I have a large number of self–help books or personal development books as they are now more usually know. I congratulate myself on buying a particular book if I get one or more life-enhancing nuggets from it. I have read some of the books from cover to cover and others I have dipped in and out of. Sometimes my recall of what is in a given book is shaky so I was pleased to have an opportunity to listen to a talk given by Jane Stephenson of Jane Stephenson Associates called ‘Gurus in a Nutshell’.
Jane a fellow member of Toastmasters (public speaking club) is a competition-winning speaker with a mellifluous voice. Speaking is also her business; her company specializes in bringing international spiritual speakers to Ireland. So when she talks about inspirational speakers and best-selling authors such as Deepak Chopra, Eckhart Tolle, Wayne Dyer and Jon Kabat-Zinn she is talking about people she has chatted to over dinner and who she has got to know on a personal level.
Jane grew up in Ireland. When she left she lived for a time in California where she was very taken with the anything-is-possible-yes-we-can attitude. Life then took her to London and following a divorce back to Ireland with her two small children. Looking for a family friendly way to make ends meet she set up her business which originally organized seminars for women in business with speakers such as Anita Roddick and Moya Doherty. She says ‘you have to follow your heart’ and as she was increasingly drawn to the world of personal development she started to bring some of its luminaries to Ireland.
Jane’s talk was an overview of the works of some of the best of the global gurus. I suspect that everyone who listened to her speech will have taken away something different from it. Jane highlighted that a common tread that runs through most of the gurus’ work is a belief in the power of meditation and mindfulness. The talk inspired me to try to incorporate meditation into my daily life. I will just aim for a do-able five minutes a day – simply concentrating on and counting my breaths in and out during those minutes.
Jane’s own tips for living life well include.
- Stay away from negativity and don’t engage with it.
- Forgive and forget.
- Be grateful.
- Get out of your comfort zone.
- Find your passion (what would you do for free?).
- Laughter is the best medicine.
- Don’t forget it’s never to late.
Jane originally gave this talk at the Mind Body and Spirit show at the RDS last October; I heard it at a semi-private event on Wednesday evening. She will be giving it again on the 18th April at the Stillorgan Park Hotel in Dublin (admission €15); full details are on her website http://www.seminars.ie
The weekend is here again; it’s a bank holiday weekend in Ireland.
HAPPY ST.PATRICK’S DAY