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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

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

Christmas. Sofa. Easter. Holidays…..

Christmas. Sofa. Easter. Holidays………..

What am I on about? Have I finally lost it and gone away with the fairies? Why the random words?

A couple of weeks back, these words were said to me by my coach. She looked at me expecting a reaction, I stared at her with a blank expression!

She said it again ‘Christmas. Sofa. Easter. Holidays.’ ‘What does that mean?’ I asked. ‘You tell me’ was her response.

I thought about it for a minute and then I cringed, ‘Oh my god, that’s life!!’

We’re coming out of Sofa and heading straight into Easter at the moment- have you noticed? In every shop, there are easter bunnies, mini eggs, creme eggs and very shortly  Easter eggs will be on the shelves of every shop and supermarket if they’re not there already!

After we’re done gorging on chocolate, we will be bombarded with messages of sun holidays and breaks away, magazines and tv ads telling us that we need to get a ‘bikini body’. Many of us will try and eat a bit healthier, get out more and generally feel not enough when we look at other people who already have their ‘bikini body’! But no sooner have we put the suitcase back in the attic and all of a sudden, it’s Christmas again- in September!

Christmas takes us from September to January with a short break allowed in for Halloween! Again, we’re bombarded with messages about the perfect gift, we’re rushing around, spending and trying to keep up with everyone else! Christmas flies by and all of a sudden, we’re in Sofa!

Sofa is an interesting one! It kinda sneaked in there! I’m not sure if I’m noticing it now because I’m older but all the ads from Christmas Day onwards are selling sofas! It’s furniture, home improvements! Maybe it’s because everyone has been sitting down a lot more than usual over the Christmas period so we start believing that we need a new sofa, but then, guess what- we’re back into Easter again and the merry go round keeps on going!

We would normally look at these periods as Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn but I have to admit, referring to them as Christmas, Sofa, Easter, Holidays has really given me a kick in the ass! Time seems to have sped up in recent years, not just for me but for everyone I’ve been talking to! We have more to do and we’re busy busy bees getting on with our lives! Time is progressing but are we? Are we getting caught up in Christmas, Sofa, Easter and Holidays at the expense of achieving the very best of what we want for our own lives?

Christmas, Sofa, Easter and Holidays are going to happen anyway but the important thing is that we don’t get caught up in the flow! We need to make sure that our lives are directed by what we want and who we want to become so in this edition of Progress…..

I want to encourage you to step off the hamster wheel and take stock of where you’re at and look at what’s going on in your life now-

‘Where are you now?’ and ‘Where do you want to be?’

and

‘What do YOU need to do to get you there?’

 

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress!

hamster wheelIf you’d like to get off the hamster wheel, get crazy excited about your life in 2015, ACTUALLY make the changes you want to make and ACHIEVE the things you want to achieve, then check out The Fairy Godmother Programme! This is my best selling 30 day programme where together we will work through topics like ‘Life Vision & Focus’ ‘Mindset and Confidence’ and ‘Decisions and Follow Through’! You will have access to a private facebook community where you can avail of support and coaching and you will also get 2 x 60 minute Q & A sessions with me! All for only €99 for the entire programme! Check out The Fairy Godmother Programme in the ‘Work With Paula’ section now!

 

Why you need to have a vision for your life!

I’ve been spending the past week thinking about my life vision, well to be perfectly honest, I’ve been spending the past week thinking about upgrading my life vision! You see, a few years ago, I had a dream of how I wanted my life to look in the future – this dream was big, bold, outrageous and very happy!! I’d own a house, I’d have an amazing partner who respected me, I’d be doing something I loved doing, I’d have freedom and flexibility and I’d have money in the bank!

At the time of dreaming this dream, I was jobless with zero prospects because I had just realised I hated my chosen profession, I was completely broke and had recently been dumped via text message! But I held this vision of what I wanted in my mind and worked towards it over the past 4 years. In recent weeks I’ve realised that I need to upgrade my vision! Why? Because I’m already living my dream, I’m living the big, bold and outrageous dream that the Paula from 4 years ago was dreaming about!

The Paula from today has learnt a lot of lessons in the past few years- most importantly, whatever the mind can conceive, it can achieve. So, over the next few weeks I’ll be putting together my bigger vision and you know what, I’m really excited about it! My life will be whatever I make it!

