International womens day: Why Radical happiness is the key to real change

International womens day: Why Radical happiness is the key to real change

It’s International Women’s Day and the them for 2021 is #choosetochallenge

What does that mean and why does it matter to you as a change maker? 

No doubt there will be something in this this will have you fired up…and also perhaps feeling frustrated at the slow rate of our progress.  

It may be that you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole and found yourself entangled in some them & us chats. MEN just don’t understand. WOMEN just don’t listen. If only THEY did this, things would be different.



If you’re looking for someone to agree that one group of people is to blame for the ‘state of our world’ today then it may be better to look away now.  You’re not going to find that here. Instead, I’m going to be exploring how we ALL play a role in perpetuating and creating systems that don’t support us. And crucially what the solution is. And it’s an obvious but not popular one.


Choose to Challenge is an open invitation to get curious.

Radical Happiness  is an open invitation to get curious too…about ourselves and others.

And creating sustainable change that positively impacts us all involves slowing down to speed up….and getting curious.

When we REALLY understand and apply Radical Happiness, it tranforms our life immediately giving us the battery power to take the action we need and want to take to evolve the systems around us.  And given most of our batteries are running low right now as a result of being locked down for a year, it’s fair to say that any talk of happiness can be met with resistance and also why it’s more important than ever.


What is Radical Happiness?

First of all, what do I mean by Radical?  Simply it’s no bullshit, no excuses, full on ownership.  If you want to be happy, BE it, don’t just say you want it and continue to believe the stories that prevent you stepping into the AMAZING natural born creator you are.

And what’s Happiness?  A misunderstood term that has a gazillion interpretations. 

Hedonic happiness is the feel good feels of excitement and joy and love and all things fuzzy and warm.

Eudaimonic happiness is knowing you’re connected to something meaningful, that your life has purpose.  It’s fair to say that there are many things we can do in our life that fulfil us but don’t feel fuzzy and warm.  – Caring for someone when they’re sick.        – Every moment of your work day when you LOVE what you isn’t filled with joy

The list goes on!

Johann Hari sums up what we intuitively have known for millenia in his book Lost Connections where he describes the 9 causes of depression:

1. Disconnection from meaningful work (not contributing in a way we feel matters)

2. Disconnection from other people (being emotionally and/or physically isolated)

3. Disconnection from meaningful values (not being tapped into what REALLY matters to us, living into other people’s expectations)

4. Disconnection from childhood trauma (not healing)

5. Disconnection from status and respect (not feeling valued)

6. Disconnection from the natural world 

7. Disconnection from hope of a secure future 

8. Brain changes (Hebbs Law…neurons that fire together, wire together. What we focus on becomes our reality)

9. Genetics (potentials within us can be activiated by our environment)

And the SOLUTION to mental dis-ease is the flip of this: connection.

And THAT is what Radical Happiness is all about… keeping our batteries charged,  helping us connect to what matters and take action.


Radical Happiness has 3 ingredients:  Radical Acceptance + Radical Compassion + Radical Responsibility

Acceptance of your circumstances.

Acceptance of yourself 

Acceptance that you are so mcuh more than what you think you are, you are infinite and awesome JUST for being you.  You are connected to and with all that was and and life is brain boggling and bonkersly brilliant.

Acceptance of other people and that they, like you are infinite and amazing beings too.

And acceptance that acceptance isn’t condoning, it’s simply stepping into our power because ALL our power is in this moment…not yesterday or tomorrow, or 2 minutes from now. It’s NOW. Accept THIS  moment and love and leverage the arse off it.

Radical Compassion…because everything I’ve just said above can feel a bit much to take in.

Accepting ourselves fully and completely is TOUGH. So be gentle. Have compassion for yourself.

Who you feel like you are now and the circumstances you’re living in are simply the compound effect of all the things you’ve taken on board as true about yourself and the world around you.  Bad things may have happened along your way and you’ve not created space to heal perhaps because life kept on happening and you haven’t had a chance to breathe. Or maybe it’s because on some level you started beleiving you weren’t good enough…you didn’t matter enough to love yourself.

Compassion is about getting curious about what’s behind the mask. 

It’s changing the question from, what’s wrong with me? to ‘what happened to me?’ for me to show up in this way.

And asking this of other people too.

Rather than stay in resistance and frustration, accept what is and get curious….what happened for them to act like this?

Resistance is an energy drainer.

Love is an energiser. 

Love more.

