World Kindness Day



What are you going to do today to spread the kindness?

Today is World Kindness Day so let’s make the world a better place and be kind to each other.

The world is already full of kind people but sometimes life gets so busy and we forget that the simplest acts of kindness can make an amazing difference to people’s lives. Just saying ‘good morning’ to someone who’s feeling lonely is a start and that costs absolutely nothing!!

What can you do?

It’s really doesn’t take much to be kind, here’s a few things you could do but to be honest, there are so many different ways to show acts of kindness, so just go wild and make up you’re own!!

  • Smile at someone on the bus/train/traffic jam
  • When you’re buying your coffee why not treat the person in the queue behind you and pay for their drink
  • Pay compliments to your colleagues
  • Send a message to a friend just to say you’re thinking of them
  • Take some flowers home for your significant other
  • Say hello to your neighbour

You have the power to make someone’s day better and make your own day better at the same time – and how can that be wrong….? well it can’t be wrong can it…..

So, don’t wait for someone to be kind to you, take a deep breath and be kind to someone else and start the ball rolling.



For details about Marian Stapley Counselling click here: Home

To contact Marian click here: Contact



Surviving Christmas

Surviving Xmas 2


The clocks have changed, Halloween and Bonfire Night have gone, the heating’s on and Christmas time is nearly upon us one again – where does the time go?

Relationships – Break ups & Break downs

A relationship breakdown at any time is an emotional roller coaster for both parties and the financial implications to ending a relationship can be huge. So breaking up is not something that should be made in the heat of the moment, when emotions are at an all-time high.

As many families are unwrapping their Christmas gifts, enjoying their over filled platefuls of Festive lunch, having one or two sherry’s more than maybe they should and snoozing in front of the Queen’s speech, there will inevitably be those couples who are having a tricky time, bickering, rowing, giving each other the silent treatment and cold shoulder, avoiding each other, just trying to get through the day, wishing they (or their partner) were somewhere else.Xmas bells

‘Divorce Monday’  

It is expected that in excess of 40,000 people across the UK will start divorce proceeding in January which is why the first Monday in January has become known as ‘Divorce Monday’. This highlights the intense pressure and high expectations that some couples can be under, dealing with feelings that have been simmering under the surface for a while but then bubble up to boiling point during the Christmas and New Year holiday.

Not just for the married…..

Of course, it’s not just married couples that suffer this kind of emotional stress – Christmas can be a particularly stressful time for relationships of any kind. Whether married, living together or just dating, whether you’ve been together for decades or just met at the Christmas office party, a relationship breakdown can very painful. Continue reading “Surviving Christmas”

I’m living in limbo – get me out of here!!!




‘Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty’ – Mother Teresa

I sat with someone recently who described themselves as ‘living in limbo’ feeling lonely and isolated.

During the conversation they said their life had no hope, no joy and no future. Their needs were unmet, relationships were suffering and from the moment they wake to the moment they go to sleep they felt unfulfilled and their time is being completely wasted. Each and every day is a struggle to get through. Despite having family close by, they still felt abandoned, forgotten and invisible. A miserable existence.

Sounds sad doesn’t it.

So, what does living in limbo actually means – one definition of limbo is defined as a ‘state of neglect or oblivion’ (Oxford, in another it’s described as ‘a place where your souls go after death while waiting to be sent to heaven or hell’ (Cambridge Dictionary) and the Urban Dictionary defines it as ‘a place between here and there’.

Whichever definition you choose, it should definitely not be confused with the limbo dance which originated in Trinidad where you shimmy under a low stick…although quite honestly that sounds a bit like hell to me!!

Being in limbo sounds like a pretty lonely, empty and unsatisfying place to be – neither one place or another, a place where you feel alone, neglected, ignored and unwanted and a place where you are waiting for something to change.

Just for a second try to imagine those feelings of being…..

  • alone
  • lonely
  • isolated
  • invisible
  • unloved
  • unwanted
  • ignored
  • out of control
  • no future
  • never-ending
  • waiting and waiting for something to happen
  • nobody to speak to
  • shame

Limbo Land Rentals

One way to stop the prospect of renting a room in limbo land is to tackle some of these feelings head on.

Loneliness cuts across the generations, young and old alike.

Loneliness does not discriminate against class or social status.

Whether you live alone or live with others, whether you are young, middle-aged or old, working, a student or unemployed, stay at home parent or career person, loneliness can creep up and find you wherever you are.

Anyone can have these types of feelings and there is no shame in asking for help.


