What Love Told Me book



PAMPER PARTY at your home !

WRONG TRAIN (from October 30, 2014)

I recently made a commitment to myself to take every opportunity to celebrate my glorious femininity and vulnerability. To honour the divine goddess within me and to embrace any situations where I can surrender to her, whilst remaining authentic and true to my heart.

The paradox is that when these situations present themselves, I feel out of control, afraid, shut down and full of self-doubt - the total opposite of what I want to experience ! Completely in my Masculine. My heart closes, I withdraw and I want to run (or actually hop onto any form of transport and travel) as far away as possible.

I embrace old behaviour - Punishing, blaming, judging, questioning and avoiding intimacy of any kind. I feel so lost, so disconnected from others and a huge disappointment looms as I experience this separation from my true self AGAIN. So much weighted on the word ‘AGAIN’... I may as well say it whilst tutting, rolling my eyes or turning away in disgust.

I know this version of myself. I thought I'd left her behind. 

And the trigger this time ? Getting on the wrong train. AGAIN. (Cue more eye-rolling!)

I’d been waiting patiently at the station for a while - I even let a few trains going to destinations I had been to before, pass by without considering getting on. A few of those super-duper fast trains, the state-of-the-art pendolinos which used to impress me so much also waited for me to get on - "No thank you - I’ll wait. My train is coming."

And sure enough there it was.  A train arrived - on MY platform! I could’ve jumped for joy at the sight of it. I knew it was my train. It HAD to be ! I’d been waiting for so long. No point in double checking with the driver. No need to check the destination on the front - Just get on !! Don’t hang about ! Full steam ahead! I literally scrambled up the steps and settled into my perfect seat with a giddy sense of anticipation. I even texted a few friends to tell them I was on my way and setting off soon. I thought about the coffee and chocolate muffin I was going to buy in the buffet car. I was so delighted to be finally on my way. But the train didn’t move. 

The tannoy announced the departure was slightly delayed and more information would follow. I tried to get myself comfy, ignoring the slight nervousness in my belly. Of course we would be leaving in a bit. Hours pass. No further announcements. I continually check my watch. I presume all possible scenarios in my head - Accident ahead? Sunday train-track works ? Faulty electrical cables overhead ? Leaves on the track?

My head feels heavy imagining all the possible scenarios. I suddenly feel very cramped in my own compartment. Trapped in here with the never-ending tunnels of my own thoughts, I find myself unable to breathe or concentrate. I call a friend for reassurance but I hear a slightly hysterical tone to my voice when I say "It’s ok - I’m sure it will be leaving in a minute. It’s definitely the right train. Don’t worry - I’ll be on my way soon, I’m sure"

Then the announcement. "We are sorry to announce that this train will not be leaving the station today. Please disembark the train and continue your journey using other forms of transport. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused"

I am utterly bewildered! I get off in a rage. "This is outrageous", I scream; "It was definitely my train and it was definitely leaving today". My blood is boiling now. I’d been waiting so patiently for hours. "This service is appalling". I walk down the platform. The disappointment and embarrassment kicks in as I realise there is no driver. There was probably NEVER a driver in the first place. I berate myself loudly "You fool ! Before you started your daydreaming about the beautiful journey ahead, you could’ve at least checked there was an actual train driver!".  I burst into tears. 

People are staring now. But then I hear someone calling my name. The Feminine. The Goddess. The Vulnerable Heart. She's here to rescue me ! And despite all my hysterics, she is secretly proud of the fact that I even GOT on the train in the first place. Ok I DID get a bit ahead of myself, presuming it was the right train and yes, next time I shall definitely check before I even get onboard. But the fact is, she knows that it’s been a while since I even considered there would EVER be a train arriving at my station. She thought the station was closed for repairs! She smiles at the thought that I would even consider getting on a train again after the last time...

She grabs my hand and bundles me off the platform into a waiting cab. "My darling girl", she says, "Dry your tears. You set the wheels in motion today. You are back on track. You tried to get to your destination but it didn’t work out. It’s ok. Tomorrow we will check the new train timetables and I will drive you to different station where I’m sure your train will be waiting, with a real driver..."


