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Samantha van Dalen

Author of the popular self-help manual 'How to be Happy, The Little Book of Peace (for your soul)' and 'Maestro'

Samantha is the founder and director of Art Soufflé, an art agency and consultancy. www.artsouffle.co.uk. She is also an independent property consultant.
Samantha graduated from the University of Bordeaux III in 1987 and since then has held a variety of senior positions with multinational companies. Samantha is the author of the popular self help manual, How to be Happy, The Little Book of Peace (for your soul) that is based on the lessons she learned the hard way in the first half of her life. She is also the author of psychological thriller, Maestro. An advocate of grabbing life with both hands, Samantha keeps herself busy: she presents a live radio show every Wednesday, updates her personal blog daily, takes an awful lot of photographs of the natural world, paints in oils and is a very serious cook. Samantha is happiest taking long country walks in all weathers with her faithful hound and communing with nature, the inspiration for everything she believes. For more on Samantha, her photos and musings, please visit her personal blog: www.londonsouffle.blogspot.co.uk

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Banish The Blues By Living In The Present

I used to be unhappy until I understood how to live in the present moment. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about being spontaneous to the point of not thinking about the effects of my actions, I'm describing a more philosophical approach to living in the now.
13/10/2017 13:47 BST

The Direction Of My Heart

I have written before about the different types of love: romantic, maternal, self-love, etc. There is another kind of love- silent and fateful, an obligation to yield because it makes us who we are. A person can be the direction of our heart. A navigator on our journey through life.
29/06/2017 13:10 BST

Sunshine And Showers In Love

I was born at 2.30pm which explains why I was never an early morning person or so I thought until I conditioned myself to get up at the crack of dawn. Human beings have an incredible built-in mechanism which allows them to get used to most things and to program our minds however we want, even in matters of the heart.
01/02/2017 13:45 GMT

Surviving Christmas On Your Own

Volunteer: Get in touch with a local charity and offer your services over Christmas. This is easier said than done (from personal experience) as you will have to pass a CRB check and this can take up to two weeks to process. But there's still time if you make contact asap.
06/12/2016 14:01 GMT

How To Stay Young

Western society is obsessed with finding the elixir of youth. Plastic surgery, Botox, all reek of insecurity. If one doesn't actually like oneself and value the process of aging, it is easy to fall prey to the promise of eternal plasticised youth.
04/10/2016 10:06 BST

Our Unhealthy Obsession With Celebrities And Along Came A Spider

There is an expression in French which goes like this: 'I am what I am.' And while I'm at it, another comes to mind: 'It is what it is.' Perhaps we should ponder on these words in light of the Brangelina breakup which has so many supposedly shocked and even devastated.
23/09/2016 13:10 BST

Have You Never Been Mellow?

Let's get one thing straight though: the opposite of sad is not necessarily happy. Although one can claim to never having been depressed that doesn't mean that they're deliriously happy either.
07/03/2016 12:14 GMT

How to Be Alone

I'm not lonely but I am alone. A fifty-something divorcé who has gotten used to her own company. This makes me as attractive as Lucrezia Borgia to men who ultimately don't want too much of a challenge in their romantic life.
24/02/2016 11:05 GMT

Sympathy for the Devil: Would A Wise Man Smoke?

As an artist, cigarettes have helped me write and paint. The absolute in the non-smoking argument is that cigarettes kill. Well, walking my hound along a busy road today, my lungs weren't exactly feeling fine and dandy as I consumed vast amounts of diesel and petrol fumes.
22/10/2015 18:15 BST

On Death and Nature

ife and death are the great pretenders, the illusionists who compel us to make sense of the hand we have been dealt with and even that is the luck of the draw (or karma, for some). Every day we are challenged and struggle to make sense of our world but that doesn't mean we have to give in to fear, worse yet, to a fear of ourselves.
15/06/2015 16:08 BST

The Unfolding Self

We Brits are probably the best in the world at talking about the weather because we so hope the sun will finally break through the clouds and when it does, we are literally over the moon with happiness.
12/05/2015 10:58 BST

Searching for the unicorn: where to look for happiness

How therefore can the process of finding happiness be termed as 'simple'? Once we get over the first step of taking responsibility for our lives on our terms - which is the hardest part of self-discovery and which takes real courage- the rest is easy.
13/04/2015 15:53 BST

Will You Post Me Rose Petals? In Remembrance of Loves Lost..

A recent house move has necessitated a ruthless clean out of those old boxes lurking under stairs and in the loft and which contain memories of a past long gone. My dream of living in a very small space is about to become a reality but more on that later.
16/03/2015 13:17 GMT

Who Am I (That Bothersome Question)

A number of factors have persuaded me that perhaps it is time to live out the rest of my life exactly as I would want it. The last twenty years have been to say the least, quite traumatic: upheavals, long journeys, divorce and terrible betrayal within my own family.
05/03/2015 11:39 GMT

Dementia or Are We There Yet?

Aging is about saying goodbye and a reminder of the ephemeral nature of life. Botox and plastic surgery are the favoured companions of many these days but they appeal to our fear of life and by inference, death. It is a sad indictment of our society that we do not value older people or the process of aging.
09/02/2015 14:09 GMT