I think about this quote a lot.
Firstly, I think how deeply grateful I’ll be to have lived to 65 or 75.
Then I think about whether I will have lived that big, juicy creative life of imagination and radical silliness.
Will being perfect really have mattered or will being present and showing up, flaws and all, have mattered more?
Will people’s expectations and judgements have mattered more than my hopes and dreams?
There’s a quote that say the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago and the next best time is now. If your life isn’t feeling big enough, juicy enough or creative enough there are things you can do today to change that.
Change feels like such a big word but you change with every next decision you make and taking one step at a time even if they start off as baby steps. Those steps add up and you find yourself on the journey to where you want to be.
Live the life you were created for.
I’m cheering you on!
I’m quite proud of these peace lilies! I bought them as 99p mini plants to go in a planter and they’ve continued to grow bigger and stronger.
Lately, I’ve noticed that even though they’ve been in the same warm, bright place and getting watered regularly they’ve stopped looking so well. A closer inspection showed that their roots had outgrown their pots and were trying to escape!
It got me to thinking that we can often look for the visible signs of growth in our lives but we don’t always take the time to tend to our roots. Healthy roots are vital to healthy growth but it's easy to let their care slip. I think our roots are things like our emotional wellbeing, our relationships, our spirituality, our self care and our thinking patterns.
These are all generally hidden away and its easier to focus on the more obvious things in our lives such as achievements and busyness. The thing is, we start to get less and less healthy and our capacity starts to reduce if our roots aren’t being properly nourished.
My peace lilies are now happily replanted in bigger pots with our own matured compost from the garden. Their roots are being nourished once again and they look better for it already.
Where might your roots need a little bit of care today?
It was my oldest daughter's 20th birthday last weekend. Birthdays are a time for celebration and celebrate we did. Brunch, cinema, pizza, presents and a mound of cards full of love and encouragement due to the kindness and generosity of friends.
It was also a bittersweet time of reflection. You see, my daughter has M.E. and first started to be unwell when she was 13. Her whole teenage years have been lived under the shadow of an ill defined but devastating illness.
In the midst of that she had shown a strength, resilience and compassion for others that has consistently taken my breath away. To meet my daughter is to be inspired.
As she stood on the threshold of her twenties she had to say goodbye to teenage years that were lived in a different way than she had imagined. There is a grief associated with that and with the fact that those years will not come again.
This new decade offers hope that things will be different and a fear that they may not be. Alongside this fear is a steely determination to do what she can with what she has.
Life is so very complicated for us all. We live daily with grief and hope intertwined and I have made my peace with that. We hope for full health but are determined to thrive with what currently is. It is the most whole, honest and faithful way for us to truly live.
The painting is by my youngest daughter of her sister. Blue and purple are the colours of fibromyalgia and ME and the grey hair shows the sense of invisibility. Look at the eyes though! They’re looking forward and holding onto hope.
I heard an amazing story about the women of the Himba tribe in North Namibia.
Before a woman decides to try for a child she goes out into the wilderness with some of her closest friends and she waits until she hears the song of her coming child in her heart.
Upon her return she teaches this song to the child’s father so they can sing it together at conception and birth. The song is then the child’s and is sung over the child at every important life event.
Here’s the best bit!
If that child loses their way or lets anything steal the dream of who they are, then they are called to the heart of the village and their song is sung over them until they remember again.
I think there are times when the song of our heart can be bullied into silence or we’re made to feel as if we should be singing a different, more acceptable song. The thing is, silence or another song will not feed us and make us feel alive and connect us to our dreams and purpose.
It is a great gift to have friends who know your heart song and can sing it back to you when you forget it. Coaching can help us rediscover that song too; to find the right starting note and to reconnect with what is really in our hearts and brings us life.
Take a moment to listen for your heart song today and then sing it out! Our songs are unique and sung together they make the most beautiful noise!
A client sent me this feedback and it really made my day. It was lovely to receive such positive feedback but mainly I felt completely humbled that this client trusted me to walk with her through a hard season.
Her words really struck a chord and for me they describe what life coaching is about: Its a place of challenge and invitation.
The challenge of really looking at things, being willing to explore the hard questions and the hard emotions and embracing change and the cost that comes with it.
The invitation into a safe space to stop, think, find peace and clarity and just be.
I love what I get to do and who I get to do it with!
This is the result of one of my birthday gifts last week. We’d just come back from ten fabulous days with extended family so for my birthday I asked for some alone time!
I’m an introvert, which contrary to many dictionary definitions doesn’t mean that I am shy or reticent or that I don’t like people! The literal definition of the word ‘introvert’ means inward focused and that makes sense to me! I have a very busy internal world and like to process things privately before I talk about them. I love proper conversations that challenge and change things.
I actually really love people and love being with people (which is a handy quality for a coach!) but when my batteries start to go flat I need a quiet space to recharge rather than looking for more social interaction.
This means that for my birthday, hubby took the reins so I that had a few hours of silence to felt this little guy and now I’m ready to go again and looking forward to a very exciting week ahead!
Self care is vitally important for everyone and it looks different for everyone too. It’s good to learn what you need and to have the courage to ask for it!
