“So…, has it been successful then?” I was recently asked in a recent conversation. And not for the first time.

People that knew me when my children were small seem bemused by the way my life and career have turned out. This particular old friend had been running a large family business for decades. He seemed fascinated the last time I had seen him which was over twenty years ago. At that time I had just left my home, marriage and business in the late 1990s to begin again, living on my own.

I’d gone to university (isn’t that a bit late in your forties?) to take a degree in Comparative Religion (what on earth will you do with that?) and at the same time was training as an Angelic Healer (what do you mean ‘healing’?), Spiritual Facilitator (what does that mean?), and was in the middle of writing my first two books (what, all at the same time?).

Now, seeing him again after so long, I guess the question was inevitable.

My answer is often the same. If grand houses and cars, wealth and status are symbols of success then the answer would have to be a resounding ‘No’. But if I may measure success by the number of seeds of positive energy I have sown, lives I have helped to change, and the number of people who tell me either my workshops, free talks, retreats or books have helped them, and they feel better – or have changed their life around…. then yes. I have been successful. For I seem to remember reading somewhere that you measure success by how much good you do for others.

I’m intrigued by how success is viewed by a large group of society. It was flagged up for me again recently at the wedding of a close friend. Drawn to chat to one of the other couples who vaguely looked around my own age we were talking about career changes, and our hopes and aspirations for our children.

I have been blessed with many opportunities. For example I’ve loved watching my own children and their friends grow up and mature into the people they have become. Whether they are ‘successful’ in career terms doesn’t really interest me too much. Rather, I’m observing whether or not they are kind, considerate and compassionate souls. Now, I am privileged to be seeing six grandchildren taking form in the world too. They bring me a wealth of joy, and constantly raise my spirits with all their funny little ways.

Self development is a constant work in progress. I’m thinking that perhaps it isn’t about how successful other people are that counts for anything, but how many blessings we can count, and how much gratitude we feel. After all, by comparing ourselves to others do we not potentially open up a whole opportunity to become more than a little disillusioned?

Jealousy, envy and covetousness, when we desire what material wealth other people have, or the perceived lucky lives they lead, is like a worm that eats away at our happiness. Phew! Thank goodness that wasn’t part of my personal lesson in this lifetime! ( Although I do admit to having my share of karmic issues and other little worms still to grasp, process and deal with).

In the meantime there are so many things to be grateful for, ….. think I’ll go and sit and meditate on all my Grace-filled blessings right now!

Have a wonderful day!