Insight

  • Read this when you feel like you’re not enough

    I worked with Ann as her coach as she was considering transitioning roles with her employer. She loved her specialism, her team and the clients she worked with. She enjoyed seeing her juniors grow into their talents and delivering new approaches to working in her clients’ organisations.

    People wanted to be on her team and saw her as a role model of female management. Seniors had high hopes she’d be a rising star and become a Partner in due time. She commuted long hours and worked on the journeys to ensure everything was done to exacting standards. Her mobile was connected 24/7 just in case.

    Just in case, anyone found her out. Ann feared being found as a fake, failing to achieve some invisible target or standard. She feared letting down her friends and family. Maybe she would be seen as lacking, not credible, not worthy of their time, respect or affection.

    But Ann wanted more. More in her career and more in her life. We worked on busting those doubts and building empowering ways forward to create clarity, confidence and spaciousness.

    Not enough: queue of people, one woman who is looking pensive

    Do you recognise those kind of behaviours, thoughts and feelings too? That nagging sense of you’re not enough can be fleeting or more constant.

    It might manifest in your body as an ache or cramp. It might affect your behaviours, such as avoiding eye contact or not engaging in discussions. You may find your thinking becomes foggier, hesitating in procrastination or self-critical. It’s also possible you might engage in people pleasing tactics or try to prove yourself by working extra hard.

    All of these are where your inner Protector is working to keep you safe. It shows up for good reasons – you’ve identified potential risks. Maybe it is the possibility of being judged or rejected? Or the levels of complexity have gotten overwhelming.  You may fear disappointment – of others or yourself.

    Your Protector has one purpose to help you avoid pain, upset, discomfort. It wants the very best for you. It supports your day to day healthy adult self to be, think and feel all the good stuff in life, and help you build resilience to the not so good stuff.

    Not enough: seated queue of people. One woman looking anxious as she waits.

    So when that icky feeling of not enough crops up or you spot yourself behaving or saying things that aren’t your authentic self, I want you to pause and slow breathing. You may even find closing your eyes helps you to connect with yourself. Lightly hold the sensations and feelings you’re experiencing for a moment and notice how as you breathe, they lessen their grip on you physically and mentally.

    The Protector has no way to make your fears real. It simply wants to signal a risk to you. It isn’t the truth. So, what can you learn from your Protector?

    Get specific – what exactly do you feel you’re not enough of? In what ways and in what circumstance?
     
    Then flip it, when and how are you specifically enough, maybe even more than enough? How do you feel in that moment? What are you thinking and doing (not doing)? What do you believe? Make a note of this belief.
     
    What can you choose to take from those moments into this uncomfortable one? How can you think, feel and do differently with that supportive, empowering belief? If you act from that belief what is possible? 
     

    Hey guess what? The icky sensation of not enough has passed. You’re back in your more resourceful, powerful self, capable of compassion towards yourself and others, and able to take a small doable step forward. So, go on, take that true authentic step.

    Not enough: women with head in her hands with people hodling out mobile, notepad, watch to her

    His Holiness The Dalai Lama proclaimed at the Vancouver Peace summit in 2010, “The Western Woman Will Save The World”. He continued championing female leadership last year for International Women’s Day, saying “Since they are especially skilled in nurturing compassion and human values, we need women to take the lead in creating a more compassionate society.” 

    You are a much needed person on this planet with all its challenges – you bring something no one else has or can do in your way. You are valued and loved in every way. We need more women, like you, to step out and lead – at home with their families and friends, in the workplace to drive collaboration and inclusivity, and in our wider communities such as sports clubs, religious groups and social activities.

    You are needed. You are brilliant just as you are. You are enough. Come as you are.

  • Are you settling for less?

    For years, I was settling for less without even realising it.

    I was seen as successful. I got two degrees. I had an international career, with recognisable named companies. I worked on impactful projects. I loved my partners and friends. I was seen as a tower of strength and nurturing.

    What wasn’t seen were the sacrifices I made. The yeses that should have been noes. The times I skipped lunch to help a colleague. The dance classes I cancelled to listen to a distressed friend. The opportunities I gave up to facilitate my partner’s choices. The nights when I held my stepchildren until they fell asleep. I stopped knowing what I liked or even preferred. You’d hear me say “I don’t mind. You pick” as I was overwhelmed with decisions.

    Whilst I don’t regret many of those choices, I do recognise I was merely functioning. I got up, worked, took care of home, supported my partner and family, went to bed. Hit repeat. 

