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

It is hard to believe that the first part of all the years of planning, building, training, straining and tears is over. What are we going to do without all the smiling purple and red volunteers and the friendly police posing for photographs with their not normally seen guns and letting children sit on their motorbikes. These are not the images one normally thinks of when it comes to London – oh and it didn’t rain either!

The opening ceremony silenced most critics – as well as those who didn’t quite get the history lesson, but enjoyed the special effects and lighting all the same. The closing ceremony was a true celebration of a spectacular two weeks of all what sport is about — bringing the world together on neutral ground to show who is best and the limits that human beings are prepared to push themselves too – often in the face of adversity the greatest stars are born.

We all have our favourite moments or Olympians that we marvel at but how has this event inspired you to go further in your own life? What did you see or feel that made you think you are going to try that much harder to get fitter, eat better, focus more – in essence believe in yourself more?

As Ussain Bolt said – ‘ I know I am the best’. Is that arrogance or raw self belief? The reality is that he is a legend. No one can deny that to see him in motion is breathtaking. There are too many truly inspirational sports stars (and more to come in the Paralympics) to list them all, but as Sebastian Coe said at the closing ceremony – ‘when our time came we did it right’. It resonated with me as a slogan for life and I wondered how many of us will be able to say at the end of our lives that we got it right…

Use the energy of this amazing event to inspire you to get more out of your life and to be able to say at the end – ‘I did it right’.

Go after your gold…

When you are feeling grey – go Fifty Shades greyer…

Why is it that a book about S&M and bondage is having women all over the world literally squirming in their seats as they excitedly hang on every word about what Christian Grey is doing and going to do next to Anastasia?

What is it saying about society that we as women are all obsessed with reading how a woman can be submissive and totally controlled by a dominant and clearly very disturbed man – does this really turn us on?

I bought this book for my latest holiday which I have to say was the perfect accompaniment to the hot Sicilian sunshine and the Italian passion for love of life. There is no denying that this is a great read and will spice up anyone’s relationship.

However, the other side of the coin is what are younger readers going to do with this information? I was talking to a doctor yesterday who said there is growing concern amongst mothers whose daughters – as young as 15 – are reading Fifty Shades of Grey. Is this how the next generation are going to view sex – that it is all kinks, doms, subs and vanilla is out?

Below is a real life account of a woman who found herself in the situation of being a submissive and the harrowing effect thereof. The reality is we need wisdom and life experience to know the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy sexual relationship and what our boundaries are.


When it comes to coaching women I find the essence of all issues stems from how they value themselves. How then can women have good self-esteem and self worth when they allow themselves to be in situations where they are dominated and treated as a sex toy?

If women find themselves voluntarily entering into relationships where they put the man as a dominant figure that can surely only lead to further issues of lack of self worth and diminishing self respect often resulting in depression and self deprecating behaviour such as drugs and alcohol.

When it comes to the Fifty Shades Trilogy – enjoy the fantasy and take out of it what ever you deem to be healthy and fun remembering that there is always a fine line in life…

How many of you woke up today excited because it is Tuesday?

While there might well be something exciting happening for you today  – I am talking Tuesdays in general. It is an almost forgotten day of the week as it is isn’t the beginning, middle or the end.

Thursdays are great because they are going out nights as you only have to get through Friday, but what do we do with a Tuesday – apart from hoping it passes quickly and then we can say we are half way through the week and that much closer to the much loved week-end?

A lot of coaching is about re-framing how we see and feel about things. I tried this little exercise last week of reframing the way I think about the days of the week. Rather than just seeing them as days of the week I gave them themes. This meant that an arbitrary day like Tuesday became a tantalising, tasty and exotic day.

I decided I needed a word that excited me and triggered my senses. I spent the day really focusing on my five senses and it made such a difference. A normal day became a really interesting one with many things I previously didn’t notice as, like a lot of people, I was so focused on just getting to the end of the day and then I would be half way through the week.

