk in nature.
  • Talk to someone you love everyday, whether it’s your family or your pets. Spend time with and cherish your loved ones.
  • Find or do something that makes you smile, or that makes someone else smile. Kindness and compassion go a long way and can help you feel good too.
  • Do something that nourishes your well-being. Pamper yourself, even in a small way. For example, switch off social media, put on a face pack and some headphones then listen to some calming music and read a magazine or a book. Zone out for 20-30 minutes or longer if you can manage.
  • Exercise regularly – find some exercise you enjoy doing. Go to the gym, do pilates or dance,  go for a regular walk or run in your local area or wherever inspires you, but make this is a regular part of your routine. Do this for you. Exercise is a great release.
  • Brainstorm all those things you love to do as hobbies, self-care activities, or the little things that fill you with joy and calm. Make a list and stick it on your wall to remind you for those moments when you aren’t feeling so good. Remind yourself what makes you feel good and uplift you, and fit them into your routine somehow, even just in small chunks, and regularly. Make time in your diary to do it and stick to it. Make that commitment to yourself.
  • Do something you enjoy doing. It feels good to lose track of time doing what you love and what nourishes you. Set a timer if you are worried about time so you don’t have to keep checking your watch, and then relax into that good feeling for however long time allows.
  • Drink plenty of water and soothing hot drinks – limit your caffeine or sugar intake as this can make anxiety worse. Try and stick to decaffeinated teas or coffees most of the time if you can. Of course, do treat yourself and enjoy those little comforts aswell.
  • Meditate regularly, even if for a few minutes at a time. There are lots of lovely meditations on YouTube. The Mindful Movement is a really good place to start, amongst apps like Headspace or Balance which can also be really helpful if you are new to meditation. Or you can just listen to any relaxing music that resonates with you and helps you to relax and unwind. Qigong, which is a form of mindful movement, is also another amazing way of slowing and calming the body down, and helps to release that heavy duty energy from your body. Sound baths are also a wonderful way to relax and rejuvenate your mind and body.
  • Plan some time in the diary regularly to do things that calm your busy mind which are escapist like reading a good book, or learn a new craft, paint, colour, play or listen to music.
  • Spend time with people who share similar interests, hobbies and experiences. Face to face human connection is necessary now as well as connecting via instant messaging and online. Real connections are still so valuable – giving us that much needed sense of community and helping to lift our spirits, knowing we are not doing this alone.
  • Practice gratitude – this is especially important right now. Remember, we are all miracles – life should ideally be celebrated everyday. There are lots of things in our lives we can still appreciate. I know they are hard to see in the darkness, but they are there.  Focus on the good in the world as much as you can, and life will feel better and a little brighter.

The greater question right now is how do we move forward from here. It really is that time now where everyone needs to step back and take that time to reflect about what our priorities are in life, and how we want to see the world in the future – OUR FUTURE.

Stand up for love and peace – there is NO place in the world for hate. Be brave, stand up for what is right for the whole of humanity. We all have a responsibility to speak up.

Shine your light brightly, show other people what matters to you and how seriously you take the values you have grown up with. What did your parents teach you about being a good human being, what did they teach you to take out into the world? Now is the time to show the world what you are made of!

Make a stand, take positive action. Think about it, how do you want the world to look in the future? How would you like it to make you feel? And yes, feelings matter – this is exactly what human connection is all about!

Be proactive, show kindness and compassion to others in need. Make a routine of it, declutter those feelings of fear and anxiety that surround us. We all have a collective responsibility to show kindness to one another.

The more we shine our lights over the evil that is shadowing us, the more good we can do in the world today. The more kindness we can instil in others, the more the light can shine and the brighter it will get.

Though the sad reality is war, terrorism or antisemitism must never be an acceptable way of life.

As a collective, we ALL matter. We must value love and compassion more than hate! LIFE MUST BE VALUED for the sake of humanity.

Now is the time we must ALL unite together now for the greatest good of all. This is what will help us make the positive change so many of us desire right now to bring more peace in the world.


