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Category: BoboMama’s Quest for Authenticity

Wild & free or solid & predictable: what flavour are you?

Wild & free or solid & predictable: what flavour are you?

Are you a creature of habit? Or someone that needs constant change?

It doesn’t really matter which camp you fall into as long as you know which makes you feel most content.

I’m both. I eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch pretty much every single day. I go to the same yoga class with the same teacher twice a week (ideally Bikram) and I cycle the kids to school and back twice a day in our dutch cargo bike (aka our wendy house on wheels). I don’t go out that much so that my introvert is satisfied and I feel calmest when my surroundings are neat and tidy.  All these things make me feel secure and grounded. This is my bourgeois side.

But I also need adventure, freedom and times during which I have very few possessions. I thrive on being The Other, on not knowing what might happen next; I love having my core beliefs challenged and having to think on my toes. This my bohemian side.

I need variety to be content. And I like to know that either routine or adventure is on the horizon because having something to look forward to makes it easier for me to be present.

I haven’t always known this though. It took a while to work out. Just over 40 years in fact.

Indeed, it wasn’t until halfway through our 11-month family travel odyssey across SE Asia last year that I realised that NEITHER FULLY SATISFIES me: too much routine means that I get bored. I feel stifled. And too much wild not-knowing and not being surrounded by the familiar (things, actions and people) leads to exhaustion.

This was a considerable eye-opener for me. And I’ve tried to adapt my lifestyle to this particular piece of self-knowledge ever since.

I haven’t yet been away since our return to the UK last July because I’ve been slowly recharging my bourgeois batteries. Re-acclimatising myself with my adopted culture and remembering why I chose this country as my base. They’re pretty much full now though (a long, wet, winter and a broken boiler didn’t help) so the urge to discard everything that has grown comfortable, dig out the backpack and jump on a plane is growing daily. My itchy feet are calling and soon I won’t be able to ignore them.

Which is good. It’s a reminder to listen to my needs. To follow my dreams. To do what makes me feel most alive. Because when I am in this space, I am open to life and its possibilities, I am better able to give to the kids because I am feeling complete and I attract the right people into my life.

Everything flows more easily and life feels like less of a struggle.

So in the end, it’s all about knowing yourself:

Are you content with the way that you are living your life right now?

What makes you feel fulfilled and alive?

What can’t you do without?

And what would it take to introduce this if it isn’t there now? 

Commit to observing what makes you feel expanded and in awe and watch what brings up feelings of containment and frustration.

Do whatever it is that creates the former state in you. We only have one life – you deserve to enjoy it!

 

If you like what you’ve read, why not find out more about life coaching with me?
Drop me a line to arrange a 45-minute complimentary discovery session (no strings attached), and we can explore taking concrete steps towards creating a life of fulfilment, happiness and freedom…
Don’t forget you can also follow me on facebookyoutube & instagram!
Are you a destination addict?

Are you a destination addict?

Destination addiction. It’s a tricky one.

Are you also a sufferer?

I am. Sometimes. (She says sheepishly).

Well, aren’t we all a little? Because isn’t it just so much easier to kid yourself that if only ‘x’ changed, then you would be able to be truly happy: your job, your house, your income, your kids’ behaviour, your partner, your weight?

Isn’t it so much easier to blame external circumstances or others for your current disastisfaction?

YES!

My personal favourites are: ‘if I had more time….’ or ‘if I was earning more….’ or ‘if I had an amazing holiday to look forward to’…

(I’m a big fan of the beach, a huge fan of uber luxury resorts (funny that) and of Bali in general so the photo above of our Amankila visit earlier this year pretty much does it for me)…

But when and where does the buck stop? Ultimately with OURSELVES.

Because blaming doesn’t get you very far. It’s actually quite draining. And very disempowering. Because it is giving the key to your happiness and fulfillment to SOMEONE or SOMETHING ELSE.

It’s the same thing as thinking the grass is always greener elswhere. And you know what the answer to that is, don’t you? WATER YOUR GRASS!

I admit this is easier said than done because if we knew how to and did it regularly, then we wouldn’t be sufferers of destination addiction. But actually, we do all know how to. It’s innate. We just forget. (Me included).

Empowering ourselves with the keys to our happiness is called slowing down. Seeing through the lie that is the modern day ‘glorification of busy’ and taking time to pause. Inhaling slowly and deeply. Exhaling fully. Feeling the ground beneath your feet. Checking-in with your body – where is tense, where is relaxed? Checking-in with your mind – are you future tripping or loitering in the past?