WHAT’S (self-)LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT ? (From October 23, 2014)

The most commonly played tune in ‘Spiritual Land’ is:

1. ‘’ You have to LOVE YOURSELF before you can love someone else’’.
The phrase we (and our Spiritual DJs) LOVE playing the most. SELF LOVE on a loop. It’s talked about like it’s The Newly Awaited Album: something we’re all longing to hear. It’s at the top of the ‘Peace and Enlightenment’ Playlist. The song we can’t get out of our heads (‘’LA, LA, LA’’). But I’m here to tell you -I aint buying it !

Ok that’s a lie - I myself have bought several copies already -on cd, vinyl AND cassette. It used to be my favourite tune ever - But I’ve gone off it. Played it far too many times, much to the distress of the neighbours and now I’m thinking it’s time for a new song to kick it off the Top of The Charts.

I only realised I’m sick of hearing it in the last few days. Prior to that, I know I have talked about its significance at LEAST 3 times this week alone. On discovering that at least two of my bestest, most beautiful, warm and loving friends were being bullied...(by themselves)...I heard myself singing this all-time favourite answer-to-everything ‘’You have to learn to love yourself’’ back to them. Spiritual Karaoke.

It was only afterwards I realised the pressure and judgement caused by not yet having found Self Love, when everyone else is raving constantly about it. You don’t even know the tune. You feel like the last one to get your hands on a copy. You don’t even know which shops stock it.

So now, in addition to the usual aggressive, mean and abusive rapping from our Inner-Bully, we are also judging ourselves for FAILING at loving ourselves too.

‘’Add that to your list, yo mo-fo biatch’’.

Listening to my wonderful friends, tearing themselves to pieces whilst reciting their own personal lyrics was pretty shocking and hard to hear, but also so familiar: ‘I’m a fuck-up’, ’I’m fat’, ‘Surely I should’ve learnt my lesson by now ?’, ‘ Why have I not got gorgeous kids/loving husband/amazing job/fancy house like everyone else has?’, ‘What is wrong with me ?’, ‘I should be DOING something to get myself out of this rut’ and my personal favourite ‘I’m 40 - I should’ve got my shit sorted by now’...

Looking back at these conversations, I feel myself wince as I realised that in the midst of their tears, balls of snot and gorgeous vulnerability, the only thing I offered up was that Spiritual gem ‘’Love Thyself’’ ! Whose presence actually only encourages shouty, sneering, mocking Bully Voice’s hate tirade...


(Sing-a-long if you know the words )


Harsh and certainly music to the ears. It’s just activates even more Judgement/Comparison/ Shame/Fear/Constant Doubt and of course The Questions - so many fucking questions. ‘’WHEN WILL I BE FAMOUS?’ When is it my turn ?

Bully Voice will always win the competition against the underdog, Self Love: He’s smart, devious and sneaky. He’s had vocal training and singing lessons. He comes with a brass band and top of the range surround-sound speakers. He’s in Simon Cowell’s group. He’s in it to win it!

So we end up listening to him. Voting for him. Requesting his song from the DJ even though we hate his music. Probably because sometimes it’s just easier to just put up with him. Agree with him. Dance with him because we like the attention. And cos we know the moves: ‘BETTER THE DEVIL YOU KNOW ‘

So the question becomes: how do you turn the volume down when the Bully Voice starts playing?

Predictable answers will usually include clever variations of our classic Self Love theme: When you love yourself. When you trust yourself. When you can be compassionate with all parts of yourself. When you can love yourself unconditionally. But how ? There’s no songsheet written on how to play that one.

And let’s be honest; it isn’t working. We’re tired of hearing it. It never seems fully achievable anyway- In the words of one friend during the peak of her despair: ‘I’m reading all the books, I’m doing the courses, I’m chanting, I’m doing affirmations, I’m writing my gratitude book but I’m exhausted. What else can I possibly DO ?’

Even on the ‘good’ days when The Voice is softer, it’s still there; agreeing you played a great set but quietly reminding you that you missed the high note or you forgot one tiny word. We kind of set ourselves up for a fall - Why would you start learning to play piano if someone told you every morning you would have forgotten everything you’d learnt so far and have to start from scratch again ?

