Warning: This idea could make you happy

Patient AcceptanceThey say that life begins at 40 and recently I realised that perhaps it’s because by the time you’re 40 you’ve known at least one or two people who have died too young. You get to a certain age and realise that not everyone enjoys the privilege of growing old. So maybe that’s why in their 40’s some people have a good go at making their dreams come true.

Yesterday I had a perfect day. I didn’t know it was going to be perfect but I did hope that it would be good. I started the day by sticking a post-it note on the bathroom mirror that said, ‘I love you.’ The second one says, ‘How can I make you happy today?’ (These are ideas from You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay.) It made me cringe to do it and it makes me cringe to write it, because I’m embarrassed by the thought of such airy-fairy new age love-yourself stuff. After all, most people think that kind of thing doesn’t work, right?

But the reason I’m sharing it here is because I think that little thing made a difference that day.

Admittedly I already had quite a nice day planned. Let me tell you what I did yesterday.

  • I began the day with a mindful meditation. (Never tried this before.)
  • I had a pub lunch with an old friend. We took her kids and my kids – most of them were dressed as pirates! We all laughed and had fun.
  • I treated myself to a massage and manicure as a late birthday present to myself.
  • I decided to start painting again and bought some watercolours and a sketchpad.
  • I spontaneously bought myself a colourful bunch of flowers.
  • When I got home I listened to Perfect Day by Lou Reed, whilst cooking myself one of my favourite meals. I had some glasses of my favourite wine.
  • I watched On the Road [DVD] something I’ve been meaning to do for ages. (I love the book.)

Why am I sharing this with you? Because strangely it was a new idea to me to organise a perfect day for myself. It happened almost by accident, but just asking myself that question in the morning, ‘What can I do to make you happy today?’ made me think about the answer. I was lucky enough to be in a position to give myself things that made me happy. I’ve spent a lot of my life wishing that others would make me happy. This day I experimented with being my own best friend. I wouldn’t say that I loved myself yet, but this was quite a successful first date. I might even agree to see me again…

Stick that question on your mirror tomorrow and see what you surprise yourself with!

Flowers, for me? From me? Thank you!

Flowers, for me? From me? Thank you!

When you’re sad, do this

Music equals happinessSadness, anxiety, loneliness and grief are the kind of stuff that movies are made of. Many years ago I used to have a friend, that as I lurched from tragedy to tragedy would console me with words in a soft Irish accent; “Honey don’t cry; it’s only a movie.”

She was mad of course and the last time I saw her she was hell-bent on a self-destructive cycle of violent alcoholism. But ever since then I liked the idea that my life could be a movie.


Pretend your life is a movie. Direct it. Star in it. If the film is sad then wallow in it. But wallow in an enigmatic, charismatic way: For one scene. (Then cut to the next scene and make sure that one is different.)

Find one small prop that your main character would need. The red lipstick of a vampire, the long raincoat of a spy, a treasured hand-written note, or the cigarette of an action hero.  A charity shop may help to keep your movie budget down if you require a costume change.

Next, get a cool soundtrack. Try typing a movie title into an app or music website like Last.fm and then do the dishes to the soft mournful sounds of your own incidental music. Or wash the car to angry guitar music. A crescendo of classical music will suit many of life’s tragedies. You are a bunch of universe-atoms experiencing what it feels like to feel that chosen emotion right here, right now.

It’s all about you baby. What genre is your movie? What is it called? Are you ready to reassess where you’re at right now?

Is it time to reinvent yourself?

Be true to the self.Positive thinking must always be followed by positive action. I use visualisation, inspiring quotations, lyrics, music, poetry, written exercises and self-hypnosis to reinvent myself and make things happen.