gratitude, kindness, positivity

Never Underestimate the Power of Kindness

I recently received a message from one of my very first ‘random act of kindness’ recipients.

I just had to share it (with her permission).

“Dear Fi

Firstly I have to apologise, for years now I have wanted to say thank you to the kind hearted person that left an envelope on my car, but I mis-laid the card and now as I clear out my wardrobe- there is was.

In that envelope was more than just a random act of kindness.

The £20 gift you left allowed my children and I to eat for the rest of the week. I had been taking my son to his outpatient appointment at hospital that day, and was filled with worry and anxiety for his health and for not being and to provide for him and his brother.

I am chronically ill and both my sons are autistic. It has been quite an insular existence which has left me feeling hopeless and alone at times.

I can’t tell you how much that RAK meant to me. To my sons. It was joy. It was hope. It was possibility.

It reminded me that there is so much good in the world, and helped me have the courage to ask the world to help my eldest son reach his dream of attending music college in America.

Thank you so very much. I have never forgotten it.

You changed my life.”

You never know the changes you are creating in the world. Never doubt your impact on others.

With Love and gratitude today and always, Fi xx

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gratitude, health, holistic health, kindness, positivity, shamanism

The Source of Creativity

What are these wild and whimsical ideas that come forth to me in the dark?

Where do they emerge from when they burst through the boundaries of my consciousness.

Creativity finds its source in the most unusual places

We do not ‘have’ ideas. They come to us. They ‘have’ us.

Elizabeth Gilbert talks about ideas seeking their host. Nothing has resonated with me more. I have new book ideas every week. A new passage tries to birth through my fingers onto the keyboard each day. But I have learnt to only accept the ones that speak to my heart. I have learnt to only embrace the ones that call to my soul.

Where is my passion found? What is my motivation? What is the one true message I want to birth into the world? I ask myself these questions every time a new idea comes to me.

The answer is simple. The answer is always the same.

I want to teach people how to live, how to truly, unashamedly live their one beautiful and precious life with joy and love and kindness.

I want to inspire people to embrace the magic of the everyday, to break free from the mundane, the drama and the suffering.

I want to spread a message into the web of the world about hope, love and kindness. I want my words to demonstrate that magic and joy are not found in a perfect life, one without suffering or trauma or anxiety or fear. No, magic and joy are found in accepting our life just as it is, right now, without change, without question. They are found in the deep surrender of our heart and soul.

So I say yes, without fear or question, to the ideas and words that speak this truth – the only truth I know – and I send love and gratitude to every other message that calls out to my soul, sending them on their way to find the storyteller who ‘will’ birth them into existence.

I know why I’m here. I know what my message is, what my purpose is, and I will spend every moment I can expressing that through my words, both written and spoken.

I often see my creativity, my writing muse, as a crow that sits with me while I write. But sometimes she flies beside me, desperately trying to get my attention. Sometimes she pecks at my eyes and face while I try to sleep. Sometimes her persistent attention grabbing nature is unavoidable and I climb out of bed in a sleep induced daze and let her write through me.

That is when my best writing is done.

Other times, I find myself too tired, too busy, too distracted, and she simply flies off, delivering her words to someone more willing.

In those moments I lose my best work. But it was never mine. It was hers. She is the messenger from spirit, from source, not me.

I am written through, the words breath through me, through my heart and my soul and onto the page. They are not mine, they are yours, they are gifted to you through me.

May they inspire you to live the life of your dreams.

It’s all temporary, this precious life that we each hold. But, it’s up to us to make it memorably and meaningful rather than mundane.

And, in my experience, a memorable and meaningful life is found in connection, in acceptance, in love and friendship and hope and closeness and curiosity and passion and surrender to something bigger than ourselves, whatever that may be. But it is never, never, found in seeking perfection.

With live and gratitude always, Fi xx

gratitude, health, holistic health, kindness, motivation, positivity, shamanism

The Path of a Shamanic Storyteller

On Sunday night I returned home after the penultimate five day weekend of my shamanic practitioner training.

I graduate in March.

I’m not sure how to even begin to describe what this training has involved, or what it means to me.