The cure to destination addiction is becoming PRESENT to the now. The only moment we are ever in. (This statement always blows me away – so devastatingly simple but so utterly profound).

Because when we are present, we can cope with whatever is in front of us: there is no overwhelm – just a fleeting (if we let it be) emotion that merely requires our notice (not judgement) before we release it; there is no fear (that’s either based on what might happen in the future or what happened in the past); and there can be no dissatisfaction (because what we have is all there is, there is nothing to compare it to).

All we have is what we have right now.

And when we are fully present it is much easier to see what there is to be grateful for. Without forcing it. We realise that whatever it is that we want to change isn’t actually going to help that much if our fear / dissatisfaction / overwhelm comes along for the ride.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t want to drive a porsche, or earn loads of dosh, or have super obedient children, or go on more adventures in the sun, or serve more clients. It just means that I’m not holding onto these desires as quick fixes to my current state of mind.

If all we have is the now, then what we have right now is just right. For now.

Greater things might come. But this will happen far easier if we let them slip in unnoticed through the open door of gratitude for what we have, rather than if we place them at the other end of the spectrum to where we currently are.

Because destination happiness is actually the killer of current happiness. It cruelly supresses it with the promise of bigger, better, more.

So the next time that little voice pops up that tells you that your dissatisfaction is not your fault, that if only ‘x’ would happen then you would indeed be happier, go tell it to take a hike. Then pause. And breathe. Connect to your body. And spot at least three things for which you are grateful right now. And see what happens.

I dare you….

What are your destination addictions? What is your magic ‘ x’ that seemingly holds the key to your happiness and how can you take back your power? I’d love to know! Please share in the comments below! 

 

If you like what you’ve read, why not find out more about life coaching with me?
Drop me a line to arrange a 45-minute complimentary discovery session (no strings attached), and we can explore taking concrete steps towards creating a life of fulfilment, happiness and freedom…
Don’t forget you can also follow me on facebookyoutube & instagram!
To party or not to party? An introvert’s dilemna…

To party or not to party? An introvert’s dilemna…

What does the thought of Xmas parties bring up in you? Excitement? Or trepidation?

(Embarrassingly) for me, it’s usually the latter. Embarrassing because it’s not the done thing to admit to not want to be social. After all, as children we are taught that to be social is to be happy. And this message is confirmed by a society that actually criminalises the worst forms of ‘anti-social’ behaviour. And yet, if you are an introvert (who favours solitary over group activities as a source of pleasure), the enforced socialising that comes with the annual ‘festive season’ can bring up feelings of fear and dread. And the older I become, the more introvert I realise I am.

I realise that many of my acquaintances will think “say, what??!…Lavinia (the opinionated loud-mouth), an introvert? Pull the other one!” But just because you can be loud as well as outspoken, this doesn’t mean that you are extrovert nor that you behave like that all or even most of the time.

Indeed, I actually crave silence and solitude. Even more now that I have three small children who are super-enthusiastic, super-boisterous and super-excitable. But before then too, I remember my favourite spot at boarding school being the ‘haunted’ loos. Not because it was a nice place to hang out in – it wasn’t (there was never any heating on, it was vaguely smelly and I never fully believed that it might not be a teensy bit haunted after all), but purely because it was the only place in the entire boarding house where I might get some uninterrupted peace and quiet. (A rare thing when you share a room with 13 other, pop music-obsessed, teenage girls).

When I am around others however, I tend to get overexcited. In the past, this was partly because I felt had to ‘perform’ in order to fit in (how wrong I was) but now it’s more because I am literally buoyed up by the energy of others. I thrive off social stimulation! But once this kicks in, I forget everything else and end up draining all of my energy (for that day as well as the week ahead) which can only lead to one thing: a crash.

Because unlike extroverts who not only gain energy from being around other people but also re-charge through being with others (being alone is boring and potentially even draining for them), introverts require down time – alone – in order to feel themselves again. And when any potential down time has already been filled with demanding children who are off school, this makes the extra, alcohol-fuelled, festive shindigs on offer at this time of year, an even greater challenge.

So knowing all this, how often do I actually take it into account and say NO?

The answer is not very often. And if I do, it usually comes with a (lengthy) explanation. Because added to the shame of not really wanting to be social is the guilt of potentially offending someone. And of not being asked again. As though friendship is so precarious that I must always be grateful for being included and must always dutifully accept.

Which is crazy. Because friendship is made of sterner stuff. And if it isn’t, good riddance!

