Her attitude is to live in the present moment with gratitude, which she says, is a joy and is miracle producing. She strives to stay out of the worry warts. Then, she says, joy converges in the simplest of ways. It’s about letting go, letting go, letting go.
All proceeds from all her books go to the Chernobyl Children’s Project but, she stresses, she’s not a saint and at times thinks what she could do with the royalty cheque. But, she says, she couldn’t do what Adi Roche does, so this is her way of supporting the work. It is her way of giving back and it’s good to hear from Adi that the money does make a difference.
Our deepest fulfilment, she says, is when our deepest dream meets the world’s deepest need. That’s what she’s always trying to discover and doesn’t see any other way for us to live. That’s why her latest book is about ‘becoming who you’re meant to be’. It is not autobiographical but does pick out bits from her life. People tell her the real life stories from her books, which she writes humorously, are the bits they remember long after reading.
Humour saves us, she says, it keeps us sane. Her books take people on a journey which is deeply challenging and deeply rewarding.
‘Surprised by Fire’ is a guide for people to develop hope, creativity, wellness, and resilience. She tries not to write ‘The ten simple steps’ kind of book. She really respects the human condition with all its neuroses. She doesn’t agree with contemporary cultures wish to airbrush the wounds and bruises out of the world. For this book, she did hours of research around the science of wellbeing and the science of happiness. There are some things we can change but there are many things that can’t be fixed. There is a lot of pop psychology out there, she says, and much of it is not helpful. We must discover and accept the unfixable.
Happiness does not come from externals.
On Black Friday, the book launched in Dublin, in what Martina called a ‘Bright Friday Event’ an antidote to Black Friday madness. Black Friday, she says, is about chasing illusive happiness. Our highest happiness, the very best we can find is, by doing the journey, become who you’re meant to be. It’s about building hope and resilience from the inside. It’s our responses to life that bring a rise in our happiness levels. From the inside out, not the outside in.
Surprised by Fire is available now in Waterstones.