You can count on me like 123…

I love the song Count on Me by Bruno Mars. It makes me feel good and I think about my friends when I listen to it. I think about how they support me and I look at how I support them and what I can do to be a better friend. We are all so busy today (too busy in fact), but that just seems to be the speed the world is moving at right now. A close friend who is going through a really tragic time said to me that she doesn’t feel like anyone has really been there for her. A client said to me that her friend just doesn’t seem to have time for her anymore.

What is friendship?

What does ‘being there’ for a friend mean?

Who will you call when you need a friend?

Who do you think will call you – will you be there when they do call?

I am reading a really interesting book called ‘Is That All There Is?’ by Julia Neuberger who is a female Jewish Rabbi. She talks about Facebook and what the term ‘friends’ means. I always find it fascinating how many people seem to have so many ‘friends’ and yet they seem inherently lonely. Are we deluding ourselves that we have a support group because we are all connected online? What happens when we actually need people to give of their time and to be there to do things for us – things that take time and can’t be done in a few minutes on Facebook, Twitter, MSN and the rest….

Count how many friends you really do have – they always say if you can count them on one hand you are rich in friendship. If you have more than 5 really true friends then know you are lucky and remember to make time for them as true friendship is pretty special.

Now go and enjoy Bruno Mars.

I have just got back from a wonderful break in the warmth and beauty of Indonesia. I find holidays are a great time to get perspective on one’s life.

PERSPECTIVE is one of the most powerful aspects of coaching. We all view our lives in a certain way and that perspective is often seen as our reality. What if we can change our perspective, can we then change the way we view our world? The answer is absolutely.

I believe what sets positive people apart from those who see the glass as half empty is they choose a positive energy-enhancing perspective, no matter what card life deals them. While we can’t change the essence of our reality – if we are going through a particularly challenging time in our lives we can’t just make the experience go away, but we can choose the way we see it. We always have a choice in how we view our world and people often forget this.

The coaching process assists in exploring different perspectives on what ever issue or challenge we are facing. From there we can choose the perspective we think will serve us best, and from that place we can look at what resources are available to us that will give us strength and confidence to move forward.

I am back in my reality now and know most of you are in yours as you read this, but remember you can always choose what perspective you want to be in. Life really is all about CHOICE and you don’t have to wait to go on holiday to get perspective, you can do it anywhere, anytime.

Try this simple exercise next time you are in a restaurant – switch places with the person opposite you and notice how different your experience is. The essence of your reality is still the same – you are both eating in the same restaurant, at the same time, at the same table but just by changing your outlook you will see the restaurant differently and notice things you hadn’t seen before.

I am always fascinated with the psychology of commuting and how routine we all are when it comes to going to work.

I drop my husband at the station every morning just before 6am so he can catch that awfully early 6.04am train. We always know we are perfectly on time if the man in the grey jacket (who we have now called ‘The Marker’) is at the bend in the road and if not then we drive that little bit faster (just assume he is always on time). The same man in his biker jacket (always stands right next to the bins reading The Sun) is puffing away – as if it is his last cigarette – before the train pulls in. The final piece in the morning station gathering is an older very posh looking man in his black 4X4 who comes in on 2 wheels at 6.03am and literally runs to the train every day holding his hat – yes he wears a hat (but not just any old hat – a real old fashioned hat). Some days if we are early I wait to see him arrive as it always intrigues me how he never allows that extra minute just so he can walk to the train. I would have thought starting the day like that can’t be the most relaxing – maybe he likes the adrenalin rush just to add a bit of spice to the mundane monotony of the morning commute.

Then as I do my u-turn and leave the station the same lady stares at me from the driver’s side of her car as she has dropped her husband off. I think I might smile at her tomorrow just to see her reaction – she might well smile back…

As I leave the station and make my way home there is always this other man walking very upright and never in a rush. He carries a very old looking briefcase and his other hand is either in his pocket or carrying a newspaper. He seems to have quite a long walk but is never in a rush and is always walking in the same part of the road when I pass him. He strikes me as being very content with life.