So another challenge I am setting myself in the New Year is to be responsible for myself: to practise guaging whether something is in my best interests. And trying to act in accordance with them. I’m also going to try not to emotionally caretake others through providing them with an ‘adequate’ excuse. No is no. And that’s it. Which doesn’t mean I never want you to invite me to anything ever again – hell no! (My needy side couldn’t take it). But I may not be as reliably present as I once was.

2018 is all about sovereignty: about knowing what is best for you (and me) and acting on it with confidence. Unapologetically. Who else’s in?

If you like what you’ve read, why not find out more about life coaching with me? Drop me a line to arrange a 45-minute complimentary discovery session and we can explore taking concrete steps towards making your dreams a reality!
Don’t forget you can also follow me on facebookyoutube & instagram!
What is top of your fear list?

What is top of your fear list?

Spiders perhaps? (And just in case you were wondering, this one was yellow, black and red, and was the size of my outstretched hand).

What feeling does this picture bring up in you? Awe at the beauty of nature? Or FEAR?  

I used to have a phobia against spiders. I remember vividly – still now – waking up screaming aged about 5 having dreamt that a huge one was ontop of my face.

And yet, now, the phobia seems to have gone. Disappeared. Cured!

That doesn’t mean I would want this particular spider to live just next to my bed, but it does mean that I didn’t mind it having its nest just by my scooter in Bali (during our travel adventure earlier this year). It also meant that I have tolerated quite a big spider dangling just above my desk for the past couple of months.

Which got me thinking – do our fears disappear or at least lessen with exposure to them? Or do they just get replaced with worse ones which put them into perspective? (My phobia of cockroaches has reached an all time high as a result of multiple exposure during the same travel experience. Thank the Lord they are rare in England)

I have been exploring this topic with the new year coming up and in particular, since I was prompted to write down a fear list and to go through it, one by one.

Do you know what my first entry was? Eating alone at a table in a restaurant/cafe/bar.

Which I totally realise is weird. Because it is so common. And normal. But I’ve never, ever done it. Not even breakfast in a hotel. I always have it sent to my room.

Why? I’m not sure. I need to journal on it. Something to do with feeling self-consciousness. Something about occupying an empty space. A fear of being approached. Intense vulnerability. A feeling of dangerous exposure.

Most odd. But I’m going to work through it and whatever it means for me. 2018 is the year.

Who’s up for the challenge? Which fear can you work through next year? Share below so that we can hold each other accountable!

If you like what you’ve read, why not find out more about life coaching with me? Drop me a line to arrange a 45-minute complimentary discovery session and we can explore taking concrete steps towards making your dreams a reality!
Don’t forget you can also follow me on facebookyoutube & instagram!
Feel the fear and make it up!

Feel the fear and make it up!

Part of being a (recovering) perfectionist is a fear of getting things wrong.

Big things (like diving head-first off the tallest board in the pool), but also seemingly little things (like eating alone in a restaurant or inventing a story on the spot).⠀

Embarrassingly, this last example has paralysed me into inaction for the past 6 years. Ever since my eldest child was old enough to ask for a story that wasn’t in a book, that is. ⠀

I get the attraction – we all enjoy a bit of bespoke, it makes us feel special – the problem is, improvisation requires confidence in a logical (and well-received) outcome, as well as spontaneous trust in your own creative abilities. And there are no second chances nor opportunities to revise, hone or improve output – essential pre-requisites for any self-respecting perfectionist. ⠀

So usually when asked to improvise, I call in the support team. Even when it’s an audience of one, aged 6. How bad could it really be? I’m too scared to find out. “That’s what daddy does, let’s ask him. Mummy reads books”, I say sheepishly.

But last week something stopped me. I said yes. Feel the fear and do it anyway and all that. ⠀

And, though I say it myself, I rocked! I surprised myself and delighted my daughter. ⠀

Probably just as much because I had made the effort to overcome a secret block that she probably already knew I was avoiding (kids know everything) than because of the content itself. I even went for a trilogy (I was on a roll). ⠀

We encountered a small self-confidence hiccup yesterday when creative proceedings were halted by the audience who asked for more “ excitement” in the story: the fear crept back in, the throat went dry, the shoulders hunched. ⠀

But I wasn’t deterred. I took it like a true BoboMama and got back on the wagon. The story ended on a cliff-hanger and I think this little fear may just have been crossed off the list…⠀

To all the recovering perfectionists out there, what really scares you? And could you conceive of pushing yourself past it? Just for a laugh? To see what would happen? If I can do it, YOU CAN. I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! ⠀

If you like what you’ve read, why not find out more about life coaching with me? Drop me a line to arrange a 45-minute complimentary discovery session and we can explore taking concrete steps towards making your dreams a reality!
Don’t forget you can also follow me on facebookyoutube & instagram!
Stop, Ground, Breathe…

Stop, Ground, Breathe…

Today I woke up in a BAD mood.