Radical Responsibility is an invitation to accept what is and step into YOUR power. It’s a reminder to stop blaming other people and things outside of us for our choices.  It’s an invitiation to look within and trust ourselves.

And see that our collective strength  comes through our diversity.

Not one of us has a full, all encompassing view of the world. It’s impossible. Which is why it’s soooo blooming important to get curious and listen to other people and actually VALUE their perspective.  It may jar with your own, but without it, you are perpetuating a them and us mentality.

And remember Radical Acceptance?  We’re ALL connected. So that annoying person…you’re connected to them. We’re part of the same source energy…just rocking this life in different physical forms.

We are one.  And sometimes it’s a LOT easier to choose to think otherwise…that THEY are the problem.

The only problem with that is, that THEY think that YOU are the problem.

And so the downward spiral continues.




So if you want to Choose to Challenge this downward spiral, now is a great time.

Accept that ALL of power is in THIS moment.

Get your compassionate pants on.

Get curious.

Actively seek out differences in opinion to strengthen your own.

Take responsbility for all your actions and non actions.

Change is created through the compound effect of teeny tiny actions.

It may seem like progress is slow but it IS happening…we ‘just’ need to keep our batteries charged and stay alive and curious to life and the diversity that makes us so strong.


It’s time to take your cape off…

It’s time to take your cape off…

I see you, swirling your cape like the superhero you love to be…it’s a pretty cool look, and I KNOW it feels good. But it’s time to put it away. You can do it. Just back away from the cape….you’ve got this!

I feel you because I LOVE dressing up and channeling your favourite superhero IS cool!

(On a wee aside…who’s your fav? Me? I’m a She-ra gal…I mean c’mon…look at this gal rock!!😎💪🏼)

SO ….’It’s all good fun to PLAY at super heroes (yes even when you’re a grown up!) but are you playing the rescuer in real life too?

  • Do you watch out for people to help?
  • Do you run in and offer support at every opportunity?
  • Being supportive is a wonderful trait, but like anything it can be overplayed and when it is, it can be experienced as suffocating, patronising and disabling to the other people. And I bet that’s a million miles away from your intention.

Here’s the thing,

                      ALL meaningful change comes from within.

Think about it…you cut your skin and you might put a plaster over it…sometimes that plaster can be useful and sometimes not so much. Yet 100% of the healing of your skin came from you and NONE from the plaster.

 You didn’t need the plaster for your skin to mend. In fact, depending on the depth & type of cut, it healed faster with absolutely no intervention. A plaster is often just a visual reminder to take care of yourself as your body heals.

And fess up, when you see someone with a plaster you’re curious, right?  A little bit of you wonders what lies beneath…what happened. And…are they…ok? 

 ‘My what a big plaster you have’ your salacious rescuer juices begin to flow… 

 I love the metaphor of the birth. When a butterfly is ready to come into the world it struggles to chew through the threads of its’ cocoon. Well meaning people can see this struggle and feel they ‘should help’, and cut a larger hole for the butterfly to escape with greater ease. Yet without the struggle of the squeeze the butterflies wings don’t grow strong and ultimately is unable to fly.

 Much like human birth, it’s a struggle for both mum & baby yet that struggle is needed for the baby to clear it’s lungs and the mum to heal and trigger the next stage of parenthood.

 Struggle is part of life, yet we struggle seeing other people struggle…and so we put our capes on, ‘to help’.

 Learned helplessness has also been associated with several different psychological disorders. Depression, anxiety, phobias, shyness, and loneliness can all be exacerbated by learned helplessness….

So, I wonder how taking your cape off could help you and the people around you thrive from the inside out?






Songs for self isolation

Songs for self isolation

It’s a bonkers time in our world just now which means it’s SUPER important to look after ourselves.     

How do you stay in and get back into a high vibe? I know music is a big part of my life and being ok…and also having a giggle. In uncertain times find your own Cocktail of Calm and make sure you drink it!

Here’s some of the ingredients in my Cocktail, I wonder what’s in yours?


Queen: I Want to Break Free 

For the parents who love their kids (or partner), but don’t really like being with them 24/7 😉


Louis Armstrong: What a wonderful world

Because it is.

Bee Gees: Staying Alive 

For when you’re wearing your sassy pants, just strut to this when you’re still in your goonie at lunchtime.

MC Hammer: You can’t touch this 

For when your partner wants to get jiggy but they’ve not washed their hands….just bust out these moves!

