Connection

  • Nobody is perfect so why am I trying to be?

    Perfectionism comes in many disguises, yet is logically impossible to achieve. Whilst we all know that, we don’t necessarily believe it right into every cell in our body.

    We hear praise heaped on the “perfect” ones and wonder why we weren’t included. We see those with the perfect looks, figure or voice getting picked from the crowd, when we want to be the one. We watch other more perfect team mates get opportunities, promotions and bonuses that we crave.

    I know these stories. As a Pilates teacher, my story is the way I look as I demonstrate equals my credibility to teach – if I wobble or my tummy pops out, then my students will have less faith in me. As a daughter, my story is that I’m too sensitive to belong as that’s what has been said to me when I get upset. As a Coach, my story is I should be the example of the authenticity, vitality, joy that my clients crave or why would they work with me?

    None of these are true, but it doesn’t stop me trying to be perfect. Can you relate? What stories do you hold to be true about perfectionism?

    Perfectionism: Woman with her hand over her eyes, looking tired and frustrated with the task ahead of her

    Why do we believe perfectionism is important?

    It protects us by giving us a sense of purpose and control, as well as an excuse. It protects us from feeling big emotions like shame, failure or even joy. It protects us by enabling strategies like avoidance, fantasising or overworking. 

    We believe in perfectionism as an ideal, an absolute or right way, something to aspire to.  We believe it will allow us to fit in, to meet the standards and expectations of us, to satisfy those around us of our value or worth.

    Perfectionism pairs beautifully with over working and over giving. That bitchy mode we sometimes find ourselves in with ourselves and with others or the martyrdom we create to feel needed as we rescue people, tasks or events.  Let’s not forget it goes hand in hand with unleashing our critic’s irritation in our perceived slips or trips.

    Perfectionism: Mixed race woman, sested in front of a bright orange wall. She's looking at her laptop in frustration with her right hand raised.

    Where you try to be perfect?

    I’ve noticed my perfectionism shows up in differently in different aspects of my life and more strongly when I’ve not met my needs. Is it similar for you?

    Anything work related I tip into either do more and more depending on how confident and comfortable I am with the task to avoid negative feedback, judgement or disappointment. Or I avoid doing anything all together if things I am really invested in but feel unsure how to move forward.

    With my loved ones, I have tended to become all consumed with overgiving and burning myself out in order to feel loved and a sense of belonging. 

    Avoidance also crops up for me when I believe I can’t achieve my personal desires and thus risk feeling inadequate or like I’m letting myself down. It opens up a raft of excuses I can use to deflect decisions, avoid action and fake acceptance of my “lot”.

    Take a moment to reflect on the last week – where did perfectionism show up for you? What did you do or not do? How did your thinking and feeling change? What was the story you were telling yourself?

     

    Perfectionism: woman on white sofa, arm outstraetch across the back and her head hanging back.

    I’ve been reminded this week of the saying “done is better than perfect” as my desire for perfectionism before I launch a new idea has kicked in. 

    I’ve moved forward slowly last week – I’m nearly done and it feels good. My story of the “perfect” I should achieve isn’t true and I can play with new ways forward safely. Can you?

  • Increase your self-love

    Hmmm, February is the month that love is in the air. Red balloons, cute teddy bears and cards proclaiming “you’re my Lobster”. Maybe you enjoy this season of romance or perhaps it makes you feel awkward about how you feel about yourself.

    “How can anyone love you, if you don’t love yourself?” is a question that is thrown out there quite a bit.

    Self-love doesn’t equate to being loved by others. You absolutely can be loved appropriately by others who see the joy you bring, when you find it difficult to love and accept yourself. 

    Our Lover Powertype stems from our need to belong and connect. She helps us access our true selves, with compassion, vulnerability and care. Lover is the centre of our vitality and self-acceptance. She draws people to her with her zest and energy, as well as her ability to help others feels seen and known. And boy, she’s fun to bring to any social event, romantic moment or team activities!

    What would life be like for you, if you had easy access to your Lover? 

    Self-love: hands making a heart shape with a glowing sunrise behind them

    Yet, many of us at some point will have experienced times of low access to Lover. 

    Our trust gets broken. Values and boundaries crossed. Hearts broken. 

    The expectations or needs we have of family, friends or intimate partners can go unmet – sometimes deliberately, sometimes unknowingly. 

    The relationship we have with self-love and self-acceptance alters and distorts. We no longer care about our wellbeing, appearance or joy. Keeping people at arm’s length can become a pattern of safety seeking or we over give, martyring ourselves to try to find love and acceptance from others. Conversations, looks and gestures can reply in our heads as we try to find meaning to explain our emotions, thoughts and behaviours.

