When the wall seems too high

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

“Just when you think you’re on a roll…” “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans…” “The Universe had different ideas…” These are all expressions that demonstrate how frequently we face challenges and obstacles in life. Sometimes the obstacles we face seem insurmountable. The wall seems too high. We can’t see over it or through it and it’s causing a hard stop in our journey. Here are a few things to consider about those walls: Two stacked bricks will seem like a wall when we are tired. ‘What we pay attention to expands’ – John Maxwell. Staring at the wall makes it bigger than it is. All the time we are staring at the wall, we are missing what’s going on elsewhere. Every wall ends. The Wall of China, the Berlin Wall, the wall on the Mexican-US border; every one of them has end points and ‘loopholes’ in […]

The Fog of Familiarity

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

I saw this picture and thought, ‘What a beautiful place to live!’. Then I wondered if the people who live there appreciate how pretty it is. Would they look at where I live and wistfully think the same thing?! Familiarity sometimes becomes a fog that prevents us from seeing what’s right in front of us.  When is the last time you looked at your home and surroundings with fresh eyes?  Can you think back to a time, years ago, when you day-dreamed about what your future home would look like, and wondered how on earth to make it a reality? Suddenly, having to clean and maintain it doesn’t seem such a chore any more, does it? This is a simple but powerful switch in mindset that helps us to feel more gratitude, more in control, more resilient and ultimately much happier. It even makes the ironing easier for me!  I […]

Feed the Hope – Starve the Fear

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

John C Maxwell, internationally renowned thought leader and author, says that what you pay attention to, expands. This week as we all very tentatively and gradually emerge from the ‘lockdown life’, what do you want to expand in your future? Hope, opportunity, a safe future, health, reconnection with others? If you focus on the negatives, the losses and challenges – they will expand in your life.  Do you want that? How about instead focusing on what you want to feature more in your future life.  Then keep turning towards that. How? Put a picture of it somewhere you spend a lot of time. Put a reminder of it on your phone in an alarm or a screensaver or wallpaper. Write it down, with a pen and paper. Say it out loud, first thing in the morning and last thing at night.  ‘I will….‘ Promise it to yourself. ‘I promise…’ When we […]

Are you ‘drink-driving’ through life?

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

Drink driving has become so socially unacceptable now that I’ll bet you bristled when you saw the headline here. The vast majority of us don’t do it.  Most people judge those who do – silently or vocally, culturally and criminally. Yet, 1 in 3 of us operate our lives (and sometimes our cars) under the same conditions as a drunk driver, because that’s the number of people it’s estimated are sleep deprived. Scientific research tells us that after being awake for 18 hours or more, an individual’s performance equals that of someone with a blood-alcohol level of 0.1% (the benchmark for drunk driving in many countries).  Some studies say that losing 2 hours of sleep is equivalent to having 3 beers.  The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates fatigue-related crashes that result in injury or death cost $109 billion annually, not including property damage.  Sleep deprivation was a factor in […]

When cocooning hides procrastination

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

‘If this lockdown was completely lifted tomorrow, what would you be sorry you hadn’t done?’ A common question, even a challenge. I delight in hearing how others are forgiving themselves more now for stopping to smell the roses, noticing the Earth breathing, getting out in the fresh air more than usual.  Notwithstanding the real heartbreak of missing contact with family members outside our own home, it’s a nice way to live. Personally, I’m going to focus on what I did do: walked more, appreciated every day having both children home from college and school, the occasional lie-ins because there’s no travel, spending less.  I have breathed more than usual. But what about when, if we’re really honest with ourselves, this becomes an excuse not to do something that could be really impactful for our work, business or future life?  Comfort zones are perfectly named – it’s soooo comfortable for most […]

The Upper Hand

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

It may feel as is this virus has changed our lives utterly and in many ways it has.  Feeling that we have no control flags our stress response and we humans don’t like it! Each generation has endured major and catastrophic events that have changed lives and punctuated the decades.  Each one is ‘new’ and shocking at the time – airplane hijackings in the 1980s were new; flying passenger airplanes into buildings in 2001 was new; Foot and Mouth disease was new (ish).  H1N1, SARS and the spread of Ebola in recent years were new – or seemed new because we were experiencing them for the first time, maybe even first-hand.  Each of those events changed the way we behaved, operated and travelled.  Each challenged us to re-evaluate our mindset and values. The extent, speed and reach of this pandemic is new to our generation.  We’re astonished that something can take […]

Peace during a Pandemic

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

13.3.20 I get it: Covid-19, its effect on our peace of mind and day to day life is awful and seems to be getting worse by the hour. I’ll get straight to it: while I mostly coach individuals on building their personal resilience, I also help business owners make sure their businesses are resilient. For business owners who are understandably concerned about the economic implications of Covid-19, I suggest asking yourself three powerful questions: 1) What have I been through before that was similar?  (e.g. foot and mouth, Brexit, financial crash, SARS, H1N1, add your own here).  You’ve managed before, you can do it again. 2) What is this teaching me? A powerful question that I mentioned in a recent post. It can stop a panic spiral in its tracks and enable real insight into what’s really going on from a macro-perspective. 3) Is there an opportunity for me here? For example: Is there an opportunity […]

Tired of caring?

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Nurses, Parenting, Resilience

There are many issues that can be brought to coaching. One that I am seeing a lot of recently is burnout caused by compassion fatigue.  This is a type of exhaustion and a reduced ability to empathize or feel compassion for others. It happens to people in caring professions because they are exposed to the sharp end of life every day at work.  They walk in the shoes of person who is suffering in order to understand what that person’s needs are.  As a result they endure what’s known as vicarious trauma. It happens to healthcare professionals, teachers, school principals and others.  It can happen to family carers too.  It’s very upsetting for them because they are naturally compassionate people.  Any difficulty they have with empathising feels like they are not themselves.  They start to doubt their ‘goodness’ – probably something they thrived on before. If you are in this […]

Everything going wrong?

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

You know those days, sometimes weeks, when everything seems to go wrong, fall, drop or break? Things that are usually embedded as habits and memories, just fall out of your head.  You forget important stuff you have had on your mind for ages beforehand.  Time moves faster unexpectedly and you find yourself late, and can’t believe how it happened?  You notice that things just aren’t panning out as they should. It can feel very disorientating.  You doubt your memory, your organisational skills or even your sanity. There are some perfectly logical explanations for this.  There is also one question that makes it all seem better and more manageable. Possible explanations: You are overtired or sleep deprived. You have been depriving your brain of the nutrients, hydration or oxygen it needs. You have said ‘Yes’ too many times instead of ‘No’ or ‘Wait’ You need to update your systems and habits […]

Honouring the urge to hibernate

Posted Posted in Awakening, Coaching, Resilience

Some say the holiday season is tough for them.  Most say early January is even harder.  It’s getting colder.  Sparkly decorations are gone.  Bank accounts are empty. I came across a beautiful post on Facebook the other week about what are bodies and minds yearn for in the depths of winter.  It explained that for weeks before and after the winter solstice, we are supposed to be resting, reflecting on the year gone, allowing our mind to gently move, at its own pace, towards the opportunities and hope of the spring season ahead. It described perfectly why our natural inclination is to sleep for more hours and get up later in the mornings; how winter is a time for ‘hibernation…for tired limbs’ and ‘burdened minds’. The author of the post goes on to say “Our modern culture teaches avoidance at a max at this time; alcohol, lights, shopping, overworking, over spending, comfort food […]