Britney Spears: Toxic

To sing to your friends who ask you to go out. You know that you’re toxic, I ain’t going out mate


Bob McFerrin: Don’t Worry, Be Happy 

Cos we can only do what we can do…love each other, be a good human and let all the other shit go.

Divinyls: I Touch Myself

Perhaps you shouldn’t but we all do…

Johnny Clash: We’ll Meet Again

For the extroverts who are really missing touching people. It wont be long!

It’s a bonkers time we’re living in right now which means it’s REALLY important to look after ourselves.  How do you stay or get back into a good vibe?  Music’s a biggie for me and ti may be for you too…here’s a few on my playlist if/when the time comes I need to stay home.

What songs would you add?  Sharing’s caring so pop em in the comments so I can listen to them!

The 5 F’s of getting organised

I’ve been clearing out and decluttering ready for some fresh energy and a life shake up!

And it’s been tough!! Yeeeeears worth of mementoes to pour over (it’s a skilled avoidance tactic 😇)

But it HAS been made a LOT easier with the 5 F’s:

  • Fix it (Do)
  • Fling it (Ditch or Delete)
  • Forward it (Delegate)
  • File it (Defer)
  • Have Fun!

I read Marie Kondo’s Art of Decluttering and she advocates asking 2 simple questions, is it useful? Does it bring you joy? Which to be honest sounds fab BUT I’m wired to find joy in freaking EVERYTHING so for me I found that was tough.

Like any strength, we bring them to life in different ways in different context and in the context of decluttering my strength o appreciation of beauty is overplayed and I need to leverage my other strengths instead.

Hence an injection of structure…and it works!

No method in and of itself is ‘right’.

It’s understanding yourself and how you operate best then creating your own YOUPrint rather than be disappointed with other people’s blueprints 🤩

Have you found your preferred way to declutter and organise?

Are your words keeping you stuck?

Are your words keeping you stuck?

When we feel stuck it feels impossible to get unstuck doesn’t it?

What are you saying that’s keeping you stuck?

Because it’s the energy of our intention that really makes the difference.

I NEED to get a new job.

I HAVE to sell x number of products.

I SHOULD feel happy.

Do you feel the attachment to what you don’t want in those statements?

The words we use help create our experience or the world…so it’s worth becoming more aware of what you’re saying.

Take responsibility for and respect your own energy.

Focus on what you want because I want DOES get.

I want a job that inspires and fulfils me.

I want to sell x number of products or more.

I’m ok not feeling happy just now as I know how I’m feeling now will pass and happiness will shine through soon.

Notice the difference?

What we resist persists.

So acknowledge and accept where you are now, get clear on what you REALLY want, step into the energy of that and use words that are aligned with this energy.

Enjoy making good shit happen!

111 Acts of Conscious Kindness

When thinking about conscious acts of kindness you might like to do ask yourself:

  • How can I make life easier for someone?
  • How can I make life nicer for someone?
  • How can I make where I live nicer?
  • How can I make the world around me a nicer place to be?
  • How can I make a positive difference to the environment?
  • How can I make a positive difference to those around me?
  • Who needs help?

Here are 111 simple ideas to help you get started…and there’s a whole lot more you’ll be able to imagine too!

Just imagine the world when we are leading with love and being consciously kind.

Let’s be the change we want to see!