    Sound familiar?

    Self-love: black background with hands holding a glowing red heart light

    These challenges, negative experiences and meaning-making stories can hold us back from self-love, self-acceptance and self-belief. We do this to protect ourselves from hurt – rejection, judgement, abandonment, dependency, feeling overwhelming hopelessness or recalling old pains.

    Self-love gives us the ability to feel all the feels and experience all the nuances and colours of life. It gives us compassion for others and ourselves – to see and feel that perfection isn’t a reality, rather the ebb and flow of life needs empathy and care for us all to thrive without doubts.

    What would it be like to create greater self-love by exploring and resolving the memories, experiences and meanings of the past, shaping a future in which you feel more joy?

    Self-love: looking up throw a forest of trees, a hand is held up against the sky, holding a heart shape leaf

    If you’d like to become your own best lover and open life up to being bolder and more courageous in your relationships at home, at work and at play, I’d love to introduce you to how you can achieve deep healing in a few hours of work with me and shift to self-love and access to Lover.

  • Get connected with small doable steps

    Human beings are built for connection; we’re pack animals. Some of us find it easier than others to initiate or maintain connections and some of us need more than others, but we all benefit from meaningful connections with others.

    How do you get connected? Do you actively seek it or does it happen by chance? Are you getting enough of the right types of connections?

    And boy, hasn’t the whole pandemic, lockdowns and restrictions changed our ability to connect?

    Loneliness has become part of our lives for many of us. Emotionally and physically, we’ve been cut off from not only our families and loved ones, but our colleagues and communities. Now as we “come out to play” in the world with our masks and hand sanitisers, we can still feel lonely. It can be a fleeting sensation or an overwhelming constant companion.

    We might feel embarrassed, stuck or frightened, especially if we’ve been burned by past relationships, difficult bosses or having had our trust or values disrespected. We might experience changes to our sleep or eating habits, a greater reliance on negative practices (like doom scrolling, alcohol or comfort shopping) or a sense of disappointment when we are with others and don’t feel heard or seen.

    The impacts of loneliness are not just in the present the moment. Medical research suggests longer-term impacts on our cardiovascular, cognitive and mental health, as well as reducing our immune system’s effectiveness.

    Small group of men and women enjoying a lively conversation in an informal workplace setting

    What can we do to improve our connectedness?

    First connect with yourself. 

    Start with your Lover Powertype: shower yourself with self- care, love and compassion. Meet your needs as best you can: focus on the basics: hydration, eating fresh foods, sleep and movement plus any radical replenishers that work to boost your wellbeing.

    Then activate your Sorceress Powertype: practice daily connection: a mediation, a piece of breathwork, time out in nature, a beautiful piece of music or art. Use your morning pages and gratitude practice to be thankful for the good stuff and extend an invite to Source for “this please and more”. Do something creative – cook a new dish, sketch the view, or try something crafty – to express yourself.

    A dinner table with a feast spread out and diners toasting as they chink their glasses together

    Connecting with others could be a mixture of old and new people and active or passive experiences. 

    Be intentional with your existing relationships: plan time together, trip or visits away from home, beloved activities together – allow the anticipation to awaken your excitement and joy. 

    Try new options to find the people who lift you up. Eventbrite and meetup are good places to start as are professional networks or associations. Why not pick up an old hobby? A netball team? A choir? Volunteering with a local cause or community group you feel drawn to.

    Why not consider passive experiences? Times when you can be with others but not necessarily interact. Watch a show or film and laugh or cry with the audience. View an exhibition and note how others are drawn to the same piece as you. Hike a path or walk through a garden and smile at those you pass. Attend a public service. Notice how connected you feel with limited or no direct interaction.

    You may want to apply some logic by mapping out your connections in the key needs areas and spot those who lift you and help you feel seen and heard, those who dismiss, minimise or devalue you and where you have gaps. How is the balance across the areas you’d like to get connected? Too many or too few? Where do you want to invest more time and energy to maximise your sense of belonging.

    Again, apply your own scrutiny to the names that come up – it is ok to be grateful for friendships or acquaintances that have served their purpose and let them go. By valuing your own self-worth, you create the boundaries for the right people to come along and crete your support safety net and not just for the tough times, but also to celebrate and enjoy the good times with.

    Women seated in rows at a conference or networking event all facing away from the observer

    What one small doable step (or steps) can you take to create, reinforce or sustain your support safety net over the next week?

