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Happy Mondays by Carole Ann RiceCarole Ann is regularly featured in the top glossies from Psychologies and Woman and Home to Glamour and Red magazines.

She is the only coach in the UK to have her own weekly column in a national daily newspaper - read her Happy Monday column each week in the Daily Express

 


Happy Mondays:  Holidays rarely deliver what they say on the tin

Monday 3 July

HOLIDAYS - why do we do it to ourselves? The adverts promise quiet beaches, couples rediscovering their marriage mojo via mojitos on cruise liners and that most rare and precious gift of all: family harmony. Holidays don't always deliver what it said on the tin. We travel in blind hope and the excitement of perhaps making new friends or finding romance, to kick back and relax, lose weight, get fit or detox. The reality is often holiday bloat, sleep deprivation due to sunburn and snoring, 3am pool dive bombers and the desire for wine at 11am. Those of us...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Knowing why you are here is all about knowing yourself

Monday 26 June

THEY are rarer than mermaids' shoes and as about as easy to find as a needle in Simon Cowell's chest hair but we dream of being like a career unicorn. Once seen, these fabulous beasts rock our worlds. These are beings so rare yet they walk among us and reduce our sense of self with their purpose, passion and certainty. At some point in your life career unicorns will cross your path. Folk blessed by a good with at birth, to know and follow their career path as soon as they could chow down on solids, leave the rest of us floundering like the...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Helping others boosts your own wellbeing

Monday 19 June

IT IS hard not to be moved by recent events. Moved indeed not just by the horror and suffering but by the public's kindness, generosity and speed to help. The countless acts of courage and selflessness stir the heart and salve the soul. Ordinary people performing heroic acts without a moment's thought for their own safety is the true spirit of our nation. When it comes to tradgedy we are united in outrage and grief as we gather to offer our empathy. Despite our busy lives and our cosmopolitan communities where we don't know our neighbour, it is reassuring to know that...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Sometimes we all need a motivational and inspirational guide

Monday 12 June

WHEN someone says "another day living above ground is a bonus" you tend to sit up and take them seriously. Sally Bee, a motivational TV chef, should know what she is talking about. At the age of 36 she suffered three heart attacks in one week caused by a rare heart condition. Against the odds she recovered and thrived until 12 years later she suffered another two attacks. You will know her as the ever-smiling and all glowing TV chef who is testament to her own healthy eating philosophy and mindful lifestyle habits which keep her counting her blessing and seizing the day. Michelle Obama is a big fan of her book...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays: There is no right way to deal with grief

Monday 29 May

SOMETIMES you just don't know what to do with yourself. Or more specifically your feelings. When trauma happens our brains can go off in countless directions like a bag of ball bearings dropped on a marble floor. Panic, blame, anger, grief, sorrow, lock down, rage or benign numbness as we struggle to make sense of an unbelievable truth. There is no blueprint for life but we do know when things are so wrong that it makes us draw deep into ourselves to find answers and...

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Happy Mondays:  Learn to laugh at life

Monday 22 May

IF you were a fly on the wall in the house of Lisa Sturge you might have to rub your many millions of bug eyes with your hairy foreleg. It's quite a sight. She may be blowing raspberries into thin air, bursting into song at any moment, uttering strange but humourous grunts or emissions and perhaps striking some peculiar poses which would allow her a lifetime's membership into the Ministry of Silly Walks. You see, Lisa is a laughter coach. She uses laughter to help move her clients on to....

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Happy Mondays:  Exercise for the vintage vibes of swing

Monday 15 May

"I AM an experienced stripper and I am comfortable with my nakedness," says the woman in front of me. How many women can claim that their nakedness is a source of power. However, this is not the type of stripping that involves sequins, feather boas and flashing the flesh. Instead, for Maria Hocking, stripping and nakedness refer to losing things that you used to take for granted. This stripping means letting go of...

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Happy Mondays:  Pay no attention to your friends' 'perfect' Facebook lives

Monday 8 May

SOMETIMES it can feel like you are feeling at this thing called life. Struggling to be happy for your friend's perfect lives on Facebook, it can make us all feel like a mean-spirited toad growing humps of envy and bile as we view their good times, quickly clicking the "like" button lest our resentment leaks out. You can view tables of 20 friends in pizza joints, perfect broods of children in high chairs: smug pre-midlifers all high-fiving bonhomie and the air resonant with laughter and tales of ski trips, university reminiscences and forthcoming villa holidays. This is when you feel like the...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Learn how to cherish yourself

Monday 1 May

"CAROLE ANN, how do I learn to cherish myself?" was the plaintive cry of my client. It took me aback as it's not a simple answer, no "take two every four hours" remedy. I wondered first what not cherishing oneself would look like. What are the signs when we aren't taking due care of ourselves. Dental and eye check-ups get missed. Our trousers are a little harder to zip up, a low level headache is never far away, nor is a fast food, chocolate or wine fix. There are many external signs of self-neglect; like the first window smashed in an empty house, pretty soon the rest of it starts to degrade and fall apart. We have the homes of the hopeless and the hoarder presented now as ...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Sometimes we are so busy we forget the right now

