Welcome to Keep Calm and Relax.This website was inspired by the profound and insightful wisdom of courageous people throughout the ages. Historically events and circumstances that can cause us stress, have remained surprisingly unchanged. These words are my interpretation of how the inspirational philosophy of yesterday can be a positive influence on how we cope with tomorrow. I have woven my thoughts on coping with difficult times and how to survive them around the wise and wonderful words of great men and women.

Do get in touch if you agree or disagree with anything I have to say. I don't have answers just my thoughts and the thoughts of wise men and women that might just make you think differently.

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Doctors and nurses are extremely privileged to be instrumental in so many lives, to be included in the best and worst of times, to witness new beginnings and to be there at the end. 

Through the doors of any hospital comes all life, from the young and bewildered, to the old and tired. Some will just be experiencing a bump in the road that will slow them down momentarily. Afterwards they will pick up speed again and continue on their journey, a little delayed but none the worse for wear.

A palpable sense of lives changing forever, accompanies those who arrive through traumatic circumstances; they come attached to mental and physical pain, often accompanied by fear and hopelessness, or anger and disbelief. For some even just to live is an act of courage, when it would be so easy just to die.

When faced with adversity some people lash out at anyone and everything, and some withdraw inside themselves and become unreachable. All take time to find the strength needed to rally courage and develop bravery,

Courage does not always roar there are those who arrive hopeful and unprepared for the despair about to be thrust upon them, shock stuns them like a grenade, and they can barely find the strength to breathe. Surprisingly they don’t fall to the floor or shout and scream, beating their chests in anguish, and railing at the world.  Protecting those around them they somehow find fortitude and quiet dignity, already starting to gather courage for the fight ahead. De Poitiers wrote “Courage is as often the outcome of despair as of hope; in the one case we have nothing to lose, in the other everything to gain”.

Mental fortitude can be harder to find than physical courage as it often isn’t reactive and the decision to be brave has to be thought about and come to terms with. Mark twain wrote “It is curious that physical courage is common in the world, and moral courage so rare”. 

In the end we are all so much more than what can be measured and labelled, valour is not found in muscle it is found in soul and spirit and time after time we witness the  human spirit growing stronger under conflict.

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced”. James Baldwin

Title quote from ‘Uncle Remus’. 



James Barrie wrote “The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another”

There are those whose life plan unfolds like the chapters of a well written book, plans naturally fall into place for them. They pass exams easily; meet the right people and their career path seems smooth and unhindered. It’s as if the blueprint of their life is printed on gold tinted pages. Everything seems pre-ordained and safe, no mountains to climb or rivers to ford, they live with the certainty that their story has a beginning, a middle and an end, all of which will happen just as they planned it. Like all good books their life seems interesting, and when read from the outside appears enviable but unachievable to the rest of us.

If you want your own success story you must write it and treat every day as a new page just waiting to be continued. Don’t look back and wonder what you could have had, what you should have had, you can’t go back and move things around, you can’t write a better tomorrow by fixating on how you got so many yesterdays completely wrong.

 Larson wrote “Forget regret, or life is yours to miss” if you keep looking back at all the closed doors in your life you risk missing the one that is opening in front of you. Every successful story ever written started out as an idea, sometimes the author knew the beginning but had no understanding of how it would finish, and as the story evolves he adapts purpose, time and place to fit the emerging theme.  Marden wrote “Weak men wait for opportunities; strong men make them”.

Whatever dreams you have for your life, write them down and start your story there.Even if you don’t realise them all, you will always have a reminder of where it all began, and though the plot may be full of twists and turns, you’d be surprised if you just stick with it, how many stories have a happy ending.

If you want a happy ending that depends of course on where you stop your story”   Orson Welles

Title quote by Maya Angelou



Viscott wrote “To love and be loved is like feeling the sun from both sides” but perhaps the cruellest trick life plays is to make us love someone who can not love us back. Unrequited love is hopeless, making us feel lonely and out of control. It takes away any feelings of self worth and isolates us from friends and family. Why we voluntarily put ourselves through so much pain and unhappiness is difficult for others to understand. Love that is not returned can feel like an  illness, dizzying highs and devastating lows, the feverish need to be noticed, obsessive thoughts, a life so totally focused the rest of the world just slips away. We gladly live in the moment, misinterpreting every smile drowning in each kind word, believing that they love us back is easy when caught in the eye of the emotional storm we have created.