  • Add little playful experiments to your day & grow your confidence, self-trust & joy

    OK, I admit it. I used to have days where I have zero idea what on earth I’m meant to be doing and question my decisions, my actions, myself. I get in a funk, a cycle of thinking, feelings and meanings that spiral around my head and resist change.

    My self-confidence drops and I lose faith in myself. Sound familiar? Maybe you also have days where self-doubt creeps in and all you want to do is pull the duvet over your head?

    The best way to explore and overcome this cycle is through experiments. Small little acts of play and learning. When these become a habitual practice, you can grow your confidence and your self-trust, and in turn, you feel more joy.

    Experimenting helps us create new evidence to challenge our thinking, feelings and the meanings we make – it allows us to ask what else might be true here? Each piece of evidence grows your confidence and creates greater faith or self-trust.

    Rows of loose leaf tea in jars, tea cups and a lady spooning tea

    What types of experiments can I try?

    1) Find a song that makes you feel the emotions you need to move forward. Play it to boost your mood and motivation.

    2) Change your environment – stand up, move to a different view, add flowers or a scented candle, beautify your space.

    3) Ask for suggestions from people, who have your back and get accountable for doing at least one of them.

    4) Book a workshop and try a new skill, like a craft, a language or a relaxing practice.

    5) Seek new gurus, experts and role models – do the things their research or experience say work.

    6) Write a list of small challenges to hone your ability.

    7) Play tourist in your own town or city: visit a museum or gallery, see a show or join a guided walk

    8) Be a tourist somewhere else.

    9) Draw, paint or sculpt someone or something to create your own mini exhibition (Pop it on your fridge or wall)

    10) Lock your tech and go phone, tablet and computer free. 

    Lady lying on her back with another lady administering reiki to her head

    11) Spread positivity – smile at strangers, share a compliment with a colleague, express thanks, offer a helping hand, brings doughnuts……

    12) Take a walk in nature: along a river or coast, around a farm or wildlife sanctuary, climb a hill or bathe in a lush green forest.

    13) Try a type of bodywork – reiki, osteopathy, breathwork, a different type of massage.

    14) Volunteer with a charity or local community group to do something for others.

    15) Say yes to invites, you might usually turn down.

    16) Explore meetup.com or Eventbrite and find an event to attend and meet new people.

    17) Create a bridging ritual to connect with Source – meditation, dance it out, pray, sing or journal.

    18) Ask to take on a new responsibility, at home at work or within a group.

    19) Dress in a new combination of your favourites: pair trousers with a dress, two contrasting colours, wear a long forgotten sentimental item or something you normally reserve for special occasions.

    20) Shake up your daily routine – switch your meals, when you exercise or add more self-care.

    Lady in a pottery studio, using a pottery wheel

    and of course, do anything that gives you a sense of what you desire to change: how do you want to feel, what do you want to think or do and what small experiment can give you an experience of them?

    Be playful and have fun. Take the learnings and keep experimenting. Check-in with yourself regularly – what happens to your previous cycle of thinking, feeling and doing? Keep experimenting and before you know it, a new cycle that serves you better is created. Your confidence and self-trust will have grown, and you will feel more joy every day.

    So tell me, what’s the first thing you are going to try?

  • Rediscover your authentic self is

    Think of all the people in your life – your family, your friends, your colleagues, the people at your gym or your art class, everyone. How many of them get to see the whole of you? 

    Children were not born to hide their true selves. Nor do they sacrifice their needs or desires in order to be loved. Yet with time, that changes.

    Adults told us what we could and couldn’t do. They showed us through their behaviours what was acceptable and appropriate. We listened to the words they used about other people and learned to modify our behaviours.

    If they are loving, we learn we are lovable. If they are supportive, we have our needs met. However, if they show displeasure at our behaviours, our character or our preferences, we learn a different message. We learn to not just adapt in the moment but to mask parts or all of ourselves.

    Sometimes to the extent that we lose sight of who we are, what we value and what we need to thrive with ease and joy.

    Sometimes you need to rediscover your authentic self……

    Doing so can unlock confidence, faith in your abilities and joy in your life, work and relationships. It can help you gain clarity on where your path lies and the values you hold dear. When you rediscover your authentic self, you also discover the people who lift you up, the people who hold you dear and the people who are aligned to your future direction.

    First step: check in on your compassion levels towards yourself. It is easy to fall into the judgment trap and give yourself a hard time for wearing your masks. They served a purpose and now it is time to put them aside. 

    Compassion also means treating yourself with kindness. Look at your habits around self-care – where could you be more generous with yourself? Your sleep, diet, movement, mindset? What small changes can you make to increase your vitality? 

