Tag Archives: life coach dublin

Be the lighthouse, not the electricity…

“Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.” Anne Lamot

The first time I heard this quote it both cracked me up and also resonated deeply with me! I was Be the lighthouse not the electricityintroduced to this quote an concept by my spiritual teacher Rebecca Campbell and I’m curious if it resonates with you too?

You see, from my own personal experience and from working with so many women around the world, I can see that we have a tendency to be the electricity for other people. We allow other people to plug into our energy, our vibrancy and our light- we become their source of light. This can occur in many different ways and relationships- perhaps you’re in a relationship with someone and you know it’s not working for you, but your partner is very dependent on you. Or on your team in work, you have become the Go-To woman for everyone’s problems or perhaps you keep offering your attention and energy to others if you feel they need help…..

I was the electricity for others for many years and it didn’t serve me well. I didn’t have clear boundaries in place and often I would get phone calls or texts late at night from friends, family and even friends of friends who needed help, a lift or if they’d had a row with their partner and needed to talk. I allowed people to plug into me so they’d always feel lighter and brighter leaving me but I’d feel drained and duller as a result.

It took a long time to learn to be the lighthouse instead of the electricity. and it didn’t come naturally. One of the main reasons why I struggled with becoming the lighthouse was because of my desire ‘to be needed’ and this is something that comes up regularly with clients! Even though it’s draining and a pain in the ass, it can be a great ego boost to be ‘the one they run to’. But over time, I was able to that I had been doing people a disservice by being their energy source. I was enabling their ‘helpless’ states instead of challenging them in a kind way and pointing out their strengths and resourcefulness.

Through learning how to coach people, studying emotional agility, wellness and working on my own boundaries and self worth, I gradually become stronger and more solid within myself. My focus now is to connect to my own light through taking care of myself and living a life that is in alignment with who I am and what I desire. That allows me to do work I am passionate about and where I can teach people how to do that for themselves.

So, how about you? Are you running around the island looking for ships to save or are you focused on becoming strong and grounded within yourself so you can shine brightly like a lighthouse?

P x

Are you using your personal power?

“Your power to choose can never be taken from you. It can be neglected and it can be ignored. But if used, it can make all the difference.” – Steve Goodier

In the world of coaching and self help, you will come across the term ‘personal power’ quite a lot! I use it a lot as well so I wanted to write a bit today about what it actually means!

What does personal power mean?

To be honest, it will be different for each person but how I define personal power is ‘your ability to take action’. For me, my ability to take action and follow through equates to how powerful I feel within myself. We all have those times when we feel stuck, uncertain, indecisive, overwhelmed, anxious- all of those negative emotions that come into play in our lives. Often they have a lot in common and that is that you’re more in your head and not in action.

The most powerful way to shape our lives is by taking action- it’s not by talking about it, thinking about it or dreaming about it, it’s by going for it. Every action we take is a cause set in motion and it builds on our previous actions to move us in a particular direction. When we’re moving in a particular direction, eventually we will arrive at our destination. That destination then depends on you- have you been moving towards what you want or have you been moving towards what you don’t want.

Every action is a cause set in motion (as is every inaction) but it’s what we do on a consistent basis that brings us to our destination. So for example, if I haven’t been taking action and have sat on the couch night after night, my destination will be that my jeans are tighter and that my energy is low.  If I’ve been saying yes to extra demands on my time in work, my destination may be resentment and burn out. If I’ve been taking action and going out running on a consistent basis, my destination could be a personal best time and a sense of pride and achievement.

So, what comes before action? The answer is decisions. You have, whether you like it or not, have been making decisions and choosing your path in life. Everything that happened in your life, whether your thrilled about it or bummed about it, began with you making a choice and making a decision. The decisions that you’re making today will shape your life for the weeks and years to come… where will you be in ten years time based on the decisions you’re making today? It’s something to ponder….

Is it our life circumstances.. or our decisions?

Now, I’ll admit, I didn’t want to believe this to be true but the more I worked with different people the more evidence I gained that it’s our decisions rather than our life circumstances which impact our direction in life most powerfully. We all know people who have had a really rough time, that were dealt a pretty bad hand in life yet, they have turned their lives into something amazing! And, we all know people who had every advantage that was possible to have yet they’ve always been miserable. It’s our decisions that make the difference, not our conditions.

The really interesting thing is though that the majority of my clients don’t trust themselves Are you using your personal powerenough to make big decisions anymore. A main reason being is that they’re focused on the circumstances- perhaps you chose to study accountancy in college, graduated and went to work as an accountant- and hated it! You have an idea of what you’d like to do instead but you don’t make the decision because you don’t trust that it will work out. You tell yourself, I’m the one who chose to do the accountancy so obviously I can’t be trusted to make decisions on my life.

I see this over and over again and you’re missing the point. You were the one who made a decision, invoked your personal power and brought yourself there; you are the only one who can get you out of there as well by making a different decision! This is personal power and the majority of us are choosing not to exercise it.

There are no failures in life, only results.

If the first thing didn’t work out, try something else. If that doesn’t work, try something else, if that doesn’t work, try something else.