Jewish lives matter

What an unimaginably tough week it’s been. As a Jewish person myself, I amongst many other Jewish people across the world, feel Israel’s pain too.

How can people be so evil? I just don’t understand it. Israel is a democracy just like us in the UK and most of the world. They just want to get on with their lives in peace and enjoy their lives.

The horror, the grief, the innocent young lives that were destroyed. On the 7th October 2023. On the last leg of all the Jewish High Holiday festivals when everyone was celebrating, in joy and love, on one of the holiest days of the Jewish New Year… Babies, so many teens and young children, families wiped out – they killed so many young people at the music festival, they went into people’s homes door by door in Be’eri Kibbutz… It was just beyond inhumane what Hamas did to Israel. Unjustifiable. It sends a chill through my whole body thinking about it. Terrorism should never be celebrated or justified.

We will never forget the Holocaust, and all those millions of Jewish people that were killed and tortured purely because of who they were, their Jewish roots.  We’ve always said #neveragain must this happen, but #neveragainisnow, how has it come to be? How has humanity not learned from its mistakes, how? I know we are in the global sense a small percentage of the population, but Jewish lives matter too!!!!

This is why it hits us so hard, Jewish people and communities across the world are so affected by these atrocities. We are like one big family, it’s very hard to watch other Jewish people suffer and of course, Israel. It feels like an attack on our own identity. We’ve already experienced the Holocaust, isn’t that enough? We all know people in Israel, family, friends, or we know someone who does. It’s just the way it is in our family. All over the world, Jewish people all know someone who was affected in some way by the Holocaust.

This is precisely why Jewish people all over the world have a strong connection to the State of Israel. This is the homeland we built when we had nowhere else to go after the Holocaust. This is why Jewish people all over the world and Israelis have an innately great spirit, a great sense of community, and a strong sense of unity. This is who we are and have come to be, and who we will continue to be.

Let’s be clear, Hamas’ goal is to wipe Israel off the map and kill all of us – this is what they would absolutely love to achieve from their terrorist “mission” but everyone else has to understand that we as Jewish people, as human beings, are not willing to stand for that. Israel must defend itself for the sake of humanity.

Would you let this happen to you and your family?  We mustn’t let evil win. Love must prevail and this takes an army too – love is worth fighting for!!!!!

From the ashes, we will rise.

Israelis have had to become very resilient people over the years, but really how much does a human being have to bear? We don’t always know everything about everyone and their story, but all the images I’ve seen this week has been very distressing – it’s so heart-breaking all these innocent lives that have been lost, babies and young children included. Not forgetting old and disabled people too, including a Holocaust survivor. I can’t imagine what went through the lady’s mind when she was taken away as hostage having already been through the horror with the Nazis. It must be very surreal for those old people who lived through World War 2 and who are now either going through it all over again or watching this new war unfold before their very eyes. Kidnapping babies and toddlers, it’s so unbearable to think about what those children are going through right now.

We are a peaceful bunch of people. Really, this is all Israelis want, to be able to go about their lives in peace and joy. Israel doesn’t want to be fighting in this war – they have no choice other than to protect its citizens. Israelis care for the living; they care that their people live in safety and not in fear of their lives. They care that their people thrive as amazing, happy, strong, caring, compassionate human beings.

Also, we have really appreciated the support and solidarity of those who have lit blue and white Israeli flags all around the world and sung beautifully in support of Israel over the past week, in support of peace – more than you’ll ever know; and those friends who have taken the time to check if we are ok, spoken kind words of compassion, Jewish and non-Jewish, and shown their support for Israel’s plight for safety and peace. The world has come together in times of need which has been incredible and reassuring to see. Of course there is lots more work to be done but the solidarity so far has been so heart-warming and we are so grateful for the support of the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and the British Government in this war against terror and evil.

It shouldn’t take a massacre or genocide for people to come together in this way, but for the sake of humanity, we must all join together now in love and compassion, whatever your ethnicity, religion or background. It really doesn’t matter anymore. We all have a common goal – peace, joy and the love of mankind. It’s simple really when you get to grips with what really matters in life. We are humans, just like everyone else, and we have a need and right to feel safe and at peace which is why Israel has a right to exist and must always defend itself.