    Next, don your explorer’s mindset and live in the moment. Spot when you are authentic and when you aren’t. Get curious what values are you using when you are being your true self, what activities are you engaging in and who is there supporting you. Don’t forget to explore the times where you feel unable to be yourself. This will help you narrow down the fears, beliefs or emotions that hold you back and making you feel safer to hide.

    Also get curious about the belief and cultural systems around you – perhaps your family or your community hold certain things dear, valid and true. These might be from the past or the present day and can prove insightful. How do they support or hinder your authentic self?

    And take the exploring to new places, try new classes or cuisines. Visit museums and galleries to check out different aspects of life or new genres. Travel to new places and give new sports or local dancing a go. Got to the cinema or theatre. Catch a comedy gig or attend a festival.

    Why not go alone and try out not wearing the mask or hiding parts of your character or life choices? See what happens. 

    Rediscovering your authentic self can feel lonely. Connect with others who are on similar journeys who share your values or enjoy the things that meet your needs. Check out eventbrite or meet-ups for events you can join.

    You may also find it beneficial to work with therapists, counsellor or a coach to journey with you and rebuild new strength, trust and courage to reveal your whole self in ways you want to. 

    Rediscovering your authentic self isn’t a short term; there are twists and turns along the path. Reactions and triggers that make you want to hide and go back to what wasn’t serving you well. Some folks will struggle to accept the changes you are creating, knocking your confidence to persevere. Your fears and old beliefs will pop up from time to time as you start to shore up your new ones. 

    Mostly, what you will discover is a new ease in your life. You will find a new zest for living and new people who lift you up. Welcome them in, lean on them in the tough moments and celebrate the good ones.

  • Connecting with the seasons

    Autumn is upon us – clocks will soon be falling back, leaves turning shades of rich reds and rusty oranges, conkers on the path and darker mornings and evenings creeping in around the day. It feels like the energy around us is slowing down, starting to harvest or shed what we’ve had and move towards a quieter period of reflection, planning and renewal.

    The seasons ebb and flow around us, year in year out.  They lead us through their annual cycle around the year. Each offers different opportunities to connect with our own energy, efforts and bodies and also with our Powertypes.

    Let’s start with Autumn and it’s connection to Queen.

    Queen’s ability to recognise and learn from what came before, whilst envisioning the new horizon of us, connects to the autumnal cycle of nature, as leaves fall and our landscape changes.

    Things to do: Journal with gratitude on the things that have served you well, the successes that came you way and the times where your authentic self was valued and treasured. What gives you a sense of greater clarity and consistency for your purpose? 

    Then get your diary or calendar out: what do you need to organise or structure in the year ahead to achieve your desired milestones and intentions, whilst meeting your needs?

    Winter turns colder, the ground hardens as roots dig in and replenish with quiet stillness and calm. Days become their shortest and we long for warming foods and gentle rest.

    Things to do: prioritise self connection and connection with Source alongside being really present to the fun of the festive season and New Year. Meditate to forgive, forget and release any emotions, experiences or energies. Turn into your ultimate vision with Sorceress – draw upon her support from heavens above and earth below, use her creativity to generate ideas, develop hunches and craft your year ahead.

    Surrender to Her wisdom to slow down and revitalise your soul, your head and your body. Snuggle up with a book, indulge in a massage, sing festive tunes with others. Nourish and rest in readiness for Spring.

    The tiny shoots of green start to peek out, bright flowers emerging from bulbs deep underground, birds back out and about overhead. Hmmm, I love Spring and its sense of newness. So does Warrioress with her zest and vitality. 

    Things to do: move, get out and use that Warrioress’ energy to plan, start and deliver new projects and initiatives. It’s also the right time to connect with others and create support for you and your intentions.

    It’s a great time to start new habits – like healthier eating or exercise classes, or learning a new language or building a new skill. Use your soft play dates to try new things and meet new people.

    Early summer invites us to beautify our surroundings and connect with our romantic sides, as the baby birds, lambs and wildlife appear in our parks, ponds and countryside.  

    Things to do: Leverage the charismatic Lover energy in the air: find your new mentor, woo your stakeholders at work and shower praise and compliments on your kids, teammates and friends.

    Warmer evenings are made for walks in the evening, admiring works of art and investing in our intimate relationships, as well as investing in romancing ourselves, our brilliance and our talents through luxurious baths, massage and dance.

    Late summer welcomes in the Mother energy as the fruits of our labours ripen on the vine and we come together in celebration.

    Things to do: bring Mother’s unconditional love and acceptance to those who need it – as well as to yourself as you continue to tend your commitments and intentions. 

