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Advice from Dawn French

Updated: Mar 21, 2021

Three years ago, I was listening to the radio in my car, it was a cold December morning, a week before my fortieth birthday. Chris Evans was on the radio, hosting his breakfast show on BBC Radio 2 and Dawn French was his guest. Dawn was talking about turning 60 earlier that year and I can remember thinking, 'if I could ask Dawn French for advice on life, I wonder what she would say to me?'

Within the next few moments, it was like Dawn had heard my thoughts and was answering me. She shared a poem by Jane Hirschfield called 'I Sat in the Sun' which reads:

I moved my chair into sun

I sat in the sun

the way hunger is moved when called fasting.

Dawn went on to explain that by shifting our perspective and mindset, we can see things differently, more positively and have a better outlook on life. It was wise and timely advice. I was days away from my birthday and this poem spoke to my need for a change in my thinking. I often reflect on this poem, and it has proved to be brilliant, truthful advice. I know that whatever I am facing, by shifting my seat into a sunnier position I can reframe the situation and see it differently. Sometimes moving my chair is a huge effort, and I'd rather sit in the gloomy shade and sulk, moan, judge, gossip, or have a pity party, but I know deep down that even a small shift towards the light can make a big difference to my outlook. I have realised the things that weigh down my chair and make it difficult to move are fear and my ego, but the more often I move my chair, the lighter and easier it becomes.

I have thought about writing to Dawn French to thank her for her sage advice. Her 63rd birthday was last week, and so in celebration I wrote this post - I may even send it to her.

Have you ever had advice that has changed your life, your thinking or simply your day? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below or on my Instagram feed @iamsarahalexcarter. I love this poem so much, please share it with others and let's all choose to sit in the sun a bit more.

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