Monday 24 April

TODAY is the oldest each of us has ever been and the youngest we will ever be again. Quite a sobering thought, isn't it? We are so busy looking ahead or looking back that we forget where we are right now. We forget that we have come a long way and have accrued knowledge and wisdom that have become the blueprint for our lives. Sometimes we have limiting or fear-based beliefs which keep us small or which corrupt our thinking like a virus in our software. Thoughts such as"It's too late...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Change your thinking and ditch the resentment

Monday 17 April

THE, "Why do I bother?" sigh is that of the unsung hero. It is the cry from the heart of every mother whose unseen and unnoticed acts of kindness leave her weary and resigned. It is the lot of the quiet diligent worker who does above what is required while someone less talented but more voluable gets the professional breaks. It is the frown that says it would be nice to be thanked when you send a gift on a loved one's birthday. It is the shrug of resignation that you are the only one in the house....

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Happy Mondays:  Being self-conscious can feel like being a lighthouse come foghorn

Monday 10 April

DOES it seem sometimes that your thoughts are turned up to Motorhead concert level? The sheer loudness of some passing notion is so deafening you're not sure if you thought it or said it. I share this problem when someone with a particularly large bottom walks past and my thoughts, aghasted, holler some Tourette's-like exclamation that would have the Political Correctness Constabulary marching me to the cells. Thankfully I just thought it not said it. But having your thoughts on loud speaker and your every move feels like they are being...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays: It is never too late to start your own business

Monday 3 April

WHAT'S your excuse? Not enough time? Might be too old? You've got an idea but isn't it a flooded market? What if it were never too late to start your own business? We are, as Napoleon once said, a nation of shopkeepers and increasingly a country where independent enterprise can flourish from the comfort of your armchair. Having your own business can be one of the most creative and rewarding pursuits and now, with the internet, pop-up property lets and crafts and farmers' markets you can get a foothold without a major investment. Taking the first step is always the hardest and that is where Glenda Shawley comes to your aid. Glenda is the guru you need as she has had ...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Shops make me smile in my sleep

Monday 27 March

ARE you in a shopping mood? This was a question posed in a radio phone-in last week. A crofter rang in to bemoan the superficiality of others and that his superior lack of need made him somehow better than those who like the shops. I don't like shops. I absolutely adore them. I dream of shops. I really do. Lying under canvas in a rain-lashed campsite I found succour thinking of the brass, mirror and golden glow of changing rooms and racks and rows of gorgeous clothes and shoes. Shops make me smile in my sleep. I deliberately plan routes to go past shops and feel a thrill in advance of the names of yummy outlets when I am in an area I know. Airport shopping is all part of the...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Why shouldn't International Happiness day be every day?

Monday 20 March

IT'S official, today is the real Happy Monday! It's International Happiness day which makes one wonder whether the rest of the 364 days of the year are ones of gripes, groans and gloom. Who needs a special day to celebrate the ephemeral butterfly of bliss? Well maybe we all do. Happiness to me is like a magical kind of spiritual fuel; a bit like water or fine white sand it slips through your fingers and needs to be topped up regularly in order for us to find meaning and purpose in our daily haul. We know that happiness is an inside job despite...

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Happy Mondays:  Theta healing is a fast, easy and successful technique

Monday 13 March

IN THE interests of research I find myself walking to yet another healer's door like a condemned woman. In my relentless pursuit of the holy grail of happiness and a lighter heart I arrive well armed with a healthy dose of cynicism and dread. "Not another session of shifting energies and boxes of tissues," I frowned as I entered a beautiful studio drenched in sunlight and glittering with blue glass. Deborah Talalay is a "theta healer", NLP master and one-time actress and was ready to shake up my consciousness. It was after being plagued by continuous chest infections years ago that drove Deborah to seek alternative routes to recovery other than anticiotics and steroids. For more than 30 years...

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Happy Mondays:  Forget regret, give life a go

Monday 6 March

THEY say one in three people regrets having a tattoo. Among them are singer Britney Spears and actor Johnny Depp, who once  had Winona Forever (an ode to ex-girlfriend Winona Ryder) tattooed on his arm.  It was later changed to Wino Forever. According to recent court papers, he might be able to stand by that claim with confidence. Victoria Beckham regrets her breast surgery and many a celebrity who has sunk into the abyss of reality tv wishes they had never listened to their agent. Regrets? We've had a few. We were not born with a user's manual for life and what seemed like a good idea at the time when...

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Happy Mondays:  Taking a run at positivity

Monday 27 February

Is somebody living the life you dreamed of? Are you living someone else's life and unbelievably it belongs to a character in a David Lynch drama instead of the Disney ideal you'd predicted? Occasionally we can look up with wonderment and pride and witness our own reality or inwardly groan at the faulty meanderings of our psyche sat navs. We can feel we're living the dream but we can also wonder: "How did I get here?" Have you become a supporting actress or a bit part player in your own life? I received an email from Portugal from a potential client who said plaintively...

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Happy Mondays:  Is it the month, the moons or just your age?

Monday 20 February

IS IT a February thing, your age or those three super moons last year? Whatever it is there seems to be a lot of it about at the moment. Everyone appears to be suffering - friends are ill, tumours are cropping up, people with dementia are having to go into care homes. There is at least a low level ague hanging over most folk I know. The headlines cause internal groans and as we pitch our tents in misery we pretty soon find the return on investment turns negative. It does not help to think of the philosophical line that "pain is inevitable and suffering optional" when you are viewing life through a veil of antibiotics and grief. A recent pneumonia-type virus pulled the....

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Happy Mondays:  Why am I single?

Monday 13 February

HOW do you know if you are attractive? Or more importantly how can you tell if you are deeply unattractive? A friend looking for love on dating websites found in her area a motley crew of men, few had their own teeth, none smiled and one called himself "Mickey the Maggot". Nice. Whether your shopfront is Prada or Primark it's worth having a good hard look at the face and the form you are showing the world. Feedback is often a painful gift in disguise but after all we would want to know if we had the equivalent of an unsightly wad of cabbage stuck on the...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  'Finding joy is something nobody can do for us'

Monday 6 February

SOMETIMES a life coach can't help some people: those with trust issues, who need a shrink or who are mired in blame and negativity. There's also a sad other. Those who want me to help them find love. It's a big industry these days with dating and introduction agencies promising the perfect match. Someone who will segue into your life with effortless ease. The dating game can almost be a full-time job with online flirtations, dates and hook-ups becoming an all-consuming pursuit. The disappointments are huge, the expectations vast and the despair inevitable. If you have a single friend seeking a significant other you will know...

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Happy Mondays:  Insomnia is all in the mind?

Monday 30 January

ANOTHER bad night? Sleep eluding you yet again? Tell yourself you slept like a baby and see if it changes anything. Insomnia is all in the mind. A study published by The Journal of Experimental Psychology tested the results of placebo sleep on participants and found it an effective way to reduce tiredness. Volunteers were wired up to some false equipment and were told they had enjoyed a deep sleep, which included...

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Happy Mondays:  Have you checked your drains and radiators recently?

Monday 23 January

HAVE you had your drains and raditators checked recently? No, not your household essentials but the people in your life. You will know the raditators - the ones who emit goodwill, fund and kindness towards you and with whom you feel at home, warm and comfortable. Then we have drains, lost souls, life passengers or fretful folk who are defined by their victim status. You know of whom I speak. They are the ones who make your heart sink when you see their name and number come up on your phones. A friend in need is a friend we would pay good money to avoid if we had the option. There are some people you just can't help but they so want your counsel, your aid and your ear, and you being the good-hearted soul you are, give it to them again and again but to little avail. Not only do you apply your...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  How to get through the worst day of the year

Monday 16 January

BEFORE you read on just note this is officially Miserable Monday. Frankly a moveable feast for anyone who struggles with day one of the working week any time of the year. This very day however is the time when the cold weather bites, the New Year's Eve good intentions seem like a boozy brag fest and your bank account is so red it's sore. Going alcohol-free didn't deliver the Nordic clear skin and eyes nor high kicking energy burst you thought it would and you're suffering with deep grey Jan-ennui. It's hard to keep one's chin up when the sofa looks like a silk draped pavilion of such sensual sumptuousness it's lure would have Hercules weakening. For some of us sadness, disconnection and a feeling of...

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Happy Mondays: How to unleash your creative side in 2017

Monday 9 January

PICASSO once said: "Every child in an artist. The problem is staying an artist when you grow up" - which makes one sadly ponder when did we ditch the creative play? Was it when the harsh world of work suggested accountancy or a shop job was a more serious pursuit? When did being an artist go into the store cupboard of dreams alongside teddies, dollies and being an astronaut or princess? Just as we have an individual DNA coursing through our veins, so it is, I believe, that each of us is a creative human being. It may not be via a pencil or paint representation...

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Happy Mondays:  Festive blues? Why not start loving yourself just the way you are right now

Monday 2 January

IF YOU are feeling all you got for Christmas is fat and broke and the year ahead seems to beckon harsh regimes, self-denial and a bit of self-flagellation thrown in, then stop right there. In the coldest and bleakest season of the year now is not a time for hardship and self-recrimination. There is so much to change and knock into shape - and frankly who relishes such a prospect? So here's a radical thought - why not start loving yourself just the way you are right now? Sounds crazy doesn't it, especially coming from a personal development expert. But try it on. What if...

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Happy Mondays:  This week is for slowing down and resting

Monday 26 December

UNDO that top button and let it all hang out. In fact let it flop, flow and roll with it. Not just the plum dufftum but everything, really. Kick off your new slippers, slide down onto the sofa and let it go. So many people are sighing "It's been quite a year" and it's true that it feels as though a juggernaut of change has barrelled past us while we shudder with the repercussions on the hard shoulder of life. It's hard to make sense of a lot of things in retrospect. We can't always...