‘Loneliness is a crowded room, full of open hearts turned to stone, all together, all alone’ – Bryan Ferry

Research carried out by the Office for National Statistics say that in 2016-2017 a total of 5% of adults in England, aged 16 years and over reported feeling lonely “often/always” – that’s 1 in 20 adults feel lonely on a daily basis.  These statistics increased to 16% of adults reported feeling lonely sometimes and 24% occasionally.

1 in 20 adults

In this day and age it seems incredible that anyone needs to be lonely. We can now connect to each other 24/7, we have the ability to speak, text, email, message, Skype, Facetime, FB message, Tweet, check in, etc…..whenever we want. So it seems so odd to me that there are so many people who feel so alone, isolated and lonely that they feel their lives are not worth living and who might also describe themselves as living in limbo land, just waiting for something to happen to make their lives better and worthwhile.

How sad and depressing does this sound? Very, I hear you reply.



It’s said that knowledge is power and so with the right knowledge we can help ourselves and others to be seen and feel visible. To become part of the community again, feel less isolated, gain more control and escape out of limo land for ever and start living in a real and productive place where life is, satisfying, exciting and fulfilling.

How can this be achieved? Can’t be easy….or can it?

5 WAYS TO END FEELINGS OF LONELINESS & ISOLATION….or how to successfully move out of limbo land

  • Take control and tell someone how you feel

Talking to someone who is willing to listen can really help you. Sharing how you feel may be difficult as first but if you find someone you trust you will soon have the confidence to open up. This could be anyone you feel comfortable with like a friend, family member, colleague or counsellor.

  • Acknowledge what you can do and stop focussing on what you can’t do

When you’re feeling unfulfilled and isolated it’s so easy to say ‘no, I can’t do that’. By acknowledging what you can do rather than what you can’t do, you will begin to realise that you are capable of doing so much more. You will start to become more positive, feel more in control and able to make small changes that make a difference in your life.

  • Choose a goal, no matter how small

Whatever goals you choose, make them achievable – in this instance small is best. By choosing one or two small achievable goals you will begin to feel less overwhelmed and more in control. For example ‘I will go for a 5 minute walk a couple of times this week’ rather than ‘I’m going for a 5 mile walk every day’ will be more likely to be possible and therefore achievable.

  • You’re not a burden if you ask for what you need and want

Feeling like you’re a burden to others is an awful feeling. It may feel like a big step to ask for what you need, but if people don’t know what you need, how will they know how to help you? Make it easier for others to help you by acknowledging what you need and want, ask for it and let them help you.

  • Step out of your comfort zone
    Challenge yourself and take a small risk each day.
  • Phone someone to have a 5 minute chat – they might be really pleased to hear from you and grateful for the company themselves
  • Be brave and ask for one thing you want – you are worth it and you never know, if you ask you may just get it!!
  • Smile and say hello to others – they may also be one of the 1 in 20 lonely people and may be very grateful for the human interaction
  • Try something new – you deserve to be happy and belong, so choose something that you will enjoy. Go to the cinema, join a pilates, yoga, keep fit or dancing group, go to the local coffee morning, learn a new language. Begin to be part of the community again.

Nobody deserves to live in limbo land and there is help to get you out. If you feel isolated or lonely trying these small, achievable steps you will start to help those feelings disappear.

Remember this – you are never alone, there is always someone out there for you but sometimes you have to look for them and ask for their help.

There is a future after loneliness and can be worthwhile again.

I work with people to help them overcome their feelings of loneliness and isolation. If you are experiencing these types of feelings and would like me to help you click this link for more details Home

Or to contact me now – click here Contact


A penny for your thoughts


Did you know that we have something like 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts every single day – that’s an amazing number of thoughts whizzing through our minds, flitting from one thing to another, never stopping, never ending and rarely coming to a conclusion.

So, if I really was to give you a penny for your thoughts you would become an incredibly wealthy person and I’d be broke!!

Just think though, if thoughts burned calories we’d all be stick thin and would never have to diet again or if they generated energy then we would have a never ending supply of electricity.

The sad thing is not all thoughts are positive – it’s the negative thoughts that pop into our minds that can be really powerful, lead to anxiety and worst case scenario’s being considered. Life comes with it’s fair share of  worries and over thinking unhelpful thoughts can make a quite innocent thought develop into a series of anxiety ridden thoughts.

Thoughts are just thoughts – thoughts have a powerful impact on our mood and negative thoughts have the power to make us feel rubbish. But remember, thoughts are not real and cannot hurt you.

When you take things personally – ‘my friend didn’t comment on my new hair style, she must really hate it and thinks I look awful’  Or, she may just have a lot on her mind, work problems, relationship or family issues, just not feeling well. So maybe wonder what’s going on for your friend rather than focussing on the negative thoughts about you.