As I wind my way back up the lanes the same farmer in his old green Land Rover passes me at the exact same spot and then last week he actually waved at me. I thought this was lovely as although we don’t know each other we are a part of each other’s morning and in a sense it almost seems rude to not acknowledge each other. If any of these people are not in one of my mornings I do notice it and in a strange way feel like something is just not quite right.

Next time you commute see if you can spot those strangers in your life who form part of your daily routine. Maybe you have never noticed them but I can guarantee you, they are there and they might well have noticed you. This might just offer some light relief to the otherwise rather depressing news that seems to have become the norm of our papers.

It really is true that in England when the sun shines the whole place seems to come alive.  l was watching this beautiful butterfly today busying itself amongst the purple flowers and it made me want to write about how precious life is.

The other night I watched the movie ‘Veronika Decides to Die’, based on the book by Paulo Coelho (well known author of the Alchemist). Initially it seems like a very sad movie about a girl who can’t see the point of going through the motions of life. As she describes it – you get married, then after you have had kids your husband has an affair because you are too tired and busy being a mother and you wish you could kill him (and his mistress), but then you realise that life on your own would be worse and so you put up with his behaviour (because he will do it again) and just go through the motions of life without feeling much. She overdoses but doesn’t succeed and so after being in a coma for a week finds herself in a psychiatric hospital. She is told she has done permanent damage to her heart and will die at any stage from a heart attack.

I wont tell you what happens but she yearns to see the sea, watch the sun setting and to hug her mother. In her case, these are all things that are freely available to her on regular basis. So – I am curious as to why it is more often than not that we only start to really live and see the magic in the simple things when we are faced with death. Why is that?

Every day is another day closer to our final one and yet how many of us embrace each day from the perspective that we have one day less left to live? No matter who we are or how healthy we might be today, we just never know when our last day will arrive.

I have a very close friend fighting cancer and he said to me ‘ I feel like one of the lucky ones as I now see the magic in each and every moment, no matter how small and insignificant it might seem’.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”- Mark Twain

Don’t wait to be faced with death before you start to see the magic all around you.

I subscribe to Yoga magazine as I find the articles both interesting and practical and often relevant to my coaching sessions. Recently I read an interesting article on meditation myths.  I am trying to incorporate meditation into my life and find it a real challenge to still my thoughts (as do most meditation novices).

It is very frustrating when you feel you can’t control your mind and all these random thoughts keep rushing backwards and forwards for no logical reason. We expend far too much energy on thoughts of the past (which is now history), worrying about the future (which we really have very little control over) and so why do we do it?

I was coaching a client a few weeks ago, who by her own admission, expends too much mental energy worrying about the future. She is not alone as we are all guilty of such practice. I shared with her what I had read in Eckhart Tolle’s book – A New Earth – that we only ever live in the present and that even when we get to the future it is still the present…therefore surely the only thing we ever need to focus on (notice I haven’t used the word ‘worry’) is the present?

So I wanted to share a tip with you that I got from the article on mind mastery meditation to help you stay in the present. Instead of trying to fight your thoughts away and feeling annoyed that there are so many of them; rather just observe them floating by as if they are all on clouds just passing by.

I found this does two things – firstly it takes the pressure off of having to be good at meditation (if you are meditating but you can practice this during your normal day when you become aware of your thoughts or find yourself worrying).

Secondly, it gives us the ability to take a step back and watch our minds, instead of being our minds. When ever we go away on holiday we get perspective on our lives as we have stepped out of our day to day. This little practice will help you to keep perspective and to be more in the present moment.

Happy cloud watching…

As a life coach I learn so much from my clients, which is one of the reasons why I love what I do and never feel like it is work. I had such a great session today, which my client has given permission for me to share.

When she started life coaching she wanted to have everything happen at once – she felt that it was all taking too long and she wanted it all now. Today she told me that she realised that her greatest learning during the coaching journey has been Acceptance – acceptance that time cannot be fast-forwarded, that the clock only ticks as fast as it is meant to. As she held her little daughters feet in her hands she realised how much they had already grown and it made her realise how quickly time does actually move but if we wish it away we don’t notice the subtle changes which we can never get back. I thought it was something for us all to remember that we need to learn to live in the moment and realise that the future will only happen as fast as it is meant to and in the meantime the lesson is to notice the immediate moment of which we will never get back.

