Marcia Kilgore’s seven secrets of wellbeing
Fine wine, runny cheeses, roses and other plants, and some of our friends – they just go on getting better as the years pass. Not that Marcia Kilgore, now in her late forties, looks or acts a day older than when we first met her back in the day. A former personal trainer turned serial entrepreneur, Marcia launched Bliss, the spa and cosmetics group, in America in the mid Nineties, sold it in 2004 and started Soap & Glory. A year later, almost without a pause for breath, FitFlop footwear (tagline ‘Beauty, brains and biomechanics’) launched and was a sell-out (still is, go online here for the new season covetables).
And now Marcia, longish-married mother of two boys Louis, 12, and Raphael, nine, has a new baby called Soaper Duper, a capsule collection of super-environmentally friendly bath and body products, at beauty steal prices. (See our review here.) We love Soaper Duper - and a slice of her life-enhancing secrets goes down a treat too.
Remind yourself how lucky you are. Every single morning. Or hey, every single minute. It gets you focused on what’s going right rather than wrong. And there’s something about committing that gratitude to paper (handwritten thank you notes, anyone?) that cements all your good fortune into your head and can up your PQ (positivity quotient) for hours afterward!
Know your mind. Study your psychology. Understand your reflexes. Your brain can be your best friend or your worst enemy, and you need to recognize when you’re not really seeing an accurate story. My friend Niamh K – a killer life coach who I met at the school-run gates - taught me that the first thing you should do with a stressful thought is pause, and ask yourself: CAN YOU ABSOLUTELY 100% SAY THAT THIS THOUGHT IS TRUE? If the answer to that is no – which 999 times out of a thousand it is - then you ask yourself ‘who would I be without the belief that this [stressful thought) was true?’ Try this technique. It’s like a 10-second take down of any niggling negative perception.
Yoga. Sounds a lot like ‘go girl’ if you say it ten times fast, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence!
Lists are the ultimate do-able tool for maintaining mental wellbeing. Every night, I make a list of the three most important things I have to accomplish the following day (I type them in bold letters at the top of the page) and then add the other 57 that I can think of, and then I work from the top down, without wavering. Just crossing things off gives me a sense of order, satisfaction and control that I wouldn’t have if I were winging it.
Give as much as you can without teetering on the brink of collapse. If somebody asks you for something, and you can do it without it breaking your boundaries, say yes. Life is one big karmic juggle, and there’s a good energy you inevitably get from helping other people that bounces right back at you like a boomerang. Think about it: Who do you know that’s open, giving, generous - and not happy? Exactly.
Spoil yourself. There’s something very satisfying about doing something relatively outrageous that makes just you feel totally great. Not suggesting that you completely blow your bank- hence relatively - but a harmless indulgence. A bit of ‘devil may care’ can give you a big adrenaline boost when life might be feeling a little lacklustre. (I phoned into an important meeting last month so I could crowbar myself into an open highlights appointment with Josh Wood - but holy, my hair looked marvellous!)
Know your limits. Mine are 6 secrets! I hope that will suffice. (Secret 7, ask for forgiveness because you’ve got to go and can’t come up with a good number 7.)