 So how about you! Do you have a vision for your life?

  A vision is how you want your life to look in a few years time. I’m talking 5, 10, 20 years time! You might be gasping thinking ‘I haven’t a clue where I want to be next week, let alone in 20 years time!!’ But when it comes to a life vision, you do need to go out that far because this is where you want to end up. If you don’t have any idea of how you want your life to look in 10, 15, 20 years time then how do you know if every day you’re moving further away or closer to your vision?

It’s like the analogy of driving around in a car without knowing where you’re going. We always get into the car with our destination in mind, or at least the general direction that we want to go in. This is what we’re trying to achieve with a life vision – a destination or direction.  If you don’t know where you’re going and you don’t know what success looks like, then how do you know when you get there?

What tends to happen is that we get caught up in our late teens and early twenties. We start to do things out of necessity, we do what everyone else is doing and what is expected of us! We go to college or get a job, work hard, progress in our career, meet a partner, save money, maybe talk about getting married, try to get a deposit together for a house. We’re just getting on with it though with our heads down.

We’re like busy worker bees, work, work, work, busy, busy, busy and we don’t look up, we just keep going. This was me; I was busy, busy, busy and trying to ignore the fact that I was so unhappy. I thought it was normal to be unhappy in your twenties, well normal for me anyway! But the problem was I had no vision, no direction. I was still just going with the flow and I wasn’t self-directing my life based on what I wanted.

What having a life vision will do for you is to give you some focus and direction as well as helping you gain clarity on whether the decision that you’re making will take you closer to your vision or further away.

It’s not very often that we spend time on ourselves. We tend to spend so much time living that we don’t actually make the time to raise our head, look to the future and say; ‘ok this is the big picture. This is how I want my life to look.’ But I want you to do exactly that! Now is your time! Put the brakes on for a few hours, take a step out of the madness and ask yourself ‘How do I want my life to look in 20 years time?’ ‘What will I need to do to make that happen?’ You see, the time is going to pass anyway so you might as well point yourself in a direction that you’ll be happy with! Think about it over the next few days and jot down any ideas that come to mind!

It has to make you think ‘Wow, I’d be floating on air if I had a life like that!’ Be big bold and outrageous. People over-estimate what they can accomplish in a year but they wildly, wildly under-estimate what they can accomplish in a 5 years or ten years! You need to be clear on what you want your life to look like by when? What does success look like to you? It’s a very simple concept but an incredibly powerful motivating tool! Think BIG!

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! If you want to Kick-Start 2014 then check out my 30 day Be Your Own Fairy Godmother Programme starting on Friday 3rd January! Over 30 days, we’ll cover modules such as ‘Life Vision & Focus’, ‘Mindset & Confidence’, ‘Decision Making & Follow Through’ and ‘Making Magic in Your Own Life’!

You’ll have two live Q & A sessions with me where you can ask questions, get some coaching and make real progress in your life! Also, you’ll have access to a private facebook group offering 24/7 support so you can get a kick in the ass when needed! I’ll also dip in with thoughts, advice and insights throughout the month and you can compare notes on your workbooks and homework with the other women on the programme! Trust me, there’s no better way to set up the New Year! To find out more and secure your place, click here!

Until Next Time,

Think about where you’re going!

P x

fairy_godmother_package_image4

Is 2014 going to be the year you finally make the changes you’ve been putting off! Kick-Start your year with my 30 day ‘Fairy Godmother‘ programme starting on 3rd January 2014!

Over 30 days, we’ll cover modules like ‘Life Vision & Focus’, ‘Mindset & Confidence’, ‘Decision Making & Follow Through’ and ‘Making Magic in Your Own Life’!

You will be able to use what you learn forever and it’s only €99! Check out the link for more details!
http://myquarterlifecoach.com/the-fairy-godmother-programme/

When you just feel raw and exposed…….

I had an incident the other week which was a real struggle for me! I’m talking about a wallowing, spiral of negative emotions!! Of course, needless to say, this pit of despair is not where I like to spend my time! I lived there years ago, but I managed to move and get a place that was brighter with a view and I haven’t really gone back to visit the pit, except for this particular incident!