Now, in the face of what is, moving forward we can only work with what we can control. So what choice do we have other than to fight for what is for the greatest good of all, love and peace – that’s what truly matters.


Have you ever climbed a mountain so steep

Do you ever feel like you are climbing a mountain so high where something feels so out of reach to you despite your hard work and efforts? You then start to think you might have finally reached it, but you find out there’s still more to climb. The same thing happens again, and you now have to climb the mountain even further… You climb more, and more again, and think you’re finally there, but no, you need to climb even further. You now realise that this is one hell of a mystery ride you are on and don’t have a clue about when you are going to reach the final destination. The fear of the unknown is really kicking in now, and all you can do is stop, rest, make those steps to strengthen up, buckle up and keep going until you reach the top of that mountain whenever that may be. You can only do what is within your control, make those extra steps to get closer to the final destination, create new routines, work even harder, and increase self-care. You simply have no other choice.

This is exactly how I view “the interview process”.

The biggest challenge for me is not having an end date, a deadline, knowing how long this is going to take, how much more groundwork and mindset work is involved – not knowing when I will be someone else’s “number one” and be finally paid for the pleasure of it all.

The hardest thing for me is when I’ve found a role and organisation that seems absolutely perfect “on paper”, that aligns perfectly with who I am, with the mission I’m setting out to achieve, and then suddenly boom, rejection after rejection.

Online interviews don’t always work well for me as I find the connection with the people interviewing me isn’t as strong – I’m referring to that missing sense of “human connection” that gets lost with online meetings. I know the convenience factor is great with online interviews, but there is an extra adrenaline rush, a better vibe that I feel within, that I get when I go to the company’s office and see the interviewers live “in person” as opposed to live on Zoom or Teams. I’m essentially “a people person” looking for better work-life-balance and I connect well with real people…

Interviews are really tough – battling those nerves is one thing, but in that moment of feeling those nerves and that adrenaline pumping (especially when having a face to face interview, which I do prefer), I have to come up with answers that not only reflect my best and calm self that aligns with the role and organisation I’m being interviewed for, but also I need to in that moment, say what the interviewer wants to hear from me to be able to tick more of the boxes that the employer has set in their mind before the start of the interview to essentially meet their expectations of who they want for this role. This is the tough part, because my intuitive self wants to tell people about my own experience behind the question they are asking, answering the question as best as possible, and it requires an extra layer of thought in that moment to think about what the interviewer wants to hear from me. It is a learning curve.

I always found it tough at school being tested under exam conditions, as I usually spent a lot of time revising and putting in all the hard work beforehand to then find nerves kicking in on the day of the exam and doing my best to work my way through them to achieve the best possible result – so this is not the ideal environment for me to present my best self and it presents a real challenge to me. Saying that, I do find looking over my notes regularly, especially close to the time of the exam or interview, reflecting on what I want to say beforehand, practicing out loud, all helps to increase my self-confidence on the day and helps me to give it my best shot.

I know my skills are really important to the employer – but also, I believe that my whole self matters too. What I mean by this, is the vision that I represent to the employer, how I connect with their organisation, the things that I have achieved in my life that align with that organisation, my highly motivated creative self, my committed self that is determined to push through these barriers to succeed and to do what it takes to find that job which will see me thrive, as well as making use of all my hard work and achievements to date.

I may be against a lot of competition but in the process, I have learnt a lot of things about myself and improved my confidence and resilience too, which is of course can only be a positive thing. But whatever I am doing essentially is still not enough, or maybe I just haven’t found the right role for me yet. In the meantime, I am forced to go within and self-reflect at every stage of the process for ways in which I can improve myself, my job applications, but also, how I can improve my interview performance.

