The Illusory Veil

It has been a long time since I wrote for this blog. So much has happened in that time and so much has changed for me, that I simply got distracted. For anyone that is still interested in my blog, I hope that this may speak to you in some small way.

What is an illusion?

‘a deceptive appearance or impression’ or a ‘false idea or belief’

All of us have illusions and usually they don’t serve us. I must be rich to be happy, I must climb the corporate ladder, I must work 80 hours a week to be successful, I must get married to be accepted, I can’t do this because… etc. All these thoughts are limiting beliefs. That things must be done a certain way or certain things cannot be done. Our illusions can even be harmful, if the motivation behind it is not really coming from you.

The initial shattering of any illusion raises so many questions, most of all when some home truths cause you to examine yourself and question your own motivations.

Apologies for the long questions to come…

How many of you do things purely because other people tell you you should or make you feel bad for not doing them; rather than wanting or doing something because it is the right thing for you?

You’re so busy believing that what you think you want is true and you can’t be happy or successful without it, that you forget to be grateful for what you do have in front of you?

How many illusions are forced upon you by other people?

Have you given up on something because you and other people wrongly convinced you that it wasn’t possible?

Who focuses on all the things they may or may not want in the future, forgetting to appreciate the now and all the joy to be had in the present?

Personally, I get really annoyed when someone tries to foist their opinion on me and won’t take no for an answer. It seems to say that either they’re not listening to you or they have no respect at all for what you’re saying. They’re forcing their illusions on you. Sometimes, it’s easier to give in rather than continue saying no.

As a very simple example, you’re on a diet and rather than your friend being supportive, she keeps saying, “Just eat this, it’s only a little bit. It won’t hurt you. Eat it. How can it hurt” And going on and on and on about it. Eventually, you might just give in. The point is you shouldn’t. You should tell them to BACK OFF. And if your friend was a true friend, they would try to understand how important it is to you (even if they found it hard), and do everything they can to help you.

I realise to my horror that sometimes I can be one of those people who try to force my opinions on others. And I don’t like it!

Let’s take relationships. Do I have a ‘conventional’ relationship? Probably not (according to societal standards).

But when I was on a very strict eating regime for a health problem and couldn’t eat or drink anything refined or sugary (especially not alcohol), I remember clearly my partner not eating or drinking anything I couldn’t eat in front of me. Every time my life changed in another direction, my partner said, you focus on what you have to do because I know how important it is to you.

Did I appreciate those things at the time? Yes, I did. And recently while examining myself, I realise just how much I appreciated those constant little things, which add up to a whole lot of things. The things that REALLY matter. They add up to saying, I accept you and support you.

But he will also tell me when I’m out of line and he stays truthful (to himself and to me).

What am I saying? Don’t get caught up in an illusion of what your life SHOULD look like (because that’s what everyone else does). So what if your life doesn’t look like everyone else’s? Why place those unreasonable demands on yourself?

Question your motives. Why do you want something? I never ever wanted to follow the crowd but still it’s hard to shake off the illusion of convention. And that’s all it is, an illusion. Someone at some point decided that that was what everyone must do. For an unconventional person, how could convention make you happy?

You can never change a person but one of the best things you can do is encourage them to look at themselves (and their illusions). So they can change into an even better, truer version of themselves.

A quote by David Icke:

When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Do you see the real you, or what you have been conditioned to believe is you? The two are so, so different. One is an infinite consciousness capable of being and creating whatever it chooses, the other is an illusion imprisoned by its own perceived and programmed limitations.


A Path of No Regret

Should you ever decide to visit a Career Coach, one of the most likely questions that they will get you to answer is along the lines of:

If you were on your deathbed, what things would you regret doing or not doing the most?

Morbid? Maybe. However, the point is a pertinent one. You never know when your time is going to be up. I am currently reading a biography on Steve Jobs. I have gleaned a few things from this:

a) he was an absolute genius when it came to product design and marketing

b) he was (probably) an absolute a**hole to work with

c) he was a person deeply connected to himself and his passions and in that sense, he ALWAYS remained true to himself

You get a sense from reading it, that he almost knew on some level that he would die young and that’s what spurred him on to achieving the amazing amount that he did in his lifetime.

