The month of February is the month of love. Everywhere I go shops and supermarkets are promoting Valentine’s Day offers on flowers, wine and chocolates.

When was the last time you gave yourself something?

Many of my clients have difficulty when it comes to prioritising their own needs. It always seems to be their time that gets squeezed. What I do is to ask my clients to block out some “ME” time in their daily schedule. When they feed back to me they often say that it’s been really hard for them to stick to it. We know that it takes six weeks to create a new habit and this one seems a real challenge to master!

Why do we find it really hard to say NO to others so we can say YES to ourselves?

  • We feel guilty because we feel we should be doing something else; we may start cleaning, sorting paperwork or other displacement activities.
  • It feels self-indulgent to give to ourselves
  • We value other people’s time more than we value our own.

As women we were brought up to please others and to put others first. We have to start by deconstructing some of these earlier patterns, as they are not healthy or sustainable for us in the long run.

When will you start prioritising you and gifting you the time and attention you deserve? I suggest that now is the perfect time to start.

Ask yourself what you would most like to be given as a gift, then go ahead and gift that to yourself.  (It doesn’t have to be expensive either, just choose something that would nurture you, nourish your soul and give you joy.) I’d love to hear what you come up with.

Remember you need to keep yourself topped up with love, only then can you fully give to others.

 

January can begin with a review of what we achieved in the past year and setting new goals for the year. One of those goals could be to change your career or to review your current role. It may be the time to think about whether you are actually doing the work that inspires and uplifts you. As we spend so much time at work, it's critical that we enjoy doing it and that it inspires us most of the time.  ...continue reading "New Year, New Career?"

As the summer holidays come to an end and September approaches, this new month feels like the start of something new. September is the start of a new  academic year and as I worked in education before I became a coach this month always has the flavour of a new beginning.

For many women in their fifties September is the time when our children embark on their journey to university. Their departure can leave us feeling empty and with a deep sense of loss. We wonder what to do with our lives now that we have more space for ourselves.

Like the change of seasons, change is a constant, but when change arrives it is not always welcomed or anticipated. Letting go of the old is part of a life transition and there will be a time when we are "cocooning."  Cocooning isn't a dormant phase, but rather a phase of gathering new energy around us, like a space " in between." Eventually we feel ready to start our next new cycle/life phase.

Here are some suggestions for new beginnings this month :-

  • Venture into new territory - find a different route to work or discover a new walk in your local area
  • Register for that course or evening class you have been thinking about for a while but have not got round to doing.
  • Buy something in a new colour. A new scarf or lipstick will bring in fresh energy.
  • Review your morning routine. Does it need a few tweaks e.g. a healthier breakfast or getting up half an hour earlier so you have more space for visualising/meditating/morning stretches.

Here are 3 questions you can ask yourself at the beginning of a new month:-

  • What would I like to initiate this month?
  • What needs to be brought back into balance?  ( e..g  finances, energy levels, quality time alone.)
  • What do I want to have achieved by the end of this month?

Wishing you a wonderful September........

 

 

Sometimes our lives can seem like an endless line of things we  "have to" do, “must” do and “should" do. It’s like a never-ending conveyor belt. Then there is that "to do" list that never seems to go down, not to mention the things we always mean to get round to doing but never make the time to do. You may even have dreams that have become buried underneath everything, so you have forgotten about them. As women it’s very easy to get caught up in supporting everyone else instead of  prioritising ourselves.

So now might be the perfect moment to put some time aside to pause and reflect.

When we are busy “doing” we don’t take the time to " be" with ourselves. Some of my clients make their lives so full that they have no time for themselves. During coaching they come to the realisation that “being busy” is actually an unhelpful habit and a way of avoiding spending too much time on their own. Taking time out can feel unfamiliar and uncomfortable to start with.

When was the last time you took time out to reflect on where you are and what you want to create for the rest of this year?

5 benefits of taking time out

  • To connect to the still point inside you and tune into your guidance and inner wisdom
  • To become calm, relaxed and centred
  • To reflect on the past week and month and acknowledge what you have achieved
  • To re-connect to what you really want
  •  To build your personal resilience. It's much easier to tackle the more challenging aspects of life when we are “topped” up 

My top time out tips

  • Block out a day a month in your diary just for you and keep it free no matter what!
  • Choose a special place to “be.” This might be a lovely room in your home or a beautiful quiet place outside in nature
  • Never feel guilty. This is your time and an amazing gift you can give to yourself

Are you feeling drained by the sheer amount of things you have to do every day?