Maybe the Universe has me work this hard so that when I finally nail that job, I will appreciate it so much, more than I know. I look forward to that immense feeling of excitement that awaits me at the final stage of the interview process, “the job offer”, filling me with that extra sense of purpose, happiness and fulfilment. I really look forward to finding that employer who appreciates me for who I am, my authentic self, my perfect imperfections and the experience and skills I can bring to them. I’m not giving up just yet!

“Winners are not people who never fail, they are people who never quit” Edwin Louis Cole

What life do you dream of?

I watched the film “True Spirit” a couple of weeks ago which was a very inspiring film. It tells the story when a 16 year-old girl, Jessica Watson, decided to follow her ambitions about 14 years ago and went on a very long adventure by boat, a bright pink one called “Ella’s Pink Lady”, all by herself for 210 days circumnavigating the globe starting in Sydney, Australia. She did it purely for the love of sailing from a young age.

What’s so incredible is how she coped on her own all that time, and how she managed the extremely dangerous choppy weather. She had a special video conferencing system set up between her and her family to track where she was – this was the only contact she had with the outside world.

She was very brave and never gave up on her dream even when things got very rough, literally. It was evidently an intense journey for her parents and siblings too as at one point during the film, they really thought she had died as they lost communication with her when the boat capsized for a while. This storm was a really terrifying one as multiple storms merged into one and the massive waves caused the boat to capsize 15 foot under water… At least she was belted up whilst lying on her bed! Not fun though, especially if you aren’t a rollercoaster ride fan.

However, Jessica didn’t have a choice – it was totally out of her control and she did the best she could to survive and thrive through her love and determination to complete her sailing mission. Miraculously, she survived and came back in one piece feeling on top of the world that she had reached her goal (and proved some people wrong!). She was so glad to be reunited with her family again and 80,000 people waited at the port to cheer her on and celebrate her success!!! What an amazing journey that was.

It was obviously a popular Netflix film and a lot of people wanted to read more about what she experienced after watching the film (her paperback book did sell out at one point), how she managed to live in such a small space all that time, what she ate, what she did to keep herself company, how she managed to keep herself sane without any people to talk to face to face and finally, how she managed to tackle the technical problems onboard. I’m yet to read the book that was published with the full story of what happened – I am very intrigued.

I know it’s not quite the same as the job hunting process is, but there are similarities when I think of all the ups, the downs, the setbacks, the excitement, the joy and then the waiting around which Jessica also experienced on the boat for about a week whilst there was no breeze or waves to move her forward at all. She was stuck in the middle of the ocean with nowhere to go and feeling very alone.

There is an innate creativity in all of us. When you take on a big project or goal you want to achieve, like looking for a new job for example, or sailing a boat around the world even, you do really need to concentrate on the task in hand, look after yourself in the meantime, and somehow carry on in the best and most positive way.

I find I need to really focus on doing what is right for me, what my inner knowing is telling me, what brings out my passion and inner spark, even though I don’t know how it’s all going to pan out and not getting attached to any particular outcome. Not knowing how this job opportunity is going to come about or the way in which it will be presented to me. All I can do is keep focusing on what I love to do, my passions, my gifts, my writing, my musical talents, and continually do what inspires and uplifts me, live, be happy, sing, dance, connect with friends and family, and also, have self-compassion, find peace within, connect with nature and do all that soothes me, listening to the sounds of the ocean waves, waterfalls, even if only on YouTube, being surrounded by beautiful, loving people and instruments, eating healthy food, all of which gives me the fuel to keep going – this allows me the space to present myself as my best and happiest self, feeling fulfilled and full of purpose and having a clearer sense of direction.

I do love sharing my joy with others for the things I love, putting a smile on people’s faces, and giving people hope and optimism for the future. It’s the best feeling knowing I’ve made a difference in someone else’s life, added to their inner joy, given them a new leash of life they didn’t know they had. It really fills me up to help people, to do more good in the world, to make the world a better place. For the greatest good of all, to bring me joy, to provide joy to others. Something inside of me needs to reach that place, the place where I can make a real difference in people’s lives, whether it is through my writing or music or just the person that I am with all the other practical, real life communications and organisational skills I have to offer. All I can do now is follow my own intuition, to follow what my heart is guiding me to do.