I’ve met, and connected with, 5 incredible women who have become like sisters to me. Soul sisters with whom I’m sharing a spiritual path and, whom I hope to continue to share and grow with for many, many years to come.

They know me at such an intimate level. They have seen and witnessed the depths of my soul in a way that is indescribable. At each training weekend we sit in a sacred circle and share with intimate detail the essence of who we are, without fear of judgement and always in receipt of pure and unconditional love and acceptance.

But the training isn’t just about the sharing. It’s also about learning to work in a shamanic manner. ‘Re-learning’ I should say, as we already know…we have just forgotten.

It’s about connecting with something bigger than ourselves, stepping away from the dramas of every day life, being guided by spirit, allowing ourselves permission to learn, to grow and to step onto the true path of our soul.

And, still it’s more.

It’s a coming home. A reconnection. A remembering. Like parts of my soul are reawakening.

Put simply, it’s indescribable. Because there are no words to describe what this path, or this training, is like. Words don’t do it justice. No, this path has to be felt, to be lived.

During this particular weekend I had the honour, and privilege, of my 5 peers, my mentor and another qualified practitioner working on me as a group for 2.5 hours.

Together they held space while I talked through my healing journey and then I embodied my cancer and, for nearly an hour, I spoke it’s story, it’s voice, it’s essence.

In October when I held a ‘cancer divorce ceremony’ I wrote a letter to my cancer. I guess, you can say, this was cancer’s chance to respond.

It was powerful stuff. Pure magic unfolded as words that didn’t belong to me flowed from my mouth.

The words were soft, protective, nourishing even. It seemed the essence of cancer was not there to punish me but to guide and protect me.

I felt overcome with a deep sense of peace, acceptance and surrender.

All fear left me. I felt held. I felt connected. I felt safe. I felt honoured in my wholeness and vulnerability.

Something had shifted in me. Not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually too.

Many people ask how I ended up on this course. It was pure guidance and coincidence. A friend of mine had bought me a one to one shamanic session with, my now dear friend and retreat colleague, Rhonda McCrimmon. That first session blew my mind. I’d never heard of shamanism, the spirit world or any of the other magic Rhonda talked about.

But that’s not why I started training. A few months later (during which I was reading everything I could about shamanism) I found myself at Trew Fields Festival in Surrey (a holistic healing festival for people with cancer). There I kept meeting shamans. Suddenly, I’d gone from never having heard of shamanism to it being everywhere.

I sat in circle with one of them whom some of you will know as Anne (the founder of Cancerucan) and had a profound experience with a spirit snake. Talking to her she suggested that I was already on the path to shamanism and should seek a tutor or mentor.

So, I found myself googling shamanic training during my train journey back to Scotland, the friend I was travelling with (Claire – The Independent Single Mum) encouraging me to ‘send the email’ when I found a practitioner that resonated.

So I did. Then, during my next session with Rhonda it transpired that the person I had emailed was who she had trained with – it appeared I was being guided, once again.

Not only that but my soon to be mentor, Carol Day, and I had actually crossed paths previously while I was studying my PhD…it seemed I’d missed the path’s previous calls to my soul.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the course, or even why I was being guided to do it, but, I just ‘knew’ that it was what I had to do. This knowing was deep and unavoidable.

Has the path been easy? No. Without doubt it is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. But, one thing is for sure, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made for my personal and spiritual growth and development.

To date, I’ve held back in what I’ve shared about the training and the growth I’ve experienced through it, but my guidance now is to open up completely.

Increasingly I am realising that my background as a researcher for the NHS and Scottish Government enables me to be a translator of spirituality into the realms of the every day and even into the scientific areas of life.

So this is where I will position myself, a shamanic storyteller, bridging the guidance of the spirit world into the everyday world and into the lives of those who read my words.

After all, it’s what my writing and talks have been doing for years already, only now, I’ll be more transparent about it.

With love and gratitude always, Fi xx

gratitude, health, holistic health, kindness, ovarian cancer, positivity

Today I Rise Again

Today is a new day.

I rose today having felt what I was meant to feel, having seen what I was meant to see, having said what I was meant to say.