What could your life look life if you invoked your personal power? What new decision would you make? I’d love to hear your comments and feedback!

Until next week,

Don’t wait, Make it Happen,

P x

P.S

Do you have big dreams for yourself but keep getting in your own way?

If your answer is yes then the ‘How To Play Big when You Feel Small‘ is for YOU!

Join me on Wednesday the  7th September at 6.15pm for this FREE 60 minute Master Class and dive deep into this topic with me.

Are you giving it away?

I could feel the anxiety creeping up my chest, my throat was getting tight, my heart started pumping faster and my mouth was dry.

I was at a group coaching session with a coach I deeply admire and we had been working on goals. She was asking how committed we were to achieving them and the rest of the group were really enthusiastic shouting out Hell yeah, I’m 120%, it’s gonna happen, I can’t wait to get started!’

Then it was my turn. I wanted the ground to swallow me up.

‘So Paula, how committed are you?’

Heart pounding, anxiety rising Em, honestly, I’m about 50% committed, no really actually about 40%’.

The iron grip of anxiety was on me because I honestly felt so half arsed about my dreams! And, it was the best I could do! (For a second, I thought I was going to be politely asked to leave!)

I so desperately wanted what I wanted but I just didn’t have the drive I needed to get really excited or passionate about putting in the work. It seemed like so much effort and it made me tired and overwhelmed to even think about it. I had no clarity of thought and no idea how to get started. Sound familiar?

Then my coach said the magic sentence. She said:

‘The percentage of your Wellness equals the percentage of your Success’

Then it clicked! She had me sussed! No wonder I was only about 40ish% committed to achieving what I wanted! I was exhausted, I was stressed, my sleeping pattern was all over the place and my recycling bin was brimming with takeaway Chinese and pizza boxes!

I realised that I had to change my goals drastically!

Originally, I had wanted to grow my business, take on more clients, get more speaking gigs, create new programmes and make a bigger impact. This was to be on top of everything else I was currently doing! Then it dawned on me that I knew that there was no way that I could achieve these things at my current physical and mental energy levels.

I had to slow it down and instead of focusing on the external things I wanted to do and achieve, I had to focus on me and my own wellness. The percentage of my wellness equaled the percentage of my success.

To me, wellness means:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Having fun and relaxing
  • Eating a healthy balanced diet
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Daily gratitude practice
  • Spending quality time with the people I care about
  • Spending time in spiritual practice
  • Feeling in control of my finances

Basically, it means taking care of me and my needs!

At the time, sleep-wise I was probably averaging about 6-7 hours per night but I was going to bed at 3-4am. Sometimes I got 3 hours sleep, sometimes I crashed for 12 hours.

I felt like I didn’t deserve to have fun or relax because there was so much to do and I hadn’t earned the right for time out. I was eating crap, getting no exercise, going to bed stressed and annoyed with myself and feeling guilty when I was with my family and friends because I wasn’t really present with them, my mind was distracted and on over-drive! I was almost always feeling ashamed of myself. I hadn’t even contemplated changing my lifestyle! I was doing and being it all, giving away my time, energy and attention to everyone except myself.

There’s a brilliant researcher and author called Brene Brown and in one of her books she described a conversation she had with her therapist, she said

I feel like a turtle without a shell in a briar patch. I need a shell, what can you give me? What do you suggest? The therapist replied saying ‘I have an idea. Why don’t you get out of the briar patch? You’re getting poked and prodded and hurt, not because you don’t have a shell but because you’re living in a briar patch’.

That resonated with me so much! I wanted a shell. Something that I could just put on and get going, to keep on keeping on! But (reluctantly) I realised that I had to get out of the briar patch and change my lifestyle.

I’ve made a lot of changes and I still have a lot of changes to make but I’m definitely making progress! My goals are balanced now to ensure that self-care is as important, if not more important than external achievement and the difference that has made to my life is incredible! I may not be at 100% yet but I’m a hell of lot better than 40ish%

How about you? Are you trying to push yourself to do more, be more and achieve more when you’re operating at reduced wellness? Where are you at now? What is your wellness percentage? Have you ever thought about this concept before and does it resonate with you? I’d love to hear your feedback and get a discussion going so pop over the facebook page and drop me a line!

Update December 2016: This is actually an oldie blog! I wrote it based on an experience I had in 2013 and I’m revisiting it now because it’s sooo relevant right now! Not only for me personally but for so many of my clients in recent weeks.

We need to stop giving it away.

By ‘it’, I mean our time, energy, care, attention and love – leaving nothing for ourselves!

permissionDecember is a time of busyness and our own wellness often gets pushed to the bottom of the agenda. This year, give yourself permission to take some time out for yourself. Stop giving it away and start nourishing yourself xx

Until next week, be well!

Paula x

P.S If this article resonates with you, then check out my programme Get Clear, Get Brave, Get Going– This is is a yearlong journey for determined, open hearted and playful women who want to make 2017 the most incredible year of their life so far.