Today as I write, it feels like spring is in the air. This morning, when I woke up to sunshine pouring in through the windows I was reminded that just being here is a gift and that our time is precious. No-one likes wasting time so it comes down to a question of re-prioritising. Sometimes it's good to stop and re-examine how we are spending our time so that we can begin to free up some more time and energy.

If your life was a really precious gift how would you want to spend your time this week?

What would bring you the most joy and pleasure?

Write down some of the things that you love doing every day that will lift your spirits and connect you to your heart. Call this list A.

Now make a list of all the aspects of your life that are not working well; the things that drain you or make you feel flat and call this list B. (You might have a never ending to-do list which never goes down. Just thinking about it could be draining you! )

  • How could you reduce the things on list B so you can do more of the things on list A?
  • Some of the items on list B  will be things that you have to do so is there a way to do them differently so that you can feel lighter and more energised?
  • Are there things on list A that you have forgotten about? Schedule in couple of them into your week and notice how you feel afterwards.
  • It might be that you need to create a more balanced life by dropping some activities on list B that are not serving you.
  • Remember to schedule in some "alone time" to give you the time and space to daydream.

Let me know how you get on by posting a comment below.

This time of year can leave us a feeling a bit jaded and unmotivated. No wonder we have Valentine's Day in the middle of February to bring in some warmth and passion. This week's post is  your invitation to find more passion in your life!

OV26AOMUMIWe know that passion is infectious- remember the last time you spent a few hours with someone who was enthusiastic and how this made a  difference to how you felt?

As a coach, I am fascinated by the theme of passion, and how we cultivate that vital "spark" that makes us feel alive and expanded. Last week, I attended an inspiring talk by Gregg Levoy who has a new book out called "Vital Signs: The Nature and Nurture of Passion."  As well as talking about passion, Gregg talked about "dis-passion" which is the experience of being numb, stuck or bored with our lives.

How do we get our passion back when it seems to have gone into hiding? Gregg reminded us that passion will come and go naturally but there are ways in which we can cultivate it too. And of course Gregg's talk  inspired me to write this post to you!

3 Ways to Reconnect to Your Passion

  1. Stop doing the same old things in the same old ways and experiment with your life. Create a different routine in your day and see what happens.
  2. Step out of your comfort zone. It doesn't need to be a huge step but it could mean that you risk saying something positive to someone rather than keep quiet or step up in the way you do something.
  3. Spend an hour a day doing something you are passionate about, this could be painting, writing, baking, walking and notice what happens.

I'd love to hear how you get on, so please post a comment in the box below.

When was the last time you felt free ?

When did you take time out just for yourself ?

I spent the Christmas period in Devon, chilling out with family and friends. Spending time with everyone was wonderful but I noticed that I had a yearning for some time out on the coast. Being by the sea always makes me feel great. It's an opportunity to cleanse and refresh my energy. I found some space and set off to spend the day by the sea. As if by magic, in the midst of the many wet, dull, grey days we had been experiencing, the sun came out, and I found myself on the beach watching the beautiful reflection of the sunlight over the sea.

There was a strong wind blowing, which made for high waves and red cheeks. When I started walking I was literally blown along by the gusty winds. As I stopped to watch the waves break on the beach I was caught unawares by a much bigger wave. Suddenly there was water flowing over the top of my boots, which then seeped through to my socks and feet! But I didn’t mind at all… in fact it felt like an invitation to be playful and I had a laugh about it.

Freedon blog ist pic

I became fascinated by the mass of sea foam left behind on the shore. The bubbles lasted for ages and I was mesmerised for what seemed like hours, just observing and breathing it all in.

Fredom blog 2nd image

 

Something magical happens when you spend time out in nature exposed to the wildness of all the elements. Somehow you feel connected to life, to the bigger picture, to your wild side.

 

There is  more space for your creativity to flow.

  • When did you last set aside a day just for you?
  • I invite you to set aside a day just for you
  • Commit to it by putting a date in your diary now

And if you can’t physically create a day right now, set aside an hour to go outside and connect with the elements.