Over the years, I’ve realised that loving ourselves really isn’t selfish – there is often a negative connotation when we use this word but essentially, the more we love ourselves, the more we can love other people. It’s good to feel loved inside wherever we are, at home, or in the office, or wherever we choose to be.

There are different ways of course that we express ourselves professionally with colleagues and at home with our family and friends, but ultimately, it’s really important to do what fills our soul up, what uplifts us. When we fill ourselves with joy and self-love, we can pass this onto others and live happier lives. We often put conditions on our love, when we get the job, when we achieve something, then we have that permission to love ourselves, but how about doing it along the way and celebrate each little success as you go along? The little steps along the way are so important, acknowledging every step makes it easier to see how far you’ve come along the way by breaking it all down into smaller, bite-size, more manageable pieces.

A great, easy way of celebrating the little steps is to play an empowering song you like that maybe even contains the words you want to express but don’t know how. Along the way, whilst writing this blog, I thought I would listen to the song “Tightrope” from the Greatest Showman as it ties very well with the theme of this blog – I’ve included the inspiring lyrics from the first paragraph below:

“Some people long for a life that is simple and planned
Tied with a ribbon
Some people won’t sail the sea ’cause they’re safer on land
To follow what’s written
But I’d follow you to the great unknown
Off to a world we call our own”

It really is an adventure all of this self-love, but it’s really worth it, and worth keeping up the fight for its existence in our everyday lives. There is incredible value in each of us and we must do what makes us happy, if nothing else, to make sure we leave behind a strong legacy, one filled with gratitude, beauty, peace and love, never to be forgotten.

It really is all an adventure that comes with a breath-taking view – a girl can dream can’t she? – and we do have to make sure we take lots of deep breaths along the way!!!!

What tests your resilience big-time?

Looking for a job has been a real test of resilience for me. The time spent on each application, the effort needed to get into the right mindset to persevere and keep putting yourself out there, even though you aren’t seeing any tangible outcomes. Which is why it’s important to celebrate each stage of the application process and how far you have come even though you aren’t “quite there” and haven’t nailed your dream job yet.

The way I see it is that you can make the choice to celebrate the growth in the process, even if they are small steps, little actions, or you can be miserable and dwell on the negativity, the rejections and the hardships of it all. It is really tedious and can be really depressing, I totally get it, as it can really affect your feelings of worthiness. It really is a time in your life when you are being judged on essentially who you are as a person, which can sometimes be tough to digest.

However, if you add some “spice” to it all, including adding joy to the equation, making time for yourself and doing what you are passionate about during the process to relieve some of that heavy feeling of anxiety and negativity, or brain fog even, then it does help raise those positive feelings inside of you and make you feel more creative and inspired. It must be made a “non-negotiable” part of your routine though, even if you build it up slowly.

The more you build healthy habits that make you feel good, the more it becomes part of your daily routine, most of the time. The more you do what you love, the more positive vibes you feel, and life starts to feel great and moving in the right direction, even though you can’t see the end result yet. It is hard but actually if you try and enjoy the process, as hard as it is, then things do start to feel more bearable and fun even.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storms to pass, it’s about dancing in the rain” Vivian Greene

Also, it is ok to listen to your body and take breaks from job searching too to give your mind a break and relax. It really is a job in itself looking for another job and requires a lot of self-discipline, self-motivation and more importantly, self-compassion.

Most of the time, I don’t even receive a thank you for submitting the application as everything is so automated nowadays – candidates just have to assume that the applications have been received ok and hope for the best however much time has been spent on preparing their application. If filling in one of these application forms that employers like to send, it can sometimes take a few hours of someone’s time to fill it in. If sending applications via email, there is always the option of requesting a read receipt when sending emails, especially if you really want to know that someone has received your email. It is a good way of getting someone’s attention especially as we are all overwhelmed these days with messages appearing from all kinds of places, text messages, WhatsApp, email, Facebook messenger, you name it. Lots of messages to manage on a daily basis which maybe explains this “culture” of not needing to acknowledge applications, or ghosting candidates even. It’s a real issue, and not just restricted to dating apps!