I started thinking about this question the other day whilst having dinner with a friend who asked me:

If you knew that you were going to die in a year’s time, is there anything that you would regret now?

I thought about it and I realised that the answer was no. It became clear to me that life is not necessarily about achieving all of your dreams instantly but about taking active steps towards the achievement of those dreams. And for the first time in my life, I am doing that and that alone was reason enough for me to have no regrets.

I have business ideas that excite me and I’m doing it on my own terms; I’m actually starting to plan and write the novel I’ve been going on about for over two years, I’ve found someone that loves me for exactly who I am and supports me in whatever I want to do.

Have I achieved real success in any of the above? By society’s standards, probably not. I have one business on the cusp of make or break and an embryonic idea that I’m very excited about in the pipeline (money is not flowing my way and Apple I ain’t!), an as yet unfinished novel that may never be published and I am not married…….

Do I care? Gloriously no! All I have to do is take steps day-by-day to get there. In the meantime, buckle down, enjoy the ride and cut my spending (I realise I really do not need as much money or things as I thought – even my poor long suffering car has now gone!) So no, I don’t know what next month holds, let alone six months or a year away. Instead of me finding it terrifying, to my surprise, I’m beginning to enjoy the ride.

When I talk, I talk with passion and excitement now because every single thing I’m choosing to do challenges me and brings me out of my comfort zone. A rut that I had been in for such a very long time.

Is it hard changing your life? Yes. Do you ever feel like giving up? Yes. Does life get you down? Yes. Is it worth it? Most definitely.

Below is one of my favourite quotes from the video I turn to when I want an injection of inspiration – Dream Motivational Video

For people running towards their dreams, life has a special kind of meaning

It’s true. So don’t regret it. You may not want to run but just take one step, then another, then another towards what you believe and your dreams. Then, when you’re ready, run like hell.




A lightbulb moment

When embarking on a road less travelled i.e. a full time entrepreneur, it can actually be quite a lonely experience. Going from working in a collaborative office environment to spending large amounts of time by yourself with no certainty of the future is certainly daunting.

Like most things, you can only really understand it if you’ve been there, so other people through no fault of their own can only offer a limited amount of support. I finally understand the phrase “Don’t judge until you’ve walked in someone else’s shoes”

I have certainly been luckier than some, in that people for the most part have been supportive with the more disparaging comments being in the minority. Even my parents learned to eventually cope with the shock of me leaving a full time secure job. Having said all of that, I find it hard to  talk to people about what I’m dealing with.

So what about people offering advice?

Most advice that people give me is absorbed to a certain extent, and I will choose to either follow it or ignore it.

Sometimes, in life, you have a meeting where what the speaker is saying resonates with you so much, that in that short amount of time everything changes. I call it the “lightbulb” moment. I had such a meeting a few weeks ago, which determined a new path for me.

You know when you’ve had a little nagging voice for ages trying to make you see reason but you blocked it out because you were so determined that what you were doing is right? Because admitting that the voice had a point  was admitting failure.

Sometimes, it takes someone to suggest a different way of approaching a problem to make something click in your head. It makes so much sense to you that you wonder why you didn’t think of it before. I felt that if I entertained the idea of really shaking things up, then it would essentially be me failing…

One thing is for sure: I know that taking a risk and leaving my job was the right thing to do. Eventually, it will lead me to the path that I need to walk down.

Here’s the thing: there is no such thing as failure. If you make a mistake, you can always fix it (note this does not apply to killing people). The real failure is not trying something at all because you’re too scared, or not adapting because change is too scary. This is particularly true of entrepreneurs – if you don’t adapt, your business will die. Maybe not today or even tomorrow but eventually.

Whatever you do can be built upon – in fact, if you can’t build upon what you do then you don’t have a sustainable business because there is nowhere to go.