So many people ‘advised’ that I stop writing and that I focus on me. I know they meant this with the deepest kindness but writing ’is’ me focusing on me. It is my therapy, my release, my way of processing and feeling everything that is there to be felt.

I do not write for anyone else but myself – although, admittedly, it brings me so much joy to realise how my words have helped so many others.

I can’t help but wonder how different our world would be if someone had told Anne Frank to stop writing. I’m not suggesting I am anything like Anne Frank, a courageous young girl whom I have admired since first discovering her words when I myself too was only young, but I am suggesting that our stories are important, healing and essential. We must share our stories. We simply must.

I feel in a good place today, like I am emerging from something, like I am shedding an old version of myself and stepping forward into something new.

I sense change ahead, yes, but change isn’t necessarily bad and I find myself feeling a sense of excitement at this new adventure I find myself on.

I’ve been in worst places in the past four years since my diagnosis than I find myself in just now. There is, of course, one significant difference now. Now I don’t see chemotherapy as an option for me when the trial completely stops working (which it hasn’t, yet).

As I’ve written many times before, chemotherapy (and any treatment) is a very personal choice and I do not advocate for or against any options. But I do know that chemotherapy is not the right option for me. Not again. Not after 4 years ago. This is my inner guidance and I trust it profusely. Nothing and no one will ever change my mind.

So what are my options?

Just now, medically, it is to stay on the trial. It is to keep breathing in the gratitude that this wonderful cocktail of significantly less toxic drugs is doing something to slow down this disease (even if they can’t stop it completely).

But that is just the medical picture and, if I’ve learnt nothing else on this journey it is that the picture is bigger than what can and can’t be done in a hospital. There is so much more that can be done for my mind, body, spirit and soul.

So, yes, it is accurate when I say I am excited because I find myself wondering ‘what if there is another way?’

And that’s exactly what I intend to spend the next 16 weeks finding out.

Why 16 weeks? Because that is the length of time someone with ovarian cancer is on chemotherapy for…AND, more importantly, because 16 weeks today I plan to get my adventurous soul onto a plane to Bali where I plan to spend 4 weeks healing with my gorgeous husband…something that will only be possible if my lungs stay stable…so I’m excited…I have a focus, I have an aim and I have a shit load of passion.

It ain’t over and, as ever, I ain’t dead yet (motherf*ckers)

gratitude, health, kindness, motivation, positivity

December Kindness – Day 3

Be There for Someone You Love

It’s day 3 of our December kindness calendar and, today I want to talk about reaching out to those you love who are struggling.

Often someone (or multiple someones) in our life can be in need of help, support and a bit of extra tlc.

But life is busy and our own day to day dramas get in the way of us being there for anyone else.

We find ourselves making excuses like ‘I don’t have time’; ‘I don’t know what to do to help’; or ’I don’t know what to say’ …and so we do nothing, we say nothing, we continue with our lives.

Meanwhile the person who is struggling doesn’t know what our absence means and it only adds to their current situation.

I’ve been on both sides of this…the person avoiding the person in need (before I knew how to be there) and the person being avoided.

Both are shit.

So today is about taking a moment to reach out to that person in your life in a way that is filled with love and kindness.

Here are some ideas that I use when I don’t know what to say or do…

➳ send a message that says ’I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do. But I am here. What can I do?’ Trust me…it’s always better to say this than to say nothing.

➳ ask ‘how is your heart?’ This is different from asking ‘how are you?’ …to which the honest answer is usually ‘rubbish’ (or a swearier equivalent) …instead you are letting them know you really care about what’s going on for them.

➳ write them a card or note that says ‘I’m here when you are ready to talk’. There is no pressure for them to be ready now. You are just letting them know you are there when they need you. And trust me, they will take you up on it.

➳ Finally, it can be so easy to say ‘let me know if I can do anything’ but it can feel like an empty offer. Instead suggest something… would you like me to pick up some shopping for you? Walk your dog? Take the kids out? Sit with you? Often people in trauma don’t know what they need. Be the person who is actually there, doing something.

What else has helped you to know you are loved, seen and supported?