    Arrange moments to connect profoundly with others; family, friends, work colleagues. Team building, picnics, celebrations and training sessions allow your whole self to be seen and for you to see others as their true selves.

    This annual cycle mirrors our feminine month cycles and support the personal effectiveness and productivity tools I use myself and teach clients. By tracking your monthly cycle (by bleeds or by the moon) can help you spot each Powertype’s dominant time and arrange your diary and priorities to match your best energies. 

    Take this article into your week and add your autumnal Queen activities into your plans. Why not schedule time for each season’s things to do to maximise your connection with them and their Powertype?

  • Connecting with your authentic self

    One of the most challenging things on my journey to being able to be my whole self was reconnecting with myself. I’d completed various personal development courses and classes, read books, followed wise gurus’ and experts’ guidance. I’d avoided really being open to self-connection.

    It was uncomfortable. It made me feel shame, guilt and failure. 

    Yet, it was the key to clearing away the clutter, the old relics and junk of my past and establishing the foundation of what I wanted in life, work and love. It was where I find the essence of me, long buried under the hopes and expectations of others that I felt so keenly. It is whre the source of my joy lay.

    Looking inwards enabled me to finally accept who I am and show myself real compassion and love. That opened the way to self-trust and faith that I’m supported as my true self. I no longer needed to accommodate or conform to please others.

    I found greater joy in my days by saying yes to me.

    What helped me reconnect with myself?

    Externalising what I felt about myself, my decisions and my actions. My harsh judgements. My perceived failures and stupidity. My beliefs about myself and the meanings I’d made from my experiences. My fears of what life could be like if I connected with myself.

    I wrote pages every day. I spoke with therapists and coaches. I released long held emotions. I focused on meeting my needs more holistically every day. I forged new friendships with people who were accepting of the me I wanted to be. I drew new boundaries around me and made decisions that aligned with my values. I practised meditation and gratitude to retrain my brain to the joy in my life. I took chances on new solo activities and developed my confidence in my ability to succeed on my terms.

    And gradually, it became easier to connect with myself. I became comfortable doing things on my own. The choir of judgemental critics on my shoulders still voiced their words, but the sting was gone and I thanked them for looking out for me, using their insights to better understanding myself. The pressures I put myself under reduced and things began to flow with more ease in all aspects of my life. Over time, I gain clarity and with that, certainty in my intuition, decisions and intentions.

    I left behind self-shaming and sabotaging, replacing them with self-worth.

    What might help you connect with yourself?

    Firstly, replenish your energies. It is likely that you are tired and fatigued from performing as the approved or expected versions of you. Don’t underestimate how depletion can impact our motivation, courage and vitality. Radically replenish. Your eating habits. Your sleep routine. Your uplifting social contacts. Your mental and emotional hygiene. Treat yourself with compassion and kindness. Create time to be with yourself and honour it.

    Look at what already positively connects you with your authentic self and do more of it. For me, it was music and joining in – singing (albeit it pretty badly!), moving to my body to it and simply sitting and surrendering to its emotion.

    Reviewing what disconnects you is also a necessary step. When we act out of alignment with our needs and values, it takes us away from ourselves. Developing your awareness of these moments and the triggers for them can provide you with insights into what you can explore, reframe or refocus and channel to move forward differently. It helps you answer what do you need to sustain your authenticity – is it learning or others’ insights? Is it someone to facilitate and support you in your journey?

    Start small to move forward and be consistent. Journal every day or 5 out of 7 or every other day. Sing in the shower or at your kitchen disco. Run like no one is watching (PS they aren’t). Meditate and surrender to all the feels knowing you are safe. (I like Insight Timer for this)

    Listen to your body – what clues is it sharing? Tension in your neck or a sore throat? Tingly fingers or jumpy legs? A sense of lightness and calm? This is another route for our subconscious to give us insights into what we are really experiencing. How do you remedy or enhance those sensations?

    Make time for you in your life and commitments. As one role model of mine says “If it’s not scheduled, it’s not happening”. Allocate time and honour it. Value yourself by investing time in your self-connection.

    My final thoughts for today: every client I work with touches this theme. They find bringing their attention and intention back to connecting deeply with themselves creates new possibilities. Why? It’s this relationship with ourselves that holds the truth of who we are and potentially holds the blocks to how we become who we want to be.

    If you could do one daily practice to connect with yourself and honour your authentic true self, do it. Make it a habit. Start today and take that time to listen and feel within. Trust the wisdom, intuition and feels the joy self-connection brings.

