Below is the first and final verse of Portia Nelson’s poem, beautiful and heartfelt.

“I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in. I am lost… I am helpless. It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out. I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
I walk down another street.”

I first came across the ‘Hole in the Road’ analogy while listening to an Esther and Gerry Hicks CD. I listened to it repeatedly and it became my mantra. However, I never learn. The holes in the street where I walk are getting bigger.

Nothing whatsoever to do with the local council’s lack of funding. And not only do I fall into these craters, instead of trying to climb out, I dig a deeper hole.

My husband follows me and fills them up with concrete. But I’m way ahead of him. I can see another Hole in the Road miles away and I head straight for it.

I’m not responsible for the metaphor ‘Dig a Hole For Yourself’, or any of its variations. I’m just the living proof that these holes really do exist. I’ve bought a smaller shovel so that might help.


Our home is full of positive thinking books. The Change your Thinking, Don’t fall in Holes, Feel the Fear, Positive Affirmations, Oh, Just Wallow. (Couldn’t resist slipping that one in).

As I sit here on a wet, cold, damp morning in the West of Ireland, my phone PINGS. It’s a positive ping so I know it’s from my eldest son. (You all know that phones have different pings?

The sombre one that relays bad news and the happy high-pitched one).
He has sent a video clip of his three old son who is chanting ‘I Love Myself’ repeatedly interspersed with ‘I’m a Champion’.

Although the ‘champion’ sounds more like ‘cham-pingy’ in his 3-year-old voice. It made me laugh and warmed the cockles of my heart. Watching it brought back memories.


I love myself

We raised our three children with the PosNego method. Many of you should be familiar with it. It’s the method whereby your husband or partner teaches your children that the world is bright and beautiful and to repeatedly say: ‘I Love Myself.’ ‘Life is Wonderful.’

It’s the method where the mother says: ‘Life is Hard.’ (The polite version) and ‘If You Do that Again I’ll Kill You!’ It’s the method whereby mum and dad have rows over their parenting style, leading to days of tension and stress.

Meanwhile, children are looking in the mirror and chanting:‘Our Parents are F….. Up.’ ‘Can’t Wait Until I’m 18 to Move Out.’


I have to admit that the mantra ‘I Love Myself’ did work and our children grew up as shining examples to their Dad’s positivity. They now live in houses with mirror-clad walls. Daily they chant as they admire themselves: ‘I love myself.’ Joking apart they are strong, beautiful and unique individuals. Did you know that Snow White was the first person to use positive affirmations? She looked in the mirror daily. It was her aid to cope with her anger at the s… load of housework created by the 7 dwarves. You all know what Snow White said. I’m a Celebrity. Get me Out of Here!’


When your first child is born you fall immediately in love with this perfect being. You are in awe.
You never expect to have that feeling again. When the second child arrives, you fall in love again and are still filled with wonder and awe. You tell yourself that nothing can surpass those emotions. So when the third child is born, you are amazed that these feelings of unadulterated love and sense of awe are as strong as ever. To experience this once is magical. To experience it three times is truly awesome!



Oh, yes! There were a few. My advice to them was:
‘If you can’t climb the mountain, walk around it.’
‘I don’t like your behaviour, but I love you.’ (That’s a Pos Neg one).
‘I’m always here for you.’
I love them dearly. I love their uniqueness. I love their strength. I love their creativity. I just love
them. They are and always will be my shining stars.


Yuck! I’m getting too mushy. Blowing my own trumpet, sounding as though I was the perfect mum. Far from it. I did my best with the tools I had. Time to get back in my Neg space. My book The PosNeg Method will be out soon if only I can get it started. It’s all in the mind.


Feel the Fear and DON’T Do It.
Negative Affirmations
I So Hate Myself
Have a Rancid Day
Everything is Crap

Links to my workshop will be available soon, ThE PosNeg Method in Action; if I can find a venue
and I know no-one will like it and I know no-one will book and I know some disaster will befall me
and I won’t be able to do any workshop and I know this sentence is too long. Bye for now!
Have a GOOD DAY! See, I can be soooo pos……

Please follow and like us:
Pin Share



  1. Love this blog Helena.All for positivity overcoming negativity. Yes it’s harder than it sounds sometimes but like most things in life…perseverance, perseverance. ..You really do have to make it become a personal mantra so it becomes automatic.You have to believe in yourself, love yourself and more important be kind to yourself.Thanx for reminding me.xxxx

  2. I really enjoyed what you wrote, it’s a very candid, open and brave look at life. I think a lot of people would really identity and benefit from your book that you are going to write and your workshops. We are looking forward to reading your next post.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *