New Year goals

Reviewing your year – finding ways to be kind and loving to your self

Most of us begin each New Year with some form of vision for the coming twelve months. January can be a dark and dismal month in the northern hemisphere, so planning ways of taking forward the hopes and dreams we have for ourselves can help to lighten the days.

As 2014 draws to a close, there’s a tendency to reflect on our accomplishments, and wonder what happened to all those lofty plans we made almost 12 months ago.

Did you imagine you’d make more money, lose more weight, be more successful in your career, be kinder to others, travel more – oh the list of ‘mores’  can go on ad infinitum if we let it.

Somewhere along the way we usually get ‘stuck’. The best laid plans and visions lose momentum amongst the day-to-day humdrum and pressure of life.

It’s all very well imagining and even writing those goals down and thinking we’ve got heaps of time to make them a reality. Without even realising it, a minutiae of ‘stuff’ gets in the way – or we find reasons (could they be excuses?) to delay a little, then a bit more, until suddenly it’s December again!

Maybe you feel you need to know more, to get more experience, to be ‘better’ before you put your plans into action?

Small steps

When we have too many options, or take on too much, it can paralyse our brains so much that we become totally overwhelmed – and end up doing nothing. Believe me I know, it’s something I’m very aware I have a propensity for.

When I realise what’s happening, the old adage of eating an elephant one piece at a time springs to mind.

I read an inspirational blog post by Frederique Murphy recently, with some helpful suggestions, called ‘7 steps to turning imaginary dreams into reachable goals’. She uses the acronym of CASTLES – chunk, align, scribe, trust, launch, enjoy, set. Have a read, see what you think …

What one small step could you take today, that will chunk down your dreams and begin to take you towards the life you truly want to be living?

Lose the life-limiting language

Have you noticed yourself saing “I really SHOULD be doing …”, “I HAVE TO keep doing this because …”

Rather than using this limiting and self flagellating language, ask yourself, what do you WANT to do? Who says you must, should, or have to do anything?

What lights the fire in your soul? Because if the vision you have for your life is always around shoulds, musts and have tos, not accomplishing these expectations will lead you to feel ‘not good enough.’

How would your life look if you decided to stop being so hard on yourself? Who knows, you may even get more done by taking on less.

Be your own best friend

Imagine you have a really good friend, someone who’s always looking out for you, cares deeply about you and only wants what’s best for you. What would she say to you right now?

Be kind and gentle towards your self.

When we can treat ourselves better, we automatically behave more compassionately with the people we spend time with.

Review, reflect and revise for 2015

My intention was to put together an incredible tool for you to review, reflect and revise your plans for 2015.

I guess I took too much on and didn’t prioritise this – life got in the way I admit.

However, an incredible fellow coach called Zivana Anderson from ‘Mindset Destination’ didn’t let overwhelm stop her so I’m sharing the love for her planner for 2015. I’ll be printing it off and taking some time to see what wins I had this year and the strategies I can use to make the most of next year.

And I’m going to be (because I really want to) kinder, gentler and more loving towards me.

How about you?

How to let go of your dreams (in order to manifest them)

Birthing naturally

Birthing naturally

You know those times in life when you have a dream, a vision of something you really want to do, have or be, but however hard you try it just won’t work how you imagined it would?

It’s not easy to walk away and trust that life knows what it’s doing is it?

Sometimes however it’s the only way.

Maybe your timing wasn’t right, or maybe what you think you want and what’s for your highest good are two different things!

It’s usually only when we look back, with the benefit of hindsight, we realise and understand this.

Soren Kierkegaard said (this quote has profoundly affected my life):

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”

Talking about ways to bring new life into our days, takes me back to my quarter of a century in midwifery …

Natural birth

How was your birth?

No, not the birth of your children. YOUR birth.

Was it fast, slow, early, late, complicated, painful – or gentle and unhurried?

Do you even know? Have you ever asked?

I was born at home, which I see as a great gift. My mum may not agree, as she was alone for the whole labour – the midwife only deigned to arrive at the last minute.

From what mum’s told me, the labour was uncomplicated and drug-free. The only part that was a particular ‘problem’, was when the midwife finally came and proceeded to instruct mum not to push, as she hadn’t quite got her equipment ready!

