The Happy Manifesto comes to Cumbria!

I’m delighted to be involved in organising an exciting and high-profile event taking place later this year, aimed at putting Cumbria at the forefront of raising happiness in the workplace.

Cumbria Coaching Network is pleased to welcome Henry Stewart, author of The Happy Manifestoas keynote speaker to their Coaching for Happiness Conference on Friday 21st September 2012 at Carus Green Golf Club, Kendal.  Henry Stewart is the founder and Chief Executive of Happy Ltd., the computer training company which has been rated as the best company in the UK for customer service (Management Today) and for five years running is one of the top 20 workplaces in the UK (Financial Times).  Henry was selected for the Guru Radar Thinkers 50 List, the definitive listing of the world’s most influential business thinkers.  He is leading the way on workforce happiness and productivity, and is also well known for his lively and engaging style of delivery as a trainer and public speaker.   Continue reading

Two inspiring blogsites

As a relative newcomer to the world of blogging and Twitter, I’d like to use this week’s post to propose a toast to social media – cheers!  We hear a lot of bad publicity about internet trolls, Facebook bullying and other drawbacks, but maybe not enough about the amazing power of the web to connect people across the world, highlight important issues, and raise money for charities.

One of the blogs I’ve enjoyed recently is NeverSeconds.  If you’re one of the few people who haven’t come across this yet, let me fill you in.  It was set up a couple of months ago by nine-year-old Scottish schoolgirl Martha Payne, who commented on and photographed the school lunches she received each day.  Now, they say a picture tells a thousand words and pretty soon a heck of a lot of people, including TV chef and school dinner champion Jamie Oliver, were visiting Martha’s site and expressing concern about the often inadequate quality and quantity of food in the photos.  Children from all over the world joined the discussion and sent Martha snapshots of their own lunches, and it was fantastic to see youngsters taking such a lively interest in food and nutrition.   Continue reading

The Pleasures of Outdoor Swimming

Yes, I know it’s the fashion to call it wild swimming these days, but it’s pretty tame the way I do it . . .

Struggling into a clammy wetsuit to brave the breakers on a chilly day is not for me.  I usually swim outdoors when the sun is shining and the water, though refreshing, has warmed up a few degrees.  It still takes a bit of courage to wade out into the cool green depths and overcome the initial goose-pimples, but it’s so worth it to experience the real freedom of immersing yourself in the environment.  Imagine breathing in the fresh scents of waterside plants; the sounds of birdsong and the wind rustling in the branches; the sight of surrounding crags and valleys; a plunging waterfall creating a natural jacuzzi – then tell me you’d swap that for a claustrophobic chlorinated indoor pool!

Afterwards, you feel so happy, invigorated and fully alive. There’s no finer way to feel at one with nature and see the world from a different perspective – what Roger Deakin in his book Waterlog called ‘a frog’s eye view’.   Continue reading