Hilbre

Every now and again we have the opportunity to see the world through different eyes. Mine has been the last 2 weeks through our new puppy.

One of the key skills you learn as a coach is curiosity and the power of perspective. We all see the world in a certain way but coaching reminds us that there are many ways to see the same situation.

The power of curiosity is about stepping back and just observing through eyes different to your own – a puppy’s or a young child are great perspectives to try, as everything is new and exciting – without judgment or history. It is the rawness of this perspective that excites me as it is for the very first time when there is no previous experience or awareness.

What perspective do you tend to find yourself mostly in? What opportunities do you think might be available to you if you approached your life with a puppy’s eyes?

I was inspired to write this blog after watching X-factor. Now I know a lot of you have watched X-factor many times but I have to admit this is the first year I have really got into it. All I can say is that I am humbled by the bravery and passion of the contestants, and surprised that I actually like Simon Cowell.

We live in a society of prejudice where we judge others by what we see, what they wear, where they come from, what accent they have – but do we ever really know their story and who they really are? If we did would we change our minds?

Every week when I come into London I love to walk with my earphones on and just observe all around me as I wonder who they really are. Where they grew up, what their parents were like – if they even knew their parents – what their dreams are.

I am sure there are few that can say they never watched Susan Boyle auditioning for the X-factor. I went on to buy two of her albums as well as reading her biography as I really was moved by here bravery and the power of her voice.

If you didn’t see her then maybe you saw Paul Potts, the mobile phone salesman from Wales or you saw the latest audition in Wembley where a mother was entered by her 12 year old son who believed in her. Simon Cowell’s comment was that it was like she had swallowed someone else who just sang out with a voice so strong – it took a 12 year old boy to see what no others had seen. Never forget the impact you have on your children and how much they love and believe in you – they are your biggest fans and you never know you might just find yourself entered on a talent show.

One of the biggest reasons people look for a life coach is to build their confidence. A coach can’t make you confident, all we do is see the brave person inside. We champion and support you so you feel able to truly connect with your inner strength and believe that you are ok just as you are.

Sometimes all we need is for someone else to believe in us and tell us it is ok. I find it so humbling to see these awkward shy people up on stage in front of thousands (something I don’t think I could do) and when they open their mouths, we are not only silenced by what comes out, but emotionally moved as we realise we are all connected on the inside. That is the magic of music – there is no discrimination – just melody.

Next time you see someone who you have a negative view on – take a moment to wonder what their story is and how you would feel if they started to sing for you…

 

If we knew what lay around the corner would we behave differently? Would we say the thing we wanted to but our stubborn pride or sense of principle stopped us?

Would we say sorry or would we forgive?

Would we make that change we had been thinking about but were too scared to or thought we could put off until another day? Would we call that person we had been avoiding? Would we get our house in order so there was no mess for others to sort out?

If you had been a passenger on MH370 or MH17 what would you have done differently if you had known there was going to be no hello?

I wrote a blog a few years ago about the Fragility of Life – we really do walk a fine line each day so make sure you don’t have any regrets…

Thinking of all those who said good-bye but never got the chance to say hello again.

When I first moved to London and joined the world of commuting someone told me that those who walk up escalators go after life and those who stand wait for life to come to them…

Being someone who always thought they went after life – I was never going to stand on an escalator after hearing that. No matter how hard my heart was beating I would never let it show as I glided up the moving steps feeling virtuous over my fellow commuters who were waiting for life.

It was only the other day – almost 20 years later – that I decided to stand on the escalator and watch who walked, and who stood to see if there really was anything in this statement. I noticed two things: – the walkers always looked stressed and in a rush and those standing were either looking at phones, listening to music (or both), eating (yes lots do eat on the escalator) or talking or laughing with someone. So are they really waiting for life to come to them, or are they just the patient, calmer ones actually being in the moment? Is this really how we measure success and ambition in our society – by the speed at which we move along, versus those who take time to enjoy the journey?

Maybe as we get older we move from the left side of the escalator to the right side and it is about taking time to notice what is around us and not just being focused on getting to the top as quickly as possible.

So do you walk or stand on an escalator?

I have had bloggers block for a year now and have been waiting for inspiration to get me going again – well I got it last week in Mallorca on my bike…

In April 2010 I found myself standing in the rain holding my new pink Kent Velo Girls (KVG) cycling shirt looking at these tough English ladies heading out for their Friday ride and I wondered how I would cope with my thin fair weather blood – little did I know then about the impact and collective power of determined women as I joined forces and became one of the ‘pink ladies’.

Being strong has nothing to do with the thickness

of your blood ~ it is about the strength of your self-belief.

