Natalie & Iain

My Top 10 Secret Shifters

I read ‘The Secret‘ a few years ago after going through a difficult period of my life and needing some direction. Its not everyone’s cup of tea but it helped me look at the positive side of life and realise that to be truly happy you must let go of all your bad thoughts and ill feeling. After reading this book I felt like I had actually turned a corner. Instead of dwelling on the bad things I would think about all the amazing people in my life and the great things I had been fortunate to experience. I would think about my secret shifters.

Secret shifters are thoughts or memories that instantly take your mind to a happy place. This can be people, music, events, anything at all that makes you smile and brings you joy.

When you are feeling low about work, love, money or whatever might be troubling you, remember all the good things.The light relief that these moments can bring will change your life.

I stumbled across a notebook recently with a list of secret shifters I wrote a few years ago. Reading them brought back lots of happy memories. I have also added quite a few new ones since then as well. I could write hundreds and hundreds but here is my top 10.

In no particular order:

1. Singing with Kitchen Utensils
Oddly satisfying, especially after a few vodkas. We even set up a Facebook Page back in the day – The Ultimate Guide to Successful Kitchen Utensil Singing. It didn’t take off but it was amusing for us.

Utensil Singing
Utensil Singing

2. Christmas Dinner Laughter

Christmas Day would not be the same without my brother Daniel making faces whilst eating mashed potato and making me laugh so much tears stream down my face. In previous years when my dear Granny and Eugenie were with us (rest their souls) this would annoy them so much and trying to hide the laughter from them made it even more hilarious.

3. Molly (Black Labrador)
Molly was 10 years old in July and is still the best dog I have ever known. I remember the day we went to pick her like it was yesterday. All the dogs were running around and generally being crazy, except one, the runt who was hiding under the sofa. I knew instantly she was the one. Molly has brought me so much joy through the years.


4. Porth Ceiriad Beach, Abersoch
Filled with happy childhood memories. Abersoch and Porth Ceiriad in particular hold a very special place in my heart. Just thinking of all those lovely hot summer days (funny how in all the memories the weather is glorious) transports me to a wonderful place. Lying in the sand, playing French boules with rocks, swimming in the massive waves, catching Gobies with crab lines and staying on the beach until the very last bit of sun has gone down. Ah good times.

Porth Ceriad
Porth Ceriad, Abersoch
North Wales

5. Dolly Parton
Without a doubt she always brings a smile to my face. How could I be thinking about Dolly and misery at the same time – not possible. Meeting her recently was a dream come true and a moment I will absolutely never forget.

Natalie and Dolly Parton

6. Iain
Iain and I were friends for 9 years before we realised our feelings ran deep. I remember those weeks we got close so clearly. Singing Celine Dion together into our spatulas at every party. Suddenly feeling all nervous around him and not knowing what do to with those emotions. Well, 6 years on and we now have a daughter and we are getting married next year – going as strong as ever!

Natalie & Iain
Natalie & Iain

7. Elodie
The moment my daughter Elodie was born I felt an enormous flood of love and fear all mixed into one. Those feelings quite often rush back over me. She brings such joy and I love her so much (but I am also terrified about protecting her and making sure we are good parents but that is a whole other blog post). She brings a smile to my face every day (even when she is driving me round the bend).


8. The School Play
Back when I was 16, I took part in the school play ‘About Time’. It was written by our teachers and was frankly a bit bizarre but I have nothing but great memories of the whole process. Singing everyday and being a part of something exciting. I think my American accent left a lot to be desired however.

9. Friends and Family
There is nothing better than a good catch up with your closest people. Folk you see a lot of and folk you only see once in a while but it feels like you just saw them yesterday. I’m blessed to have great people whom I love and trust unconditionally. They know who they are.

10. The Day we Caught Seabass
We were on holiday visiting my brother in Devon and he took us fishing off the breakwater in Brixham. It was a beautiful morning and the feeling I got when I caught my first Seabass was amazing! I even caught a bigger one than Iain :-). We cooked them on the BBQ that evening with some garlic and fresh herbs – absolutely delicious!

Catching Seabass in Brixham
Catching Seabass in Brixham

So next time you are feeling angry, low or frustrated have a think about your favourite things. Its guaranteed to improve your mood and maybe bring a smile to your face.

What are your secret shifters?