  1. Send a surprise gift to a friend
  2. When you have time left on your parking ticket give it to someone else if it’s allowed so they can benefit.
  3. Notice when a parking meter ticket has expired and top it up for them.
  4. Do a friend or neighbours gardening for them.
  5. Offer to take a friends children for a few hours so she/they can go on a date or just have an uninterrupted bath!
  6. Take a neighbour or friends dog for a walk.  Notice who in your community is frail or going through a hard time…if they have a pet offer to help.
  7. Send a thank you card for receiving good service or enjoying a particular product – the absolute opposite of the usual notes of complaint!
  8. Meal share – cook more than you need and share with a friend, family member or neighbour
  9. Write a letter explaining what you love about that person and why you are happy they are in your life – and give it to them.
  10. Give someone flowers – just because.
  11. Phone or even better visit an elderly relative or neighbour. Social isolation is sadly very common – you might be the only person to contact them today, this week or this month.
  12. Stock up on gifts when you see them in sales or whenever you see something nice and leave them on peoples doorsteps or windscreen with a message from the universe…have some fun!
  13. Leave money in a vending machine with a note saying – have a drink on me!
  14. When someone asks for change, give them it but refuse to take the money for it…and run away leaving them richer in love AND money!
  15. Pay for someone behind you in the drive through or in a cafe.
  16. Pick up litter when you see it.
  17. Get together with some friends and clean up your local area.
  18. Join in with a charity event – often giving your time is just as valuable as contributing cash.
  19. Buy someone a lottery ticket.
  20. Offer your skills to someone to help them out.
  21. Smile at strangers…and maybe even say hello 🙂
  22. Send a nice email to someone telling them you are thinking of them and give them a specific compliment.
  23. Leave a book you have read and enjoyed in the park or cafe with a note inside telling the recipient to take it and enjoy the read.
  24. Clear out belongings you don’t need and donate to charity.
  25. Clear out belongings you don’t need and host a swap evening.
  26. Clear out belongings you don’t need, sell them and buy a gift for someone else.
  27. Notice on gumtree or free-cycle what people are looking for and if you have it, give it them or find a way to help.
  28. Bring snacks to work to share with your colleagues.
  29. Speak to a homeless person/beggar/vulnerable person – find out their story and give them your time and focus.  Make them feel valued and important.
  30. When the person behind you in the supermarket aisle only has a couple of items, let them go ahead of you.
  31. When you don’t have a loyalty card (and even when you do, kid on you don’t!) offer the person behind you to add the value of your shopping to their card.
  32. Host a party – just because people want to have fun!
  33. When you run your own errands, ask other people if they need anything. 
  34. Check in on your neighbours to make sure they are ok – bring a wee gift (home made or bought – no judgement here, it’s all about the thought!)
  35. Plant a tree, or bush or plants – they not only look lovely but are good for our planet.
  36. Consciously eat less meat, especially processed.  Your health will benefit as well as the planet.
  37. Shop local rather than in multinational companies.  Your money will go directly to ‘real’ people and you community will benefit.
  38. Do your friends hair, makeup, nails – something to make them feel beautiful and make the experience effortless for them.
  39. When shopping with a friend, notice what they like and go back and buy it if you can.
  40. Give someone a hug – human contact is vital to our wellbeing.
  41. Find out how you can volunteer – some opportunities are only an hour a month, we ALL can do that! 
  42. Babysit, dog sit or/and housesit for  someone to make their life easier.
  43. Spend 15 minutes checking in with your Facebook ‘friends’ and connect with them properly.  Post thoughtful comments on their posts.
  44. Send a postcard to a sick child to cheer them up
  45. Let someone take your parking space.
  46. Let someone overtake you or jump in the queue on the motorway.
  47. Give blood.
  48. If you can, register as an organ donor and tell your friends and family.
  49. Tidy up wherever you are, leave the world a more beautiful place because of your presence.
  50. Tell a street performer how awesome they are.
  51. Offer your seat to someone who needs it more – whether a pregnant woman, an infirm person or a group of people who would like to sit together.
  52. Offer to pick up your kids friends from school and keep them for dinner to give their parents a breather AND a little person some funsies 🙂
  53. Give your loyalty card points/stamp to the person next to you in the queue.
  54. When you’ve collected enough stamps on your loyalty card to get your free coffee, ask for it to be given to someone in the cafe.
  55. Write a letter to thank a member of staff for their great customer service.
  56. Send a handwritten card to a friend – just because 🙂
  57. Get in touch with your local volunteering agency and find out what help they need.
  58. Host a tea party for your neighbours to get to know them – we don’t need an occasion to celebrate! There are organisations that can help you do this, such The Big Lunch, Contact the Elderly)
  59. Ask some people what their secret wishes are…and do what you can to grant them 🙂
  60. Book time out to do something nice for yourself.
  61. Attend a community event – there’s a lot of effort that goes into the organisation and the support of people showing up is always appreciated.
  62. Do a drive by gift drop…leave an unexpected gift at someones doorstep, ring their bell and run away!
  63. What’s draining the people around you?  Listen to see if there is something on their list that you could do for them.