There is always a common thread in the stories of successful people – they have “failed” at some point to varying degrees. One particularly dramatic story:

I failed 3 times in college. I applied 30 times to get a job but I have always been rejected. When KFC came to China for the first time, we were 24 to apply and I was the only one to be dismissed. I wanted to go into the police and 5 postulants, I was the only one not to be accepted. I applied 10 times to return t o Harvard University USA and I was rejected. Never give up because you failed once, know that failure is sometimes out of the way to reach your intended route !!

Jack Ma, Alibaba Creator and 22nd World fortune according to Forbes in 2015 with $ 29.8 billion.

I invite you to think what contribution can you make to this world. Every single one of us can make a difference, whether it be big or small.

You’ll only ever regret the things that you didn’t do.


Looking at the Silver Lining

Life is a funny thing……. As soon as you start getting complacent or think you’ve experienced a breakthrough, something else is thrown at you. We are told to remember that we are never given more than we can handle. For every less than ideal situation, there is a lesson to be learned.

I have experienced one such week that was a real test of my patience. Lessons learned:

  1. Sometimes people dislike you for absolutely no reason at all. Once they’ve made up their mind about it, everything you say or do from there will wind them up.
  2. You are not obliged to make this type of person like you – we’ve all done it, tried to make someone like us by trying extra hard. It invariably comes off as false.
  3. Most people (sadly not all a I was to find out) bound by the common decency demanded of us to function as a society will hopefully abide by the adage “if you have nothing nice to say, then say nothing”.

I have always accepted the fact that initially people can find me frosty. I know when I’m doing it and I’m self-aware enough to notice. However, in a social situation where you are trying to make the best of impressions, my charm comes to the fore. I ain’t bad at the old charm.

Inter-Family Relations

I have talked to so many women who have a tense relationship with their mother-in-law. Whether it was always like that or it developed over a length of time, I’m not quite sure. Women are certainly protective over their sons. One perhaps doesn’t expect to be quite so bothered by the stepmother-in-law.

Apparently, a week’s party in Cornwall by invitation of stepmother-in-law (a nightly and sometimes day drunk of epic proportions), who lest I forget had already laid into me the first time she met me = an unmitigated disaster.

The good thing about being violently disliked by someone that doesn’t know you is that:

a) they have to make up stories to justify the fact that they dislike you (such as I was “late” to a non-scheduled breakfast at a non-designated time because I was meditating and I demand of people that they pay my cab fares)

b) they clutch at straws of things you have done or not done and magnify it out of all reasonable proportion.

So, when they take this so-called ammunition and start violently ranting about you to your boyfriend, and telling him that I’m driving a wedge between him and his father (who I may add is a lovely, reasonable man I’m very fond of and frankly bemused why he is with an alcoholic troll woman), before telling an unwitting passer-by i.e. me to I quote “f*** off”; they quite frankly look like an alcoholic lunatic.

Sadly, that evening wasn’t even the more dramatic of the two evenings where I had to put up with vitriolic tirades against my character.

The Silver Lining

Lest I bore all of you with further details, I did learn a few things (and this is an important life lesson) and my silver lining.

  1. After all these years of going out with psychos, cowards and a**es I had finally found a man that would stand up for what was right and stand up for me, when I was being unfairly attacked. Said alcoholic troll has now “disowned” him. Relationship between father and son I’m glad to say is still strong.
  2. I stood up to someone who was bullying me and the bullying did not affect my self-esteem in any way. No shouting, no crying, no emotion; a dignified stand. When it came down to it, like most cowards when they’re stood up to, they can’t actually say anything when someone looks them in the eye and stands their ground.

Being spiritual is not just about being floaty, calm and in love with the universe. It’s being assertive, being strong, having boundaries. I will always strive to be this:

Strong people stand up for themselves, but stronger people stand up for others



The Fable of The Dog and the Coconut

I am known for telling short stories, which in my own words have “no beginning, middle, end or point”. These affectionately became known as “Sabin Stories” before my former manager, came up with the genius idea of calling them Sabin Fables or Sables. So, a new genre of story writing was born.