    From the outside, I looked like a woman juggling the balls and not letting them drop. I got praised for my efforts, for my generosity, for my caring. From the inside, I was setting for less.

    Settling for Less: Young woman sat on stairs looking confused

    Less of what I needed. Less of what I stood for. Less of me and all I could offer in the world. 

    My confidence was diminished and old anxieties raged under the surface. I became smaller as my fears of being rejected or excluded if I asked for what I wanted or expressed what I felt – I’d be admitting I wasn’t enough, I wasn’t comfortable with the norm and that I wasn’t happy with what I had.

    I wanted to live in alignment with my values. I craved more freedom in my work. I needed to balance everything out to find space for me in my life. Even just writing this now, I can feel that old guilt, the sense of selfishness and the shame creeping through my chest and throat. How could I put myself before others when they needed more than me?

    Settling for less: young black woman sat on ornate stairs, holding a large piece of paper filled with ideas

    You can’t serve form an empty cup.

    My self-doubt and self-worth hit a low. Being small and settling for less didn’t bring me the love from others or from myself that I’d expected. Nor did it make me more accepted in my family or my workplace. Nor did it make me an easy person to be around (saying “I don’t mind” causes the fuss I was trying to avoid!). My physical and mental health took a dip. I was exhausted trying to be all that I could without respecting myself.

    If any of this sounds even vaguely familiar to you, please know that settling for less is actually at the core of what is blocking you from growing, from thriving, from laughing every day.

    Saying yes to you, to your joy, to your needs, to your values, to your hopes is possible and won’t risk much of what you think it will. I promise.

    By not settling for less, you create the conditions to have more energy and space for all that you want into your life. You give yourself and others the permissions to honour your wellbeing, spiritual and social needs. By identifying your values and vision, the boundaries you set can be upheld and supported. Speaking your truth – the things that make you authentically you – leads to more opportunities to serve, to have impact and to feel more joy.

    Settling for less: black woman sat on stairs holding her phone and looking frustrated

    Learn to think differently about your thinking and behaviours, that drive your human instinct to protect yourself from potential risk, pain, fear or those icky, crunchy feelings of guilt and shame. 

    Ditch the doubt, find self worth, self acceptance and self love – trust yourself to be who you need, to know the people who have your back and want the best for you, to be fully able to successfully walk your preferred path through life.

    Choose with wisdom. Choose with yourself in mind. Choose joy.

    Not sure where to start – give me a bell, drop me a message and I’ll help you out.

  • 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?

  • Saying YES to joy

    I want to share some of my thoughts for the year ahead to bring me joy. I’ve spent quite some time digging into what I want for the coming year. So here is my vision and hopes for feeling more joy.

    For this new year, I want to find joy in old and new ways.

    Joy being with people. My loved ones, my friends, the kids I get to mess about with, the clients I walk alongside, my peers, my neighbours, my community and those who I’ve not yet met. Joy being with them in ways that already deliver joy and also trying new ways. 

    I envisage cosy cottages, sea and river views, long walks, deep conversations and good food. I hear laughter and tears, singing and compassion. I feel my heart bursting with love and companionship. Pizza outings with my goddaughters and reading with another. Spa time with my sister and book launches with a university mate. Retreats with clients at beautiful venues where real transformation takes place and thriving memberships of my group coaching and The Coaches Club. More opportunities to collaborate with wonderful people, I admire.

    Joy of pushing my limits. Each month, I intend to go out and do something new – a thought provoking exhibition, a pottery class, a solo trip away – and to set myself new challenges like a long distance trek for charity and putting myself out there more as we hopefully overcome some of the recent restrictions and concerns. I’m going to connect with people “IRL” at events such as the How to Academy, Enterprise Nation and One of many and by joining new clubs and groups. I want to be brave and be the person that says “Hi I’m Sarae, we haven’t met yet. Who are you?”

    Joy of connecting with the world. I want to see forests and beaches, to swim in oceans and in lakes and to taste fruits and dishes from far off places. I want to lie in the grass and watch clouds float by and dance in rainstorms. I want to let go of what holds me back as I observe the full moons and connect to Source, knowing I’m held safe. Safe to be and do without knowing all the answers, the whats and the hows. 