  64. Hold the door open for a stranger….or even someone you know because good manners are actually little acts of kindness.
  65. De-ice your neighbours windscreens so they don’t have to.
  66. Donate items to the food bank.
  67. Take your neighbours bins out…and perhaps even bring them back in.
  68. Offer your seat on the train or bus to someone else, especially pregnant or infirm people (back to old fashioned good manners!)
  69. Really listen in the next conversation you have, the gift of being truly heard is beautiful.
  70. Take supplies to an animal shelter.
  71. Create a holiday to celebrate someone you love (like a Saints day…the Queen has more than one birthday so when not the rest of us? 😉  Your appreciation day can be as simple as declaring the date of the holiday and writing a note of thanks each year to that person…or you can fill your boots and do everything you can to let that person know they are amazing!
  72. Make a ‘Your Awesome jar’ for someone special.  Put 50–100 post it notes in a box or jar and write something that is special about that person on each (a special memory, something you admire about them, what you like about them etc). Gift the person the jar box and tell them to pick a post it every day to remind them of how special they are.
  73. Share overheard compliments. Why gossip about stuff that drains us when we can share the love and admiration we have for each other?
  74. Be honest about your feelings, so many of us feel we have to put a face on that you being open about your experience and how you felt will encourage others to open up too. Notice how the conversation changes as you become more confident about  speaking your truth.
  75. After a wedding or party donate all the flowers to a nursing home. Better still find out individual residents names and deliver them personally.
  76. Write a love note to a stranger (or someone you know). Post it or leave it for them to find (look at for inspiration)
  77. Don’t wait until someone gets old or dies to remember the good times…live is for living and celebrating right now!  Create an incredible gift now by getting friends and family members to provide stories, anecdotes and photos. Your friend will forever cherish the book you’ll put together. If you can’t make an entire book, just sharing your fond memories is appreciated.
  78. Put a surprise note or sketch in your child’s, partners, flatmates lunch box so they are reminded of how much they are loved.
  79. Share a joke and make someone giggle.
  80. When people are gossiping about someone, be the person to change the energy and chip in with something nice to say.
  81. Loan money to a third world entrepreneur through Kiva. These tiny investments change the lives of the families who receive them, and 99% of the loans are paid back.
  82. Teach someone. We can all teach something, and sometimes the small things make the biggest difference.
  83. Post positive & inspiring notes in unexpected places.
  84. Connect people and make helpful introductions.
  85. Make care packages for people who you think may need it in your community and deliver them. You could always leave at at their door with a note so they don’t know it’s you.
  86. Allow someone to help you, give them the opportunity to get the feel good feelings that come from helping!
  87. If you pass a car with an expired parking ticket, buy them some extra time.
  88. Put your phone away and spend undistracted time with yourself and those around you.  The gift of your time and attention is truly precious.
  89. Talk to the person sitting alone…although be mindful that they may actually want to be alone!
  90. Make an effort to welcome and get to know the new person in work or in your neighbourhood.
  91. Give away stuff for free on freecycle, gumtree or other such site.
  92. When you’re throwing something away on the street, pick up any litter around you and put that in the trash too.
  93. Send someone an anonymous gift (a neighbour, colleague or ex colleague, friend)…and enjoy hearing about them trying to figure out who it was!
  94. Say thank you to the cleaners and janitors…essential and often overlooked staff.
  95. Give a genuine compliment to your boss, they are often overlooked too!
  96. Bring an extra umbrella to work so you can give or lend it to someone when it pours.
  97. Get in touch with friends you haven’t seen in ages.
  98. Adopt an attitude of gratitude and every day celebrate at least 3 things that make your life easier.
  99. Be patient….it’s a virtue! That person may be having a tough day or just processes information differently than you. You’ll all get there 😍
  100. 100. Drive less, carpool, walk or cycle and reduce your carbon footprint.
  101. 101. Encourage other people to create the life and work they      REALLY want!
  102. 102. WAIT: Why Am I Talking? Be aware of giving other people space and time to think and speak too.
  103. Be thoughtful, if someone has had a bad day, what would they appreciate that will lighten their day?
  104.  Make a conscious effort to stop doing be things that frustrate the people you work and live with.
  105. Find the goodness in people you don’t really like or who have wronged you in some way….EVERYONE has positive qualities and letting go of anger is an enormous kindness to yourself.
  106.  Say what you see. When you see a well behaved child or loving relationship, let the people involved know. We so often don’t see the beauty in our own lives that when a stranger shares what they see it’s extremely powerful and uplifting.
  107.  Let someone else have their way…and  enjoy their happiness.
  108. Hold a fundraiser for a cause close to your heart…it’s a great way to gather people together too!
  109. Help someone with their chores…decorating, cleaning, organising because team work does make the dream work!
  110. Give someone a gift card and walk away.
  111. Lead with love…wherever you go, whatever you do, ask yourself is what I’m about to do loving and kind to myself AND to others? If not then tweak until it is.