  • Creating connections

    As we work towards lives, work and loves that are aligned and allow us to be our whole selves, we need to reflect upon our connections – the people around us who add to and support our best endeavours, those who advise and counsel us and those who deter and doubt us.

    One of our strongest desires is to belong, to be accepted and wanted. It is an inbuilt motivator and one that can drive wonderful friendships, relationships and partnerships. But it can also be a driver to conform, sacrifice and deny our true selves, as well as harmful comparisons.

    Belonging benefits our mental and physical wellbeing – did you know our immune system is buoyed by a strong sense of belonging? It also enables us to feel part of something bigger than ourselves or our singular efforts.

    How do we create our support network whilst avoiding the potential downside?

    Support comes in many forms. For some, our extended families can be a wonderful platform of love, acceptance and nurture. For others, not so much. Our friends and colleagues are also potential supporters.  

    It can come from experts, gurus and professionals. Or from spiritual leaders or community groups.

    Similarly, the type of support we need varies by what we are facing, how confident or comfortable we feel and the circumstances we find ourselves in. A smile in the moment, sharing a practical technique or some deeper teaching can all be valuable when given freely without judgement or expectation and from a place of expansion and growth.

    Define what you seek

    There are three areas to this: the outcomes you wish to achieve, what support you both have and need and how to fill the gaps. 

    Looking to the first: how would you like to feel more joy in your life, work and love? 

    Recognising where you wear a mask to hide the real you or when you shrink your true self to conform and fit in can be painful, however, it will shed light on areas where the work lies ahead. It can help you understand with clarity in what ways you can take action to bring out the authentic you in all aspects of your life. 

    Perhaps you need to transition your career from one employer to another or become self-employed? Maybe your focus is to improve your self-acceptance and confidence? Or it could be about leveraging your energy to create and hold boundaries that better serve you.

     

    Then consider the support you have already. Who enables you to feel courageous? Who celebrates your successes with joy or commiserates without allowing you to lurk in pity parties? Who feeds you energy and needs? Who’s wisdom creates new thinking and ideas for you to pursue? Who just “gets” you without exchanging a word? Who allows you to be fully expressed?

    Women tend to hang back from asking for help, especially when we feel exposed, vulnerable or any challenging emotions like shame, guilt or fear. In what ways could these people, who are already supportive, provide additional or different support as you remove your mask and stop hiding your true self? 

    Next what is missing from your support network? Is it an expertise or something less formal? And don’t forget you are also your own supporter!

    A mentor might help you avoid their mistakes and a subject expert might suggest books or courses. A friend might provide dinner when you’re under pressure and a bodyworker the skills to release your tensions and stresses.

    In terms of mindset shifts, a coach, counsellor or spiritual guide may expand your thinking, shift any outdated beliefs or limitations and enable you to create new foundations of self-forgiveness, compassion, self-acceptance and self-trust – as well as new behaviours that align to your value and needs. 

    Closing the gaps might require research, asking for referrals, attending events or meet-ups. Your social media accounts might be sources of great people – a question asked, a resource tip or by directly reaching out – and you can also use them to find places of expertise like professional association, specialist groups and gurus’ own pages or sites.

    You might also find your people at local classes, coworking spaces and community opportunities like volunteering. Our kin are also the people we choose, as well as the people we’re born to.

     

    Lastly, don’t underestimate your own brilliance and resourcefulness. Practice your self-connection habits: morning journaling, gratitude practices and solo soft play dates to access Source and the insights, bravery and grounding it can bring you. Your need meeting habits and self-care practices also firm up the foundation for growth and your energy to take action.

    Tell me, how can you expand your support network and enable yourself to experience more joy in your authentic life, work and love?

  • Shift your approach to improve your relationships

    In all relationships, we are trying to balance our needs, hopes and desires with those of others.  Together, we can create a space to feel accepted, supported and safe, where we can be vulnerable, courageous and our whole authentic self.

    And sometimes, relationships can be challenging, draining or confusing. At worst, abusive and damaging.

    As the last part of this month’s archetypes theme, I want to share how shifting your approach by stepping into your Powertypes can improve your relationships – with an intimate partner, family or work colleagues or clients. And perhaps the most important relationship of all, with yourself.

    The biggest transformation I observe with clients who have hidden behind the “acceptable” mask, is when they bring the Powertypes to how they see and feel about themselves. By rediscovering who they are, their values and needs through the compassionate eyes of Lover, they have been able to forgive, let go and stop negative self-judgement. Those critical voices or soundtracks in their heads are often silenced as self-acceptance blooms.

    Lover also enables us to practise effective self-care and replenishment – the gateway to being fully vital and resourceful in all of our relationships. Together with Sorceress’s ability to connect with our inner wisdom and to the unseen (see last week’s article), Lover set us up for success in our relationships with others.

