Life is not a journey, it’s a dance

Alan Watts, a famous philosopher and speaker in the 70’s, recognised that from the moment we are born it seems like we are in a race these days. 

We are pushed through different levels of education (nursery, primary, secondary, University), then into work … and then we “work our way up” a career ladder, if that’s what we set out to do.  

But what are we racing towards?  

We have long approached life as a journey, but if that’s true – what is the destination? Our goal in life is surely not to say at the end of our days “Phew I lived longer than I thought I would”. 

And yet somehow we have created an illusion that we are aiming for somewhere or something. But what is that?

If the whole point of a piece of music was to reach the end, we’d have the shortest Ed Sheeran songs in history. And when we dance, we aren’t dancing so that we reach the end of the song. We are participating, enjoying, being part of something which matters. 

So maybe life, then, is not a journey. And it’s not the destination that matters. Life is perhaps the dance, something we enjoy whilst it’s happening. The whole point of dancing, IS the dance. 

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International Women’s Day: Be Bold for Change

It’s International Women’s Day and the theme this year is Be Bold for Change. 

As a Women’s Advocate and qualified Therapist I raise awareness of issues which predominantly affect women, like Domestic Abuse and Pregnancy Mental Health

As part of this year’s campaign, I’m asking if people will wear something bold in the name of all those who have been affected by these issues and to celebrate the voice that women have – and that we ALL have – to make positive change. To be bold and be seen. 

I believe we can work together towards a fair world, where we can all be safe and heard. So men are invited to wear something bold aswell. 

Be safe. Be heard. Be Bold for Change on 8th March 2017, and every day. 

For more information about International Women’s Day visit 

For information about Pregnancy Mental Health visit

If you or someone you know is affected by Domestic Abuse visit

Wear your Tiara to Work Day 16th March 2017 

In her book “A Woman in Your Own Right”, Anne Dickson describes how as a woman you feel “a sense of obligation to put everyone else’s needs before your own all the time”. Even today, in a world striving for equality, women still feel they have to do ALL THE THINGS (work/home life, caring for family, paying bills, and so on) and  if we don’t, we feel guilty.  Wow, do we feel that guilt. 

In fact, one of the reasons I came up with the idea for Serenity (a monthly evening gathering exclusively for busy women in Milton Keynes) was to help women carve time out of their busy schedules for some guilt-free rest and relaxation. Because self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary. 

So “Wear your Tiara to Work Day” on 16th March 2017, celebrates women who are busy doing ALL THE THINGS and to encourage them to do something for themselves today (if not every day) to help them feel sparkly – something that helps them recognise and celebrate just how awesome they are. Men are welcome to celebrate too, either in honour of a woman they know who deserves to be celebrated or if as a man, you’re also busy trying to keep many balls in the air (no pun intended).  

The day is about doing something for yourself: having a cup of tea, a well earned rest even just for a few minutes, or treating yourself to something sparkly. Like a Tiara. 

We will be sharing photos on my Facebook Page, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtags #TiaraDay and #WorkTiara – please feel share your images on Social Media. 

Ps International Tiara Day – celebrating inner beauty – is on 24th May 2017 so we will do it all again then. Because, well, you can wear your Tiara as often as you want. 

Women’s Well-being – Breaking the Habits of a Lifetime

The state of a woman’s health is highly influenced by the culture in which she lives, her position within it, her experiences, and her day-to-day thoughts, beliefs and behaviour.

~ Dr Christiane Northrup, Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom 

Ask most women at some point in their life if they recognise these three things and they’ll almost certainly say this is (or was) part of their history:

1) That they felt it was their “job” to keep others happy;

2) That if they didn’t, they felt like they’d failed;

3) That when a woman “fails”, they feel guilty and doubles their efforts to make others happy.

This is a pattern for most women and in her book “A Woman in her Own Right“, Anne Dickson beautifully describes these feelings of guilt as “The Compassion Trap”.

Females generally tend to grow up – and are taught – to believe that we have to be all things to all people. It’s implanted in the “rule book” we develop from an early age, that we have to make people smile and that it’s selfish to do things for ourselves. So we find it hard to say no, difficult to assert our right to be heard and, hide how we feel, and more worryingly, in many cases feel we don’t actually have a choice.