However, it is important to remember that behind each of these electronic applications is a human being, and we like to be acknowledged in a certain way, even if it is a basic, standard, cut & paste thank you letter that employers send to all those who haven’t made it through to the initial interview stage. At the same time, it’s important not to rely on any particular outcome, otherwise if employers don’t do as you expect or would like or appreciate them to do, you will get disappointed!!

Sometimes, I do get a reply to my applications, but most of the time, in my experience, I only hear if I’ve gotten through to the next stage of application, which has mostly been an interview via Teams or sometimes Zoom. It is really hard to be rejected and not receive any constructive feedback, especially if you have attended an interview.

Feedback is a brilliant way of helping potential employees to grow within themselves, to help them learn from their mistakes throughout the job hunting process. Without it, it does make things really difficult and frustrating, especially if you’ve gotten through to the final stage, and you just have no clue why you haven’t got the job. I know “being the right fit” is really important to employers, but why is it so hard for employers to take that time to nurture that human connection and provide some constructive feedback to help that person find the job they are the right fit for, especially if you know they’ve spent time and effort on their job application?

The only option left for us jobseekers is to guess our way through the process which isn’t ideal. Sometimes, things might be obvious to our own eye that we can improve but other times, the only thing we can do within our control is let it all go and move onto the next opportunity knowing that maybe this rejection is telling us that this job isn’t meant for us right now. There is also an element of faith in self, that the right opportunity will show up at the right time. Faith that it will happen, that this perfect job is out there, and not to worry in the meantime. It’s hard to keep up the faith but we do have to keep going and have a lot of patience! What other positive choice is there?

Gratitude is also another important part of the process for me, acknowledging all the little tasks and actions I have completed each day (most of the time) and also finding moments to celebrate in each day even if it’s just playing one of my favourite motivational, empowering songs to acknowledge something I’ve achieved, however small it is. I have one list that I update to make life simpler for myself. Even when I just complete tasks, I show gratitude for having completed them, which is still a good reason to celebrate.

Also, it has been a learning process adapting to the idea of having interviews online, and even though people only see your top half, I always do get smartly dressed from top to bottom, because most importantly, it gets me in the right mindset and makes me feel good, and I always love to put on a bit of make up too to make myself feel more “professional”. It helps me to feel excited along with some uplifting, empowering music which can help to shift those pre-interview nerves and get my mind ready and raring to go.

It’s not easy online getting that same connection as you would going to someone’s office and having that face to face contact, but saying that, it is more interactive than a phone call at least. We are also relying on a good internet connection at both ends, which can be a challenge sometimes. Eye contact is key with these online interviews, but can prove difficult if for example the screen goes blurry, and there is a delay with the sound and someone’s lips are moving at a slower pace to the sound of their voice, which can be really distracting! But somehow amongst all of these challenges, we give the interview the best shot and portray ourselves in the best light we can, and then based on our performance, an employer will make the decision about whether they think you are best qualified for the job and want to give you a chance in the next round of interviews. Then the waiting game starts.

As well as learning from my mistakes as I go along the process, or more so, improving myself, improving my answers to interview questions, improving my covering letters to help me get more interviews, tailoring them one by one to the company I am applying to, and really presenting myself as my best and truest expression of myself. That’s all we can do, however much preparation we do beforehand, it’s how we present ourselves in the moment.

“Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path” — Paulo Coelho

I am learning that it’s ok to be me, that it’s safe territory to be me. Me is ok.

I’m also learning that I can make the choice to not let all these rejections be about myself and my self-worth, and instead focus on what the companies who have rejected me are missing out on by not employing me!!!  There are so many things in life that are out of our control, and so it’s important to see the power and beauty in what we can control, and the things we are able to learn from each and every experience we have, even if it’s a negative one. It’s important that we step back and allow ourselves to breathe and learn from those experiences in a positive way so that we can move forward in the best and most productive way.