    She’s evocative, magnetic and delights in the senses – bringing her ability to give and receive pleasure with your lover or to your work colleagues by recognising their efforts and contributions.  

    Warrioress offers a playful, dynamic energy to relationships. Helpful in making dull or routine work tasks enjoyable, she can improve your team’s engagement and motivation. Her “let’s do this” mindset neatly leads teams to achieve goals, milestones and deadlines through her organisational skills and the sense of empowerment she creates for others. With friends and children, Warrioress can also bring her physicality to creating safe “rough and tumble” and introduce new fun activities.

    She’s also a protector, an ally and a fighter for her cause, passion and people. She walks her talk and seeks to ensure participation and engagement. In terms of improving your relationships, bring Warrioress’ protection and drive to what’s important about the relationship, what needs to happen in it and why that person/those people are important to you.

    Combined with Queen’s vision, you can create a sense of certainty and purpose in relationships. 

    The Queen Powertype can feel like she only belongs in the workplace – setting the vision and mission for the department or team, making decisions with inputs and counsel from advisors and building opportunities to serve. Yet, she has a place in your personal relationships.

    Her strength in knowing what she must do to serve her family and friends includes meeting her needs without guilt and setting boundaries in behaviours and around her values. Imagine managing bedtimes or resolving family conflicts from Queen. She seeks inputs with an intention for fairness.

    This inclusivity and justice brings loyalty and a desire to provide for her – allowing you to ask for help without guilt or shame.

     

    Let’s turn to the Mother Powertype. The natural relationship for her is with children – her own or other children. Her unconditional acceptance and love for everyone creates a warm, safe space to be in. At work, she’s a patient teacher, nurturing skills and behaviours that benefit the teams.

    A place in her hearth, at her table or in her team makes us feel a solace, a safety and well, a sense of coming home to where we belong. During times of change, you can improve your relationships by inspiring others to try something new, be brave and honouring every individual contribution to the whole – valuable with children or teammates but also with partners who are switching roles or experiencing challenging times. 

    As your access to the Powertypes increases, your ability to transition between them will become more natural and authentic. 

    In your relationship with yourself, Sorceress and Lover create your foundation of energy, self-compassion and faith, whilst Mother brings out the best in you with gentle encouragement.

    In your intimate relationships, Lover provides a feminine sensuality and generosity of shared pleasure. Warrioress is the fiercest wing-woman to a partner experiencing a tough time – she has their back and knows how to support action. 

    With colleagues or customers, Queen establishes working practices and norms within shared values, whilst bringing people together behind a vision of the future, which Warrioress can deliver upon with her “go get ’em” style and raw energy.

    In same ways this article only scratches the surface of how the Women’s Powertypes can improve your relationships. I could write a book and still not be finished.

    Looking back at the other pieces of this month, I’d encourage you to reflect on your key relationships and identify:

    • – where you would like a new dynamic?
    • – when do you want to feel more empowered to be your whole self? 
    • – how do you want them to show up for you?
    • – which Powertype(s) can you leverage to improve your relationship?

    Do you know what your current access to the Powertypes? If not, why not consider taking the assessment and arranging a debrief with me to explore how you could enhance your familiarity with them?

  • August Shares – using Archetypes to be more authentic

    I don’t know about you but I’m loving the Tokyo Olympics and seriously can’t wait to see how the Paralympics continue through August. The grit and determination. The tears of and the cheers. The pride and camaraderie. The winners. The losers. The jokers. The leaders. Even the odd villain has been seen in the ring or in the stands.

    Within the various stadiums, pools, gymnasiums, lanes and courts are full of exceptional human beings……and a raft of archetypes at play. An archetype is a universally understood patterns of behaviours across cultures and communities. Carl Jung developed a series of 12 archetypes drawn from a wealth of stimuli – religion, the natural world, literature, archaeology and more.

    Archetypes have been utilised in a wide variety of tools, psychometrics and approaches used in personal and professional development. I use them in a tailored version that speaks to the archetypes women can experience – the One of many® Women’s Powertypes™. This month, we’re going to explore them and their anti-types (opposites) to boost, empower and create opportunities to bring your authentic self to all aspects of your life.

    I see them as my Olympic teammates – rooting for my success, my peace and my joy – and I’d love to introduce you to yours this month.

    INSIGHT

    Have you ever had a time where you wish you’d somehow brought the characteristics or behaviours of a role model or mentor? Or perhaps in hindsight, you’d have liked to bring forward an alternative version of the “you” who showed up?