In May 2014 I found myself on a plane heading to the sunny island of Mallorca with 4 other pink ladies, having never done more then 2 days consecutive cycling and a maximum one off distance of 100miles (after three years of encouragement from the KVG). I was happy with regular social weekly rides of 50km’s chatting and never thinking I could do more. I was blissfully unaware of what lay ahead and was planning a relaxing blend of sun, sea and social cycling.

It was on the first night that it started to dawn on me as to what the next 5 days were going to look like. I felt that sense of panic rising that I wasn’t able to do such things – I wasn’t strong enough, wasn’t fit enough, wasn’t tough enough – how could I compete with these women who had done so many events and achieved such distances. I realised then that the Universe was communicating with me in another way. I hadn’t seen its messages when it had been telling me to stop playing small and so now it was going about it via another avenue – my physical ability.

At the age of 42, same age as my mother was when she got cancer and only ended up having 5 years left, I was shown that I have years ahead and have only just had a sneak preview of what I am capable of.

So 5 days, 5 women, average age of 52, over 500km of cycling and over 7000m of climbing with 22 hours in the saddle was my flashing billboard that life is only just really starting.

For anyone who thinks your 40’s is the start of being middle aged, this is a message to all of you reading this that life really only does begin at 40….

This blog is dedicated to all the amazing women in the Kent Velo Girls club who have achieved and are still achieving their impressiveness and potential. You are all tough and strong and a total inspiration. Thank you Bee Gregorie for having a dream to get women out there pedalling and it is not just the pedals we turn when we get on our bikes – it is our minds and self belief too.

http://www.kentvelogirls.co.uk

 

To watch the news or not to watch the news – THAT is the question.

I don’t know about you, but I am starting to feel quite drained these days when I watch the news and read the paper. It is filled with economic and social doom and gloom and I always wonder what makes news?

If we had a policy that the news had to be an equal distribution of positive and negative news what do you think that would be like?

The news companies will say bad news sells but why can’t good news be equally profitable? Why can’t we be told about the success stories of certain breeding projects instead of just how the ice caps are melting and the threat to the polar bears existence?

For every social uprising and associated war, why can’t be we told about equality and where society and governments are working well together?

For every dark economic forecast, why can’t we be given a positive message of how to make the most of these tough times and to think smarter about money. This could pave the way for much better future money management and financial security.

If we received more encouraging and positive messages from the media we would all have a more positive outlook on life and this energy would flow through all aspects of society.

One of the reasons why I believe holidays are so relaxing is because we take a break from what is going on around us – a big piece of that is the news. We get to be away from the constant barrage of negative messages.

So – to watch the news or not? I guess everything in moderation.

Unless you live under a rock or have zero interest in the Olympics you will definitely have been talking about Oscar Pistorius and like most people, be asking the question – ‘what happened?’

How does a young South African, who became the first paralympian to compete in an able-bodied race in the 2012 Olympics, go from being a national hero to standing in a dock with his head hung low accused of murdering his beautiful girlfriend? Is this another case of just a jealous guy with a dark side who can’t control his temper or really a tragic accident? 

We have now seen so many sporting stars who we think are special because of what they have achieved in the sporting arena, only to discover the real truth behind the likes of Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong and now The Blade Runner.

Do we ever really know anyone? When someone is beautiful or has acting or sporting talent, why do we put them on some sort of pedestal to be admired with the belief that they are not capable of any wrongdoing?

Is Oscar really just a very angry man who had a tough upbringing and had to always compensate for the loss of his lower limbs or could this event have happened to anyone?

If he is found guilty of murder then how do we feel about him? Does it take away all that we thought was impressive and brave or do we see him as two separate halves – the man who ran before us or the murderer? The fact that even the Hollywood Oscars are being overshadowed by this case shows just how affected the world is by seeing someone go from hero to villain.

It doesn’t sit well when you find out something that you thought was – isn’t. How can we ever be sure who someone really is and should we try to know them or should we keep a distance and focus on what they do – not who they are?

There is no escaping the array of red roses, hearts, chocolates and the endless emails and adverts suggesting what to give your loved one on the 14th February.

Love it or hate it – Valentines Day comes around every year and our attitude towards it depends very much on our personal circumstances. I thought this month, rather than focus on how many roses you may or may not get, use the date to look at who you are in relationships.

One of my key drivers for wanting to coach women was seeing too many not knowing their self worth, especially in their relationships. I am a firm believer that relationships are about equality – not measured in income, but in respect.

I find it sad that many women lose themselves in relationships. This happens as a result of not being true to ourselves as to what we want, and trying to change to suit the other person, as we think this will make them happy. The opposite is what actually creates strong relationships – being honest and authentic, and most importantly brave enough to know your worth and to not change to suit another, but to only improve as a result of being in that relationship.