Women are rising and beginning to wake up to the fact that we are allowed to ask for what we want. But it’s a scary time – and not always safe; sometimes it’s “easier” to stick with what we know. (Our brains are hard-wired to avoid change so that we stay safe.) So we feel trapped in unhealthy coping strategies and relationships.

The reality is also that many women aren’t physically safe. In this article I explain the very real danger women are in every day. Which is why it’s so important that the change we create is healthy and can last especially if it’s affecting our mental health.

According to the Good Childhood Report 2016, girls are growing more unhappy than boys every year, and some research suggests that women are more likely to suffer with depression, eating disorders, high blood pressure and alcoholism than men.  (That’s not to say these things aren’t important in men, but this article is about women).

We are also carrying with us a lot of rage. As women we’ve been conditioned not to show our anger. But as Tracee Ellis Ross explains in the video below, a woman’s fury holds lifetimes of wisdom. It serves a purpose. We are allowed to channel it healthily and say what needs to be said.

I believe in the potential of every woman to become what she truly wants to be.  This includes discovering what she wants (for many of us, we don’t actually know because we’ve been going with the flow to keep other people happy for so long) and then finding her voice.

It also includes cherishing the sacred vessel that you live in – her body – and living well, both physically and mentally.  It means recognising that we can embrace qualities of compassion, grace and empathy, without feeling like we have to “do it like a dude” to get results. And, being honest?  We all want to be less stressed and more productive, so that the time we spend doing what we enjoy, or with the people we love, actually means something (rather than being exhausted by it).

Here’s some top tips:

1) Notice patterns of behaviour, especially what’s in your rule book. Sometimes we can fall into “traps” that are influenced by the rules our ancestors made.  For example, do you stay quiet when you need to be heard, because “that’s just what women do”?

I remember an example of a brother and father coming back from the pub on a Sunday afternoon and their mother would tell them to put their feet up, whilst the mother and daughter (as a very young girl) would get on with preparing their Sunday meal. This was despite the women having spent the morning cleaning the house and working a full week. They hadn’t been working any less hard than the men, but the suggestion was that the men’s work – and rest – was more important.

2) Consider a role model. Being able to identify your values can sometimes rest in knowing who inspires you. It doesn’t have to be a family member, it could be someone famous – like Princess Diana or Maya Angelou.

3) Ask for help. If you’re starting to identify that your ways of being have been defined by other people, reach out to someone who can understand and support you through this period of change. Read books by women for women, join a Women’s Circle, and spend time in the company of women who empower each other.  

In my experience, most women know they have more to do in the world – a purpose – but they try to do it whilst putting everyone else first, and find they fall short of their goal. Then one day, they wake up and realise their own needs haven’t being met for a very long time. It’s no wonder, then, that their health suffers.

Remember, self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.

Your life purpose is to bring your unique light in to the world.” ~ Jamie McConochie

Copyright Delphi Ellis 2017 – updated May 2021

Monday Mojo: Feel-Good Motivation for the Week Ahead

Starting Monday 6th March 2017 I offer weekly motivation for the week ahead. Given the name “Monday Mojo™” the aim of the newsletter is to provide a suggested goal, focus or positive intention for the next seven days. You can subscribe here.

Designed to help you get your sparkle back – Monday Mojo™ offers you food for thought to keep you moving towards the positive, sparkly life you deserve. Subscribers also receive access to a resources area containing feel-good loveliness designed to help them find their mojo.

Monday Mojo™ © Delphi Ellis All rights reserved 2017-22

The Big Day is nearly here – looking back and looking forward  

If you were wondering why it was a bit quiet on the roads this morning, it’s because everyone was in the supermarket I went to first thing. And I do mean everyone. 

There’s something about this time of year which sends a lot of people a bit…well…frenzied. 

It’s an exciting time for many but some people meet this time of year with anticipation, thoughts of lost loved ones or find it all just too stressful. I hear you. 

People were stockpiling food into their trolleys as if a Zombie Invasion was imminent (I even checked my newsfeed in case I had missed something), and one person took their full load of shopping through the self-checkout because the queues were so long everywhere else. (Incidentally I found a list of Zombie FAQ’s which includes the question “Will I become a zombie if I sit on a toilet seat“?) 

