About Us

My photo
At The Happy Starfish we are dedicated to providing a wealth of information, products, workshops and articles all aimed at celebrating health, happiness and peaceful living. We believe that life should be an awesome adventure filled with love; love life and life will love you back. Are you willing to surrender what you think you are for what you could become? Are you ready?

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Little lights


“We’re born with millions of little lights shining in the dark
And they show us the way
One lights up, every time you feel love in your heart
One dies when it moves away”

I love listening to music, even more so when the lyrics really resonate with me.
One of my favourite albums this year is Passenger’s Little Lights - (watch on Youtube)
The title track is beautiful. It refers to ‘little lights’ we are all born with in our hearts. When something negative happens to us or because of us one of the lights will extinguish but through love and living a good life we are always igniting more.
I love the image these lyrics instill. It’s true we are born with infinite love, our lights shine brightly with no judgements or expectations in place to diminish them. As we grow and develop a belief system we begin to lose our connection to our inner stillness and we may not shine as brightly as we once did.
As life progresses it’s inevitable we love, we laugh, we cry, we grieve, we feel hope and disappointment, but no matter what life throws at us we always get the chance to light a new light. Each moment is a new beginning, a chance to ensure we are never in darkness. 
How brightly are you shining today?

Monday, 28 October 2013

A lovely surprise

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you”. Princess Diana.
I received a fabulous surprise this morning when I woke up and checked my emails. The lovely traveling couple we had the pleasure of meeting at Sweetheart Abbey had sent us the photos they had taken of Tim and I on our wedding day.

The quality of the images are phenomenal. The thing with eloping meant the majority of the photos were taken with my iphone. I had thought they were ok until I saw how vibrant and sharp Wendy and Geoff’s (as we now know they are called) pictures are.

I am so grateful they took the time to do this. They have edited each photo and sent them via individual emails as the file size is so large and they thoughtfully didn’t want to diminish the quality. As they apparently have 9000 of their own photos from their trip to get through I am really touched they did this for us. 
Anyone who knows me (and many of you who don’t)! know I am a huge advocate of pay it forward. I believe the way to change the world is by one act of kindness at a time. A simple act, a thought, being shown compassion and kindness can be life changing. It’s not solely about making someone feel good in the moment. Such acts can provoke huge feelings of gratitude and joy we recall again and again. When you pay it forward you could be creating a memory someone will draw upon during their darkest days; how phenomenal is that?
Maya Angelou said, "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
Many of us have a positive effect on someone most days without consciously realising it. Imagine if we all consciously tried to carry out an act of kindness everyday too, it’s possible whatever your circumstances; a smile is the easiest way to start. Who knows how far the ripple effect will travel?
It’s fast approaching World Kindness Day (November 13th 2013). What can you do for someone on this date? The warm fuzzy feeling of kindness is too good not to share. Happiness is contagious - be a carrier.


Friday, 11 October 2013

Mediate don't medicate

"Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional".
I had a great appointment at Birmingham Orthopaedic Hospital yesterday. The fantastic team there have never given up on my health and have been beside me every step of the way during my recovery the past few years. I am eternally grateful to them for their treatments and support, especially since my own local hospital were unable to offer me any sort of help past physiotherapy.
I was excited to finally be given the go ahead to start their functional restoration programme in the new year. I have been assessed for this before but never deemed strong enough until now. This approach combines strengthening exercises with natural movements my body has 'forgotten' how to do alongside Mindfulness and relaxation techniques.
Being a Mindfulness Coach (I don't honestly know how I would cope with my pain/condition without it). I am excited to see how they integrate this into the NHS. Chatting to David who will be co-running the programme he acknowledged that when just a physical approach to recovery was taken the results often weren't sustainable. When people had natural flare-ups of pain if they were not taught techniques to cope emotionally their recovery slid dramatically backwards. This hospital recognises the importance of treating mind and body together and their phenomenal results prove just how effective their methods are. 
After spending years managing my own health condition I can't wait to launch my own programme next year to help others in similar situations cope with chronic health conditions. If we are not fully living in the present moment those of us with ill health do tend to suffer twice. Once when we live in fear of the future pain, and then again when we actually experience it. Once fear is eradicated pain naturally reduces and there comes a sense of freedom no matter what physical limitations there are.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Maths, Science and Mindfulness?

“Respond, don’t react. Listen, don’t talk. Think, don’t assume.” Raji Lukkoor
I was invited to a meeting at my son's school yesterday evening, to discuss his forthcoming exams and how best parents can support their children during this potentially stressful period.
I was pleasantly surprised when one of the teachers presented a section on the school's responsibility for the emotional well-being of its students and how they have begun to successfully use Mindfulness to alleviate pupil's anxiety.
As a Mindfulness Coach I was interested to stay behind to chat to this teacher afterwards and learned he had been researching Mindfulness personally for a long time and had fought hard to get it included within the school. He had been quite nervous publicly talking about it, anticipating he may be met with scepticism. He strongly believed however that since using Mindfulness techniques with the children that wanted to take part, exams results had improved, absences declined and the feedback from teachers and children alike was that a huge calming effect had taken place.
Having used these techniques for my eldest son who completed his A'Levels last year I know Mindfulness is an invaluable and lifelong tool that I hope to see as standard on curriculum's everywhere eventually. One of the most beneficial things we can ever learn is how to take care of our minds. Once we develop the ability to look inward and fully connect to the present moment anxiety and stress reduces and calmness and clarity prevails - an optimum condition for learning.
With league tables being scrutinised and Ofsted reports demanding a higher and higher teaching standard there is no doubt the world of education is becoming more and more pressured for both staff and pupils.
I was saddened to learn last night that although there is plenty of support in place for the children the staff were not being offered the same. With teacher absences through stress and sickness at an all time high I hope staff well-being comes high on the list of priorities. After all, if we don't care for the staff who will ultimately educate our children?