    I want the joy of my body and appearance. Over the last 3 or so years, it’s changed a lot and I’ve learnt to go with it, rather than battle the changes. Now I want to find joy in my body’s brilliance, my laughter lines’ memories and invest in caring for my insides and outsides more. I want to enjoy time in self-care, movement and acceptance of who I am becoming.

    And I will find joy in releasing old burdens, fears and memories. That pollute my choices, erode my mood and reawaken challenging emotions. Joy in letting go of things that no longer serve me by decluttering my home, my life admin and my work systems, saying no instead of a polite yes and being clearing about my needs as a priority.

    For the new year ahead, I am saying YES to joy in every way and I can’t wait to begin.

    What are you going to be saying YES to?

  • Using your authentic voice

    Over the last few weeks, I’ve noticed a number of conversations around using your authentic voice. What is it? How will others react at home and at work? Where will your courage to use it come from?

    Curiously, anxiety and concerns around finding and using your authentic voice can be both an enabler and a blocker to greater alignment and more joy. As we discover how we want to filter our experiences through our values, gain certainty in our vision and develop our inner wisdom and strengths, we want to use our authentic voice.

    We crave new conversations to set or reestablish our boundaries. We want to share our needs in order to have them met without guilt. We know how our brilliance can make a difference if spoken.

    Yet, we stay quiet, speaking them only in our heads.

    Our concerns can block us through fear of judgement or rejection, as well as self-doubt.

    If you use your authentic voice, you share an intimate, vulnerable part of yourself. It can feel too raw, too exposing to use. Yet in doing so, you deny yourself the aligned life, work and love you yearn for. It feels like a huge risk. Better not to try, right? Or to wait a bit and see first?

    This inner dialogue is a type of self-protection by our subconscious, whose role is to keep up safe. Safe from pain and hurt. Safe from ridicule or embarrassment. Safe from guilt, shame or anger.

    But also safe from an unknown future. One which you would bring joy, new connections and a sense of vitality in all that you do.

    And it’s in this way that finding your authentic voice can enable you to step into and further create your future as you wish.

    I teach 3 habits of self-connection in both my coaching and workshops. First, the practice of joy spotting throughout your day and expressing thanks for it each evening. Second, journaling each morning to clear your head and set your intentions for the day ahead and third, solo dates – time by yourself doing something that stretches your comfort zone at least a little. Each helps discover, explore and embed your authentic voice.

    Each allows you to gain deeper insights and self-awareness of your fears, your strengths, your allies and your future vision and purpose. Joy spotting “trains” your brain muscle to recognise and value the smallest of joys to the grandest, where planned or coincidental – Thank you Source, this please and more rounds off your evening gratitude practice as you set the cycle to continue and expand. Journalling is a private way to distil our inner thoughts, wisdom and doubts before our Ego wakes and we step into the day ahead with clear intentions. 

    Lastly, solo dates provide us with ways to safely explore being and voicing our authentic voice. For example, in a climbing class, you can bring out your Warrioress’ playful tigress as you make your way to the top of the wall. Or perhaps you have a luscious body treatment to awaken your self-love. Or you join a Toastmaster event, allowing your Queen to speak her truth.

    It’s in the manner that you can test, embody and feel what it’s like being your whole true self without fear or judgement. Only yourself. It’s also where you can experience others’ reactions to this new you. 

    Like you, I’ve been finding more of my authentic voice and wondering how I can share it with you. Yes, I’m feeling fearful – what will you say? How will you react? 

    But there is also excitement, hope and joy in my anticipation……more on that next time.

  • Authenticity is thriving not surviving

    The path to authenticity is one with twists and turns. At times, we shed a layer from our holding back or gain a new level of understanding. At other times, we shrug a layer back on or find a new reason to stop being as authentic as we can be.

    When I was asked “why are you doing all the boys’ subjects?” at school, I held my head high and marched on into the labs and workshops. I’ll show you just what I can do and I did. 

    I did it by striving to survive. Pushing hard. Extra hours. Tons of study. I embraced Superwoman pretty early.

    Was I authentic? To some extent, I was showing up as some of myself. I owned my talents and I stood my ground. I felt the weight of others expectations and with youthful pride, fought on.

    It took me several years to discover how to thrive would be for me.

    Woman at art gallery, mindfully looking at a portrait of an older women in historical dress

    Surviving became a habit. At university. At work. At home. 

    To prove myself as capable, as credible, as acceptable. I just had to work hard to be recognised as a valuable friend, colleague and member of my family. I clocked up qualifications, promotions, job titles, passport stamps and experiences that I thought matched who I was, what I stood for and what others would recognise and like me for.

