This month I’m celebrating my birthday, both personal and business, and it’s now 7 years since I left the corporate world to become self-employed. It’s also 10 years since I began to transform my life by building on my professional experience with qualifications which have led to what I’m doing now.
I’m passionate about finding different and creative ways to support, inspire, and encourage people, and this year has brought several new approaches and experiences.
– My podcast – a series of conversations to spark curiosity, share learning and inspiration, and connect listeners with what’s important in their lives.
– E-book – I created an A to Z of Mindful Living in the form of a workbook which has a variety of activities, stories, quotes, and links to other resources like meditations and videos. It was a pleasure working with Donna McKenna at Pink Spaghetti PA Services Stirling & Livingston to bring this to life.
– Inspirational card deck – this has been my latest creation, and one that I have thoroughly enjoyed. There are 52 beautiful cards with original photos, doodles, quotes, and themes from my book ‘Roots for Growth’. The cards can be used for coaching, workshops, inspiration and self-reflection and I can’t wait to start using them with my clients!
– My book has continued to reach people in significant ways. One lady who had recently retired and felt very unsettled wrote to me to tell me she had found clarity, peace, and focus from reading it, and found a renewed appreciation for her career and her resilience. I’ve also had more opportunities to speak at events, radio shows, and webinars.
– I co-designed and delivered a leadership development programme on Strengthening Mental Fitness with Carolyn Murray. We have been bringing it to other teams since then and over 90% of participants so far have rated the programme as Excellent.
– I applied for funding towards this brand new, professionally designed website which helps me to tell the story of what I do, why I do it, and provide more opportunities for visitors to connect through videos, meditations, and many of the above approaches. It has been a very worthwhile experience and a way to acknowledge and build on where I am now and develop for the future. Thanks Karen Wells at Indigo Nine!
– This year I also became an Ambassador for Women’s Enterprise Scotland who do incredible work to tap into the significant economic potential of women entrepreneurs, lobby for change and equality, and encourage women and girls to start and grow businesses in Scotland. It’s an honour to be chosen, especially on their 10th anniversary, and already it has broadened my horizons in ways that can bring benefits for other people as well as helping me to grow.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this time. I really appreciate it.
A couple of years ago I visited Kelvingrove Museum with my daughter to see an exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci’s work. I was intrigued to see the brushstrokes and pencil drawings in person, imagining him creating them all that time ago… little did I know it would spark my curiosity way beyond that.
There are many similarities in the style and form of his work, but these two stood out when I realised what’s different and unique about them.
The first is an anatomically correct study of a human spine, with every vertebra meticulously studied and set out on the page. Nothing like this had ever been done before, yet look at how the shape and form is precise, with structured notes and uniformity. Imagine the tenacity and attention to detail which went into such a piece of work, and how this helped physicians and scientists at the time.
The other picture is a map of an area in Italy which was entirely created through studying from ground level and IMAGINING what the aerial view would be. There was no aerial photography, no means of flying (yet… although he was a pioneer in that too), and yet he was able to create a map which is representative of the real landscape.
The mind which created these fascinates me, and especially the belief and determination which he must have had to boldly go where – literally – no one had gone before.
“The most important places on a map are the places we haven’t been yet.” ~ Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar
During a planning meeting last week, Carolyn and I were talking about ‘maps of the world’. It’s an expression used in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) and it helps to describe how we each have a unique perception of the world which shapes our experiences. In metaphorical terms, this internal representation could be likened to a ‘map’, with all the features set according to what we have experienced, our beliefs, values, memories, conditioning… and everything we have taken in through our senses. And yet this internal map which us humans have is only a representation – it’s not the whole truth, it’s not factual, and it has missing bits!
Just like Leonardo da Vinci we have created a map based on a sub-set of information, although perhaps less consciously.
As one of the Beliefs of Excellence (or pre-suppositions) in NLP says:
“The map is not the territory.”
What this is saying, in human terms, is that we have our map imprinted and integrated with all we know and have experienced, and yet there is no single version of the truth. We filter from subjective experience, which is essentially what NLP is about – the study of subjective experience, focusing on excellence and ‘doing what works’. Even having been in the same place at the same time as someone, there will be two versions of events. I am a twin and my sister and I recall different things from the same situations sometimes, either remembering different things or describing the same thing but not in the same way.
If you’d like to know more about the Beliefs of Excellence, and how they can significantly impact on our thinking – and the results we get – Carolyn has written a great blog about it.
And if you’re curious about developing different perspectives and progressing personally and professionally, take a look at various events coming up in the New Year, as well as books, cards, and other resources. You’re also welcome to book a discovery call to talk about how I could potentially support you, and have an experience what it’s like to work with me.
Did you know, I work with a variety of methods to support my clients?
It’s never ‘just’ a coaching session… I’d describe it as joining the client in their world and exploring the full depth of their experience.
Energy – sometimes I notice subtle shifts, other times I use structured modalities like Reiki or EFT (Emotional Freedom Therapy/Tapping). This can have a profoundly healing effect, and I think it’s one of the reasons why so many people say they leave feeling ‘lighter’, both physically and emotionally.
Body Wisdom – how often do you notice an instinct… a gut feeling… a voice in your head… a feeling of resistance… or maybe something else comes to mind? Often this wisdom becomes more noticeable in hindsight. By working with an experienced facilitator you can tap into the infinite resources of your inner knowing, without having to wait for hindsight. And once you do, it’s amazing how your curiosity, awareness, and intuition develops!
Space – a fascinating technique called ‘clean space’ offers spontaneous wisdom by using the space around and within us to bring new awareness in a very short space of time. It’s one of my favourites!
And I often work outside, in nature, as the environment can bring some really interesting, spontaneous signals to pay attention to.
Timeline – a powerful NLP technique (Neuro Linguistic Programming) which is a way of exploring how we relate to our experiences in context of time, gain unique learning, and connect with resourceful experiences in the past, present, or even the future. This can be stepped out on the floor, drawn on a piece of paper, or simply by closing your eyes and drifting to a point in time.
Metaphors – these pop up from our unconscious mind with an uncanny knack of providing solutions, insights, confidence… and much more! Since I learned how to work with metaphors I have found so many useful resources within myself and with my clients… and had a lot of fun doing so too!
Language patterns, habits, and beliefs – what we say to ourselves and others, and the beliefs we hold, can significantly shape our experiences. Learning what helps and hinders us can bring lifelong benefits to wellbeing, relationships, leadership, parenthood, work… or any other aspect of life. With this awareness and choice we can live more consciously, embrace challenges and opportunities, and bring the best of ourselves to those around us.
Meditation – as a qualified meditation teacher I tailor guided meditations to individual clients, offer classes and events on mindfulness, and record complimentary meditations on all sorts of topics like gratitude, breathing, body scans, and visualisations.
Creativity and writing – Over the years I have developed ways for clients to get into the flow of their creativity through drawing, writing, speaking, photographs, crafts, and meditation. Whether it’s in a group setting or individually, working with creativity can boost energy levels, create a sense of deep connection, and bring a fresh outlook to challenges and opportunities. And now a variety of creative interests are woven into my work.
It’s had such a profound effect, I even wrote a book and created an inspirational card deck from scratch!!
All of these gifts have been generously shared with me, and I love to share them with my clients.
A treasure box came to mind for this post as it represents treasures which are buried, waiting to be discovered or remembered.
What treasures are waiting to come to the surface for you?