It started when I realised that I still hadn’t got rid of my sore throat and flu-like symptoms which meant I’d have to forgo yet another day of my usual exercises (stationary mama = bad mood mama). As the morning progressed and I snapped more frequently and with increasing irritation at family members, I could feel that my hormones were on the rampage (day 21 = bullshit radar is on full volume / minimum tolerance settings). I then discovered that the vastly expensive Xmas tree that arrived yesterday is covered in mud, totally lopsided and won’t stand up straight. And to top it all off, I spent most of the morning trying – and failing – to get my head around social media marketing. All of which left me in a bit of a tizz…

Luckily however, (for those around me), I’m now quite good at observing my emotions. So I knew that I did actually have a CHOICE about whether to continue down the road to overwhelm or whether to take quick remedial action.

And since it was too early for wine and I was too ill to go to yoga, I tried to channel my inner mindfulness guru instead:

i) I sat down on the floor (the nearer you can get to the earth the quicker you can ‘ground’)⠀
ii) I felt the support and solidity of the floor, and how it had ‘got me’⠀
iii) I breathed: long, deep, slow, belly breaths⠀
iv) I said out loud, 3 times, along with my out breaths: “I feel supported” (3 is a sacred number and it’s always worth faking it until you make it)⠀
v) I looked outside at the trees: always there, strong but flexible, neither overwhelmed nor anxious, just alive ⠀
vi) I smiled (see above re faking it to make it)⠀

And I felt better!

Because I had become present: aware of my body and its surroundings rather than letting my inner bully/depressive/neurotic run the show. ⠀

I’ve also been staring at this photo, taken of our local beach this time last year when we lived in Koh Samui for a month. It reminds me that we CAN create our own reality and that anything is possible if you are bold enough: we dared to take our kids out of school, to take our jobs on the road, to pack up our house and exit the matrix, all in order to find our true selves on a year-long travel adventure. And we’re back. And it worked.

So if any of you are also feeling a bit pants, try doing something that brings you into the now: stop, sit, ground, breathe, affirm and connect to Nature.

And remember, I’m there alongside you…⠀

If you like what you read, why not find out more about life coaching with me? Drop me a line to arrange a 45-minute complimentary discovery session and we can explore taking concrete steps towards making your dreams a reality!
Don’t forget you can also follow me on facebookyoutube & instagram!
I’m off to Narnia. Coming?

I’m off to Narnia. Coming?

Yup. It’s been one of those days. ⠀

Actually it hasn’t. It’s been great: I worked on my new life coaching website, I went to my first networking event (scary AF in theory, fun in practise) and I applied to be on a Mumsnet Facebook live panel (easy to do, will deal with the obvious fear fallout factor later, if selected).

So I was feeling pretty good.

Until I was required to morph into a mama. And the kids annoyed the shit out of me: throwing toys around the kitchen and knocking over glasses of water x 2, refusing to do a very easy homework crossword which really only required an ounce of effort, having a tantrum over missing 3 minutes of a film they’ve already watched and know inside out, topped off by being called in for a ‘chat’ by a teacher over some misplaced frustration. ⠀

Tipped me over the edge. ⠀

So instead of meditating, breathing, going to my scheduled yoga class and doing something generally uplifting and edifying, I poured myself a massive gin and tonic, decided that I no longer like it, poured myself a massive glass of wine, drank it, cancelled yoga and ordered a fattening pizza. ⠀

Parenting is THE hardest thing in the world. Fact. Of which all parents are fully aware. ⠀

However zen, centred, compassionate and tolerant you are feeling, children WILL shake that (already fragile) core to the point until your self-control has crumbled. However much you try to be ‘good’. ⠀

They just KNOW how to fast track you to your worst self. And it’s relentless. ⠀

I know what the ‘lesson’ for me is. Kind of. But sometimes I really can’t be arsed with spirituality. Especially on day 19 (aka watch out!) of my cycle. ⠀

So I’d like to give a big shout out today to all the mamas and papas who know what I’m talking about. Who can’t give up and walk off. Who keep on going. Day after day. After day. After day.