This is what my kitchen looked earlier this week as I began a bulk cooking marathon!
Bulk cooking has been a big part of my meal planning since my girls were little. Its a great way of making sure there’s decent, nutritious meals on a regular basis.
I’m not always at my best by the end of the day and so lifting something out of the freezer in the morning so its ready to warm through in the evening has been a life saver more times than I care to remember!
Yes, it means buying lots of ingredients at once and then a mammoth cooking session but then its done and actually works out more economical in the long run, especially if you factor in all the emergency takeaways you can no longer justify!!
Time management and advanced planning isn’t always exciting stuff but sometimes life is about looking at the big picture of everything you’d like to do and achieve and figuring out what you can do practically to create space to help make those things happen.
Bulk cooking is a great start!
Its finally here! The day you turn 18 and the day you’ve been waiting for, for such a long time! I remember so many days as if they were yesterday.
There was the day you were born. The long walks to nursery (that was just round the corner) because we had to take time to throw the stars back into the sky that you had caught in your dreams. The day you hunted out the boy at nursery who had been mean to your older sister and flattened him. The day we persuaded you to stop sucking your fingers (which seemed remarkably easy to do) and then you reappeared sucking your thumb instead!
There was the day you capsized sailing and I had to watch you bob in the water for ages until you could be rescued and then later on make hot chocolates for a caravan full of friends as you regaled your story. A heroine of the high seas!
There were the day(s) I had to tell you I had cancer and the day I got to tell you I was in remission.
There was the moment in the Moroccan souq where I thought I had accidentally sold you (and your sister) and then the offers of camels for you!
And of course just recently, the day you passed your driving test, found out you’d got into the art college of your dreams and got your first job
Through them all you have been wonderfully you. You are strong, brave, feisty and determined. There’s no denying that. You are also incredibly kind and loving and compassionate and loyal. A friend told me when you were born that your bold exterior would hide a tender soul. That has been so very true and you are a beautiful blend of both.
Onto beauty. My girl, you are breathtaking. You are gorgeous on the outside but it is the beauty that shines from within that takes my breath away every day.
You stand now on the edge of adulthood and you’re ready. You’re ready to go out and change the world but here’s the thing; you’re already a world changer. You changed my world they day you burst into it and you change the world of everyone you meet because of who are you and the light that shines in you.
As your mum, my hope and prayer is that we have given you roots and wings. Roots to always know you have safe harbour in life where we will always love and support you and wings strong enough to carry you wherever life takes you. Fly high my baby girl. You’ve got this.
This is Jemima, one of our call ducks that have lived in the garden for the last 7 years. Jemima isn’t with us anymore but I came across this photo and it reminded me of her time with us.
Jemima would be great at laying a clutch of eggs and sitting on them for 21 days. The thing is, duck eggs need 28 days of incubation to hatch. Almost without fail on day 21 Jemima would get up for her usual daily walk and wash but instead of then settling back down on the nest she would wander off and sit at the other side of the garden. The eggs would get too cold and they didn’t hatch.
Once we got wise to this we would watch out for day 21 and then we would go find her, lift her up and put her back on the nest. She would fuss for a while and then get back on her eggs and stay there for the last 7 days and cute little yellow ducklings would follow.
I don’t know what goes through a duck’s mind (I’m guessing from the behaviour of my ducks not that much most of the time!) but I’m imagining 21 days feels like a long time to be sat on a clutch of eggs never mind the full 28 days. It probably seems much more attractive to give up and have a nice wander around the garden and fill up on tasty grubs and greens.
The thing is, she’s so close! Just another week and she’ll have ducklings!
How many of us are so close to seeing the realisation of our dreams but we get off the nest too soon and stop incubating those dreams when they need us most?
It can be easy to be discouraged when we don’t see results or nothing seems to be changing. There can be miracles happening under the surface though! We just need to believe for that little bit longer and keep on doing the right thing and pushing through to the right time when our dreams will be realised.
Coaching can help keep you focussed and gently guide you back to your metaphorical nest so you can keep tending those dreams and doing what it takes to see them come to fruition.
Your dreams are worth the effort!
I’m not a big fan of snow. Or at least I wasn’t until we were snowed in for the last few days. I thought it was wet, cold and a bit inconvenient. The thing is my family love it!
My husband starts designing his dream igloo, my daughters want to throw snowballs and the dog loves to tear around in it at a speed that defies his 10 years.
This time round I decided I’d try and see the snow from their point of view and embrace it rather than endure it. We went for walks and let the dog run to his hearts content, we threw snowballs at the icicles on the front of the house and we built the igloo of my husband’s dreams!
It was still wet and my feet still got cold but it was also fun! By choosing to see the fun my family saw in the snow I got to experience it too.
Sometimes we can think that our perspective is the right way to look at life. Actually, it’s just one way of looking at things and it is shaped by our experiences, expectations and preferences. Someone else can look at the same situation and see it completely differently.
It can be really healthy to step back and consider that there are other stories to be told about where we find ourselves or that other people have found a way to overcome something that we feel is insurmountable.
Trying to understand another person’s point of view or learning from experiences and being willing to be open to changing how we see things can be transformative.
It can be really good fun too!