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Happy Mondays:  It is that stressful time of year

Monday 19 December

THE queen of all expectations prepares to tie boulders around our happiness and oblivion taps her eager fingers via the sherry bottle and chocolate box. Yes, it is that time of year where stress is passed back and forth from family and friends like an unspoken agreement to crowd fund high blood pressure and anxiety. Some smug folk have had presents bought and wrapped since the January sales last year and are sitting cosy with the mince pies watching It's A Wonderful Life with carefree glee. The ideal is that family and friends gather, the meal makes Jamie Oliver look like a slouch and we sip fine wines by the golden glow of firelight united in love, good will and holy benevolence wrapped in novelty knitwear. And herein lies the rub. Quite often the reason you don't see some folk all year is...

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Happy Mondays:  Stylish wear designed for those suffering chronic illness

Monday 12 December

"IF I'd known I was going to live this long I'd have taken better care of myself," is a quote attributed by many from Mark Twain to baseball athelete Mickey Mantle and it hits a home run in my heart any day. All that wine, those artery-clogging meals and stressy days that push my blood pressure through the roof - well it's all bound to mount up one day. The men in white coats claim we are living longer but therein lies the rub. As Indiana Jones once quipped, "It's not the years it's the mileage" and if your chassis has gone and the engine is lurching it can be a long and uncomfortable ride. The quality of our lives as we stack up the years can depend...

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Happy Mondays:  Deal with disappointment effectively

Monday 5 December

WE are all feeling it at some sort of level right now. Disappoinment is a hard fact to swallow. It gets stuck in your craw. It is not the outcome you wanted. You had only just pulled yourself together after one shock, then whammo! Another one comes along and pulls the Axminster from under you. Many of us are walking around with a huge exclamation mark hovering over our heads not knowing where to put outrage and frustrations. It triggers that tantrumming inner child who goes wild at the injustice of lunatics not only taking over the asylum but getting the collective thumbs-up too. You want to kick your heels and rend your flesh and let out a blood-curdling...

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Happy Mondays:  Stop the negative thoughts

Monday 28 November

YOU have got to love pessimists. They are sensitive souls who once ran into life with an open heart, bluebirds at their shoulder and the sun beaming off their smiles. Then life hit them hard and removed their zip-a-dee-doo-dah. The tooth fairy failed to deliver, not all good boys get the breaks and good girls can morph into dog's bodies. It's a shame. A little frost forms around their tender tickers and before you know it their mouth droops and life turns grey as if viewed through seen-better-days net curtains. "Yeah but..." becomes a verbal tic and it appears to the pessimist that everything in life is designed to conceal some kind of secret catch in order to make it a journey of wariness. Then it would not only be wise but necessary to ...

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Happy Mondays:  Ranulph Fiennes can teach you to face your fears

Monday 21 November

AS WE live longer it is essential that we don't have regrets as part of our retirement and pension plan. We will have many years in which to reflect on our lives and our choices. We will have plenty of time for the reverie of a life lived well or a sad time to look at the missed opportunities, the times we played safe and should have stepped up. Hindsight offers cool and cruel clarity when the emotions that had us foggy and stuck at the time are removed and we see things as they really were. If only fear had not played a part in keeping us stuck and unable to take a risk. If only we had had a go. It is like fear is a divine blessing and ...

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Happy Mondays:  You have to love your job in order to be happy

Monday 14 November

JOSE Mourinho once said "For me the most important thing in my life is love....If you are not in love with your job, you must change your job." Or someone might just do that for you, eh Jose? Work for some of us feels like a life sentence. Something you endure not enjoy and get through until the weekend, your lottery numbers come up or redundancy packages are on offer. I have had my fill of dismal jobs that had me wasting my life straightening paper clips, watching the seconds of my life tick away via the office coffee machine and energy-vortex atmospheres that would have had Einstein struggling to have an inspired thought. That dread Sunday night "work tomorrow" slump that drains life of joy and the heartfelt despair on the killer commute as you sigh...

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Happy Mondays:  Growing up in an era when shops closed on a Sunday

Monday 7 November

ONLY people of a certain age will understand the remnants of the "am I allowed" mindset. When you have grown up in an era when all shops were closed on a Sunday, did half days on Wednesday and pubs would shut at 2.30pm each day you will know true suffering. Even though we are well used to 24-hour shops and restaurants and the internet providing opportunities to gamble, bank and find a life partner 24/7 I'm sure that I'm not the only one left feeling this way. These thoughts are not limited to commerce and entertainment but to one's likes, dislikes and emotions too. It always feels like I've tortured a teddy bear if I confess to a genuine dislike of chocolate (so awkward when presented as a gift), prefer prosecco over champagne (it's a migraine thing), have a dread of weddings (12 hours around a table with people you run out of conversation with in 20 minutes) and have never watched Strictly or Bake Off (just haven't). It's like I have killed Bambi to say...