    Yet I didn’t feel much joy. Happy? For sure but I craved an easier path. I craved doing things that brought me alive. I craved saying no to things that weren’t aligned with what I felt and believed.

    It took serious major surgery for me to say “Enough is enough”. I needed to change things. I needed to find the courage to hold my own as me. I needed to find where self-trust and bravery could work for me. 

    Woman on paddleboard, on greeny blue sea

    I began to find people who would be ok with me being a more true version of me and also to do things where I could push my comfort zone a little to build self-confidence. I started saying no a bit more often and used my playdates to explore the edges of my courage.

    I embarked on reigniting my self-confidence in my strengths, whilst accepting how I was different to the idealised version of who I was supposed to be in the eyes of others. It felt like putting on new glasses and really looking at my own reflection and smiling back at the person I am and can be.

    Redefining my values in my personal life, my career, and my relationships helped me filter my experiences, my behaviours and choices, and those of others. I gained a feeling of profound clarity. Now was a time for new choices. Somethings had to go.

    I invested my time, money and energy differently. I changed my work and switched my grocery shopping patterns for more zero waste and environmentally safe products.

    I choose to do new things like adventure holidays learning to paddleboard and kayak, indulging in art exhibitions and theatre visits. I spent more time outside in nature. I meet new people who like and value this me. 

    Then it hit me.

    My true friends and colleagues had seen elements of the true authentic me all along and they like her. The hardwork and striving to survive had diminished. I was feeling more joy.

    I was thriving and being more authentic more of the time. I was ok. Nothing bad had happened and whilst the path still has twists and turns, my faith in me means I know this is the right path to follow. I keep walking the path and doing the self-work as I peel another layer off.

    Finding your path and the courage to walk it can begin in surviving and striving. With support, you can thrive too.

  • 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.

  • What stops you from being your authentic self

    Have you ever thought to yourself “I wish I could just be myself?” Where were you? At work? At home? At a party? Or maybe someone offered you the “Just be yourself and you’ll be fine” piece of advice ahead of a job interview, client pitch or first date?

    I know I’ve said it to myself too many times, trying to bolster my courage and ignore the voice in my head saying “You gotta be kidding yourself, Sarae”. You, too?

    What stops you from being your authentic self? That’s a big old question and worth of more than one article. It’s going to take all of this month’s in fact. So let’s dive in…..

    Being authenticity is held up as a sort of ideal – a kinda of blissful nirvana of full aligned living, where every thought, feeling and action is as your whole authentic self. Yes, all things at all times.

    Research tells us the opportunity to be authentic increases our wellbeing, physically and mentally. Our head, heart and body sync up positively with our authenticity. We sleep better, we think more clearly and we find our emotional agility increases. Oh and it’s essential for experiencing and creating more joy in our lives, work and relationships.

    Authenticity is seen as one of the foundation stones to great relationships – romantic, work, friendship, parenting. You can fill a wall with books on the topic.

    So if it’s so good for us, what stops you from being your authentic self?

    Brené Brown said in her book, “Gifts of Imperfection” that “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” and that’s the first reason we avoid authenticity. We create a bunch of rules for who we should be, what we should feel, how we should act on top of the rules that our families, communities, workplaces and society hold up as appropriate or acceptable….or even “normal”.

    Letting go of those rules can be hard. Really hard. Especially when we’ve experienced or seen others go against them or seek to change them with negative connotations. Judgement, rejection, shame, guilt, fear……and there is the second reason.

    Being authentic can require us to deal with big emotions that are uncomfortable, super uncomfortable. Feeling the feels can be physically painful. It can stop us in our tracks. Make us question our logic, our clarity and our deepest sense of self.

    We need to be willing and open to looking into those darker corners to reflect and learn as we feel our way forward. It requires us to find compassion towards ourselves – usually more than ever before – in order to keep moving towards greater authenticity.

    Compassion to recognise and forgive our past. Compassion for our outcomes regardless of how they go. Compassion for the energy and efforts we need to find courage for what our lives, love and work can be when we’re authentic.  

    And that last need for compassion links to the third reason we stop ourselves from being authentic. Courage can have lots of enemies. Self-doubt, self-belief, self-acceptance, self-awareness, self-hate, self-judgement, self-sabotage and self…….the list goes on.

    Finding ways to remove, repair or reduce these enemies are the core of my own journey to greater authenticity and for many of my clients, as I suspect it might be for you.

