Writing process blogging tour

My friend Beverley Glick, The Story Archaeologist,  invited me to join her on a writer’s blogging tour.  The idea is that writers answer four questions about their writing process and then hand on to two more writers who do the same thereby creating an ever-increasing inter-linked chain of writers! So here are my answers – followed by two great writers who will follow me!

What am I working on?

Right now I’m involved in a series of projects.  One I’m particularly excited about is Continue Reading…

How to accept yourself

My own journey towards self-acceptance was littered with self-deceptions, struggles and resistances.  I would do whatever it took to avoid looking at myself.  Instead, my strategy was to deny (“it wasn’t me, guv!  It was them!”) and to play the blame game.  That was my loser’s way to wind my way through life, trying to cause as little damage as possible, both to myself and to others. 

"I'm free!"

Thank Goodness, the Universe smiled upon me: I met Alan, the man who became my life coach and, with him, I embarked on the journey that enabled me to create the life I’m living today.

With him, I Continue Reading…

Here’s a no-brainer question: what do you choose? To persist or to give up?

I choose freedom!

 This question became a no-brainer only when I became aware that I actually had a choice. 

It wasn’t always so.  For most of my adult life I had a belief system that the situation – whatever that was – was hopeless and that I was helpless to do anything to change it.  Everything about me reflected that belief and that, in turn, was what I manifested in my life – my relationships, including my marriage, my friendships, even my circumstances.

But that wasn’t the real problem.  The real problem was that I had no idea I held those beliefs and, therefore, I could do nothing to change my situation.

It was only through the process of coaching that I became aware of what I had been doing to myself.  It took a while but I finally reached the point where I declared:  “I don’t DO Continue Reading…

Is there any connection between growing older and becoming less useful?

It's never too late!

I was recently talking with Felicity, a friend of mine who’s in her mid 50’s.  She was feeling confused and anxious.  Things were changing and she was feeling bereft.  First, her husband of 23 years had died and, just as she was beginning to come to terms with his absence, her son, aged 17 started talking about taking a gap year, travelling the world before going to Uni. 

Eventually she confided in me.  “I spent a lot of my adult life looking after my family, first Bill and then my boy.  Who am I now that I have no-one to look after?”

After Ernie died, Felicity Continue Reading…

So you want to make other people happy?

We live in a culture that tells us not only that we can make each other happy but that we should strive to do so. We’re also told that we can’t make anybody happy, only ourselves. Confused? So was I until I read research that shed a light onto the puzzle.

Here’s what studies have found: your feelings – whether positive or negative – are catching! Like the flu! Are you surprised? So was I. Now imagine the implications: You actually CAN make other people happy – by making yourself happy first. This is equally true when you make yourself miserable. You know the saying, ‘misery likes company’. Continue Reading…

Common sense does not necessarily mean common practice!

Here’s a provocative statement:  ‘common sense does not necessarily mean common practice’.  Here are a couple of examples from my own experience:

One is that, even though I knew that doing something different could move me forwards, I would not always do it.  Another is that I’d continue doing something I knew was not in my best interests but seemed unable to stop myself – or was that an excuse?

"I hate being fat but it's my metabolism!"

Smokers continue to smoke even though they know the risks, people continue to eat junk food even though they’re already moving towards obesity with all the attendant health risks. 

When it comes to changing ourselves or our lives other things come into play.  Inertia is probably the most important one.  Inertia is the force that’s stopping you from taking control of our life.  It’s not enough to KNOW what to do or even HOW to it. For anything to change, we have to take action.

Continue Reading…

What is the downside to having expectations?

We see what we expect to see; we hear what we expect to hear.  Our mindset shape our reality and our expectations are an important element of that mindset. 

There are several types of expectations:  the expectations we have our ourselves about how we ‘should’ be in our various roles as mother/father, daughter/son, friend, woman/man, employee, manager and so on.

"Why won't you just do it when I expect you to?!"

It is generally accepted that Continue Reading…

Is giving better than receiving?

 It has been said that “it’s better to give than to receive”. This may seem counter-intuitive but I would strongly disagree with this sentiment, not only from personal experience but also from my experience as a life coach.

"Thank you!"

Many people, often women, have been raised to give and give and give.  They have also been made to believe that to want something for themselves is selfish.  I too was brought up like that.

But this is what I discovered over the years:

Giving without receiving Continue Reading…

How change impacts on those around us

Sometimes I have ‘Aha!’ moments about things I actually already know but had forgotten. This particular insight came about as a result of a conversation with a friend – going down memory lane around personal change.

Several years ago, when I was still working at the Institute of Directors, I’d been coached for some time and I had experienced significant inner shifts. Specifically, I had been happy with

"I don't belong here anymore!"

my job for 7 out of the 8 years I was with them but, by the time I reached the eighth year, I felt I didn’t belong there anymore.

I had changed, almost without realising it yet, for a while, I continued to act as if I hadn’t because that insight was highly inconvenient and definitely unwanted. The downside of pretending things were fine as they were was that I was living a lie.

The point of these reflections is that people change almost without realising it – our values and beliefs change as do our needs and wants, our hopes and dreams, our expectations, and so on. And, if this is true for us, then it’s certainly true for everybody else. Continue Reading…

25 years and I’m still an apprentice

This blog was written by my dear friend Lisa Settle.  Lisa is an amazing woman and she is a true inspiration to me.  She is a director of Telcare Ltd.  They specialise in supplying, installing and maintaining telephone systems for companies of all sizes.  If you want to know more, go to her website – http://www.lisasettle.co.uk/

This is her blog:

It's not all hearts and flowers but...

“I do not, for one moment, profess to be an authority on the subject of love; but on the grounds my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary this year, perhaps you will allow me to dabble a little.

When I was initially introduced to my husband it wasn’t love at first sight, nor was it sexual desire. It was in fact a case of pure fashion pity.  I can’t even begin to describe the suit he was wearing!.  It was Continue Reading…

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