When thoughts stop you doing things – ‘I’ll never be able to get a better job, I’m just not clever enough’ you’ll never know until you try. Building your self esteem will help you get that job you’ve always wanted.

Always thinking the worse – ‘ I’m off for a day out to the beach with my family at the weekend but I just know the kids will whine for ice creams, we’ll be stuck in traffic jams for hours and it’ll end in a row’ so before you’ve even left the house you’ve made up your mind that it’s going to end badly. These kinds of negative thoughts will stop you enjoying even the best times. By changing your thought patterns just imagine how much better your life will be.

I could go on but hopefully you’ve got the idea – negative thoughts lead to negative lives.

I guess the answer could be simple – just stop thinking!!  But if I said to you ‘whatever you do, don’t think about a pink elephant dancing on a table’ the chance are the only thing you will able to think about is a pink elephant dancing on a table.


The mind is a curious thing.  Continue reading “A penny for your thoughts”

Passenger or driver?

Blog driver

I was recently on a long car journey – the first part of the journey I was a passenger, the sun was shining and I was able to look around, relax, daydream, let my mind wander. I was not concentrating on the journey itself at all, not knowing where I was but just enjoying the ride.

When I was asked to take over the driving I could no longer just gaze out of the window but needed to concentrate on where I was going – which route to take, reading signs posts, looking out for pedestrians, other traffic, dogs, obstacles in the road.

Then the satnav got confused with where I was supposed to be going  – if ‘she’ didn’t know then who did!!!

I was very happy to be driven but hadn’t really prepared for my part in the journey at all.

This made me think about the similarity with my life – am I driving my life forward or am I happy to be a passenger and just let life happen.

It’s often said that ‘life is a journey’ but this journey really brought it home to me how true that actually is. Being aware of our own life journey, noticing the obstacles that get in our way and having the skills to proceed through to get to our chosen destination is so important.

Just like any journey, life can be full of accidents, closed roads, traffic jams and setbacks but here’s the thing, we have a choice to either be a passenger and let our journey happen or we can be the driver and take some control of where we are headed.

Are you prepared to be the driver or a passenger in your life journey? If you think you are a passenger then you will need to consider a few things to help you take over the controls and direct your life in the way you want to go.

  • Planning your route – where are you starting from and where do youPlan your route want to end up?  Having a clear plan, at least for the first stage of your journey is key, otherwise you may find yourself heading down many a cul-de-sac and having to do u-turns galore


  • Recalculating your route – if the road ahead is unexpectedly closed, you might have to make a diversion. Be flexible with the route, if one way doesn’t work out, what is the next best route – there is always more than one way to get where you want to be.


TRaffic light

  • Did I really go through that red light? –  how many times have you gone though traffic lights and afterwards hoped they had been green? It happens because  we’re not aware of where we are.  Thoughts prevent us from being in the moment and appreciating what’s going on around and when in charge of a big piece of metal, this can be a dangerous practice! Be aware of your surroundings and notice the obstacles that might pop up


  • Picking up hitch hikers – in reality I don’t see many hitch hikers these days but the principle remains true – if the hitch hiker is going in the same direction as you it might be a pleasant and rewarding distraction, a bit of company. But if you end up going off your planned route to take them to a place they want to go, where does that leave you? Being kind and helpful is one thing but being focused on where you want to be on your journey is important to reach your destination.


  • Planning comfort breaks – on a long journey we all need to stop for the inevitable pit stop at a dodgy motorway service station for a loo break, some tasteless coffee and food.  Your life journey is no different – plan for chill out times, be with friends and family, take a moment to ‘smell the flowers’, appreciate where you’ve come from and take another look at where you want to be.


  • Notice your destination – if you don’t take note of your destination how do you know when you’ve reached it? Keep your destination in mind at all times.


  • Celebrate reaching your destination – when you notice you reach yoThumb.jpgur destination celebrate, mark it is some way, pat yourself on the back, have a party, tell your friends, be joyous because you have succeeded!!


  • Time to make another plan – reaching your destination doesn’t mean the end, it just means that it’s time to make another plan. Use the skills and experienced gained on your previous journeys and start to make another plan.


‘Nobody’s life is seamless or smooth. We all stumble. We all have setbacks. It’s just life’s way of saying time to change course’  – Oprah Winfrey

So, maybe it’s time to move out of the passenger seat and into the driver’s seat to take control and be aware of where you are going and, maybe more importantly why you’re going there.

Enjoy and have a safe journey!!

I work with people to help them find the best way along their life journey – click here for more details Home

Or to contact me click here Contact