One and one at the very least needs to add up to two. Relationships require constant effort and energy to keep them alive and thriving so why enter into a life long commitment that isn’t going to enhance your life?

The March edition of Psychologies magazine highlights some key points, which I thought, were worth sharing when it comes to being in a relationship. So whether you are married, in a long term relationship or single, think about the points below and if you don’t have anyone to buy you flowers on the big heart love day then buy your own – at least you will get exactly what you want and see it as a gift of love to yourself.

You don’t need another to complete you if you remember the following:

  1. Be Authentic – don’t pretend to be someone else.
  2. Bring romance to your friendships – enjoy your friends more so the focus isn’t just on your relationship.
  3. Bring friendship to your romances – take the pressure off by just having fun as you would with any friend.
  4. Meditate/pray – what ever your belief system, by spending time alone or in prayer you will discover that you have enough love within you and you don’t need to look for it in another.
  5. Forgive – don’t bring baggage from the past into the present as it is only destructive and prevents you from moving forward to the happiness you deserve.

A friend once said to me – ‘be true to yourself and you will have the happiness you deserve’. I have never forgotten those words as it was only when I was happy in myself that I started honouring my self worth and that was when I met my husband. Love really is out there for all of us to have and to hold.

Happy New Year! I am not sure if it is just an age thing or whether time really is speeding up but 2012 flew by and the end of January is already in sight…

I decided to spare you an overly positive new year’s blog about goals and resolutions and just share with you something simple that made a real impact on me and is going to be my focus for 2013.

Every now and again a really good advert appears and has you stopping what ever you are doing to watch or listen to it, and most importantly has you acting in the way the message hopes you will. For me it was the John Lewis Christmas advert with the message ‘Give a little more love this Christmas’.

It is a beautifully filmed story of a little snowman who makes an arduous journey across the country to find John Lewis to buy his little snowlady a pair of red gloves with matching hat and scarf. It is all to the stunning and haunting voice of Gabrielle Aplin’s version of the Power of Love. The key message is make love your goal.

“Love is the light
Scaring darkness away”

When one thinks of love we usually think of it in terms of relationships but love is all around us in many forms and we often don’t realize its impact. By loving others we are also giving love to ourselves as it makes us feel good to love and this has a huge effect on how we feel about ourselves. They always say you can’t love another if you can’t love yourself and I believe it is true. Women are particularly guilty of this as they are always giving to others and often neglecting their own needs.

The definition of love seems to be universally accepted as ‘an intense feeling of deep affection’ and so I invite you to make love your goal this year and approach everything you do with the perspective of caring and giving. If nothing else make 2013 about really feeling more for life and you will find you have a far richer experience. If you can say you love your life then you are complete…

If you haven’t seen the advert then click here as it really is lovely is watch.

It is safe to say that I have been experiencing ‘Bloggers Block’ for the last few months but I really appreciated the number of requests I had for more blogging so hopefully I am back.

I have had a very interesting last few months, a combination of highs and lows resulting from forced change and the mixed emotions it all brought up.

I had been living in my dream house for the last almost two years, and to be honest I could have lived there forever. It spoke so much to my biggest value of nature. Being able to sit quietly in our own wood sipping a glass of red wine at dusk waiting for the badgers to come out was truly a rare opportunity that I am not sure many ever get to experience, and one I am not sure I will have again. To have groups of wild deer crossing the driveway in the misty, cold winter mornings and to know that life was going on around me in perfect harmony always grounded me. I guess I forgot that it wasn’t really mine and at some point it was going to end.

Change seems to be the biggest challenge for people. Our natural instinct is to resist it, rather than embrace it. My recent experience of forced changed reiterated the importance of enjoying each and every moment so when something does end we can walk away without regret.

It has also taught me not to get too attached. By this I don’t mean hold back, but make sure you are able to open your hand and let go when the time comes. For the most part we have very little control over life despite thinking otherwise. It is often only when we experience forced change that we realise this. What we can control though is how we react to change.

We can’t stop that company making us redundant if they decide to restructure. We can’t stop someone ending a relationship with us if they decide they are no longer in love with us and we can’t stop someone dying when they have a terminal illness. When we think we are in control we often drift along not really being conscious of our lives and it takes forced change for us to learn to live more mindfully. I was sad that such a beautiful time in my life was over but I am grateful I was able to experience it in the first place.

I am now in another lovely house and mindful of the fact that I am only ‘visiting’ and so I am seeing each experience as just that. It is also time to commit to England being our home for how ever long that might be.

‘If my life is for rent and I don’t learn to buy
Well I deserve nothing more than I get
Cos nothing I have is truly mine’  – Dido