And if YOU are one of those incredible people and need a friendly ear – reach out and let me know. I’m here. And I want to help. Because this is actually my niche. I’m a life coach for ‘mamas who want more’. ⠀

And guess what? I’m good at it. Because I get it. I want more too. ⠀

See you in Narnia. Bring pizza and wine… ⠀

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Anyone for a forest bathe?

Anyone for a forest bathe?

Can you feel how the energy in a wood is unlike that of the urban ‘jungle’? Do you feel different when you are in nature: more calm and more embodied? Perhaps you’ve noticed that your breathing slows, your thoughts are less scattered?

If so, you are not inventing things. Because it has been scientifically proven that being around ‘greenery’ (in any form) reduces the risk of depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, stress and many other scourges of our modern lives.  

Not surprising really given that we are animals at heart. But we seem to forget this and then wonder why we feel like we do when we have been deprived of Nature: cooped up indoors, immobile in front of our computer screens with little natural light, central heating and no expansive outdoor vista.

Which is why “shinrin yoku” or forest bathing is where it’s at for many of us over-civilised, urban dwellers. This Japanese therapy was developed in the 1980s and is so well regarded as a preventative healthcare treatment that it now even has its own dot org.

I try to practise shinrin yoku (sounds more impressive when you say it in Japanese), at least once a week to de-stress, clear my mind and reconnect to my ‘higher self’ or what I also call my ‘whole woman’ – the one lurking behind the mama, daughter, partner, yogini, solopreneur, superwoman masks. The part of me that is tuned into Nature, to my instinctual self, to my body. She who is wise, unflappable, endlessly patient and trusting; an objective observer of my monkey-mind.

And it works! The mountainous issues on my radar shrink back to manageable molehills, the urgency of deadlines falls by the way side, and pleasure – bit by bit – takes over the need to perform.

In a forest, I can be unashamedly myself. There is no judgement so I judge myself less. Trees never fail to reset my hard drive and remind me of what (rather than who) I am. 

Why don’t you try it for yourself? The spectacular autumnal show that is put on for us at this time of year when the Earth’s seasonal cycle turns to releasing and death (a bit dramatic but that’s the truth of it) is the perfect excuse to go for a Nature walk. And if you really can’t face leaving home, try hanging out next to a potted plant or staring out of a window at some nearby greenery. Even a patch of grass will do.

We all need regular self-care boosts in life and this is probably one of the easiest to implement and maintain.

Green is the new black…

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Happiness is a choice…

Happiness is a choice…

Unlike kids, who seem to be able to return to a state of uncomplicated joy so easily – being pushed in a swing high and hard (see photo) is pretty much guaranteed to do the job –  adults can find it a little harder to get back to their inner happy place. There just seem to be so many more barriers in place.

But because I’d been in a bit of a grump about various things on and off for the month, to the extent that I had even bored myself with my attitude (after all, it takes quite a bit of effort to be in a grump for that long, and I don’t have that much spare energy), I thought I would try something different.

So despite waking up yesterday with lots of potential reasons to feel irritated – very tired and like I’d eaten too much the night before (not the best start to the day) – I made a conscious decision to be HAPPY.

And knowing that you sometimes have to ‘fake it to make it’ and that weirdly, your psyche knows no different, I started by telling myself (out loud) that from this moment on, I was choosing to be happy.

My second related action was not to ignore the many positive mantras and cards I have strategically placed around my working area, but instead to incant these every time I lay my eye on them. I began with the “I am amazing and great things are going to happen today” post-it note, which I have slipped inside my laptop so that it’s the first thing I see when I open it. I then proclaimed out loud the very complimentary statement that I have set as my actual password, followed by my newest abundance-attracting, pin-board, post-it note: “my actions create constant prosperity”.

Needless to say, I started my work day feeling quite pumped.

I continued my efforts by making sure I actually adhered to my daily alarm (set to remind me to take at least 10 minutes out to meditate half way through the day). And because I really didn’t feel like I needed it, I let it turn into 10 minutes of just sitting in silence staring out of my bedroom window at the tree on the street. Which also had a positive effect. Not surprisingly really, because a change of scene = energy reboost; silence = mental refresh; and if you can’t actually get out INTO nature, staring at it can have the same grounding effect (kind of).

Lastly, I ended my working day by actually implementing my achievement list. This is like a to-do list (of which I have many dotted around the place) but one that is based on the past rather than the future: each day you write down what you have done really well and what you are proud of yourself for. Yesterday afternoon, I focused on what I had done to grow my business (because I have recently been wrestling with the re-emergence of my powerhouse perfectionist and she thinks that I could ALWAYS do more), and last thing at night, I focused (in my head) on my mothering “skills” (another area of my life in which my inner bully could be described as overzealous).

