On Tuesday, I was going to London to be interviewed at a beautiful pop-up members’ club in Mayfair. I’d been invited to join my friend Rosamund Dean - a journalist - and talk SQ (spiritual intelligence) in front of an intimate audience.
After dropping my older two kids at school, I went home to pick up my bags and headed to the train station. But as I boarded the train, the coach and seat that were printed on my ticket didn’t seem to exist.
I glanced again at the ticket and briefly wondered why it had been so expensive (the event hosts kindly bought it for me). But then I thought: Oh well, I’ll just sit in the first spare seat I see - and I ended up next to a kind, quiet woman. She read; I wrote.
When she got off, though, a big man took her seat. He spread his legs and pushed his elbow well over the line between us. I felt crushed, and annoyed. But it was a busy train, so I just put up with it. I decided not to make a scene.
I arrived into London’s Paddington Station and noticed how calm it felt. The air was fresh and electric - and my body, mind and spirit instantly felt JOYOUS. Back in my ‘hometown’ but for one-nite-only. It was a lovely sensation; I was giddy.
From there, I walked under the brightest blue sky to Marble Arch. The grand West London buildings standing proud; sunlight bouncing off them. People were milling about but without it feeling crowded.
There was a sense that spring had arrived. Walking alongside Hyde Park, the green lawns stretching far into the distance, I took off my coat, folded away my cardigan and walked with just a long-sleeved cotton top on.
After shopping for a few bits that I’d forgotten (mostly bras, if you’re interested. I’m very particular: no padding or underwire, they are surprisingly hard to find), I met my sister, Lauren, for a coffee and chat.
I felt so free: in London, no children, conversation flowing and no one there to interrupt us. Perhaps the fact that I was in London for ‘work’ made me feel even freer. There wasn’t any guilt, as there might have been were it just for ‘fun’.
When we arrived at the venue in Mayfair, I was a little awestruck by its beauty. A wide, grand staircase spiralled up the centre of the building, there were gold trees and plush cream sofas - and soft thick carpet everywhere.
A menu was handed to us with champagne, cocktails and delicious food listed. All complimentary. We ordered two pear and elderflower mocktails and drank them in a chill-out space, talking more about life, love etc.
I momentarily thought: what am I doing here? Especially when I looked down and noticed a small purple stain on my trousers. Who am I to be reclining on a trendy cream armchair, mid-afternoon, at a members’ club in London? I felt like an impostor.
But then I met the lovely organisers, Rosamund arrived, we all had a fun chat and I settled into the event.
When everyone was seated, we took our places at the front and I felt buzzing. I loved being up there, talking to an engaged audience of women about spiritual practices and traditions. There were lots of questions, which is always a good sign.
In that moment, I felt like I was in exactly the right place. I was talking about a subject I know so well - having been practising SQ since childhood, just without the ‘name’ for it - with women who wanted to learn more about it.
When the talk was finished, I joined my sister and some friends and we had a delicious dinner and some drinks. All ‘on the house’. The conversation was open, vulnerable, funny, inspiring. I felt so lucky to be there.
I stayed the night at my sister’s house in Hackney and after a coffee with her and my nephews the following morning, I started the journey back to Somerset. There was a tube strike on but my trains happened to be okay.
I didn’t focus on how busy the trains were, I just focused on the fact that they were still running. I waited patiently and a few stops in, a seat became available. As I put my heavy bag on the floor and rested my legs, I felt lucky.
At Paddington Station, I drank coffee and wrote some poetry. I bought a novel from WHSmith’s and started reading it. It was instantly engaging and I became immersed in the story, until the platform was announced and I went to find my carriage.
This time, I could see it. But it was first class. This can’t be right, I thought. It must be the wrong train, or carriage or something weird has happened. And then I realised that it could be right. I found my seat and felt, again, so LUCKY.
I hadn’t realised that they had booked me a first class seat, and that’s why the train ticket had been so expensive. I hadn’t made use of it on the way but that didn’t matter; now, I was.
I spread out - without infringing on anyone else’s personal space - and enjoyed complimentary coffee, water and peanuts. I read, wrote and wandered around. And I thought: the luckier I get; the luckier I get.
What I mean by that is…
(Read on for the rest of this piece and a coaching exercise to attract more ‘luck’ into your life)