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Thrive – Arianna Huffington – an inspiration

Last Monday morning at Grace Belgravia, there was an excited buzzing as 40 people were keenly waiting to listen to the awesome Arianna Huffinton talk about her new book – “THRIVE – the third metric to redefining success and creating a life of well-being, wisdom and wonder”.

Arianna Huffington is the chair, president, and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, a nationally syndicated columnist, and author of fourteen books. In May 2005, she launched The Huffington Post, a news and blog site that quickly became one of the most widely-read, linked to, and frequently-cited media brands on the Internet. In 2012, the site won a Pulitzer Prize for national reporting.

After a health scare 7 years ago brought on by overwork, Arianna reviewed what is important to her, and the result is this book packed with anecdotal evidence as well as scientific theories that back up her advice – slow down, take stock, look after yourself – money and power are not the only ways to measure success and are also not achievable through burn-out. She talks about well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving. A more soulful way of living. A way of life where we all connect more with what is going on around us as well as looking after ourselves so that we appreciate everything we strive for…..and perhaps understand why we strive for it.

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Arianna has been named on Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people and the Forbes Most Powerful Women list. Originally from Greece, she moved to England when she was 16 and graduated from Cambridge University with an M.A. in economics. At 21, she became president of the famed debating society, the Cambridge Union.

This highly impressive list of credentials makes you sit up and listen, SO, in the spirit of THRIVE, this post is about things that I have come across on normal days that are just so damn cool that they have made me want to stop and take a moment and take it all in…

STREET ART  – from the famous and sought after to the unknown highly talented

the alley entrance

the alley entrance

Stick Man has been busy at South Bank. In East Dulwich a street artist has found some choice spots for his or her work. I love these works – I wonder if the last one could be a self portrait? There is something so compelling about a building that has art like this on it’s walls…as if tattoo’d, the building takes on a personality.

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I started the day yesterday running around the park whilst my daughter was on her bike – we went out early and it started to rain, It was lovely, warm, torrential summer rain and we were out in it getting soaked. It was exhilarating and so much fun – good for my fitness too, running to keep up with a kid who is slightly out of control on a bike is very testing! Coming back, skin tingling and well exercised, we were both energised for the day ahead.

By lunchtime, the skies had cleared and the sun broke through and as I wandered down to local shops, this is what I saw, right at the bottom of my road – a wedding. The bride looked gorgeous in a lace gown and the ushers and bridesmaids all bright eyed and bushy tailed. All the guests were spilling out of the church with the bells clanging away ….Abbeville Road was alive with the happy energy of the wedding party and the buzzing excitement of punters at the local restaurants and cafes. You couldn’t help but notice other people’s happiness.

…..and in light of this week’s D-Day celebrations, I thought the union jack mini across the road was a poignant wrapper for the sentiment.

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A few minutes later I was looking for a liqueur for a dinner party in a gorgeous local wine shop, where everything is beautifully sourced and the experts on hand know a great deal about their subject. It’s one of those shops where you can feel how much they care about what they are selling – this business was set up because they are passionate about their wares, the profit making is a bonus. It’s a destination shop purely for that reason in my view and then….I came across this… Could my day get any better?

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I spend a lot of time working with colours and textures designing environments for my clients that give them their own feel good vibes. Sometimes, the creative juices need a little helping hand to start flowing especially if I am running several projects with hugely different briefs. I have to get out and quiet my mind of all the other noise.

This is where I run, if I get out there early enough I get most of it to myself – incredibly peaceful, spacious and good to inspire some creative thoughts. I even have a special tree where I cool off after I have finished running. Running around a park and switching off my head works every single time.

I am in no way a tree hugger, BUT, I do appreciate the beauty of nature – especially in our dense glass and concrete surroundings in the city. I absolutely love yoga, I often wonder about doing some under that favourite tree of mine but my city sensibilities won’t let me – probably a good thing.

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LOOK UP…sometimes the best sights are right above us

….and it can remind me of how insignificant most “problems” actually are, and if there is something seriously wrong going on, it helps to get some perspective so that I feel equipped to deal with it. Having a can-do attitude is all about perspective.

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This incredible ceiling is at the Berns Hotel in Stockholm – it was far too interesting to ignore…2014-05-30 23.10.34

Of course it is not always possible whilst we are hurtling around our lives to take a moment to pause, but I believe that what Arianna says in her book is absolutely spot on. How can we make important decisions or take critical actions if we are exhausted and burnt out whilst striving to amass “fortunes” and constantly on a multi-tasking treadmill.

Living in a bland, beige, “sense”-less world will drain you of all positive energy – it adds absolutely no value. At all. I love what Arianna says in her book – how do you thrive and find your virtual mango tree right where you are today (without having to jet across the world)?

This blog resonates with her book – there are places and spaces in London where you can THRIVE and I am such a fan of what she writes, that I have added a “Thriving in London” category here.

In my humble opinion, this lady knows what she is talking about, I highly recommend her book.

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