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Happy Mondays: Overthinking is a curse - stop it and take action

Monday 31 October

AS a life coach one of my roles is to help people clean up their language. We get our clients to drop their "oughts" and "shoulds" which are verbal sticks in which we beat ourselves. "I ought to go to the gym" (but you'd rather wear wire wool pants) or "I should phone my mother" (but eating coal seems preferable). Coaches seek out diminishing words such as "just" as in "I'm just a mother". Another phrase I am beginning to get a psychological klaxon horn of wariness about is the seemingly innocuous - "Hmm interesting. I will think about that". Now if you are a professional academic or a poet in residence this can be legitimately strung out for some time and is totally acceptable behaviour for the dissertation or thought piece it will produce. For most of us however it is a halting mechanism, avoidance. I may set a client homework and checking in a week later on progress if the response is...

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Happy Mondays: Ditch other people's opinions and learn how to praise yourself

Monday 24 October

BUYER beware was once the mantra urging us to take responsibility for our shopping glee or consumer remorse. But now we want a second, third or five hundredth opinion. Are you one of those people who relish those online consumer reviews that give rating for anything from a clothes line to a bias-cut wrapover dress? "Disappoining. I give this clothes line one star as it basically just went from pillar to post." "Dress looked great on model but my size 28+ came up a little skimpy. Sent back." Who knew we had the critical insight of acerbic art critic the late Brian Sewell when reviewing a clothes horse or loo brush? It seems it's good to have a second opinion when we are not sure of our own estimation and this applies to us as people too. Feedback is the new opium of the masses. We ...

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Happy Mondays:  Finding the key to your energy will reward you

Monday 17 October

THERE is a lot of talk about energy at the moment. Switching providers without paperwork and fuss is a must. The fact we have three supermoons coming before the end of the year, the astrologers tell us, is going to create some weird energy and then there is that slump that comes at 4pm that has you reaching for the biscuit tin and a cuppa. We seek it here, we seek it there, energy is everywhere. It is the difference between progress and wearing sweatpants on the sofa. It can make us punch the air and tear into the future or sigh and hide under the duvet. Some days we can zip through our to-do lists ticking off the tasks with infinite smugness and other times it is like our pilot light has gone out and the repair engineers have gone ex-directory. In short, we often...

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Happy Mondays: Key to happy life is defying self-aggrandisement

Monday 10 October

AMERICAN author Mark Twain said: "When we remember we are all mad the mysteries disappear and life stands explained." We can adapt a Rodin's The Thinker pose and muse on the meaning of life, we can retreat to a Tibetan monastery or tune in to Towie and hope to find the answer there. As humans we have always sought explanations for life and our part in it. Religion, philosophy or even shopping (if that's your [designer] bag) can be a salve for our psyches, or we can simply enjoy the bliss of ignorance by staying busy to keep life's big questions from flooding in. Asking ourselves, "Are we there yet?", "Why am I here?" or "Am I happy?" can only cause...

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Happy Mondays: Introducing Brave New Girl - a magical illustrated book of happy

Monday 3 October

THERE is a chill wind blowing across the nation. Not everyone is feeling it. Only those who have had the pleasure and privilege of bringing a new life into the world. Those who have had the years of weaning to solids, of walking and talking, to first days at school and developing their social wings - the empty nest echos with a chilly silence. Braver parents prepare to clear away the debris and ponder on the whirlwind of life landmarks and the tears, fears and rainbows it delivered. We look and take stock of what is left behind - of our homes and of us. We will be alright. There's a spare room to tidy and new hobbies to take up but ...

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Happy Mondays:  Tackling awkwardness - what's the worst that could happen?

Monday 26 September

DON'T know about you but I no longer do "awkward". It's one of the bonuses of ageing - like developing a taste for marmalade and Neil Diamond, embarrassing your teenagers and groaning audibly when you reach the top of the stairs or flump down on the sofa. The awkward gene, like my gums, has receded. Humour or complete indifference usually cover the graceless silence when a painful silence might pervade. It's OK to say "no" and it can be a complete sentence on its own - no need to qualify certain actions or decisions to others. A desire to speak to strangers is also a part of maturing, like hair loss and wittering. Supermarket queues, bus stops and lifts are a good starting point. I try an opener such as....

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Happy Mondays:  Meditation can help give you clarity

Monday 19 September

IT USED to be that our Great British stiff upper lip not only showed stoicism but it also came with a built-in zip. There were conversational minefields that we dodged and danced around with a nimble ease that would make Darcey Bussell look like a cart horse. We bottled it all up and held our tongue and so what if our blood pressure went through the roof and we popped our hernias with the strain of holding it all in?  At least we were polite and socially acceptable. Now people don't mind sharing the sort of details that were once best left to a therapist, doctor priest, exocist or gynaecologist. There is even a website for the...

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Happy Mondays: Strawberries, ice cream and holiday snaps. I'm glad to see summer's end

Monday 12 September

I DON'T know about you but I can't be the only person who is relieved that August has hit the dust. There are common givens we are supposed to love - strawberries, ice cream and chocolate - but I don't belong to that club. Add high summer in Britain into the mix and it makes for a month of unappetising Sundays. A stifing commute spent with your nose pressed against someone's armpit, other people's holiday glee pictured on Facebook and the strange deadness of once busy streets - it's not the good old lazy, hazy days of summer we've been sold. Add to that nocturnal teenagers who don't rise before 2pm and afternoons spent craving the bliss of having the house to oneself. I am currently sighing in contentment as life returns back to normal. September isn't so much the last gasp of summer but a...