It’s an exciting time for many but some people meet this time of year with anticipation, thoughts of lost loved ones or find it all just too stressful. I hear you. 

If that’s you, I hope you’ll love the Relaxation MP3 that’s in the Members Area of my Helping you Sparkle™ website – a resource dedicated to positive mental health. A maximum of 10 minutes is all you’ll need for some healthy time out. And it’s free. Just subscribe here and you’ll receive the password. 

Looking back, 2016 has been The Year of the Unexpected – things that nobody predicted happened and these events shocked the world over and again. David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Prince passing to name a few, Leicester winning the League, Brexit and Donald Trump, not to mention the horrors we’ve witnessed in Aleppo and other places around the world.  There is a strong wish from everyone, I think, that 2017 will be less stressful and without so much drama. Calm is welcome. 

Looking forward, 2017 also promises some excitement – there are an increasing number of movements promoting positive change and a growing desire to help others around the world. For me, I will be completing my long awaited book on Dreams and Sleep which is due to be published late in the year and also launching a brand new service exclusively for busy women in Milton Keynes. My focus is and always will be on helping others maintain positive mental health.

In the meantime, I’m heading into the Sparkle Cave and will catch up with you again on the other side of Christmas.   You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook for more updates on the book and my professional work. 

Wishing you a restful festive season whatever you’re doing and a magical new year. 

Delphi 🌟✨🌟

Ps the answer to the Zombie question was “yes but not if you sit on the toilet seat with a loaded gun”. So there you go.

Love and Power: can we have both?

POWER. What does it really mean?

I was recently listening to a talk on bravery, in which the view of what Power could be was challenged.

As a woman I often see the word power used as a call to assert our right to be heard. There is a growing movement expecting women to harness and roar with our feminine nature, to be “a “badass” warrior/goddess”; to be fierce and fearless.

These in themselves are empowering viewpoints – and ones I sometimes run with – but are they the only way to be Power-Full?

Is Power JUST about Strength?

Do we have to interpret Power as noise?

Is asserting our Power the only way we can feel in control of our destiny – the only way to feel valid?

Does Power mean we cannot be warm or compassionate?

I don’t believe so.  

Trying to sustain Power, by these definitions, could be exhausting – and damaging.

Love and Power have, ironically, become enemies over time. A divisive battle believing that you must be one, or other, not both. So what if we’ve got that wrong?

The word power means “the ability to DO something”. There is no reference in its meaning to control, influence, dominate, manipulate or swindle. It is simply our energy in action.

Can I, then, Love AND have Power?

Photograph of a Man and Child, taken in Chile Source unknown

Back in the 60’s and 70’s, we saw people uniting under a banner of Love, in the name of Peace. At the same time, many seemed to invite a war against Power, viewing Power as “bad”. Power was – and still is perhaps – seen as a perpetrator; the cause of all our problems.

Today, Power is a synonym for greed, status, tyranny and, essentially, corruption. Power, as with Love, can be abused in the “wrong” hands, and certainly by those not truly awake to the pain they cause.

So what of Love?

A while ago, I spoke of Love as a means to healing – even a form of spiritual activism – starting with self-compassion. I was surprised by a comment describing me as naive, passive and, interestingly, as if I was giving away my Power by suggesting Love is an answer.

Love is associated mainly with softness, gentility and compassion. But today, if we speak of Love as a solution, we can be seen as weak (or “woo-woo”.)

Society has evolved to believe that Power is what we need, and anything else makes us vulnerable. If you read this article about authoritarian leadership, this suggests how Brexit came about and how Donald Trump became the 45th President of the United States.  Only time will tell what this sort of Power looks like.

What is needed is the realization that power without Love is reckless and abusive, and that Love without power is sentimental and anaemic. Power at its best is Love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is Love correcting everything that stands against Love. ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

People have become distracted by or bought into a 21st Century (mis)interpretation of the word Power, and we are, once again, in a world divided – not just between men and women, or how we vote – but our definitions of what it is to Love and what it means to have Power.

Back in the 70’s, the motivation for World Peace was as relevant then as it is today. But you can’t “fight” for peace. You have to “peace” for peace. Equally we have to rise together in order to be heard, so that none of us is left behind. The power comes with unity, and a collective desire to create space for each of us.