In time like all storms it will pass leaving us dangerously unstable in a tidal wave of longing and emotion. The person who holds the key to any happiness we may ever have, will use it to open another door and walk through, not looking back and often unaware of the devastation they leave behind.

The longing for a love we cannot have is the one that lasts the longest and hurts the most. That part of your heart may be so badly wounded it may never completely heal, but you will learn to fold it up and put it away, there are many compartments in the heart and as you close this one up, another will open.

There will be weeping and there will be pain, even when there are no more tears and you have stopped the bleeding it may be a while before it is the end of heartbreak, but as the storm dies down, it will feel like the beginning of peace.    

"The souls dark cottage, battered and decayed, lets in new light through chinks that time hath made".     Edmund Waller 

Title quote by Oscar Wilde



There are many who don’t entirely own a life. They live in the margins of other people’s lives, grey people unnoticed in the shadows. The place they inhabit is so far out, the light can not reach it, so there is no danger it will ever shine on them. Always present, but never really seen, passed by with barely a glance. No one cares what they say, so no one listens, voices unheard and unrecognised. Others talk over them, around them and at them but never to them

They get by on the crumbs left over from other more interesting lives, living vicariously off the dim radiation of the ‘special people’. The young and loud, the beautiful confident people dancing in the light. The popular people who are the centre of the universe, and who crave to be in the spotlight. In times of trouble or desertion the ‘special people’ will turn to the 'grey people', because they offer sympathy and comfort without the expectation that it will ever be returned. Once the crisis is over they sink back into obscurity, and once out of sight again, will never be a reminder of bad times now wished to be forgotten. 

Edith Wharton wrote” There are two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or to be the mirror that receives it”.  Living in someone else’s reflected light, never being the one to shine, becomes a way of life, it  can feel safe and anonymous, if no one ever looks at them, they can’t make a fool of themselves.

Living a borrowed life means never having an opinion worth listening to, and never setting a trend worth following. So if you are a fringe dweller don’t be content to wait and see what everyone else thinks. If you want to be interesting be different, have the courage not to copy, learn to live your own life, William Henry said “Fools regret their words; wise men regret their silences”. If people don’t hear your thoughts how can they know if you have anything interesting to say, how can they notice you, and how can they ever know the real beauty within you. Who knows you may turn out to be fabulous and fascinating and when the spotlight comes around, suddenly it will be you who is shining.

Most people are other people; their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation”.   Oscar Wilde

Title quote by William Wallace



It is that time of year when so many young people are standing on the edge of life, ready to just jump off and hope they can fly? Or is the thought of stepping out on your own terrifying?  If you know where you want to go and how to get there, it is an exciting time but it is an act of faith to assume the route you have chosen is safe, and that you will end up where you want to be.

 Longfellow wrote, “How beautiful is youth! How bright it gleams with its illusions, aspirations and dreams! Book of beginnings, story without end, each maid a heroine, and each man a friend”.

The world you have reached on the other side of childhood now lies stretched out before you; it is vast, and full of exciting unknowns. Perhaps with good fortune, you can not see too far down any of the paths in front of you. Which ever one you take, life will create periods of euphoria and heartache alike, but if you take the wrong path, you don’t have to stay on it, changing paths is a chance to change your life.  

Chekov wrote “Happiness does not await us all; one needn’t be a prophet to say that there will be more grief and pain, than serenity and money, that is why we must hang onto each other”. So keep tight hold of those ties that bind you to family and friends you are leaving behind, as sometimes you have to look back in order to see clearly just how far you have come. 

It takes the courage of youth to strike out from the safe harbour of all you have known, and without a thought of stormy seas, assume life will be all plain sailing. One thing is certain life is never even and life is seldom easy but as you step out on this momentous journey, fill yourself with hope, imagine the highest goals you want to achieve and go for them.

"The future lies before you like a field of driven snow, be careful how you tread it for every step will show".       Unknown

 Title quote by Mary Oliver


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