Women’s Wisdom: Defining your Legacy

Your legacy is every life you’ve touched.” ~ Maya Angelou

When Oprah Winfrey built a school in Africa she believed this was her moment. In conversation with her good friend, Maya Angelou, Oprah told her this school was her legacy.

Maya replied “You have no idea what your legacy is”. Oprah replied shyly, “I know, I know…but I need to think of this as my legacy”, to which Maya responded warmly, “Your legacy is every life you’ve touched”.

As women, we are so busy that we lose contact with the impact we have on the world. Many of us have a calling, to be in service to others, without realising the positive difference we are already making to those around us; friends, colleagues and family.  Acts of kindness, gestures of generosity, and compassion towards those we see in need.

This week’s Women’s Wisdom is to recognise your achievements for being there for others. Reward yourself for the kindnesses you have shown, and spend time defining your legacy. What message are you leaving the world, and future generations, through your words and actions now? Be kind to yourself and consider all that you already do, to be there for others.

Watch Oprah tell the story where Maya revealed this insight.

Copyright Delphi Ellis

Women’s Wisdom – Look challenges in the eye 

An empowered woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink“. ~ Source unknown. 

We have learned to resist. 




We push it away.  We have no time for it. We find it hard to sit in discomfort. It’s not, well…natural to do that. So we push it down, instead of out. 
What that means is that it sits inside us. Instead of meeting it, confronting it, it festers. It gets uncomfortable. And that, creates more pain. 

Set the intention to look the challenge in the eye. Find a way to deal with it, find your voice, build your negotiation skills, and meet it head on. Ask for help, reach out to people who can meet you half way, seek assistance from those “in the know”. And when you do, remember then you’ll be ready for anything. 

Copyright Delphi Ellis

Authenticity: Giving Yourself Permission to Be Quiet in a Noisy World

At a recent TEDx conference, Abbie Hutty, an inspiring, self-confessed Space Geek (and engineer involved in the development of the Mars Rover), said the key to being an effective role model is having the confidence to be authentic. That confidence doesn’t mean putting on a show for the sake of it. And that when your confidence is a façade you can alienate the very people you want to inspire.    

She described how as an introvert, although she can stand on a stage in front of hundreds of people, that in order to inspire a future generation of engineers (who statistically are usually introverts) it wouldn’t be helpful – or authentic – to pretend she was naturally confident. 

In fact, she was terrified.  This, she said, is why it’s so important to be real when trying to engage like-minded people.  If you pretend to be something you’re not, you won’t attract people like you. 

Your vibe attracts your tribe. 

There is an overwhelming expectation these days that we should all be extroverts. Loud, full of energy, standing at the front, ready for anything. 

If that’s your default setting, that’s absolutely fine.  For those that aren’t naturally built that way – but there is an expectation to behave that way – it’s exhausting.  (And incidentally how noisy a person is, isn’t a measure of how confident they are). 

I came across the acceptance of introversion in a book by Susan Cain called Quiet. Her book recognises that introversion is just as valid as extroversion, and that for some people (about 50% of the population) sitting quietly, reading a book under a tree is preferable than going to a live concert attended by 10,000 people. And I get it. It’s no coincidence that a lot of the work I do (like Mindfulness) involves peace and quiet.

That doesn’t mean introverts don’t like people (they generally do) but it does mean they don’t want to mislead anyone – and shouldn’t have to – by pretending they are feeling, being or doing something they’re not. 

Abbie described how being ordinary is okay, that being real is what makes us authentic and that being perfect isn’t what helps us succeed. In fact, she argues that pushing the limits of these things is the very thing that pushes results – and people – away.  

It’s okay to be quiet. 

What does authenticity mean to you?

Copyright Delphi Ellis

Women’s Wisdom – Tuning in to What We Need and What We Know

Women know. They just know. And even when you think they don’t know: they know. 

If you follow me on my Helping You Sparkle™ website which promotes positive mental health, you’ll know I already post Monday Mojo – feel-good motivation for the week ahead.  Monday Mojo offers the opportunity for anyone to set a weekly intention which can help focus their attention on something that will help them move towards their goal, even if it’s taking time to rest.

Women’s Wisdom will provide quotes, thoughts or reminders that we can tune in to what we need and what we know – encouraging positive health and wellbeing for women.

Our illnesses are designed to stop us in our tracks, make us rest, and bring our attention back to the things that are really important and that give our lives meaning and joy…

Dr Christine Northrup

As women, we know what it’s like to try to be all things to all people. To try and keep going, whilst keeping everyone happy and wearing a smile.  But this approach can create conflict in the end, especially when we realise our own needs aren’t being met – and haven’t been for some time. It can also mean we lose our sense of self, e.g. who we are, what we want and what we enjoy, and become unsynchronised, if not forget, our innate wisdom which keeps us well.

These posts (and related services) will tackle issues which predominantly affect women’s mental health, as well as focusing on topics which can improve and enhance a sense of wellbeing – things like tuning in to different cycles which can influence how we feel.  The purpose: to enable an authentic sense of what it really means to be a woman, to feel worthy and well, with a right to be heard in a 21st century world that won’t slow down.

Join me on Facebook and Twitter or subscribe for weekly Women’s Wisdom direct to your inbox every Wednesday – positive messages for empathic, awakening women – to motivate and inspire.