    Archetypes can enable you to do just that. 

    I’m not suggesting for one minute that we all go around “acting” out some false character. I know that exploring and gaining connection with your flavour of archetype can build wisdom, confidence, and self-acceptance.

    That’s right – whilst archetypes are universally understood, no two people do them in the exact same way. Your version may share similarities with someone else’s, however, there will be differences unique to you. 

    When we have easy access to these parts of ourselves we can leverage them positively and with intention. Many of us, including myself, need to learn to increase our access or limit the overplaying of elements of them.

    For example, an overexpressed Queen can become an overbearing bully of a leader, losing respect whilst gaining fear from her team. Or an underexpressed Sorceress with little faith in her connections to others and the wider universe can feel alone and reliant only her own grit to see things through.

    The Women’s Powertypes actively tap into the soft power, we all possess. The energy to bring clarity, compassion and wisdom to our various roles and responsibilities, as well as to our many relationships at home, play and work. Learning to embody them each day, we build a deeper affinity with them in bringing our empowered authentic selves to the fore with confidence and trust. 

     

    At times when we feel like the odd one out, our courage can evaporate. We shrink back from opportunities to shape our futures, establishing our boundaries or from asking for help or advice.

    Being able to quieten our mind’s noisy commentary on our inadequacies, isolation or fears, the Powertypes can build our bravery in creating new ways forward into true alignment.

    Lover’s capacity for self-acceptance and great compassion towards ourselves (and others), with Mother’s belief in our potential to thrive combine to vigorously bolster our daring. Pulling upon Queen’s humble seeking of counsel ensures we test and refine our thoughts, decisions and actions with our trusted friends and colleagues, whilst holding our boundaries.

    Courage, bravery and might are foundational parts of Warrioress’ “get on and do” mentality for her passions and cause, at home, work and afar. 

    COURAGE

    LIBERTY

    Choice and self-determination can appear restricted or hindered by the options and expectations of others when we fear judgement or rejection. Meeting our needs so we can perform without sacrifice is a decision we can make with the support of Queen’s commitment to her realm. She knows she can only serve it when her needs are fully met.

    Finding the joy in our paths can be enhanced through a delicious combination of Lover’s ability to give and receive pleasure with Warrioress’ playfulness. You need to be open to hearing their calls and choosing joy over others’ judgment or views.

    That playfulness can also develop our self-confidence and self-trust in living, working and loving differently as we move forward into our authentic selves. Each small experiment or step towards greater alignment brings newfound choices to learn, grow and relish the joys you deserve.

    Powertypes and connection deserves a whole blog of their own – watch this space as one will follow. Today, I wanted to highlight 2 different elements of how stepping into our power impacts our connections. 

    Firstly, they expand our self-awareness and self-knowledge by enabling you to delve deeper into your values, life principles and also your fears and doubts. This in turn magnifies your abilities to bring our whole selves to crafting more authentic, satisfying relationships.

    Secondly, relationships based on what brings us joy, as discovered and honed by the Powertypes, are founded on authenticity. Where all parties bring their truest self at all times, trusting they are safe to be vulnerable, bold and aligned with one and another. Needs and boundaries are respected and upheld. Faith and support are mutually experienced. Joy is shared and reciprocated. 

    CONNECTION

    JOY

    The question I posed last week flows from the Powertypes. “Does this bring me joy?” is best answered in consultation with each of the Powertypes. Queen confirmed alignment to your vision and needs. Lover knows what activates your pleasure zones and those of others. Sorceress’ wisdom and intuition build trust in simply knowing this is joy. Mother adores nurturing your wellbeing and positive development. Finally, Warrioress’ vibrant, dynamic energy will either kick into action or kick off into something more joy making.

    I recommend soft power playdates to my clients as ways to get to know the joy makers of each Powertype. These solo hours indulging in new things, pastimes, experiences and activities bring us additions to our Needs Creed, especially for those tricky times when we need a supercharged replenishment. (I shared a heap on the Needs Creed during the 3rd Unlocking Lockdown Series – access to all 4 workshops free here.)

    And simply put, operating with easy access to our most powerful, impactful, genuine self is a joy – especially when you’ve kept parts of yourself hidden away.

    So are you ready to add five gold medal winning archetypes to your team? Watch out as I share more both in my blogs and social media during August. Do comment with any questions you have and I’ll respond. I’m really looking forward to sharing more this month!

    If you’d like to understand your current access to the Women’s Powertypes, did you know I offer a profile and debrief session where together we can walk through your personalised report and identify key areas of focus in leveraging them more? Want to know more? Just drop me an email.