Just imagine what you could do with a year spent paying close attention to your life, your goals, your dreams. 12 months of inspired accountability and bucket loads of loving support! We spend a lot of time on this programme ensuring that you have the right self care practices in place so that your wellness supports your success!

Applications are open now

This is a bit personal…..

There’s no hiding it anymore, the bump is literally out! Yep, I’m pregnant.. very pregnant! 30 weeks in fact and it has been really hard to keep it quiet! This is why my newsletters have been a wee bit irregular the past few months!

Myself and Colm are thrilled and I feel very lucky and in awe of the whole thing. But if I’m completely honest, it really threw me. It’s only in the past few weeks that I really felt I’ve got a grasp on it. It’s something I’ve always wanted but I’ll admit that seeing that positive result on the test completely freaked me out. I was terrified, wondering was I ready? Can I really do this? Will my life ever be the same? The past few months have been a real rollercoaster and it’s only recently I’ve started to get that excited buzz. A new adventure is about to begin and life as I know (and love it!) is all about to change!

This is probably the most personal blog I’ve ever written and for those of you who have been reading my blogs for a while, know that I’m not really one to hold back on my story and who I am. The reason this is personal is because it’s still raw and uncomfortable and challenging but I wanted to share it with you because after all, it’s going to impact my work as The Quarter Life Coach.

The last few months have been tough, really tough. I don’t want to moaning and groaning about everything, but seriously, I never expected it to be this tough. The lack of sleep already, the total and utter exhaustion, the physical pain to turn over in bed or walk, the hormones, the crazy emotions, the heartburn, the anxiety, the reality of being a self employed expectant mama and trying to stay on top of everything with The Quarter Life Coach!!!

To make things a bit more tough, my nan passed away last Autumn, about 10 weeks before I found out I was pregnant and even though its months later, there’s still tears as I write these words. My Nan was my soulmate, best friend and absolute rock. Most of my childhood was spent hanging out with her and my cousins and when my own mam died 12 years ago, my bond with my nan just got stronger. The idea of becoming a mother without these two incredible women by my side has been really hard.

The baby is due to arrive in August and we’re choosing not to find out whether it’s a boy or a girl (which means right now, we have 34 potential names on a list!). It’s a completely wacky ride and one which is asking for total surrender- which for a bit of a control freak is quite difficult.

But for now, I will say this:

Just over 5 years ago, my life was completely different. I was in a relationship that wasn’t good for me and that wasn’t working, I was living at home, I was in a job I hated and I was absolutely miserable. I had zero energy and was just living day to day going through the motions.

Within the space of a few weeks, that relationship ended and I got redundancy from my job. I had some big decisions to make about what I wanted from my life in the future. I made those decisions and started to work on making them happen.

  • I wanted a strong, happy, loving and healthy relationship with someone I absolutely adored and who adored me.
  • I wanted to do work I love and to make a difference.
  • I wanted my own home with a garden and an office.
  • I wanted a dog.
  • I wanted to feel strong and happier within myself.
  • I wanted to get married and have a family.
  • I wanted to be work from home so I could be at home with my kids, dog and husband and have that freedom!

You see, often we accomplish our dreams but we forget to notice because we quickly move on to the next thing, so I just want to take a moment and say:

Yay me! I did it!

What a difference a few years can make when you know what you want, why you want it and are working towards it.

Believe it or not but it was actually this time 5 years ago that the seeds were planted! Watching the eurovision with pals, having a chinese and a few drinks putting the final touches to my ideal life and relationship plans.

So thank you 25-year old self for having the dream that I get to realise 5 years later. Thanks for envisioning this amazing future which is my current life today. And even though life has its ups and downs and challenges- thank you for putting systems in place which meant that I have so much freedom, that I was able to spend so much time with my nan in her final weeks, that now I can nap as much as I want and do whatever I need to do to take care of myself and baby bear! I’m just so grateful to my 25-year old self for having this dream and even though it was scary and I didn’t know how I would achieve it, I took it a baby step at a time and I grew faith in myself.

Phew, ok so on a lighter note! One of the main reasons I wanted to share all this with you is because there are going to be some changes with The Quarter Life Coach over the next few months! Everything is a bit up in the air – hence the total surrender! I will absolutely continue with my newsletters but it will be every fortnight from August instead of weekly!

I also plan to add a new-mama programme to The Quarter Life Coach and I’d love to hear your thoughts on this and if this is something you expectant mamas and mamas would like? I’ve heard so many people tell me how they were afraid of losing themselves when they had kids or like me, having a new mama meltdown. The Quarter Life Coach is me, it’s an extension of my life and so it’s only natural that it will evolve with me!

I’ll be running my ‘30 days to Be Your Own Fairy Godmother‘ programme once more this year in June, to secure a spot now, click here.

But the biggest offering I want to make to you is my ‘Thrash It All Out‘ session. This is basically what my 25-year old self did- took some time out, invested in myself and my dreams, made some big decisions, created a plan and put it into action. It is an intensive session and we spend half a day together thrashing it all out with a few coffees and treats! I have 6 of these sessions available before I take a step back for a while so if you want to work with me privately this year, this is your chance! Drop me a line now to find out more info and see if this is suitable for you!