#womenswisdom #womensworth #wonderwomen #womenshealth

Copyright Delphi Ellis

It’s Time to Change: why we need a new approach to Mental Health 

I have worked, in one form or another, as a mental health professional for 15 years, focusing on supporting people who want to understand and make a positive difference on the subject. 

I’ve worked with local and national charities, sat on area management committees, and attended service user councils which tried to decide the future of services based on the money they had available.  

I’ve delivered training on mental health and bereavement awareness to private and corporate clients. I’ve worked in telephone and face-to-face support with grieving clients bereaved by murder and suicide, and I’ve attended Coroner’s Court supporting those distraught and vulnerable people through a process no one ever chose to experience. 

I provide talking therapies and wellbeing training to clients, who have taken positive steps to improve their mental health. I’ve facilitated all-day training and micro-sessions to volunteers and large organisations who see the benefit of promoting mental health and wellness in the work place and community. Every one of those people saw the benefits of understanding themselves and other people’s mental health better.  

For some clients events often beyond their control, created terrifying, dark or seemingly unmanageable emotions, which may have led to choices that didn’t work for them, circumstances which escalated their problems, and in some cases drastic measures which finally enabled the help they needed.  

Everyone I have ever worked with therapeutically – without exception – is an important individual with a right to be heard.  In many cases, they were trying their absolute best to keep everyone else happy, whilst putting their own physical and mental health at the bottom of their own priority list.  

My clients just want help: to see the wood for the trees, to find hope of a better life, to get even an hour’s sleep, a moment’s peace, or a short period of respite from this noisy world that won’t slow down.  They don’t mind paying for it although for as long as they’re available I also signpost to free services, just so people know that free help is out there.  Currently. 

My clients could never be described as “selfish” or “scroungers”.  No one was looking for sympathy.  No one was a “nutter”.  And yet this seems to be the culture we’ve adopted around Mental Health. 

Insanity is not what you think it is. 

Insanity is living in a society which still treats people with poor mental health as outcasts. It’s the assumption that “it can’t happen to me” (it can), that everyone who has depression is a drug-addict (no that’s not true), and that everyone who tries to kill themselves is an attention-seeker (some people do believe that, but that’s absolutely not the case). Insanity is the belief that people with schizophrenia are dangerous, when statistically they are more likely to be a victim of crime.

Insanity is having to wait 3-6 months (if not longer) for professional help, when the person who has finally plucked up the courage to ask for it desperately needs it now. 

As Ruby Etc so beautiful drew in this image of the mental health support system, insanity is the fact that in this country you have to be the “correct amount of mad” to get help. If you’re not “mad enough”, there’s no support and if you’re “too mad” there’s nothing more they can do.  

Insanity is having to wait 3-6 months (if not longer) for professional help, when the person who has finally plucked up the courage to ask for it desperately needs it now.  

It is the fact that, according to the Mental Health Foundation, only 13% of people report living with high levels of mental health in the UK. That suicide is the leading cause of death for men under the age of 45, and that 61 million prescriptions for anti-depressants were written in the UK last year. 

It is also the fact that the country’s mental health is deteriorating rapidly and yet vital services are being pulled away from clients who have no where else to go, due to “lack of funding”. Insanity is that for every £1 the government contributes towards Cancer Research (and which the public add another £2.75), only a third of a penny (yes, less than 1p) goes on mental health.

Charities are being forced to become businesses to ensure they can continue to help the very people they were established to support. They can’t rely on funding from government or local authorities anymore. As well as providing an essential service, they have to find money through incessant fundraising, apply for grants via lengthy bidding processes, attend “reassurance” meetings which measure “outcomes”, and then fight for it all again months later.  They even have to battle against each other for votes in competitions for tiny sums of money so they can keep helping. 

It’s exhausting. 

And more than anything else, it’s not working.

Service users are being lost in these processes.  

Whilst many charities aim to keep their clients at the heart of what they do, they are becoming bogged down in bureaucratic processes which take the focus away from the very reason they were established in the first place.  And the irony is, if these charities didn’t exist – in many cases with professionally trained volunteers providing core services by giving their time for free – the cost to the government to deliver these services with paid staff, would be astronomical and overwhelming. Where would they get the money from then?

The focus needs to change. 

There needs to be a shift in how services are funded – and measured – at both a national and local level.   Mental Health is not a start point and an end point – it is a continuum, a complex nature of movement with a myriad of changes based on any number of factors in any given day, month or year. 

And society’s view of mental health needs to change.  Charities like Mind, Rethink, the Mental Health Foundation, Heads Together, Time to Change, Calm Zone, Samaritans, Young Minds, Combat Stress, Cruse Bereavement Care and many more are working tirelessly to do just that. 

Can you help?  Here are some ideas:

1) Offering your time as a volunteer is a great way to raise awareness. I also encourage clients I’ve worked with to use their experiences to become a champion for Mental Health and keep the conversations going with friends and family. It’s ok to say. 

2) Raising awareness locally by holding an open day, coffee morning or event in aid of your chosen charity will ensure services can continue.  

3) And making sure, whichever way you vote, that the manifesto includes education and support for positive mental health. 

Thank you for reading. 

The views expressed are my own and not necessarily those of organisations I have worked with. 

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. 

For regular positive mojo straight to your inbox click here or follow me on Facebook

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 http://internationalwomensday.com 

For information about Pregnancy Mental Health visit http://pregnancymentalhealth.net

If you or someone you know is affected by Domestic Abuse visit http://Refuge.org.uk

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.

Offering insight, inspiration and intention for the week ahead, click here to find out more

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.

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