Ridiculous woman. It’s just not something you can forcibly stop, once the baby’s ready. Having said that, entering the strange confines of a hospital whilst in labour can halt progress, but that’s another story …

I do wonder if mum did attempt to resist that forceful expulsive urge. She was only 26 years old, with no-one to support her (my dad was working away). In which case, it’s feasible I got frustrated, as the strength of muscle contractions would’ve been forcing me further down, despite mum holding back.

What has this got to do with anything you may ask? In a previous post I discussed the importance of breathing, and said I’d share this with you.

During our Holistic Life Coach training, we were encouraged to discover more about our birth story. It seems possible for messages to be processed by the brain during the process, which can subconsciously affect our life.

So I can postulate that my fear of being buried alive, and importantly my ‘fear of drowning’ that wasn’t overcome after the white water rafting incident, could have originated from being ‘forced’ to stay longer in the birth canal than necessary, at a crucial point, and feeling suffocated.

It sounds far-fetched, but who knows what information could be hard-wired in our brains?

I’m also aware of being prone to impatience. I figure being held back like that, could be one of the reasons! However, mum’s story is she told the midwife in no uncertain terms she was pushing whether she liked it or not.

I could also picture the fact that my birth was a fairly rapid one, with no obstructions. And I was early! Well, only a week or two, which isn’t exactly ‘early’, in fact it’s well within the parameters of ‘normal’. But I didn’t hang around.  Once I was ready I was coming out!

Mine was a ‘good’ birth. How often is birth in the twenty-first century as gentle, physiological and ‘normal’ as this I wonder?

The 4 Ps – Power, passenger, passage, psyche

During labour, there’s four major factors affecting progress:

1/ The Power is around the strength of the contractions, how well nourished is the mother, how well rested is she? What position is she in – lying flat on her back in bed is unlikely to assist the power of labour, though lying on her side if she’s exhausted could. Changing position frequently can also help. Standing up and walking around helps enormously.

2/ The Passenger of course relates to the baby as she/he descends the birth canal – or not! There is an ‘ideal’ position of course, head down and flexed (chin on chest), ‘left occipital anterior’. Or in layman’s terms, on the left side and looking down. In this position the fetus is optimally placed to negotiate the twists and turns of the pelvis. Other positions may birth vaginally, but could cause more challenge.

3/ The Passage relates to the anatomy of the mother’s pelvis. There’s a number of shapes and sizes, the measurements of which drifted out of my head as swiftly as I read them, like most anatomy and physiology! Suffice it to say, some dimensions work well and others not at all.

4/ The PSYCHE – such a vital P, and one that’s not always acknowledged in the production line assembly of birth in a modern, ‘keep to budget, get them through quickly’ labour ward. In a planned home birth the psyche is calm and in control, in a noisy labour ward such as those seen on dramatic TV programmes, adrenaline kicks in and can halt contractions in an instant, leading to a cascade of unnecessary interventions.

Little can be done about the woman’s anatomy, but the other three can be helped to progress in a variety of ways that can literally shift the process from ‘stuck’ to ‘smooth’.

Breathing, as always in life, is crucial.

One of the (sadly many) practices I found extremely distasteful in professionally ‘managed’ childbirth, was encouraging women to take a big breath, hold it, and push forcibly as long as possible until her face was beetroot red and she soon became exhausted.

What also happened during this process is that the oxygen supply to the fetus was interrupted.

When the woman is ‘allowed’ to adopt a position conducive to giving birth, and follows the spontaneous nature of breathing and automatic expulsive efforts, the baby is more often than not born gently and with as little trauma to either party.

No force, letting go and allowing nature to take her course.

Listen, learn, change your mindset and let go 

You have a dream.

You’ve hit a brick wall.

You’ve worked hard to push through the barriers that have been presented to you. But they’re not giving.

It can be frustrating. But continuing in the same direction regardless of the obstacles can be foolish.

Like the obstructed birth, it may happen eventually but at what cost in terms of trauma?

Consider what you can change that may lead to a different outcome? Maybe you can look at the dream differently? Or move the timescales you’ve put upon yourself?

Start to consider a change to your mindset …

Or is it time to let go?

If things aren’t moving, then don’t keep forcing it. Because when that happens, when you force against nature, you’re much more likely to encounter an obstructed labour!

Wait a while. Let go of expectation. Be open to possible changes of direction and opportunities that weren’t originally around.

“Don’t push it, don’t force it
Let it happen naturally
It will surely happen
If it was meant to be” ~ Leon Haywood

Your dreams

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences of following your dreams. When it worked well, what was different to the times when it didn’t?