So, now over to you!

Everything you’re doing today is preparing you for the life you’re going to live tomorrow.

So, what is your big dream? What seeds are you planting for your future? What actions are you taking to specifically nurture those seeds? I’d love to hear what you’re creating so please drop me a line or join the conversation over on the facebook page!

P x

Is it better to live disappointed than to feel disappointed?

I don’t know about you, but I held back in life so often! I second guessed myself, hesitated, over-thought every little thing and got myself into analysis paralysis. Most of the time I did this when an opportunity presented itself or when I wanted to do something really amazing and exciting, something that would make me happy!

Do you know why I did this- it’s because I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

I know I’m not alone in this- we’ve all done it and many of us are still doing it. We say things like ‘I don’t want to get my hopes up’ or ‘I’ll see what happens’ whenever the chance of a great opportunity is there regardless of whether it’s a promotion, new job, meeting someone great that you really click with- our almost default reaction is not to get our hopes up. It seems like the smart thing to do yeah?

WRONG!

What we’re doing is we’re trying to protect ourselves from being let down, feeling disappointed and vulnerable. One way that you protect yourself against vulnerability is you just kind of stay in a constant state of  disappointment.

It’s easier to live disappointed than to feel disappointment. A constant state of disappointment is easier than dipping in and out of it and this is what so many people do. The problem with this approach though is that without realising it, you’re building up barriers against the good stuff as well and isolating yourself.

When I made myself live in that constant low level of disappointment in order to protect myself from feeling disappointed or let down- guess what happened? I was always low. I didn’t get excited about things, I didn’t pursue anything with passion and I didn’t share my hopes and dreams with people I cared about, I kept putting off the excitement and happy feelings and then all of a sudden, the moment would have passed and it was over. It was incredibly lonely.

There is an author/researcher in the States called Brene Brown and I adore her work- she has a book called The Gifts Of Imperfection and in it, she explains that if you refuse to get your hopes up, it doesn’t lessen the disappointment if your dream doesn’t happen, but it absolutely lessens the joy and happiness you experience.

So, say there is the amazing opportunity in work. A job that you have been working towards for years, great salary, a bit of travel and some work from home- you know you want it so bad BUT you start protecting yourself from disappointment and start to tell yourself and other people ‘Oh, it’s not that big a deal! I might not get it because if this and that, this person is much more qualified, blah blah, blah’.

Say you don’t get it- do you feel disappointed? Of course you do, you feel crushed! And not only that, but you also feel lonely because no one else gets that you’re feeling crushed because ‘It wasn’t a big deal’. No one reaches out to you, there’s no offer of a girly chat with tea and biccies, you’re on your own in your misery!

On the other hand, say you do get it! Do you feel good? For most people, the joyous feelings of success are very brief because you want to shout it from the rooftops about how excited you are and you want to celebrate but it doesn’t happen because it wasn’t a big deal remember. No one in your life even knew that you cared about it so again, no one reaches out. There’s no congratulations, there’s no dinner and cocktails, no champagne, no fuss and you know what, you probably won’t even celebrate it yourself- you’ll just say ‘that’s done, now what’s next?’.

You protected yourself so fiercely so that the pain would be less if it didn’t work out how you wanted but in doing so, you sucked all of the good stuff out of the experience as well.

It’s easier to live disappointed than to feel disappointment but my question to you is this:

Is it worth it?

Is protecting yourself from potential disappointment worth it if you also suck out all of the good stuff?

I used to think that the people who announced their wild dreams and hopes were just plain idiots who ultimately would come crashing down to earth with broken hearts and shattered aspirations but now, I want to be like them.

You see, I’ve lived in that space of shattered aspirations, a broken heart because I lived disappointed in an attempt to avoid ‘feeling’ disappointed and that was without announcing my wild dreams and hopes! I just built walls around myself and hid from the world telling myself I didn’t care.

But now, I’m ok in ‘feeling’ disappointed. And it’s what I believe we should aspire to- instead of building walls around ourselves, let’s build a community of people around us who know us, who see us and know when to celebrate with us and when to console us. Let’s strive for that connection and passion. Maybe we will feel deep disappointment some days but I guarantee that we’ll also feel deep, deep, joy, passion and excitement as well! I don’t know about you, but I want to live and love like that!

Making Space

About 5 years ago, my sis, Lyn and I had to sell our family home- very quickly! I think it was about 4 months from being told it had to be sold to walking out the door for the last time. Needless to say, it was very stressful, especially for Lyn who was 6 months pregnant at the time! We moved in with my Dad for a while until we got ourselves together, refocused and were able to figure out the next step. Life goes on and the past is the past but last week, we were brought back there!

We had left boxes of our ‘stuff’ in my Dad’s house for the past 5 years. He had been very patient with us, but there were two whole rooms in his home taken up with boxes and he had started to remind us every time he saw either one of us! Anyway, we agreed and we set a date- we would tackle our stuff and get it sorted!