So why not give it a try and make Tuesdays your sensory day – starting with today. Of course if you happen to read this on any other day then that is not to day that day can’t be your sensory day.

  • When someone is talking to you today – listen that much more intently to what they are saying – really hear them.
  • As you eat your lunch – take time to really taste the food with more intensity than you normally would.
  • What ever you touch today – really feel it.
  • What ever you look at today – really see it. Try looking at it from a different angle to what you would normally.
  • If you see any roses today – make sure you stop and smell them.
  • Lastly – what ever you say today – say it with conscious intent and really mean it.

Today is all about connecting with your senses and making every Tuesday a tantalising sensory day and no longer just that poor day wedged between Monday and Wednesday.



A few days ago I found myself standing, with no more than 6 inches between us, next to a mostly naked total stranger. I was dripping with sweat in a dimly lit humid dank room of 104 degrees stretching my body in a series of challenging poses for 90 minutes – not something I would intuitively have thought of as healthy or fun!

After much frustration at trying to find the perfect yoga class I decided this week to give Bikram a go www.hotbikramyoga.co.uk and luckily had a friend to accompany me who was also experiencing the great sweat for the first time. It was extraordinary in many ways:

Firstly, the fact that you are semi-naked in rather exposing forms. Even though you are told to keep your eyes on yourself in the mirror, it is hard to resist taking a little peak at some of the sights that you find yourself hotly amongst.

Secondly, it is a physical and mental challenge to remain in the intense heat. When we did have a chance to lie down I could feel my heart literally pounding on the towel as if it was saying – we seriously need to get out of her before we explode!

I have done yoga on and off in various styles for many years, but this was unique and for those who consider yoga to be religious in some way – I can honestly say Bikram is something in its own camp. If some do consider it a religion then that was lost on me. I believe it is a personal discipline and challenge to maneuver your body into 26 different poses while remembering to keep breathing and drinking so as to survive the 90 minutes without dehydration and/or passing out.

The teacher is certainly not your calm tree-hugging yogi uttering a series of melodious and relaxing chants or OM’s – nor is there the fragrance of cleansing incense burning. Think total opposite, and you have someone with a headset on delivering instructions in an almost hypnotic way that is aimed at eliminating the need to think and more to just act and allow the body to mould its way into shapes it never knew possible.

Despite my account of it as seeming like a rather harrowing and absurd experience, it left me feeling incredibly cleansed, light and with a real sense of achievement. My friend has already been back and I will be too this week.

When you are new to yoga you struggle to get into a pose, or to do it well, and feel frustrated when you watch a more advanced practitioner doing it with relative ease. For many of the standing poses one falls out of them and initially has a sense of failing but when the instructor says – don’t worry if you fall out, just get straight back into it and try again – you realise that the worst that can happen is you fall out and so you start again.

I find yoga great parallel for life as our physical bodies reflect so much of what is going on for us mentally. The principle of yoga is based on the fact that each pose is designed to energise and release toxins from various parts of our bodies. When we learn to let go mentally we are able to go further physically and when we let go physically we seem to be able to go further mentally

So if you are looking for some warmth and a serious challenge then find your nearest Bikram yoga centre and have a go at experiencing the joys of sweating and adding a new dimension to your life. I would love to hear how you get on.

Sometimes it is good to wallow and if you are a hippo then your perspective on wallowing is sheer heaven.  I have been asked a lot recently why I haven’t written any blogs over the last few weeks and to be honest the reason is that I have been feeling very down with all this rain.

As a life coach I always feel I need to project an image of positivity and always looking for the best perspective on things. After weeks of relentless rain I was struggling with both my positivity and my perspective – although I have to admit my lawn is sporting a fantastic shade of bright green, but even that hasn’t been enough to lift my spirits.