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Happy Mondays: We can all learn to be a little kinder to ourselves

Monday 5 September

UP until has last movie Hugh Grant was sold on the idea of quitting acting forever. Notoriously hard on himself, he would watch his films with "gnashing teeth" or through the filter of a few beers. The world is split between types of people: those who keep chocolate in the fridge and those who like it at room temperature. There are those who find it easy to forgive themselves and those, like Hugh, who live permanently in the psychic A&E department of self-flagellation. I've been known to groan audibly in a supermarket as some old misdemeanour or foot-in-mouth moment causes me to stop, wince and fold in on myself like human origami. It is not so much about being a perfectionist but being super aware of our faults and fallibility which, viewed throught the brutal lens of hindsight, brings forth new insights with forehead-slapping clarity. If only we could...

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Happy Mondays: There is genius in simplicity

Monday 29 August

THERE is genius in simplicity. Any fool can add waffle, complicate and over embellish. It is cutting away the clutter and getting to the real meaning that is the key to clarity. Complexity is often mistaken for profoundity but it's laser-like logic that can fast-track us to success and happiness. Simple Thinking is the title of a new book and concept of coach, leadership expert and new-wave educationalist Richard Gerber, who is urging us to de-fluff our brains and get to the point of a purposeful and creative life. A former...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Being an adult means accepting the life we have

Monday 22 August

WELL, what were you expecting? By all rights I should have a holiday home in Tuscany where my beautiful friends and large extended family join me every summer while I write in the shade of sweet-smelling oleander boughs. I have several books that have topped the mercury in the best seller lists and a chauffeur that takes me to my Oprah-like show while I catch up with the production notes in the back seat. My imagination is a combination of Disney meets Tim Burton and I can't help but imagine events, holidays, conversations and incidents going just how I want them to with cranky good humour, glamour and a happy ending where I come out as the happy satisfied heroine. A standing ovation is optional. Needless to say, my...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Follow these tips to truly de-stress on holiday

Monday 15 August

GETTING ready to go on holiday used to mean packing a new swimsuit, throwing in some light holiday reading and a cardigan "just in case". But holiday prep now means trying to squeeze feverish deadlines, in-trays and a mountain of work to cover your leave into five days of anxiety overload. Then you find yourself in a traffic jam to the airport, coast or port in a semi-catatonic state, blood pressure competing with the thermometer. With mobile phones being the narcotic de jour you can find yourself halfway up Machu Picchu giving Kevin from Accounts a mouthful for not including you in a group email. Switch off, let it go and unwind is what they say, but in reality it is about as realistic as...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Something could be hiding behind that shyness

Monday 8 August

IT IS always the quiet ones isn't it? The speccy kid at school that you can't remember the name of when you look at faded photos years on. The invisible, shy girl who used her hair as curtains to hide behind instead of being picked on or the boy who was forming plans for the Hadron Collider while others were discussing West Ham's form. It's the one American High School students would deem "least likely to" suceed/be popular/get anywhere in life in the graduation yearbook. In a world that won't shut up, the introverts bow down to the boardroom bore who dominates with decibels and a pumped-up ego while the real creative thinkers and those possessing genius solutions are sidelined to make way for the cult of personality. Clever organisations are now getting savvy to...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  When you have clarity you don't need therapy

Monday 1 August

FEW of us are getting a good night's sleep at the moment as we marinade in sweltering bedrooms, kicking off duvets and glowering at partners who have the "swamp" gene and snore through. Even more of us gave up dreaming years ago. Sleepwalking through life we drift without goal or intention taking what life offers then wondering why we don't like what we're given. Sadly having a big dream is something you grow out of like acne or boy bands yet having compelling goals in life is the difference between aimlessly meandering or living with purpose. A lot of coaches talk about...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays: Take time out to daydream every day

Monday 25 July

HAVE you listened to yourself lately? Truly listened. Not just noticing that weird reedy note your voice takes on when telling your teens to pick up towels off the floor for the umpteenth time or the "oomph" you've started to make whenever you sit down. But listening and tuning into your deeper self. I take a daily vacation and it's one that does not involve fighting over sun loungers at dawn or eating as many cephalopods as you can in one day. It's simply staring at a wall or out of the window and listening to my mind. Daydreaming to me is an essential daily exercise that allows the silt to settle and my mind to re-calibrate. I am remembering to pick up dry cleaning or I am fantasising of reclining in my grand Provencal chateau with the sweet smell of pine needles and oleanders. I am sometimes hosting...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays: When life's oxygen masks drop down you need to put yours on first

Monday 18 July

IF YOU are fortunate enough to be flying out of the country on a summer break please pay close attention to the flight attendant's safety speech. Instead of rummaging around in your bag looking for wet wipes or studying the Duty Free shopping opportunities, use these few minutes as a lesson in self love. For they will advise that if an emergency arises oxygen masks will automatically fall from above and to be sure to place one over your own mouth before administering another to your offspring. It makes sense. Looking after No 1 is an act we deem as anti-social and utterly selfish. We have to be seen to be selfless, of service to others above all and our needs are to be either negated or suppressed until it hurts. It's the mother who has the smallest portion, is resigned to crumbs and leftovers or serves herself the toughest bit of meat so her family eats well. Going without, staying up late....