And guess what? It felt really good!

So instead of transitioning back into motherhood mode (ready for school pick-up, homework, supper, bath, bed palaver) feeling frustrated and a little resentful that I hadn’t done enough, I was remarkably calm, content and most importantly, present with the kids.

Because having physically written out what I had already achieved, I didn’t feel the need to keep popping back onto my iphone or to wander off elsewhere in my thoughts. And because I was feeling content in myself, I wasn’t knocked off centre by the three tiredness / hunger tantrums that kicked off throughout the early evening. I even managed to squeeze in some post-homework, pre-supper mama ‘funtime’ (hide-and-seek) and didn’t even get angry when everyone decided to stop playing half way through and leave me hiding (and nearly suffocating) for almost half a hour. Result!

Which all goes to show just how goddamn powerful our minds are. And that if we set an intention, magnify it by saying it out loud, and underpin it by writing positive things down, that intention can carry us through the whole of the day (however many potential anger/sadness booby traps might be lying in wait for us).

How long will my happiness last? Who knows. But I do believe in the Law of Attraction and today I felt I was being rewarded for my say-it-out-loud-for-two-days-in-a-row-mantras by receiving this incredible compliment from a coaching client (who has just finished a 3 month series with me):

“I have thoroughly enjoyed the life coaching series with you. It helped me consider options I thought were impossible. It helped me rebuild my confidence and the self esteem I was gradually losing. It helped me pluck up the courage that I needed to set myself free, to see a clearer picture of where I am and where I want to be. I feel in control. You are such a talented and inspiring life coach and an amazing person.”

Well. If those are the kinds of results that I’m going to continue to attract, then Project Happiness is ongoing!

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On celebrating…

On celebrating…

I used not to be very good at celebrating my successes. I’d take for granted all the hard work that had gone into achieving something and move right onto the next potential goal. I got a kick from the constant forwards momentum, not really knowing what to do with the downtime in between.

So I made sure there was no downtime.  I went from one thing to another, ticking them off the list, not really stopping for breath and definitely not stopping to acknowledge the journey.

Until recently. When I decided to change things.

Because effort is great and all that. But so is surrender. BOTH are required to reach a state of ‘grace’. And all work and no play doesn’t leave much room for joy. And I kind of want more joy in my life; more fun, more laughter. Don’t you?

So yesterday was the perfect opportunity to take some time out to enjoy a rare tootle on my own trumpet:

🌟  I celebrated becoming a QUALIFIED LIFE COACH 🌟

6 months of hard work and commitment (3 of them whilst travelling), 14 modules packed full of learnings and gruelling assignments, 14 live training calls with our incredible BYCA teachers and expert coaches, 3 months of being life coached through my own personal goals and 4 months of supporting 4 awesome, pro-bono clients, each through their own six-week coaching series.

I celebrated the fact that back in January this year – whilst living in Bali – I chose to follow my heart by signing up to my amazing course. My intuition had been nudging me towards a career that supports others to become their best, most fulfilled selves for a while, but it took the prospect of all three of the kids going to school, and looming ’empty nest’ syndrome to push me over the line into action.

I had a (far-fetched) dream…I took concrete steps towards making it happen…And yesterday, I graduated.  

The result? My soul purpose and my career are in alignment. I am walking my talk. I am embodying RADICAL AUTHENTICITY. 

Since yesterday was also Samhain – the ancient festival that celebrates the end (and beginning) of the Celtic New Year, a time during which the veil between our world and the next becomes its most transparent, I decided to pick a tarot card as a symbol for my vision for next year.

And I got the six of wands, symbolising “success, achievement and public recognition”. Even the tarot was celebrating with me!

More poignantly however, the card has an even deeper meaning: it is about having faith in what you have achieved, about not letting fear or guilt get in the way of your success, about feeling proud of yourself and feeling worthy of others’ attention. 

It is about BELIEVING IN YOURSELF. 

And this got me thinking about both how easy but also how hard this is to do. For how often do you hold your head up high and feel worthy of other people’s attention? How often do you have faith in yourself and how your achievements will be seen by others? How often does fear or guilt stand in the way of your success?

It takes guts. And commitment. And courage.

Which is exactly what I’m going to practise.

Because like most things that don’t come easily, they require exercising, just like a muscle. The more you practise courage, the more natural it seems.

Habits break habits. 

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