As I tore the brown tape off box after box, there were loads of ‘ooohhhhs and aaahhhhhs’ but mostly I was wondering why I still had all this stuff! I had boxes of notes from college courses I had done almost 10 years ago, I had clothes that I hadn’t worn in about ten years (it was a bit depressing to see how tiny the tops were and perhaps a bit embarrassing as well!). Basically, I had piles of crap and so did Lyn.

It was a great lesson for me in how much I have changed in the past few years. When we had to sell the house 5 years ago, we had been so reluctant to let anything go and we had packed up box after box, clinging to our ‘precious’ stuff. Scratched cd’s, old clothes, old cosmetics, broken ornaments & videos! Now, I will admit that I am sentimental and that I do have old shoe boxes with pictures, cards and keepsakes that mean something to me but what we found in those boxes was really pure shit!

But this day was to be a major overhaul and de-cluttering initiative. There would be no mercy and we had three options: Bin, Charity Shop or Keep.

It really got me thinking that when we embark on a major de-clutter, what we are actually declutter_life_2engaging in is a complete re-evaluation of our lives. We’re letting go, paring down, purging, prioritising, re-evaluating, discovering, risk-taking by letting things go and even developing a new level of trust in ourselves. So this de-cluttering day actually became an extensive tour of our entire lives — past, present and future.

Our mam died in November twelve years ago  and we had a lot of her clothes packed away. Clothes that we would never wear but 5 years ago, we had thought that if we threw it away or gave it to a charity shop, it would be like snipping the umbilical cord and letting her go, shoving her off into the cosmos saying ‘Thanks a mill, see ya around! Bye!’ There was so much guilt at the idea of getting rid of ‘stuff’- especially stuff that we feel connected to in some way.

But what we realised during that day was that we had fused together our mam and the jumper that she used to wear. Putting her jumper into a bag for charity doesn’t mean we love her any less. The emotional connection and sense of closeness we have is to our mam — not her old jumper with the holes in it! And of course, we have so many other keepsakes which we enjoy so much more than a bag of clothes gathering dust in the attic. We were ready to let a lot go and as I said, it was a great lesson for both of us in how much we had changed in the past few years. After the realisation I had with being able to let go of a lot my mams’ ‘stuff’, I was easily able to let go of my own stuff aka crap!

And on the other side of the clutter purge was…a wonderful sense of freedom. I really think that the more we let go, the more space we open up for new stuff to grow in our lives. At the end of the day, we only have so much emotional, psychological and physical space. But clutter and holding onto ‘stuff’ represents so much more than just that — it’s physical, symbolic and energetic too. The ‘letting go’ forces us to trust that the unknown or the future will be ok. We can’t let go of boxes of old college notes unless we trust in our own decision that we aren’t going to pursue that particular path. For example, last week I sent very expensive law books to a charity shop and recycled a huge box of notes. I had been holding onto them just in case I lost my mind and went back to law but this time, I was ready to acknowledge that there was no going back for me! Onwards and upwards! Consequently, each box I packed for charity was an exercise in deepening my confidence in myself and in my future.

Each time we choose to get rid of a possession, we are taking a symbolic pair of scissors and cutting the energetic connection we have with the item.

To do that, we have to make some choices in our life and examine who we were and what we were about in the past, who we are and what we’re about today and about who we want to be and what we want to be about in the future.

The more we trim down all our stuff, the closer we get to living in the present moment and being comfortable in the current reality. You see, the more we purge, the less we attach to the past and the less we attach to the future. We’re making the decision to live in the present moment. The past is over and can’t be changed, the future is yours to make of it what you will…and you trust yourself to blossom without a backup supply of jeans that no longer fit you, broken suitcases, videos, scratched cds and 12 half used bottles of perfume!

We felt so energetic and lighter at the end of our de-cluttering day. We really hadn’t realised how much we had changed in the past few years, but we were able to acknowledge it that evening over a bottle of wine! Now, we’re living more in the moment! We were able to let go of a bunch of stuff that represented old dreams, unfinished projects as well as stuff that caused guilty twinges from an impulse buyer’s heart! I actually felt much calmer and freer from clearing all that space in my Dad’s house that I’m already pondering tackling the junk room in my own place next week!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, so please pop over to the facebook page and say hi!

Until next time,

Make some space and trust yourself to blossom!

P x

Have you lost your muchness?

I found this blog post in my old files! I’d written it over 3 years ago but I thought it was still relevant so wanted to share it with you now!

I watched Alice in Wonderland with Johnny Depp during the week. I’d seen it once before, but this time around one particular scene really caught my attention.

The Mad Hatter is talking to Alice and telling her that the last time she visited Wonderland, she was muchnesswide“much muchier” and now she seemed to have lost her “muchness.” I was intrigued. Muchness is defined as “greatness in quantity or degree.” What the Mad Hatter was saying in his own way was that Alice had lost some of who she used to be. Basically that she had forgotten who she truly was as she had grown up. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t picked up on that before.