While talking to a friend this last week, she said I should write a blog about how I am feeling. I thought it might be seen as negative and then I realised that there is a lot to be said for sharing how one feels and that it is ok, even for a life coach, to feel down about life.

One of the powerful aspects of life coaching is that it allows you to acknowledge where you are in your life without any judgement, and to give yourself permission to be with your emotions and not fight them. We wouldn’t be human if we were always happy and laughing. We need to experience the dark times and the tears to get a balance.

Once I allowed myself to acknowledge the fact that I wasn’t feeling great, I was able to be honest when someone asked me how I was and I told them I was miserable. They almost seemed relieved because they were also feeling down about the weather, so we both reminisced about sunshine and how we need to book a holiday.

After I had given myself permission to be miserable I felt like I had taken the pressure off, and the ironic thing was that it wasn’t long before I started to feel good again – and the most bizarre part was that the sun came out.

I hope this blog will help you to give yourself permission to allow yourself to sometimes just be with an emotion. If that is considered a negative one, then just acknowledge it and for that period be in the perspective of a hippo. Draw comfort from the fact we all have the inner resources we need to pick ourselves up and when we do the sun will shine again….

Here’s hoping for a good summer.

I’ve just got back from skiing and two things really struck me.

1)   Adults stop at the top of the slope spending ages peering down it.
2)   Kids just go straight down.

FEAR – ‘an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger’

– Oxford English Dictionary.

One of the things I love about skiing is watching the way little kids go down a mountain – totally relaxed and without fear. We seem to lose these characteristics as we get older. We invariably become more uptight and less fun – who said fun is just for kids?

What would be possible if you approached life like a 5 year old going down a ski run – arms outstretched, totally relaxed and not worrying about what might happen.

The longer we stand at the top of a slope the more fearful we become as our minds start to think of all the things that can go wrong. This only makes us stiffen up and invariably the law of attraction comes into play and we fulfill our fearful prophecies as we go tumbling down or worse, break a leg.

The challenge for all of us is to trust in our ability more and to let go of our saboteurs who are intent on holding us back.

It is never too late to address fear and once it is conquered there is no going back. We are all capable of skiing like a 5 year old so don’t wait any longer to take on that slope that you have been staring agonizing down fearing the worst.

Put your arms out, take a deep breath and just go for it!

Suggested reading: Taming your Gremlin by Rick Carson.

This is a story of three little ducks and how we need to trust in life that everything happens for a reason. What isn’t always obvious at the time becomes clear at some point.

Last summer I befriended three Mallard ducks who took up residence in our pond. I started to feed them and before long they were part of the family waiting outside the back door every morning for their pellets and again in the evening. It wasn’t long before they ended up staying permanently outside the back door sleeping with their beak in wing between meal times. Even the dogs and cats seemed to know they were part of the family and didn’t raise an eye when the ducks all waddled in to the kitchen one day when I was a bit behind their feeding schedule.

I am always amazed at the accuracy of nature’s clock.

As the days shortened and the temperatures started to drop it never occurred to me that they wouldn’t be there anymore. I thought most of the ducks were resident now. I was wrong and one day they just weren’t there anymore. It felt empty for a while not seeing and hearing their daily quacking but I thought they had obviously gone in search of warmer lands, or the fox had taken them all out in one night, which was pretty unlikely.

This last week I was woken up in the early dawn by extreme quacking to discover the same three ducks are back. I literally ran outside with their pellets (which had been sitting in the garage all winter) and they came running. It was a reunion of much noise and excitement and what amazed me the most was to think of the thousands of miles they had flown to escape the winter, only to come back to my house – the three of them still together.

What I thought was lost, had only temporarily gone away. Sometimes when people leave our lives, it isn’t necessarily forever – they are just doing what they need to. If the ducks had stayed they would probably have died. They left so they could come back again.

Life is like a boomerang – you just have to have faith in that old adage of if you love something, set it free and if it comes back to you it is meant to be.

I am looking forward to another summer with my three little ducks.