So I have a new suggestion. Which brings me to the, (often ignored) other spiritual chart-topper:

2. ‘’We are all mirrors for each other’’

Um, since our Number One clearly has been played to death - Maybe we could have a listen to this one instead ?

....and I don’t mean playing the more well known version: i.e. ‘’When that man really irritated/angered/ annoyed/upset me it’s because there’s something in ME that I am irritated/angered/annoyed/ upset by’’ . That people mirror our own flaws. Bring our wounds to the surface. Looking at what is being triggered for you by someone else’s mirror. I don’t know about you but that’s too Old Skool for me - I’m done with learning through pain - ’’MAN IN THE MIRROR’’ is SO 1988’...

No, I mean a more positive version of ‘’We are all mirrors for each other’’ - By mirroring the ones who worship the ground you walk on. The ones who consider you to be in their Top 10. The ones playing Air Guitar behind you. The ones who love it when you do The Sprinkler (Google it). The ones who, if they heard your Bully Voice, would challenge him to a Run DMC style dance-off and fight to the death!

Cos those people can’t stand his music! They know he needs to write some new material. They know he’s a fake. The Milli-Vanilli of your thoughts. They are sick of him trying to sabotage your stardom. If it were their choice they would tell him to find a new Record Label. They wouldn’t renew his contract. They would put all his cd’s in the Bargain Bucket and write him off as a One-Hit-Wonder. If they could. Cos they love you. They believe in you. They see the stars in your eyes.

They’re the ones there with us belting out a karaoke classic ‘’I WANNA KNOW WHAT LOVE IS’’..
Oh yes - you can pretend you’re cooler than that, but guaranteed when the microphone gets passed to you - you’ll also be singing your little heart out during the: ‘’AND I WANT YOU TO SHOW ME...’’ bit.

Which brings me to my point: which is the line:''I want YOU to show ME ! '' Erm ok then. Bring it on ! Yes, exactly -I’m saying the thing you aren’t meant to say? That Self Love is too much hard work on your own and you DO need other people to help show you what LOVE is!!! ‘’WHOOMP THERE IT IS’’

Shouty Bully Voice (and probably a lot of the execs at Spiritual Land) won’t like this new mix. He will accuse me of being too needy. Lazy even. That I’m relying on others when I should be looking within. You SHOULD be doing The Work alone - ‘’LISTEN TO YOUR HEART’’ Blah blah. Heard it all before. Got a warehouse of Roxette t-shirts.

But I don’t care. So let’s try this, hey? I reckon we could actually choose the mirrors which show us the most love and look in those. Surround ourselves with mirrors belonging to those people who are positive, loving forces in our lives. The Love Cats. The ones who are so happy that you are exactly who/what and where you are ALREADY ! Learn to mirror for ourselves how THEY see us. Copy their dance moves. Start actually listening to THEM when they’re crooning Whitney at us.


So next time Bully Voice is on full blast why don’t we ask them to help us turn it down a bit? Ask THEM to hold the mirror FOR us so we can practice some new moves when we feel a bit lost. Ask to be shown THEIR love when our OWN Love is on mute, we can't find the volume controls and that Lyrical Gangsta is stood on his chair shouting from the top of his lungs. There’s no way you can ‘Listen to yourself’ when you can’t hear a bloody thing above all that racket! 
(‘’It aint music - it’s noise!!’’)

So yes let’s listen to them instead - Our TRIBE. Our personal cheerleaders. Our orchestra of angels playing (Robin S) in our hearts:

‘’If you’re looking for devotion, talk to me 
Come with your heart in your hands 
Because my love is guaranteed’’

So give yourself a break from trying to learn how to love yourself. Put down the meditations, the books, the courses and just try one thing - Positive mirroring. Instead of looking in our own mirrors, let’s have a look in the mirrors of our best friends and see all that gorgeous unconditional love and acceptance shining back out to us.