As always, if you want to consider a coach to support you to birth your dreams, do get in touch.

Awakening Your Life – what does this mean?


Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment.”~John O’Donohue

Do you wake up each morning happy to be alive and thankful for another day full of endless possibilities?

Or do you struggle to shake the sleep from your eyes and body, dreading the day and wondering what you’re doing, who you’re doing it with, and where you’re going?

Maybe you alternate between the two, or sit somewhere in between?

A fascination for change

Whilst studying for my ‘Holistic Life Coaching Diploma’, I brainstormed words that resonated with me for my coaching ‘niche’, my specialty, and my passion. I listened to clients and the feedback they gave about their coaching journeys. I searched for other coaches and the ‘titles’, or ‘niches’ that headed their blogs and websites.

I’ve been forever fascinated and drawn to change, in a variety of ways during my life – I mostly do not fear it, I generally embrace it and relish the excitement and surprises that it can bring. I believe a life without risk is a life half lived, and that the biggest risk is not taking one.

However there are also times when I wonder what it would be like to just ‘be’ settled and content in one place, with no need to move around or change so much – and there have been times that I’ve done that, but I cannot imagine living in that world constantly.

The word I strongly felt associated most with my aspirations and style of coaching was ‘Awakening‘, and despite someone (well intentioned) suggesting ‘Awakening Your Life’ sounded like ‘mumbo jumbo’, I persisted and remained true to my gut feeling.

Dictionary definitions suggest to awaken is to: stir up a feeling, to awaken or arouse strong emotions, to bring out, to trigger, to stimulate, kindle or revive.

An online search reveals the following possibilities:

Awakening – noun: stirring up, birth, waking, waking up, revival, awaking, animating, rousing, stimulation, provocation, arousal, enlivening, activation, kindling, incitement, vivification the awakening of national consciousness in people

1. rousing; quickening: an awakening interest.
2. the act of awaking from sleep.
3. a revival of interest or attention.
4. a recognition, realization, or coming into awareness of something: a rude awakening to the facts.
5. a renewal of interest in religion, esp. in a community; revival.

n – the start of a feeling or awareness in a person a picture of an emotional awakening

Living a limit-less life

I realise some people associate the word ‘Awakening’ with religious connotations, and this can be one aspect of it. For me though, it’s about encouraging and supporting people to make the most of their life here on earth, secure in the knowledge that no-one can possibly be sure that there is anything BUT this life.

The messages we’ve listened to during our childhood and taken into adulthood, we’ve formed into our limiting beliefs about life, and may be keeping us trapped in an emotional prison and preventing us from living limit-less lives.

The media feed us mainly negativity and drama in order to sell their wares, and the government instill more propaganda to lead us to believe we live in a world where we must all work harder and longer, and spend all our time saving for a retirement that we may never live to see due to our lack of a work/life balance.

I’ve been a midwife since 1988, supporting women to birth their babies, and also committed to guiding students and colleagues to provide continuity of excellent care to childbearing women and their families.

Awakening lives is a continuum of this – as a Life Coach my purpose and passion is to support and guide clients to bring their hopes, dreams and aspirations to fruition, to let go of their ‘buts’ and ‘what ifs’, their regrets of the past and fears of the future, to seek ways of valuing the simple things in life – feeling gratitude for what they have in this moment rather than always seeking things they think they don’t have and feel they need in order to be happy.

To love themselves first and foremost in order to see that love reflected back to them from others, and once they’re able and willing to do this to then discover ways to visualise and live their dreams by moving through their fears and changing limiting beliefs.

So, ‘Awakening Your Life Coaching’ is about:
1. Awakening – giving birth to a new life, a new way of seeing your world primarily (internal), and then the world outside of you.
2. Beliefs – what do you believe about life? Where and when did those messages become your truth? How can you reframe these so that they serve rather than stifle you?
3. Change – what is there about your life that you want to change? Are you happy where you are, what you’re doing and who you’re spending time with; or are you frequently wishing you could do something/many things different/ly?
4. Dreams – what have you always wanted to do, but don’t feel ‘brave’ enough to find ways to make it a reality?
5. Emotions/Feeling – are you more of a thinker (to do) than a feeler (to be)? Do you fill your life with so much busyness in order to stop your self from feeling emotion? How can you begin to let go and be still, to listen to your heart and its wisdom, and trust life to bring you what you need?

If you’d like to explore some of these concepts, contact me for a free discovery call to see if a Life Coaching relationship with me is for you.