How many of you feel that we have lost some part of ourselves as we’ve grown up? How many of you, as kids, were kinda afraid to grow up because you believed you would become less of yourself? I was afraid that I would become a boring, careful person who followed the rules and thought it odd to walk barefoot in the grass. But guess what? I grew up and followed the rules and thought it odd of people who walked in the grass barefoot! I was thinking, ‘do they not realise the amount of dog crap there!’ I’ve been trying to reclaim my muchness for years now!

When I think back to my childhood, I can see myself as exactly the same person yet at the same time, completely different. I feel quite lucky in the fact that I’ve always managed to keep some of my muchness, that childlike excitement, wonder and awe. However the bold fearlessness, perhaps ‘muchiness’ is something which I feel I’ve lost a lot of.

I was skiing earlier this year (2011!) and I had been really looking forward to it. I had been once before when I was younger and back then, on the first day, I had skied down the mountain with my older (but still very young) cousin. It was exhilarating and wild.

Back to present day, 26 years old, up a mountain with a pair of skies and a snail would have gone faster than me. I was terrified and I was really surprised. I suppose as I grew up, I had just become a lot more conscious of the fact that my body is perishable and can break. I was really disappointed that I held myself back so much whilst skiing this year and it’s only now I realise it’s because I had lost my muchness. (Possibly why I threw myself out of a plane and walked through fire since then!)

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to lose my muchness. I feel like it’s a huge part of me and that I have already lost enough of it. I find it scary that we lose a huge part of who we are, simply by growing older. I understand that we are going to grow up and there’s nothing that we can do about the passing of time however just because we grow older it doesn’t mean that we have to lose sight of who we used to be. Many of my clients often find their true passions and strengths when they remember who they truly are.

So, today I invite you to embrace and reclaim your muchness! Take some time to figure out what your muchness is and whether you’ve lost the essence of who you are as you grew up. When you get down the essence of who you were — the heart of who you thought you would be — what do you come up with? What of that essence have you lost? Contemplate the following questions and I’d love to hear your stories..

6 Questions To Reclaim Your Muchness

  1. What did I enjoy doing when I was a kid?  When you think about what you enjoyed doing you may be surprised that you still like to do those things. Often the things we enjoy as kids are things we enjoy our whole lives (A recent client of mine is making a career change from pharmaceuticals to fashion- she had been styling her dolls/ friends and making outfits since she was a child but was told it wasn’t a safe career. She is definitely reclaiming her muchness!!). Give this some thought and you’ll uncover a lot about the essence of who you are. What you liked to do then says a lot about the kind of person you were. (Not sure what to say to the people who used to burn insects under a magnifying glass!)
  2. Did I stop doing those things and why? Some people continue to do the things they loved to do as kids however most of us have stopped. Think about what you did as a kid and ask yourself why you still do it or why you have stopped?
  3. Who did I think I would be when I grew up?  Allow yourself to be completely honest here because when you think about who you thought you would be, you’ll learn about the things that were important to you as a kid. I know that some things may be a bit far-fetched, for example a Super Hero but… think about why you wanted to be that person? What did you think that would give you? Respect, Strength, Fitness. If you wanted to be a pilot, it could have been that you wanted to travel and see the world.
  4. How am I like my childhood ideal?  Take some time to consider how you might actually be like your childhood ideal. You might not be exactly what you thought you would be, but you may be closer than you think. For example, I always wanted to be a published author which at the moment I’m not, but I do spend a lot of my time writing!
  5. What attitudes and beliefs did I hold as a kid?  This is probably the most important question. Though it’s essential to examine what you liked to do and who you thought you would be, the most important thing to consider is what your beliefs were as a child. What was important to you? In Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter believes Alice has lost some of her courage because she grew up. Consider how you may have acted as a child and then consider…
  6. How have my attitudes and beliefs changed?  As we get older, it’s no surprise that some of the things we hold as important change. But think about how your beliefs may have changed since you were a kid. What attitudes did you have then that you may not have now? If you witnessed an injustice, as a child would you have spoken up? Would you now?

The majority of individuals I work with are twenty-somethings and I believe a big reason why so many of us struggle in our twenties is because we have lost our muchness and it is incredibly frustrating. We can see what we want to do, be or have but we don’t the muchness to go after it. There’s something missing and we make the mistake of believing that it is something external but it’s not. Everything we need to fill the ‘emptiness’ or ‘the something missing’ is still within us, just hidden inside- we simply need to reclaim it!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! Pop over to the facebook page and let me know if you feel you’ve lost your muchness and what you’re going to do to reclaim it!

Love Always,

Paula x

Do you know her?

She is a smart woman, she found school interesting and fun yet she would never let on! She always enjoyed exams and tests because she was able to stay calm. She accepted that what she knew then would have to be enough and she felt empowered. She enjoyed that feeling as she felt special, everyone else seemed to be panicky and stressed. Part of her misses that school but again, she’d never let on!

She gets an anxious feeling in her chest or around her heart every now and then, she’s not 100% sure what it is but it bothers her. It means that she knows she’s holding back from something- that there’s something that could be better but she’s too afraid to do something about it.