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Hindsight provides us with 100 per cent clarity

Monday 11 July

HINDSIGHT provides us with 100 per cent foreheadsmacking clarity. It's a shame our opticians can't provide a prescription. If only we had said something wise or the perfect one-liner that left our audience shaking their heads at our sublime wit and sprightly repartee. Trouble is the killer question is often dropped without warning which leaves us floundering and throwing whatever we've got at it. And at a time when trust in politicians is at an all-time low, we are yearning for the truth and integrity. If only they had Michael Dodd working with them to ensure they turn every statement into one of hope and help us all feel there might be something or someone we can trust again when it comes to leading the country. A one-time broadcast jounalist in the rough world of Australian politics he has seen many a....

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays: We must live in the 'now' to truly find peace

Monday 4 July

THERE is a lot of it about at the moment. Great grey clouds of bad news hanging over the British Isles that is causing us to hunch shoulders, turn collars up and make Botox nurses rub their hands in glee at the crow's feet and frown lines it's creating. Some are feeling it as anxiety, others anger and there's a collective unsettling feeling of dread. The unknown is a place like Siberia and Kabul that for most of us is not on our bucket list of must do and see. As humans we like certainty and don't like grey in-betweens. We want black and white. Fear thrives on uncertainty. But life is more than 50 trillion shades of grey. So how do we make the unknown known? Well, when you get that it is all the unknown and all we are doing most of the time is taking a measured guess, then you will see that....

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Your purpose in life shouldn't be found through work

Monday 27 June

"SO, what do you do?" is one of those conversation killers we all have to endure when we have hit a conversational cul de sac with a stranger. Our careers or jobs may or may not define us. We could look, act and talk like a jazz musician who has Ronnie Scott's in a lock down but actually clears drains for a living. Maybe you have a take on the human condition that could have Desmond Morris scratching his head in awe, knowledge you have gleaned working the night shift at a petrol station. Thing is, there is a huge myth we have been living under in recent times that is causing considerable psychic congestion. That is the delusion that we have to find our meaning and purpose via our work. I work with clients raging with frustration and yearning to find their thing, their meaning, their purpose, their calling via a career or profession. So we go through the list. Is it....

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Happiness is about acceptance and inclusion

Monday 20 June

IN A week when rainbow-adorned flags were flown at half mast and communities across the globe united in their opposition to bigotry, hatred and extremism it was good to be talking fluidity and tolerance with George H Lewis. He is an internationally acclaimed painter, orator, photographer and astrologist who has visited more than 80 countries and knows a thing or two about how we humans tick. He's been the court artist for the Sultan of Oman and his fine works are sought after by the world's top collectors. His art explores themes of ...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  You don't have to be ON all the time

Monday 13 June

"DO I look like someone who gives a hoot?" was one of those 1980's on-the-nose, Woody Allen-esque witticisms which have the handy dual facilty of being able to put someone down while giving yourselves the thumbs up on the credibility front. A kind of studied insouciance is the aim of the seriously stylish. Too cool to care, too cool to get hooked on trivial things such as human emotions and too cool to tie themselves to anything that in the great existential scheme of things doesn't amount to a hill of beans anyway. In another parlance it could be seen as ignorance being bliss. But that's the reserve of the...

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Dare to be vulnerable - you are not the only one

Monday 6 June

YOU'RE down to the very last squeeze from the toothpaste tube and just as you run the brush under the tap the paste drops off and swishes down the plug hole. Just my luck, you sigh through your morning breath. Your company is putting together an in-house video of its happy sales team. You're all buoyed up and joshing each other about your X Factor potential. All your colleagues make it on screen but your bit ended up on the cutting room floor. Story of my life, you moan. You're at a party and everyone seems like an extra from a Tim Burton movie and you have about as much in common with them as a Savile Row tailor at a nudist colony. You inwardly groan: is it only me who thinks this is about as much fun as a steel-wool sandwich? It's that AITOO (Am I The Only One?) moment, a sort of psychic sneeze that makes you think you're the unique human among the 7.4billion of us on the planet who has this sort of luck/feeling or problem with tax return forms. Potential clients phone me and tell me they have ....