I would love to work for a company that embraces that growth mindset culture and encourages learning and growing amongst their staff so that we can become happier people as a whole, better at our jobs, more productive, more focused, less stressed – and yes, it is part of the “whole package” when employing someone. If employees or candidates aren’t interested in all that jazz and personal growth stuff, that’s of course fine too, but we all as humans have an innate need to experience joy and connection. It really is of interest to the employer and will make a happier, healthier workplace which makes all the difference as people do spend a lot of their time at work.

“Connection is why we are here. We are hardwire to connect with others, it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives, and without it there is suffering.” Brene Brown

A positive, work environment that takes account of the fact that we are all human and have our own individual needs that need to be taken care of. It is an environment which employees can thrive in, so by addressing these needs for good staff wellbeing at work, then it can surely only lead to good – a better workplace, a kinder world and a more joyful environment to be.

Joy is important and I think that employers do play an important role in providing that joy to their employees to help improve motivation, focus, sense of well-being and good health, happiness and productivity. It also gives people a sense of community and human connection that people do need to feel on a regular basis, both at work and at home. This is what makes us tick and feel alive!!!!!!!

Are you nurturing your soul enough?

This job-hunting process is really testing my feeling of worthiness. However, after every stage, every application, every interview, every setback, though it does feel harsh and upsetting to start with, I am standing taller each time and getting stronger and stronger as time goes on.

At each stage, there is opportunity for growth as it propels me to keep on improving myself each time, thinking about where I might have tripped up, what I can do better next time, how I can move forward in the best possible way as it’s really the only way of giving me the best chance of manifesting the job that is right for me, which of course is a positive thing. However, it can be a real struggle, pushing through those fears and limiting beliefs at the same time, holding onto faith in self, but at the same time, not letting these rejections knock my confidence, embracing positive thoughts in knowing that there is something better out there for me at the right time, that this whole process which is filled with obstacles and hurdles is actually helping me get closer towards the job that’s meant for me.

In the meantime though, whilst the job search continues, I do have to keep looking after myself in the process – and sometimes, I am learning this too, we do need a clean break from it all too to recharge.

At the end of April, I went on a Chakra Dancing and Creative Meditation retreat for 6 nights, and it was an amazing experience. Wow, what a week it was. A wonderful new adventure for me, lots of new friendships made with more like minded people who love music and dance, a new project for me to add to my musical portfolio and a new chapter in my personal development journey.

I haven’t been away from my kids or husband this long in a very long time, so I’m very grateful to have had this time away. My kids were all ok in the end, even my youngest, though he did take a couple of days to accept that I was away and that I couldn’t look after him as I usually do. I had to make sure I didn’t call him otherwise I would cause him too much upset (after my first attempt at calling him after supper on the first night I was away). Saying that, he did send me a cute video a couple of days later saying “I want to kiss you all day” as he was missing me and “can I come home on Sunday” (which is when I was planning on coming home), so although I didn’t talk to him all week, I did receive these two videos which was nice, reassuring and lovely to receive.

Diving into the unknown without any expectations other than to have lots of fun, gain a whole new wealth of inspiration and learn how to nurture my spiritual self ie my happiest self was bliss. Time to focus on me and my wellbeing… I love this kind of stuff, learning and growing, getting more in touch with myself, allowing myself the freedom to express myself in a positive light so people around me also get the best of me.

The positive energy on the retreat was so contagious. Chakra Dancing was also so much fun!!! I was with a beautiful group of women who attended this retreat who I really connected with… Between us, we shed tears but laughed so much, and then released some more. Every day, we danced and learned new skills, we meditated, learned to create meditations ourselves, making sure we worked through all the energy centres in the body, all the 7 Chakras, that they were nourished from the bottom, the Root, all the way to the top, the Crown. Each of the chakras has their own role to play in contributing to our overall wellness – it was a magical experience. I also learned about Qigong (pronounced Chi Gong) and loved incorporating these slow flow exercises at the end of the dance routine or towards the end alongside the more calm, tranquil music.