She’s a very open and warm person and tries to see the best in everyone. Sometimes though, she can be played and people take advantage of her. She doesn’t like to be angry and feels guilty at the idea of hurting someone else’s feelings. She would rather take the hit herself than to hurt someone she cares about. This causes her to numb her feelings quite a lot. As a result, she tends not to really know what’s important to her or what she really wants. She’s quite open to other people’s influences and suggestions.

She is curious and imaginative and loves new things, exploring, parades and gatherings of people. She loves having something to look forward to although she doesn’t allow herself to get excited until it’s actually happening. She has a bit of a short attention span and can get distracted easily. She will start new courses and projects, make big bold resolutions and then not follow through.

She speaks to herself harshly, she is her own worst critic and her own worst enemy. She is a sensitive soul and she needs to be alone every now and then to soothe her soul and recharge. She will get upset if she doesn’t have a chance to do this and the only reason she won’t get the chance is because she is too harsh with herself. She will look forward to a massage or something special for herself and then she won’t allow herself to do it or have it because she doesn’t deserve it, she hasn’t earned it.

In a relationship, she can be easily taken advantage of as she would never want to hurt someone she cares about and if her partner knows this, he/she can exploit that. She is very loyal and loving and will always try to help her partner as much as possible- often she would end up in a relationship with someone who needs a bit of help and support– a lost soul. She will always fight for the underdog and help make him top dog and it will be really hard for her when he turns and bites her. She is very low maintenance and easy going.

She loves the little things in life and in a relationship, the little things are just as, if not more important than any grand gestures. She loves to feel she can talk to her partner about anything. She wants someone who will treat her with respect but she would never demand it.

In work, she is really hard working. It is important that she feels authentic- it’s important that she knows what she is doing and feels confident. She suffers from imposter syndrome sometimes and is terrified that she will be caught out or that her boss or colleagues might find out that she doesn’t have the answer. Relationships in work are important and it is vital that she has respect for her colleagues and most importantly, she needs to respect and admire her boss. If she doesn’t, she will never feel comfortable or honest in her career.
If she finds herself in a career or relationship that doesn’t ‘feel right’ for a long period of time but doesn’t do anything, her self esteem and confidence start to suffer. Her values start to get fuzzy as well as her sense of who she is and what she’s about. Because she’s a sensitive soul, not wanting to hurt anyone else, it will normally take a lot before she does anything to change her situation.

The straw that broke the camel’s back is normally what happens for her. Something simple, something silly, something small- just a moment when she just thinks

“Oh my god, is this it? Is this me forever? Is this my life?”

Once she reaches this point, things start to happen. She rebels a bit, she notices that she doesn’t really care about certain things, she’s not really sure who she is anymore and starts looking for answers. She is entering a metamorphosis and knows that she needs to make some changes……

Do you know her?

She is me. I wrote this about myself a few years ago. If you’ve read up to this point, then I’m guessing she is you as well!

I’m often asked what I do and who I work with.

I work with her. I adore her. I work with her to help her find her own place in the world, to practice self love and self respect, to be real and authentic. I work with her to help her find her answers. To help her find meaningful work and loving supportive relationships. I help her to adore herself and be happy within herself.

I’d love to hear if you resonated with this! I really would love to know if you know her? Please drop me a line to paula @ myquarterlifecoach.com or pop over to the facebook page and let me know!

Here’s to her!

Paula xx

The Percentage of Your Wellness = The Percentage of Your Success

The % of your Wellness = the % of Your Success

That statement hit me right in the stomach.

I was at a group coaching session with a coach I deeply admire and we had been working on goals. She was asking how committed we were to achieving them, the rest of the group were really enthusiastic shouting out ‘Hell yeah, 100%!’ ‘ I’m 120%, it’s gonna happen, I can’t wait to get started!’

Then it was my turn, ‘Eh, honestly, about 50%, no really actually about 40%’.

I so desperately wanted what I wanted but I just didn’t have the drive I needed to get really excited or passionate about putting in the work. It seemed like so much effort and it made me tired and overwhelmed even thinking about starting! (For a second, I thought I was going to be politely asked to leave!)

Then my coach said the magic sentence. She said ‘The percentage of your Wellness equals the percentage of your Success’ and then it clicked! She had me sussed! No wonder I was only about 40ish% committed to achieving what I wanted to do! I was exhausted, I was stressed, my sleeping pattern was all over the place and my recycling bin was brimming with takeaway Chinese and pizza boxes!

I realised that I had to change my goals drastically! I had wanted to grow my business, take on more clients, get more speaking gigs, create new programmes and make a bigger impact but when it dawned on me that I knew that there was no way that I could achieve these things. I had to slow it down and instead of focusing on the external things I wanted to do and achieve, I had to focus on me and my own wellness. The percentage of my wellness equaled the percentage of my success.