Now, when you’re working as a coach there is a bit of extra pressure to avoid the pit because you’re supposed to have it all together! Luckily ‘having it all together’ isn’t my unique selling point and never has been! Being me, being real and facing up to what’s not working so that I can change it is what I try to bring to my coaching relationships. Being authentic and true to myself is of the utmost importance to me, whether that means that I’m strong and supporting others or if that means I’m in tears on the kitchen floor cuddling the dog!

So, let me paint the scene… I’m self employed and I work from my  home office on my electric blue sony laptop for about 8-10 hours per day, nearly 7 days a week for the past 2 ½ years. I’m not techy; I don’t know much about ‘cloud’ computing, backing up etc! All I do know is that when a blue screen appears on my laptop that says Incorrectable hardware error’ that it is bad. It’s the blue screen of death and I completely lost my mind when it appeared! I turned into a lunatic!

I was able to re-start the laptop and it appeared to be fine but I still went into panic mode. I hopped into the car, drove to the shops and 5 minutes later I was talking laptops to the salesperson. They didn’t have any more electric blue sony ones which made me sad but there were two others that seemed pretty good, a different Sony and a Toshiba! I took down the spec numbers; details, prices etc and I went home to chat to my Dad- the computer genius! We chatted about the Toshiba, he did his research and mentioned words like benchmark, processor and RAM, it went over my head but bottom line was he gave it a thumbs up! He said to leave it with him and he would do a bit more research to see if he could find a better deal. That was 8pm. At 8.15pm I was back in the shop (I think I was possessed!)

I wanted the Toshiba laptop right then, I didn’t need a better deal; I needed security. The fear and panic had set in again. I had to try and control the situation, I had to make sure I was covered, this is my livelihood and I was a business owner, an entrepreneur, a home owner, I’m responsible etc. I felt raw, exposed, stupid for not backing up and very vulnerable at the thought of losing all of the work I had saved on my computer- we’re talking everything!

Of course, they were sold out of the Toshiba. The salesperson offered me the Sony laptop, said it was ‘much of a muchness’ between the two and knocked 50 quid off. Sold! With a smile on his face and a debt over €1000 on my credit card, I left the shop feeling a bit uncomfortable.

Hmm, what now? Well, of course I didn’t take a deep breath and calm down.

I got home, opened the box and attempted to set up the computer. I followed instructions and entered passwords, then I realised it was windows 8. Ooops, Dad said ‘Whatever you do, don’t get windows 8’. Crap, the panic was back and it was now mixed in with fear, shame, anxiety and regret!

I sent my Dad an email with the spec of the Sony (the one that was now sitting on my kitchen table) and I asked him to check what it was like. I did not tell him I had bought it, opened it and messed around with it. He replied shortly afterwards using words like ‘benchmark, lousy machine, not good value, not even half as good, don’t even go there’. Unfortunately those words didn’t go over my head, they sunk right in and I felt like the biggest gambeen on the planet.

I was wide awake for the whole night with a tight jaw and an anxiety ridden mind. ‘What was I going to do?’ ‘How can I HIDE this?’ ‘How can I pretend this never happened?’ ‘What was I going to say?’ ‘They won’t allow me bring it back, I’ve opened it and I don’t think there’s any legal comeback for impulse buying’ ‘Dad is going to think I’m an idiot’ ‘I am an idiot’. Talk about a shame spiral, plus the whole I just spent over a grand on something I regretted! Ugh, horrible horrible feeling!

At 6am, after pondering and tossing and turning all night I sent an email to my Dad with the subject line ‘I f*cked up’. That was probably the hardest email I’ve written in ages, acknowledging that I made a mistake and needed help. I could not believe how hard I found it!

His response was great, he said ‘Shit happens, sounds like the salesperson took your buying intent for the Toshiba and transferred it to the Sony. You trusted him; he said it was ‘much of a muchness’ between the two machines which wasn’t true……. Come over to me in the morning, we’ll go back to the shop together and we’ll talk to the manager and see if we can get your money back. Stop beating yourself up! Love Dad’

 As soon as I read it, I grew up a bit. There was a part of me that wanted to hide behind someone else, point the finger, blame the sales guy and let someone else protect me and fix my problems! I just started laughing that this was the situation I had created- it had to stop! There was no way that I would/could do that, blame someone else and hide. It would really go against everything I stand for, being real, being authentic and to be honest, even if I got the result I wanted- I knew I would be ashamed at how badly I handled it. It was time to be a big girl again and to be honest it didn’t feel good!