Since our new soundtrack is telling us we ARE all mirrors for each other - Let’s trust their voices instead and sing what they’re singing about us. Surely by seeing their love, our own love will be reflected back to us in abundance. And what we'll finally realise is the SELF LOVE, we thought was so unachievable was ‘ALWAYS THERE'... just like song says:

...‘ALWAYS THERE' (To please you), ALWAYS THERE (When I need you), ALWAYS THERE (To love you), ALWAYS THERE (Thinkin' of you)’’

Repeat to fade...


Dear Amsterdam ( from August 28, 2014) 

I don't know how to tell you this; but for the last 6 months I have been having an affair - Admittedly it was only in my head, but I guess emotional cheating is often worse. And not just once. Many, many times.

I think about HIM attentively filling up my water glass (without me asking) at dinner in Maui after having introduced himself with ''Hi I'm Junior, I'm your waiter today'' - I remember he actually smiled as he said those words. I obsess about HER in the cinema in LA who told me she was going to stay a moment to check the quality of the sound of my film, and the others, who watched the movie in complete silence and clapped to show their appreciation afterwards. I think about HER in Sydney when she invited me in for dinner off the street when I was having a bad day doing door-to-door sales - imagine that? A complete stranger. I think about HIM, just opening his shop at 6am, who despite not being able to speak a word of English managed to explain I was in the wrong end of town and drove me on the back of his scooter for 20 minutes through Bangkok to the right part. And then there's the two-timing with Canada - I can't begin to tell you how much daydreaming goes on with him. You get the picture.

I can understand this all comes as a shock to you. You probably had no clue since I still seem to light up when I'm cycling over your bridges and eating your cheese or gushing to strangers about how you are all about equality and opportunity and endless possibilities. All the things that made me fall in love with you.

But still, I betrayed you. It came as a shock to me too. I can't even remember when I fell out of love with you - I guess it was gradual. It happened in Albert Heijn when you were throwing my goods down the conveyor belt at me. Once, it was as you impatiently shouted ''hello? green?'' when I was a moment too slow cycling away at the traffic lights and you definitely lost me when the poor Spanish man tried to order number 21 on the menu and you barked at him to tell you EXACTLY what number 21 was, because you didn't know the entire menu off the top of your head. Oh how I hated you in that moment.

It's a shame, because I thought our love would last forever.

I can hear you begging me to stay; that we have work to do together, that I can't throw in the towel yet, that I can't quit right before the miracle happens. And I know you're right. We've come so far together. You've taught me so much about life, about the masculine, the feminine, the vulnerability, the loneliness, the joy, the pain, the love - you showed me all my darkness, my demons, my wounds and I am so grateful. You know that.

I guess we just lost each other somewhere along the road. Grew apart. Maybe, like they say it’s the 7-year itch (and it IS 7 years next month, actually). Maybe the grass IS greener on the other side but we should at least try to make this work.

So Amsterdam, shall we start again? Renew our love? Is it possible to learn to love each other despite all our glorious differences, imperfections and foibles?

But for that to happen, Amsterdam, I need you to let me shine my light in my own way and not judge me or shame me or make me small for it. I am always going to dance like a lunatic, I am always going to laugh really loud, I will always be comfortable crying in the cinema or at music concerts, I am always going to smile at you when I'm running, I'm always going to be enthusiastic and use words like ‘’Amazing’’ and ‘’Gorgeous’’ and ‘’Brilliant’’, I will secretly enjoy embarrassing you in public and I will wear pink dresses as often as possible (preferably with matching flowers in my hair).

Maybe I do those things because I just want you to SEE me, to HEAR me. Attention seeking, begging you to open YOUR heart - since mine is wide open, just waiting for you to invite me in. To show me your true self - your beauty, your feminine, your openness, your emotion, your soul.

If you can accept me for who I am and I can accept you for who you are, then maybe we have a chance. I can’t say I won’t ever think of The Others from time to time but I won’t compare you anymore. I won’t judge you or try to change or fix or ‘heal’ you, to mold you into something which is more comfortable for me to deal with. From my heart - I’m sorry, please forgive me. Thank you - I love you.

Let’s agree then, that you just be yourself and now I know who my ‘self’ is -well I’ll be that. And maybe, just maybe we can fall in love again. I hope so, Darling Amsterdam - you were my first love after all.


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