We don’t have to give up our right to Love for Power, or our right to Power when we embrace Love; we can infuse one with the other.

We don’t have to choose between Love or Power; we can have both if we use them with wise hope and meaningful intention to create a world built on compassion, not control.

Copyright Delphi Ellis, updated 2021.

When IS the right time to go for what you want?

Ever since I was a teenager, I wanted to learn the drums. I would listen to my favourite tracks (in the original days when vinyl records were first “in”) and tap out the drum beat – a bit like “air guitar” but imagining I had a set of drum sticks in my hands instead.  Animal was – and still is – my favourite character from The Muppets and I still think of Dave Grohl as the drummer from Nirvana. Whenever I hear a strong drumbeat in any music, I stop and pay attention. 

As time went on I could be sat anywhere, music would start playing and I would use my feet to imagine I was beating the bass drum, tap the steering wheel with my fingers at traffic lights in time to the music, and even occasionally would imagine what I would look like playing the drums for real.  But I never did anything about it. 

Have you ever done that? Had a goal or a dream about something you’d love to do but, I dunno, maybe the time wasn’t “right”?  If only you had more time. If only you had more money. 

I wrote an article called “The Elephant’s Rope” to explore the idea that something is holding you back and what can help. 

And then I remembered Randy Pausch. He once said you can always tell how much you want something by whether or not you give up trying for it.  He should know. It took him 15 years to achieve his dream of becoming a Disney Imagineer, which he talked about in the last lecture he gave before he died in 2008 (see below). His dying message was strong. Don’t give up on your dreams and have fun. 

Randy also talked about the importance of having good parents but not everyone would say they’re so lucky.  Our relationships can have an impact on our future, our self-esteem and can also impact our behaviour and the choices we make – until we realise that’s what’s happening.   

It’s not easy to change a habit, and it’s scary to change course or follow a dream – but if the change is for the better, you will see positive results.  If timing is an issue, it can still help to make a plan, which is why asking a coach can work. 

Sometimes we also get a feeling that things are meant to change. We reach our limit or an opportunity arises and we grab it with both hands. Like a voucher company randomly sending me a special offer on drum sessions. So I’ve just booked up (I’ll post a picture ASAP). 

What do you want and what are you waiting for?

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Depression and Anxiety in Pregnancy: it’s time to talk

In 2004 I started a unique website dedicated to the topic of depression in pregnancy; at the time there was almost nothing known of it. 

This ad by PANDA (a great resource) says up to 1 in 10 pregnant women are affected, but the research now suggests its closer to 1 in 3, and it doesn’t just affect women but their partners and family. 

My friend Elaine Hanzak also talks openly about her experience of Post-Natal Depression which inspired her books Eyes without Sparkle and Another Twinkle in the Eye – you can find out more about the amazing work she is doing at There are also some great resources on the Mind website

13-19 November is Perinatal Depression and Anxiety awareness week.  Raising awareness of Maternal – and Paternal – Mental Health literally saves lives.

You might also find my Lets Talk Lady Business website interesting.

A conversation that matters: World Mental Health Day

On Monday 10th October, I will be starting a conversation on my Twitter and Helping You Sparkle™ Facebook page about mental health and, in particular, the role of spirituality in mental health

There are lots of different reasons why we suffer with poor mental health, relationships (including Domestic Abuse) and poor sleep to name just two.  In 2004, I experienced almost nine months of depression when I was pregnant with my son – I talk about this in more detail here. The last thing I ever expected was to feel miserable when I was so happy to be pregnant. And that’s the thing about poor mental health – often we don’t see it coming – and before we know it we are gripped.  And it can happen to anyone. 

The research is now suggesting that as many as one in three people will experience poor mental health during their lifetime and statistics around suicide are frightening.  If you or someone you know is affected there are a number of sources available, including Mind and the Samaritans

Other options include CBT and Mindfulness, both tried and tested techniques for improving mental health.  (I’m also running relaxation classes in MK in November and December – take a look). 

To keep up to date on this and other topics involving wellbeing, subscribe to my newsletter. You’ll receive feel-good mojo direct to your inbox along with exclusive access to the members area of the Helping You Sparkle™ website, where you can view free resources on sleep, meditation and much more. 

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