So what is a Fable? “A short story, typically with animals as characters, conveying a moral.”

Where am I going with this? I actually came up with a Sable that matches the definition above. They say the Universe can send you signs in the most random of ways, which convey some sort of message to you. Sadly, things are not generally labelled as being a “SIGN”. Oh, if only life were that easy.

I was on a beach in Costa Rica –

A dog had a battered up piece of coconut shell in his mouth. He had come to the beach with his owners, who threw the coconut for him to go and fetch. After a few times of them throwing the coconut, clearly they got bored of it and went off to sunbathe.

The dog however still wanted to play. He went up to everyone on that beach to get them to throw his coconut. He followed people; he went to stand next to sunbathers, put his coconut down next to them, imploring them to throw it; he caught surfers coming out of the water; he barked at people to throw his coconut. All day he was there finding people to throw his coconut.

The next day the same dog with his coconut was back again…….. And the whole cycle began again.

What was clear was that the dog knew without a shadow of a doubt what he wanted.

Moral of the story? Know what you want and go after it with single minded dogged (pardon the pun) determination.

That dog really taught me a valuable lesson in a very simple way. Not everyone in life will want to play fetch with you or some may play fetch once and then bugger off. So, you’ve got to keep trying, keep knocking on doors, until you get a “Yes, I’ll play”. If one tactic doesn’t work, then just change tactic. See what works and what doesn’t.

I have been feeling blocked of late – going through a mood cycle of ups and downs. I realise that this is partly because I had had big expectations that as soon as I left my job and pursued my dreams that everything would magically fall into place. It hasn’t. It has felt sometimes like I’m wading through quicksand and every time I sort of get myself up, I sink back again.

It affects your mood, it starts to crush your self-esteem, and you wonder why you’re bothering.

The worst thing is I feel that by admitting this to other people that somehow I am letting them down; like once you go off and pursue the right path in life, everything should just fall into place. I spend most of my time now trying to help people see the possibilities out there in life, so how can I admit my own doubts?

When you’re working with other people, there will always be difficulty, frustration and rejection and the question is: Can you handle it, not take it personally and just take your coconut elsewhere or do you give up?

Like with most things time will tell. Just gotta keep on going and don’t let fear of rejection hold you back.




5 Reasons to be patient (even if you’re not)

I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve heard the phrase “good things come to those who wait”. Do they really? Or is it that being patient means that you put something out there, wait patiently for it to yield results (which of course will happen in its own good time) and then before you know it, NOTHING has happened?

I’ve always been in the I want things to happen immediately camp – if I send a business email I want a response the same day, otherwise I’m annoyed. When learning a new language, I get irritated when I’m not fluent enough in it straightaway. I’m the worst teacher because teaching someone requires patience and their slowness irritates me. The consistent theme in all of those scenarios is that I end up getting ANNOYED and FRUSTRATED.

In my ideal vision of my life – I would have already written the bestselling book I have (not) been working on for ages (so far I have written half a page in July 2014); my business would already be turning over at least £200k per year; I would speak fluent Spanish (instead of some sort of Frespagnol, a charming mix of French and Spanish); I would be doing freelance writing work. You get the point…… No wonder I feel somewhat disappointed that I have not achieved all of that since the beginning of January.

So why is it a good idea to be patient?