    Whether you tell yourself “to just be yourself” often or in one or two parts of your life, abundance joy is waiting for you when you can think, feel and be authentic across your whole life. 

    Revealing your whole self brings more self-trust, confidence and a sense of spaciousness in how you achieve your intentions, meet your needs and honour your values. It brings new people and new opportunities your way that further your joy, wellbeing and vitality.

    What would it take for you to start being your authentic self?

  • 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 purpose

    How are you travelling at the minute? I’m hoping you’re enjoying the transition from summer to autumn – for me, it’s about putting on jumpers, orange and red leaves on my walks and big mugs of hot drinks to snuggle up to. It is also a time for more decluttering, sort of like a spring clean but 6 months later. I’ve attacked my cupboards, wardrobes and filing – shredding, recycling and my local charity shop are all doing well out of it.

    I’m also digging into my purpose and how I can achieve it with as much spaciousness, ease and joy as I can. Perhaps you’re also looking to shed some old leaves beautifully so you can be connecting with purpose looking ahead too?

    What do we mean by “purpose”?

    The VIA Institute on Character links purpose to the strengths of spirituality – saying specifically:

    Spirituality has many dimensions. Some of these include meaning, purpose, life calling, beliefs about the universe, the expression of virtue/goodness, and practices that connect with the transcendent.

    They also link it to an appreciation of beauty, gratitude, honour, hope and humour. 

    I quite agree – there is a sense of unfolding beauty in our intentional efforts and impact on the world, our families and our work. Holding them in that light, with hope, a giggle and practising gratitude for the results we see, the support we receive and our abilities to grow and use our abilities for our calling, vocation, purpose feels like a wonderful place to be.

    Why is having purpose important?

    Simply put it gives you greater meaning in life – greater than yourself. It gives us courage and drive, as well as creating a means to experience more self-acceptance, self-trust and confidence as we see our purpose take shape, find meaning with others and become nearer to our reality.

    People with purpose tend to have better well-being; both physically and mentally. They have lower numbers of issues with chronic issues, obesity and premature morbidity. In addition, they are likely to score higher in life satisfaction with lower rates of depression, anxiety and sleeping disorders. Having a clear purpose can also mean a developed emotional intelligence, especially around self-awareness and self-management – which is a fancy way of saying more “even keel” approach under stress or pressure with positive levels of resilience.

    Still not convinced?

    Sometimes even the phrase “connecting with purpose” is enough to trigger us. We tell ourselves it needs to be enormous, earth shattering or impressive to others. We tell ourselves we couldn’t possibly be the “that” person. We tell ourselves we’re not enough to be a force for good in the world. We tell ourselves we have too busy. We tell ourselves no one would help or nurture us along the way. We tell ourselves it’s simply too hard.

    Yet once you alight on an inkling of what your purpose might be, it itches at us.

    How do I do this “connecting with purpose” then?

    Finding meaning or purpose can take many forms. We might have multiple related forms or directions it takes. For example, my purpose to create a world where every woman realises the joy of living, working and loving as her whole self, without the fear of rejection or judgement is a golden thread carrying through a number of different paths.

    Obviously my work – I coach and train women (and some men) around their sense of self and what they wish to do or be bringing the brilliance of their whole self to the front. But also with my many goddaughters, I want them to grow up knowing to their very core that they can thrive and find happiness for who they really are. I bring that principle to my friends – I love, adore and treasure them for all their wonderful selves – with all the quirks, twists and scars that make them amazing.

    I bring it to my own personal growth and self-connection: how can I approach life realising joy, just for being me with utter authenticity. (Note this weekend, it involved clearing out my undies drawer of pants I wore for others and not for me. No more….be gone!)

    More practically, go looking at what brings your joy, when you light up in a situation or group, where you feel so in flow you skip time and for who would you give your time and energy for free to make a difference. Leverage Sorceress’ universal wisdom and playfully explore the wisdom of others through books, podcasts, talks or events. 

    And why not talk through what has meaning for you with someone who can accelerate your thinking and quash any of those “we tell ourselves” beliefs and blocks.  Someone like me in fact – I’m part of the WLA’s Coachathon 2021, raising money for the Microloan Foundation and support entrepreneurial women in Africa. You have a 45 minute coaching session and feel connected to a bigger purpose for a donation – interested? Go here, select Europe, UK and AFrica. You can then find me under Confidence Coaches.