Now, I’m working on how to incorporate everything I’ve learned on the retreat into my everyday life which is of course more of a challenge now I’m out of that “bubble” and back to reality. However, I did come back from the retreat refreshed and ready to incorporate new self-care routines into my diary.

Whilst I was out there, I realised that my journey is very clearly around sound healing, which explains my passion for music and singing, and all that has followed on from there. I also realised on this retreat that it’s been almost 6 months since I last played the flute. Somehow along the way, I’ve gotten lost in motherhood, in grief and moving house over the past year and a half, that I lost motivation to play it like I used to, and I couldn’t get back into it, though I knew in the back of my mind, I’ve never stopped loving playing this beautiful instrument and I do want to rekindle my love for the flute. So, behind the scenes, as I speak, I am taking steps to make sure I start playing regularly again. My Mum would love to hear that I’m playing, so this is a good enough reason to kick myself back into gear. It was lovely to play my Native American Sparrow Hawk flute again last week – it really does help to fill my cup up that bit more with joy, which is always very much appreciated. Playing a musical instrument is a brilliant mindful activity and a great way to unwind.

I realised also whilst away, that music isn’t just what I listen or sing to, it’s who I AM, it’s a really big part of my spiritual self, my well-being, the part of me that makes me feel whole and human and needs to be nurtured. It’s such a great outlet. Everything else is what I DO – but music is great soul food that helps to fuel my positive energy in the right direction and helps me feel a close connection with myself, think more clearly and be more productive.

Aside from playing the flute, although I haven’t really delved too much into it yet, I do find it all very fascinating how sound can heal your body, how the frequencies of sound can be incredibly relaxing and energising. I participated in a sound bath using gongs at the end of the retreat. We lay down as if we were about to meditate under a nice, cozy blanket. It was an incredible experience. I’ve never experienced anything like this – it really felt like I was having an internal massage, that I was able to breathe like I’ve not done before in such a deep way, unknotting any balls of tightness and stress as the frequencies of sound travelled up and down my body, making me feel so expansive, taking me to an amazing, peaceful place. I ended up being the last to wake up from this trance like state though I could have stayed there for ages, but at some point, I did have to wake up!

On that note, what can you do today to fill your cup, unleash your positive energy within and feel your best self?

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Heavenly Mother’s Day to my Mum ❤️

Feeling grateful for the Mum I’ve had and who still remains in my heart. Being a Mum myself, I can only hope, based on all that I’ve learned and experienced from my Mum, that I can continue her legacy and be guided by her good spirit in the future with my own family who I am grateful to have in my life.

It was hard to know what to do this year for Mother’s Day.

Last year, I also didn’t know what to do as Mum was so ill but I bought her some roses in case she made it through another day which she didn’t, so of course it was an extremely sad day for me. Yesterday, I don’t know why I did it, but I spent some time looking for presents on Amazon seeking something comforting I can buy that my Mum would have liked. I didn’t end up buying anything, though I did get inspired… However, this morning, I decided to scatter some dried purple roses on a heart dish near some photos of my Mum in my kitchen. It seemed like the perfect place to put them as opposed to throwing them in the bin, especially as they had all dried up. She loved the colour purple and so do I, and even though they have dried up, they are still a beautiful, rich colour. My son insisted I light two candles on Mother’s Day, so I placed one near my Mum and one for me on the other side of the kitchen.

In light of reflecting on my Mum’s memory today, I thought I’d share a poem I wrote for my Mum’s stonesetting about two weeks ago (it feels like a good day to share it):

Dear Mum,
As we look upon your picture,
Sweet memories we recall,
Of a face so full of sunshine,
And a smile for one and all.
You left us peaceful and happy memories,
That we are so grateful for.
Though we cannot see you,
Your love is still our guide,
We miss you lots and send you all our love,
You are always at our side.
If Roses grow in heaven,
Please pick a bunch for me
Thanking you for your love and beauty,
Which I carry in my heart.
For we will all never forget your presence
Your friendship, your patience,
Your compassion, your loving kindness
To make our lives worthwhile.