Children are our greatest markers of time as they grow so quickly – we do too but we don’t realise it as we are rushing around so much worrying about what we should be doing or agonising over what we didn’t do. Just stop, take a deep breath and accept that life moves at the pace it is meant to. If we don’t we will always be in a constant state of exhaustion and frustration.

Why does sex change everything?

S-E-X – that good old forbidden word – or is it? Why are some cultures like the Italians ALL about sex and passion and others like the English all about not mentioning the word unless they are plastered…I find it intriguing how many people never spoke (or speak) to their parents about sex. Why is it like this and is it still like this today for the younger generation?

I am not sure that much has actually changed when it comes to sexual equality in the bedroom. Women are demanding equal rights in all aspects of life, whether it be salary, politics, childcare, maternity/paternity leave, equal opportunities etc BUT how come when a women sleeps with a man (now I am generalizing here)  it changes everything? Suddenly they become vulnerable, want a commitment and if it doesn’t work out then they feel used. I don’t quite get this last part because surely when an adult enters into any form of agreement with another adult it should be on equal terms. So why does this not happen under the duvet?

This is where I become passionate about coaching women as I see so many women not valuing themselves enough to demand the respect they deserve from men.  Self-respect is critical to having self-confidence and self-worth. If we don’t respect ourselves, how can we demand it from others? We start respecting ourselves through our actions and taking self -responsibility. When a man and a women have a wild night of passion and it is only that – they should both see it as a fun night to remember and it was only a moment and not meant to necessarily be anything more. He shouldn’t be the stud and she shouldn’t be slag.

This week-end certainly makes history with the perfect fairytale wedding to start – nearly half the world watching and an unbelievably huge turn out in London itself.

Continued sunshine and no rain. According to BBC Weather, the statistics haven’t been fully compiled yet but it does look like April 2011 will go down as the warmest and driest April on record (never a shortage of a weather stat in the UK).

Two 4 day week-ends back-to-back and as Jamie said on London’s Heart this morning – ended with the capture of the evil man.

It certainly is a week-end of change in the form of a younger and more updated royal family that seem perfectly normal. From the reports of the after parties – in fact sound wilder than most. It has taken 10 years for Osama Bin Laden to be killed – one forgets just how long the Afghanistan war has been going on.

I think we should just take a moment to reflect that this was quite an extraordinary week-end with lots of change to come as a result…


Did you see the magnificent full moon last night? I took this photo just for fun to give a different perspective on what we normally know as the perfect round ball. It is still the same moon and lights of Tunbridge Wells but not as we would normally see them.

I love the full moon and have always made it a conscious part of my life. It represents a very sad time for me, but rather than seeing it as a negative, it has become a symbol of how precious life is. The full moon appears every 28 days, which when you start to take notice of it you realise just how quickly it comes around again.

Life operates at a crazy pace today, but if we can find meaning in small things that occur regularly in our lives, it offers a moment to just stand still and be thankful for all we have and who we have in our lives.

Nature is a wonderful way of marking time – it might seem like spring has only just sprung, but the daffodils have mostly finished blooming and won’t be seen again for another year. Did you take time to notice them…

I would love to hear how others notice time (apart from seeing how quickly children grow as watching them really does make me feel like the days are flying by far too quickly!)


As British Airways was taking off and I watched the lights of the city recede into insignificance it made me think about what perspective most of us are in when it comes to life.

Whenever I book a seat I like to face forward. I asked my husband what he preferred and he thought it was an odd question as he doesn’t mind – a seat is a seat.

For me it is important. I like to watch things getting bigger as I approach them. If you are going backwards you only see things once they have passed and invariably they are getting smaller. So in essence, when you face forward – you greet life and when you go backwards – you say good-bye as you have no option but to see things receding (unless you don’t mind getting a stiff neck).

Both seats are on the same plane, train, boat or whatever other means of transport you choose but each gives you a different perspective. Life is all about what perspective we choose to be in. After all it is all one earth, one air, one life.

What seat do you prefer – F or B?