It’s fair to say that Alesha Dixon is pretty busy at the moment. Right off the back of judging her fourth series of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, she’s just released her new single, ‘The Way We Are’, her first new material in five years, which she’s co-written and is releasing through her own record label.
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Luckily, she found time to talk to us for a new installment in our WISE WORDS interview series - where we ask famous faces from all walks of life about the important lessons they’ve learned along the way. Between bursts of that infectious cackle, Alesha discussed spirtuality, looking for the light in dark situations…. oh, and starring in her own ‘Kill Bill’-esque action film, of course.
Oh, and not to brag, but she did let slip afterwards that this was her “favourite interview she’s ever done”. Take that, Piers Morgan...
What do you do to switch off from the world?
Loads of things. I have different methods. Sometimes I just like to immerse myself in music, that’s a really good way to switch off from the world. I also like to listen to Eckhart Tolle, a very wise, very spiritual man, who teaches us how to live in the present. He’s a big thinker and when I listen to his voice, it kind of centres me, and helps me focus.
How do you deal with negativity?
I turn it into a positive every single time. I can always find a positive within a negative, it doesn’t matter what the situation is. Sometimes in life, when bad things happen to us, or things aren’t going our way, or we’re faced with a challenge or a problem, it’s how you look at the problem, it’s how you do it to change your mindset, to dilute the negativity.
What are you learning from the situation? How can you grow as a person? How can you become a better person? And how can you move forward from it? And how can you still be grateful, in the face of others being negative? So it’s a really useful tool, I think, for people to continue to turn it around, and not dwell on it. To flip the script and change the way you view a negative problem.
When and where are you at your happiest?
Probably when I’m being cuddled by my little girl, and I’m getting the biggest bear-hug from her, and she’s kissing me, and hearing her little voice saying ‘mummy, mummy, mummy’! Just being in the moment with her is the best thing in the world, and when I’m at my happiest, when I feel most joyful and when life makes sense.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Well, it’s probably from my mum, because she’s given me so many great pieces of advice. Probably to always be grateful, and to give thanks for what you have every single day, rather than what you don’t have. Not to put expectations on people, and you won’t be disappointed. How to forgive, because that sets you free. And to live in the present moment, because that’s all we have.
What has been the hardest lesson that you’ve had to learn?
Hardest lesson? Boy, where do I start? *cackles* Oh my God I’ve had so, so many. You can’t always trust people with your heart, but you should still love anyway. That’s what I would say.
What would you tell your 13-year-old self?
I would tell my 13-year-old self that there is nothing to fear, there’s nothing to worry about, that everything is going to be OK.
I think that when you’re young, you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. You’re anxious, the world seems like a scary place. You don’t know where you’re going to fit in, what you’re gonna do with your life - but actually, life has a way of sorting itself out, and universal law takes over. I would just tell my 13-year-old self to chill and enjoy being 13! And don’t worry about what happens when you’re 18 because the universe will take care of you.
When you’re a kid you worry about everything, don’t you? Because you’re going into the world of the unknown. And actually that’s what I have learned, is that the unknown is no longer a scary place - I now have faith in the unknown, because life has tried me, and showed me that blind faith is a good thing. Life has a way of surprising you, and you should kind of go with the flow of it, and see what life has in store for you.
What three things are at the top of your bucket list?
To star in a feature film, I dunno why! I’d love to take on some kind of martial arts, some kind of kick-ass thing -- like ‘Kill Bill’! Exactly!
I’d also love to have my own talk show… or world tour! Oh, and I’d love to write an inspirational book one day.
What do you think happens when we die?
I would like to think that we are spiritual beings having a human experience, and that we continue on this wonderful journey. Who knows where it takes us, but in my heart I’d like to believe it doesn’t end. Physically, it might end, but I’d like to believe that we continue in some shape or form.
Alesha brings the house down on 'BGT'
When do you feel a sense that we live in the presence of something bigger than ourselves?
I would say every day with human connection, for me. Because I’m always in that state of awareness that we’re more powerful than we realise. We have huge hearts and seeing love and seeing the world, and actually taking in where we are and what we’re doing, we’re part of this incredible universe, and I always try and keep the sense that we’re a part of something greater than ourselves.
There’s probably not a day that goes by where I don’t feel that. And that’s why people see me as quite a happy-go-lucky person, but that’s because I’m always in that state of awareness, because I understand that this is a temporary state and that we’re all very lucky to experience life, and it shouldn’t be taken for granted. And that’s why frivolous little things don’t really bother me, because I think there’s a bigger picture in the world, and I think about that every day.
What do you try to bring to your relationships?
Honesty, love, support and humour. Always humour - I think it’s a barometer for most things in life. If you can laugh, at most things, you’re in a pretty good place. Even last night I had that typical thing that we all get, feeling a bit miserable and stressful, and my partner never fails to make me laugh. No matter how stressed I am, he completely diffuses the stress, and that’s what I love about him. And I need that, you know? Sometimes you need that reality check, and to not take things too seriously all the time!
What keeps you grounded?
Never forgetting where I’ve come from. Never thinking that I’m better than anyone else. Always being grateful for what I have. And always having an open heart. To keep the right mindset and remember why you’re doing things, and always thinking about the bigger picture, always thinking about how you can help other people, rather than yourself. That keeps you grounded.
What was your last good deed?
I like to think I do a little good deed every day *laughs* I constantly give people money! *laughs louder still* Hmmm, I’m trying to think of a nice good deed!! I visited some young kids this morning, who’ve had a bit of a hard time in their life. And I sat down and had a sort of motivational chat with them. I found out about their lives, just talking to them about them about their futures. It was a really lovely chat, actually.
Alesha's new single, 'The Way We Are', is on sale now.