Updated: Aug 1, 2019

I have just published my first children's book (so proud!) about 1 year after the idea of making children's books came to me, and about 10 months after I started giving it my proper time.

So where did all of this come from? And how did I do it?

It all started in April 2018. My Dad had died a year earlier and I wasn't coping well. I was miserable, lethargic, often ill, completely uninspired, indecisive and unmotivated. I was also realising for the first time how precious life is, and I felt I wasn't making the most of mine. I knew deep down that I could learn to be ok with his death and start living my life again, but I needed some help. So I booked myself in for a transformational workshop with Tierra Mitica, an incredible group of people I had met before in Peru, and got on a plane to California for 2 weeks that changed my life.

To cut a long story short, at the workshop I learned that I can be happy in the knowledge that I was lucky that I ever had a Dad, let alone an awesome one who loved me as much as he did. Choosing to substitute my misery with gratitude makes so much sense. And it allows me to be happy and appreciate what I have.

I also learned that I could do whatever I truly put my mind to. But I lacked the inspiration of what that should be. Someone asked me what I liked to do as a kid? And I told him how I used to love making little scrap books and project books and had notepads with pop-out sections about different family trips we went on. I loved drawing and writing and making silly things with paper (including strange but wonderful letters to my friend Caroline - see pic). So he suggested: "Why don't you make children's books?"

And the idea stuck like glue. A light flicked on inside me. Finally, a dream that inspired me and sounded super fun. And I knew I would be good at it. And even though I had absolutely no idea how I was going to do this, I knew that I wanted to make it happen. And would make it happen, no matter what.

Intention is what WILL happen, no matter what

I also decided to believe that I could do it. In dedication to my inner Little Tessa, I decided to make our dreams come true. I would stick with this idea and make it happen. I would do whatever it takes to give us the exciting life we'd always dreamed of having.

The Girl Who Walked to the Moon - inspired by Little Tessa

And that was it really.

I've just stuck at it and given it my all: working hard on improving my artwork, going on courses, writing then re-writing and re-writing stories again and again (Squirrel and the Three Bears went through 3 edits of words AND artwork).

Don't get me wrong, it's been hard work, both on paper and inside my head. For most of September and October last year I constantly fought the voices in my head that told me my work wasn't good enough. But, with the help of making the books, I've been re-programming my belief system with new beliefs that tell me there is nothing I cannot do, and that I trust myself that I am capable to do whatever I choose. And it's paying off. Now I tell myself that there is nothing I cannot do, and I must just give myself time to do it. And I am also learning to ask for help when I need it....which is why I wrote Squirrel and the Three Bears (but that's another story for another time).

So it's these three magic ingredients which helped Squirrel and the Three Bears become a finished, printed, beautiful, real-life book:

1. Sticking with the intention that I would make children's book NO MATTER WHAT;

2. Believing in myself and trusting my abilities and ability to learn; and

3. Learning to love my Little Tessa, so I want to make all her dreams come true.


Updated: May 7, 2020

It's all well and good wanting to be happy, but how are we supposed to be happy if we don't even know what it is?

Luckily for you lovely folks, the Happy Book Company has a fail-safe, all encompassing, simple and beautiful defintition of happiness waiting for you, right here in this article! Read on.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines happiness as:

1 the state of feeling or showing pleasure

2 the state of being satisfied that something is good or right

I'm not sure about this though, shouldn't we be able to be happy all the time?

There are often things that are not "good" or "right" in our lives, but surely we should still be able to be happy? And what if we're not feeling pleasure, but instead are feeling pain, shouldn't we be able to be happy then too?

Also, I've often found that I can be pleased or satisfied, and still not be truly happy. I remember climbing up the most beautiful 5000m mountain in Peru, getting close to the top, looking at the view feeling very pleased and satisfied...but I wasn't quite truly happy. What was missing?

Working on the assumption that happiness is the most important thing for our children (if your priority for them is to become an investment banker you've definitely come to the wrong place), it's about time we had a definition of what true happiness is. One that applies in all situations. One that means we can be truly happy every single day.

Well you're in luck, I have a gift for you...the definition of happiness!

To help you realise what happiness is, I want you to think of a time that you were truly happy. Think of a moment or a period in your life when you felt happiness. Let youself drift back and really feel what it was like.

Would you have changed anything? Would you add anything? Or take anything away?

Or was everything exactly, and deliciously, as it should be?

This, is what happiness is.

The feeling that EVERYTHING is exactly as it should be.

The more we can help our children (and ourselves) to realise how things are exactly as they should be, the more happy they will become.

But what if something is not as it should be?

Well, you have two options. Option number 1: do everything in your power to change whatever is not as it should be. Your child has fallen out with their friend...help them to make ammends. Your child is sad because your dog died...get another dog!

And if it is not within your power to change then...Option number 2: learn to accept things as they are. Your child is upset the dog died...teach them about death being an important and beautiful part of life. Your child is sad they're not as good at sports as other children...show them all the other wonderful things they are great at.

With these two simple rules, we can always choose to be happy, simple.

So I dare you, today, and every single day from now, to choose happiness. Choose to feel that everything is exactly, deliciously as it should be.

Next time: But what about all the awful things in the world? How can I help my children to be happy about that?

Happy news blog