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  It's ok to spend your weekend relaxing in the house

Monday 30 May

IT'S Bank Holiday and in preparation for our time off the weather took a nosedive last week. Tuesday I was basking in blue skies and sun in Broadstairs in Kent and come Wednesday shivered in a cool 11C and drizzle in Trafalgar Square. "Typical," groaned a pal. "It's because the Bank Holiday is coming," she griped with what I detected, underneath it all, was a fair amount of glee. The thing is we aren't very good at this hot weather malarkey and our "blue-sky thinking" could actually mean staying in bed longer, keeping the curtains closed and watching wall-to-wall box sets rather than doing the dreaded "going out" thing. According to the Met Office one in nine of us secretly wishes for a Bank Holiday downpour as an excuse not to go to galleries, boating on the river, feasting on gourmet picnics and having barbecues so lavish that ....

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Take that first step towards your life changing goals

Monday 23 May

SOME days it just creeps up on you. The killer commute, the 9lbs of surplus fat, the lacklustre state of your love life and a feeling that the year is slipping past and someone else is living the life you want. You harbour fantasies of just walking away, getting a shelf stacking job and the modern holy grail "Travel" is calling. You're thinking of starting a business/writing a book/embarking on a fitness regime but right now the time doesn't feel right. You'll put your serious intent face on and tell others, "I'm thinking about it", you may go off and do some more research (and then a bit more) or maybe wait until the moon is in the 7th house and Jupiter aligns with Mars before commencing these goals. Let's face it, we are maestros in the art of avoidance and talking a good life is not the same as living one. But as Buddha said....

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Deal with impulsiveness but relieve your frustrations

Monday 16 May

HAVE you ever had one of those heart-stopping moments where you wonder did I think it or say it? In the age of political correctness saying a mouthful can be an unconscious minefield that can take you from toast of the party to pitiless pariah. Tell me it's not just me that possesses a Tourette's type tic in my noggin that wants to shout "too much information" when I see acres of flesh exposed the second the mercury nudges past 15 degrees. Am I the only one who is holding in such big shouty thoughts that would make Victor Meldrew look like a Trappist monk devoted to piety and tolerance? Then just occasionally when one's XXXL thoughts can no longer be contained by the size 6 Spandex of your psyche it leaks out. What you are holding in.....

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Resiliance is hope's best friend

Monday 9 May

A FRIEND once told me that she would have celebrities and royalty among her clients and that her business would be "up there" with Jo Malone and Estee Lauder. At the time she was operating out of a tired-looking hotel in the West Midlands, renting a grotty room to practise her beauty treatments. Frankly I thought she was on the dippy side of delusional. Twenty five years on she is a regular at Clarence House, has stores in New York and Dubai and recently won a £100million contract to teach her techniques to the Chinese market. How I wished I possessed her unshakable belief and blind trust. Or at least invested in it when the odds were good. It must be that sprinkle of magic dust that has ......

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays: Being rich doesn't mean being happy

Monday 2 May

IT DOES not grow on trees, we are not made of it and it does not make you happy. Only the last phrase is the odd one out. Saying money does not make you happy is on a par with saying Game of Thrones is just an updated version of The Waltons. Mark Twain was on the nose when he said it was the "lack" of money that was the root of all evil. Just try living without it. "The rich are not happy" is a psychic salve the less-loaded apply liberally because it seems to be an unpalatable and unjust law of Nature, like cellulite or balding, that we can never fully accept. Money can buy you love too if you have ever seen the blessed-out "can't believe my luck" expressions of the guys who have added a Thai wife to the shopping cart. Looking at the recent rash of programmes on the.....

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays:  Declutter your home and clear your mind

Monday 25 April

EVERY home has a "fear drawer". Even you have one. It is not a sideboard containing whips and handcuffs but a place where a different dread resides. It is where you throw those ambiguous "dead or alive" batteries, bits of string, elastic bands, five bottle openers, those Christmas tags that go AWOL every Yuletide, scraps of foil, broken spectacles and out-of-date money-off vouchers. The rationale they might come in useful one day and to throw them away seems a waste. This then leads on to a "fear cupboard" under the stairs, wardrobes full of style skeletons and lofts stuffed with doubt. If you are not following me, in short the accumulation of "stuff" creates a house of.....

Read Carole Ann Rice's full article in express.co.uk

Happy Mondays: Unplug from technology and find your sanctuary

Monday 18 April

NO MAN is an island said John Donne. Instead, perhaps, a community of escarpments and ragged archipeligos? Whether we like it or chose it we are all connected and therein lies the problem of our times. It used to be that an adventurer could hike off with a pith helmet and knee socks into the jungles of Borneo and nothing but hope, prayer and hearsay would assure those at home that the traveller was alive and well.<

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Testimonials

I wouldn't be where I am today

While it sounds over-dramatic I can honestly say that without Carole Ann I wouldn't be where I am today. I always wanted to set up my own business but never knew what I wanted to do. She helped me find the answer which was to become a photographer. The prospect of changing careers was overwhelming but she explained how to break it down into manageable steps and start working towards my end goal. Whenever I recount the story of how I started my new career her name is always mentioned. I would highly recommend Carole Ann to anyone facing a major change in their career or personal life and I would like to thank her for helping me through this transition in my life.

Kerry McNair - www.kerrymcnairphotography.co.uk/

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