To me, wellness means:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Having fun and relaxing
  • Eating a healthy balanced diet
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Daily gratitude practice
  • Spending quality time with the people I care about

At the time, sleep-wise I was probably averaging about 7 hours per night but I was going to bed at 3-4am. Sometimes I got 3 hours sleep, sometimes I crashed for 12 hours. I felt like I didn’t deserve to have fun or relax because there was so much to do and I hadn’t earned the right for time out. I was eating crap, getting no exercise, going to bed stressed and annoyed with myself and feeling guilty when I was with my family and friends because I wasn’t really present with them, my mind was distracted and on over-drive! I was almost always feeling ashamed of myself. I hadn’t even contemplated changing my lifestyle!

There’s a brilliant researcher and author called Brene Brown and in one of her books she described a conversation she had with her therapist, she said

‘I feel like a turtle without a shell in a briar patch. I need a shell, what can you give me? What do you suggest?‘ The therapist replied saying ‘I have an idea. Why don’t you get out of the briar patch? You’re getting poked and prodded and hurt, not because you don’t have a shell but because you’re living in a briar patch’.

That resonated with me so much! I wanted a shell. Something that I could just put on and get going, to keep on keeping on! But (reluctantly) I realised that I had to get out of the briar patch and change my lifestyle.

I’ve made a lot of changes and I still have a lot of changes to make but I’m definitely making progress! My goals are balanced now to ensure that self-care is as important, if not more important than external achievement and the difference that has made to my life is incredible! I may not be at 100% yet but I’m a hell of lot better than 40ish%

How about you? Are you trying to push yourself to do more, be more and achieve more when you’re operating at reduced wellness? Where are you at now? What is your wellness percentage? Have you ever thought about this concept before and does it resonate with you? I’d love to hear your feedback and get a discussion going so pop over the facebook page and drop me a line!

Also, check out my fab programme ‘30 days to be your own Fairy Godmother‘ starting on the 15th June!

Until next week, be well!

Paula x

What are you paying attention to?

‘Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.’ Jose Ortega y Gassett

Have you ever caught yourself dwelling on something completely ridiculous or insignificant for WAY TOO LONG?

Maybe something happened during your day that caught you off guard or someone said something mildly offensive to you. Whatever it was, you knew that in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t a big deal YET you felt a need to mentally rehash it over and over in your head and heart all day long.

Sound familiar?

I’ve done this so many times! I know it’s draining and pointless but at the time, it seems like a good way to fix something that somehow felt wrong.

I suspect it’s also a way for me to reinforce the idea that I am right and didn’t deserve to be snubbed or whatever! I thrash over and over again the whole woulda, coulda, shoulda mentality of what I would do should that happen again!

But you know what I realised, every time I give power to the little things that might seem irritating, like when someone doesn’t let me change lanes in traffic or the bus doesn’t stop when I’ve got your hand out, or someone is a bit rude to me—I’m actually choosing to be that unproductive, irritated, anxious energy.

Every time I feel that I have been unfairly treated or ignored or whatever, even if it’s something slight- if I get caught up in that then I am choosing to bring that pointless emotion into my day.

The thoughts that we have and the emotion we feel as a result really does influences our state of being. It can alter our mood which then can impact on everything and everyone that we come into contact with during the day

As the Buddha said ‘what we think, we become.’

Now I’m not for one second suggesting we should repress our feelings when we feel pissed off or annoyed but I am suggesting that we question the thoughts that create our feelings so that we don’t let them consume us! (Especially when we’re creating drama and unease over something we won’t even remember in a few days’ time.)

You see, we tend to create ‘meaning’ for certain situations which may not be the case at all and can lead us down a slippery slope! For example, if your partner is a bit grumpy or out of sorts- we think ‘what have I done?… He/she must be pissed off with me etc’ If your hours get cut back in work, we think ‘They don’t think I do a good job… I’m not good enough…etc’. Then your happiness, confidence and self esteem takes a beating!

We spend so much of our time focusing our attention on things that don’t really serve us and on what we don’t want in our lives. This takes up a hell of a lot of our time and energy! Time and energy that would be better focused on proactively going after the things that we do want for ourselves in our lives!

But if we can observe and understand how our thoughts are impacting us, we can change how we are experiencing the world on a day to day basis. So try this as an experiment this week and have some fun with it!

If something happens that pisses you off or annoys you- try to catch yourself before it spirals and then challenge your initial reaction! Ask yourself:

1.Is thinking this way going to add to my day or take  away from my day?

2. Am I attaching my own created negative meaning to this situation?

3. Then choose to release the little worries that stand in the way of your happiness in any given moment!

Life will seem much sweeter when you do!

take thatHere’s a real life example of how this can help! Saturday night, myself and my two buddies had a yummy meal out and were all excited to relive our childhood and go see Take That! Got the tickets in February! We arrived at the venue only to find out that we actually had tickets for the night before! D’oh!!!!!!

Take That wasn’t happening! Our night that we’d been looking forward to for months wasn’t happening! What did we pay attention to??

We were together, it was early and we were gonna have fun regardless! We ended up in the laughter lounge (even though it was full, the staff went out and got another table and set it up especially for us- we did of course tell them the story and they had a good chuckle!). I was so proud of us that night. It could have been easy to spiral into pity and disappointment but we didn’t and life was much sweeter!

I hope you enjoyed this weeks issue of Progress!

P x