  1. Better to be patient than be annoyed and frustrated – have you ever noticed the more frustrated you get, the more things don’t seem to go your way? We’ve all had those days, when literally everything seems to go wrong. If we give off a frustrated, negative energy, then that is exactly what we attract into our life. Why stress yourself out?
  2. You learn that everything is not just about you – often, when you have to wait for something, you start to take it personally. Along the lines of….. this person is not getting back to me because clearly they don’t like me/don’t want to work with me. You start to blow it out of all proportion. Maybe they’re just busy themselves/need to check something first before getting back to you/they just forgot! Yes, maybe sometimes it is about you but getting stressed about it isn’t going to help.
  3. It is the universe’s way of challenging us – why is this good? It is not about what happens to us but about how we react to what is happening to us. So if we learn to deal with the little, annoying day-to-day things with good grace and humour, when something big comes along, we are better able to cope with it.
  4. Some things are worth the wait – would you rather wait five seconds for someone to say no or three months for someone to say yes? Or another example, sometimes we have to wait for the right partner and when you find them, you suddenly realise what the point of going out with all the wrong ones was (to teach you about what you’re looking for and to have a backlog of humorous dating stories….)
  5. Everything happens when it is supposed to happen – this is about trusting that everything that happens to us only happens when we’re ready. “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Better to take more time to build something with solid foundations – Rome happened when it was supposed to.

I firmly believe that one of the lessons I have to learn in life is patience. Believe me, I am not good at it!

I’ll leave you with a quote by Saadi:

Have patience, all things are difficult before they become easy.



Decisions, decisions….


In a blind panic today, I realised that a) it is the end of May b) is it really 5 months though the year already? c) it’s over a month since I last wrote a blog. I blame this last point on a lack of time (that old chestnut). I have had material I could have written about but somehow had got distracted by my seemingly endless to do list. Whilst I could wax lyrical on the virtues of a sugar free diet, I will leave this until another day.

Today I wanted to write about making decisions – how do we know it is the right one? The subject came up when a friend said that she had had two job offers, which I’m sure you’ll agree is a nice position to be in. However, on the flip side, one can get stuck in a never ending cycle of analysis on what is the right choice. So actually when you should be celebrating, you end up sometimes even more confused than before…


                      Is this you?

So here’s some food for thought.

The Dangerous Myth of the Five Year Plan

If like my friend, you come from a very structured and logical career path, you may get into the habit of asking “what is my five year plan?” From that perspective, you start to think that any decision you make must absolutely tie in with where you want to be in five years from now. With putting so much pressure on yourself, no wonder the choice seems to become a huge one.

Any job you take should have options for progression, something to work towards… Remember though, that you in five years is likely to be very different from the you of today. What you thought you wanted so much may not be at all what your future self wants. That’s one of the reasons why people move jobs and change careers.

I stopped making five year plans a couple of years ago now. I make instead one year plans, with a more rough outline for the years beyond that (allowing for flexibility). Whereas not knowing what the future held once filled me with dread, I now find it exciting. Through not knowing, I can shape and create my own future.

So when faced with a decision – ask yourself, what am I looking to achieve right now and in the near future? Realise that in this day and age, it is unlikely that you will be doing the same thing “forever”.

There are no wrong decisions

If I make a decision and it doesn’t turn out how I hope/expect (let’s face it, in life, most things don’t), then it was the wrong decision.

Sometimes, we learn more from the things that went wrong, then from the things that went right. Behind every successful person, there will have been at least some failure to varying degrees. The thing that separates them from the others, is that they picked themselves up, dusted themselves off and tried again from a fresh angle.

A very simple example, you pick a job and after a while, it turns out to be horrendous. It gives you the boot out of the door that you probably needed to try something else. That “wrong” decision led you to the “right” place.

Trust your gut instinct

Perhaps, the most important and under-rated tool that we possess. When faced with a choice, what did our intuition say before our mind stepped in and started analysing everything to death?

Again, it’s easy to say I don’t know what my gut says…. So then I say, what was your very first thought on the subject? Can you remember?

Personally, my gut has never been wrong. I may have ignored it and in retrospect, it was proved right.

Meditate, do some yoga, clear your mind and see if the answer just comes to you.

When I was at a crossroads, I ran into a lady at my meditation class who practiced shamanic homeopathy. As I felt drawn to her, I booked myself into a session. Within a week, the “fog” had cleared from my mind. Something clicked inside of me and then, I just knew. The fear was lifted. Do I have doubts? Yes, sometimes. Do things get on top of me sometimes? Yes, definitely. Do I doubt my decision? No, not for a second.

To an outside observer, my life may not have changed. Inside, everything has.