With love, gratitude and kindness today and always Fi xx

gratitude, health, kindness, motivation, positivity

December Kindness – Day 1

You all know I love me some kindness spreading.

Every December I up my ‘Random

Acts of Kindness’ by handing out more envelopes but also by sharing daily kindness tips in ‘an alternative advent calendar’.

December, a time of love and connection has become so material and consumer driven that we can often lose sight of what matters (and who).

So this is my small step towards reminding us all of what matters…and it’s not something you can wrap in shiny paper and stick a bow on!

In fact…did you know I don’t give Christmas presents or cards…I’ll write a separate post about why and what I do instead.

So, today, on 1st December 2020 while many of you are eating the first piece of chocolate in your Christmas countdown I encourage you to join me in day one of my kindness calendar and LEAVE A POSITIVE NOTE IN A PUBLIC PLACE.

And…even better…send me a photo of it too!

With love, gratitude and kindness today and always Fi xx

gratitude, kindness, positivity

Love and Kindness – RAOK Envelope

Yesterday I handed out one of my random act of kindness envelopes. It’s been a while I know! – for those of you who aren’t familiar with these cash envelopes I hand out out to strangers you can read more here.
I was out having lunch with my hubby and two friends in a local cafe when I spotted the owner having cuddles with another customer’s dog. Now, I’m never one to miss out on the chance for any kind of animal encounter so, of course, I made my way over to join the fun.

I was met by a huge dog full of affection – a result of a clearly loving owner! As I was walking back to my table the owner of the cafe explained that the women and the dog were regulars and that the dog is provided with a tuna sandwich all of its own when they visit. Yes you read that right!

Well I was so touched by this clear act of love. As many of you know my dog was a huge support to me during my treatment and so it’s always a joy for me to see similar relationships. So, without hesitation I got out an envelop and asked the owner to pass it on to them without telling them it was from me. This was a new approach as ordinarily I pass it on myself.

The feeling was just as wonderful as always – knowing that through a simple act of passing on the kindness that had been giving to me I was brightening a stranger’s day. I LOVE it! I hope that it will have brought joy and love to this person in an, all too often, sad world. 

More importantly I hope it will have reminded them (and you reading this post) that kindness is a wonderful and powerful thing that can really change the world.

I love being able to pass on this kindness to otherrs and I’m so grateful to each and every one of you who has ever donated to my ‘kindness’ pot.

Remember, kindness doesn’t have to be the ‘gift’ of cash. It can be a smile; holding open a door; forgiving someone; listening; hugging…the list is endless. What act of kindness will you do today?

With love and light, Fi xxx 

EDIT: I received this beautiful response from the recipient…

Hello Fi. Yes I had to investigate and discover the kind person who chose me as the recipient of your gift. What a surprise it was. I’m still getting my head round what turned out to be a memorable Saturday. I was taken with your joy when meeting Mia and the look on your husband’s face when you were leaving was also notable – now I know. You have been through the wars and I am pleased to learn that you are surviving and making the most of life. I hope that I may encounter you in the future but meantime your kindness is much appreciated. Keep well 💜

gratitude, kindness, motivation, positivity

Merry Christmas

At this time of year as we spend time with our loved ones, take a moment to remind yourself how blessed you are to have them beside you.


Raise your glass to those whose only wish this Christmas is for a healthy new year and for the wonderful medical teams working throughout the holidays to ensure loved ones are with their families this Christmas.

Take a second to give a nod and a wink to those who have passed this year – those you knew and those who touched your life.

As you read this remind yourself that you are blessed…

You are here, you are alive and you have so much joy and love still to live.

Make it happen. Make today count.

Hug a little tighter. Laugh a little louder. Love a little deeper.

Merry Christmas everyone! Thank you so so much for you love and support this year and for your messages of hope, love and kindness.

Sláinte*

Love and light, Fi xxx

*SLAHN-chə is a word literally translating as “health” in several Gaelic languages and is commonly used as a drinking toast in Ireland and Scotland.

#MerryChristmas #PleaseShare #Blessed #Grateful #Positivity #Love #CountYourBlessings