Have Some Respect!

view from my out-of-office desk
I’ve been working at one of my “out-of-office” desks this morning, with a lovely view of the river Thames. It’s cold outside, but nice and snug in my cafe of choice.

As I enjoyed my lunch – a warming saucepan of soup (I kid you not!) and fresh French bread – two women came into the cafe through the fire door just in front of me. And left the door wide open.

“Excuse me,” I piped up. “Do you think you could close the door, please?” I gave them my friendliest smile – and it worked. One of them actually went back to close the door.

“Result!” I thought. All was well in the world.

A few moments later, the two women left again, through the same door. I could hear myself thinking “you’d better close the door this time!”

Did they, do you think? Did they heck! ;-)

I inadvertently made eye contact with another woman, sitting at a table to the side of me. Our shared look said it all. She was quicker than me – she got up and closed the door, making sure it wouldn’t open again!

Now, this might make me sound miserable – after all, if I’m all about Taking Life As It Comes, then surely something like this shouldn’t bother me.

But there is a serious point to be made here.

People talk a lot, nowadays, about respect having to be earned – in particular when talking about how teenagers and young adults interact with the older generations.

However, common courtesy is about showing respect to other people, whatever their age, without them necessarily having to earn it. Simply making the assumption that people deserve respect and treating them accordingly.

If you don’t respect others – including total strangers – then you don’t respect yourself.

I’ll say that again!

If you don’t respect others, you don’t respect yourself.

By showing disrespect to others, you are, in effect, trying to show them that you’re better than they are – and that, therefore, they don’t deserve your respect.

But when you feel good about yourself, you don’t need to prove that you’re better than anyone else. Because you know nobody is better or worse than anyone else. We all have our place in the world, and we are all doing the best we can do with the resources we have.

So although I was annoyed with those two women for a while, I know that, had I been in their place, I would have treated them with respect – whether or not they believe they truly deserve it.

Posted in Success Mindset, Taking Life As It Comes | Leave a comment

Understanding Introverts

I love this infographic! It explains really well what it’s like being an introvert, and the misunderstandings that sometimes happen when we’re quiet or don’t want to join in. It’s not that introverts don’t like people (we do!) – it’s just that, if we decide to interact with people, there is a price to pay, so we have to make sure that it’s worth the effort.

And for introverts in business, like me, it can be even more tricky as you face the challenge of making contact with potential clients, when you’d much rather stay home and read a good book!! ;-)

Dr Carmella's Guide To Understanding The Introverted

Posted in Being An Introvert | Leave a comment

You Raise Me Up – Sing To Beat Breast Cancer

In August 2013, I joined the Sing To Beat Breast Cancer choir – and recorded the single “You Raise Me Up” with classical singers Camilla Kerslake and Blake, to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Campaign charity.

The story behind the recording…

In 2011 Camilla Kerslake put her classical singing career on hold, when her mother – my friend Deborah Kerslake – was diagnosed with breast cancer.

In August 2013, Deborah told me that Camilla and classical boy band Blake were recording a single on behalf of the Breast Cancer Campaign charity – and that Camilla wanted to form a choir to sing the song with them.

“Would you like to be in the choir?” Deborah asked.

“Silly question!! Of course,” I replied.

“Good. Do you know anyone else who’s had breast cancer and can sing – and who can come to an audition next week?”

Thanks to the help of another friend, Gosia Gorna – a life coach at the Breast Cancer Haven, in Fulham, London – we were able to get in contact with several ladies who could indeed sing, and who were excited to be involved. Together with a handful of women who had found out about the choir through Camilla’s website, we all descended on Price Studios in Battersea, London, one sunny day in August.

The Sing To Beat Breast Cancer choir was born!

Many of the women in the choir have never performed – or even sung – before. A few, including myself, have sung on stage – but certainly not at this level. Since recording the single, it’s been a whirlwind of performances, photo shoots and pink carpet rides!

So far, in September and October 2013, the Sing To Beat Breast Cancer choir has performed

  • at the opening night of Blake’s 2013 UK tour, at the London Hippodrome
  • at a Macmillan coffee morning at the Grosvenor House Apartments on Park Lane, London
  • at the Inspiration Awards for Women at Cadogan Hall in Chelsea, London
  • at the Pink Ribbon Ball – the Breast Cancer Campaign charity’s flagship event in the Dorchester Hotel ballroom, Park Lane, London

And there’s still more to come!

Every single choir member feels so honoured and privileged to be involved in this project, helping to raise funds for breast cancer research and showing solidarity with anyone who is living with breast cancer. And we’re loving every minute of it!

Who would have guessed that having breast cancer and being able to sing would lead to such an extraordinary experience!

Please watch the video below – and if you feel moved, please buy the single from iTunes or Amazon, and help us to beat Breast Cancer.


Find out more about the choir on the Sing To Beat Breast Cancer choir website.

Posted in Challenges, Inspiration, Music, Taking Life As It Comes | 1 Comment

The Space We Need – Brenda Knowles video

There are lots of articles on the interweb, explaining introversion – but in this beautiful video by Nic Askew, Brenda Knowles poignantly describes the experience of being an introvert and needing space.

As an introvert entrepreneur, I have found that allowing enough alone time in between moments of social interaction is crucial to business success.

THE SPACE WE NEED from Nic Askew (Soul Biographies) on Vimeo.

Posted in Being An Introvert | 2 Comments

Instameet #1

Instameet - Barbican, London - copyright Julia Barnickle

I recently went along to my first ever Instameet. I had never heard of Instameets before, but apparently they’re all the rage on Instagram – which I’m not currently a member of, as I don’t have an iPhone… This video explains what an Instameet is all about.

Instameet, London - copyright Julia Barnickle

As the link with Instagram might suggest, an Instameet is an opportunity for photographers to get together and take photographs. It’s a bit like a flashmob for introverts – a group of people gathers in one place, blends in to the background, then one by one, they suddenly start taking photographs! ;-)

Instameet - Barbican, London - copyright Julia Barnickle

I found out about the Instameet on Susannah Conway‘s blog – I did one of her programmes earlier in the year – so although I’m not big on getting together with a group of total strangers, I felt comforted that there would at least be one person there that I’d know!

Instameet, Smithfield Market, London - copyright Julia Barnickle

This particular Instameet was organised by Xanthe Berkeley. We all met up outside Moorgate station, and headed off in the direction of the Barbican, following the “yellow line”, then through Smithfield Market, and on to Clerkenwell Road, where we stopped for refreshments before going our separate ways.

Instameet - Barbican, London - copyright Julia Barnickle

I really enjoyed myself, actually – it’s a great form of networking for introverts, because you have a common purpose – to walk a particular route and take photos – and you get to meet some lovely people.

Instameet, London - copyright Julia Barnickle

Posted in Being An Introvert, Photography | 2 Comments