 I called over to my Dad a few hours later with sausie sandwiches and I thanked him for his support and explained that I had to deal with it myself. I told him that my approach was to go back to the shop, and be honest. Tell them I had been in a panic and that I had made a mistake by buying the Sony laptop on an impulse and that I was going to ask for their help. He was proud of me but also tried to prepare me for the fact that I was going to be turned away. “You’ve opened it, there’s nothing wrong with it; you’ve just changed your mind. Legally, they don’t have to do anything for you. So don’t be disappointed…..”

Back to the shop I went, I found the sales guy I had dealt with the night before and I told my truth. My face was roaring red, the anxiety was eating me up on the inside, I wanted the shop floor to open up and swallow me whole, and my jaw was getting tight.

‘Hi Trevor, I was here last night and I bought the Sony laptop. I wanted to get the Toshiba but you were sold out so I took the Sony instead’. He nodded remembering me. I gushed ‘Well, I made a huge mistake. I’ve opened it and messed around with it but I really don’t want it, I shouldn’t have bought it. I should have just waited for the Toshiba and I was in a panic and it was an impulse buy. I need your help; can I please bring it back?

‘Sure’ he said. ‘Come with me and we’ll get the manager Andy to get you sorted out.

 Just like that.

It was an incredible lesson for me. I had been riding a train of thought that had brought me to places where I felt weak, small and vulnerable. Where I wanted to hide my mistake so that no one knew, where I wanted to blame the sales guy, where I wanted to be protected and where I lay in bed wide awake for a full night listening to mind monkeys chattering in my head. All because I didn’t want to say ‘I made a mistake and I need help’. It was a valuable and very uncomfortable lesson for me! But in the end, being truthful and allowing myself to go into a situation where I could be rejected and denied was the course I chose and after that experience, I learned that it will be the course that I want to keep on choosing.

I know that it’s difficult for us to acknowledge that we make mistakes and it’s also difficult for many of us to ask for help. We don’t like being seen as wrong, weak or vulnerable (or an impulse buying crazy lunatic!) but it happens. Engaging in life fully means that there will be times when we need to deal with these emotions, even when we don’t want to!

So I just wanted to share my experience with you for a few reasons; firstly that hopefully you find it beneficial and you can take something useful from it and secondly, for you to get to know me a bit better. I’m not the coach who has it all figured out; I’m a Paula and I can be raw, weak and vulnerable- just like you. I get myself worked into states; I fret and worry often- just like you! I get mind monkey attacks with that voice in my head telling me I’m not good enough- just like you. What you see is what you get with me. I’m real, I’m tough, I go after my dreams and I don’t give up on myself (I might have a rocky start sometimes though!) I love my work, I love coaching and supporting others to be real, to be tough, to go after their dreams and to never give up on themselves. I love it because I get it.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s issue of Progress, slightly different yes but hopefully you enjoyed it! I’d love to hear your feedback so feel free to drop me a line!

P x

 

Do you know how to make yourself feel happy?

Do you remember when you were a child and you looked at life in total wonder and awe? Everything was magical and exciting and the tiniest things were so fascinating and thrilling! The crunch of an autumn leaf under your foot, bright shiny conkers, ladybirds, a pretty rock on the ground or even a cardboard box could fascinate you for hours. You would turn it into whatever it needed to be for you in that moment.

You were full of excitement when you lost a tooth and if you were like me, you’d try and stay awake all night to try and catch the tooth fairy! Don’t even get me started on Christmas, Santa Claus, flying reindeers and the magic that went with that!

 Do you remember? There were fairies and elves in the garden, pets were like people and kept all your secrets, your toys had personalities, they came to life when you were out of the room and they protected you when you were scared, wishes were made on the stars and dreams came true. Your heart was full of joy, your imagination knew no limits, and you firmly believed that could fly if you could just figure out the right jump and arm movement to get started – life was amazing and full of magic and awe. You felt good!

This is an exquisite feeling which most of had as children, even though we all had some bad times and bad experiences, we held onto the feeling that everything was good, that every day promised more adventure and wonder and that nothing would ever take away our joy of the magic of it all. But then we grew up! 🙁

As we grew older into teenagers, young adults and real life grown ups- responsibilities, problems and difficulties took their toll on us, we became disillusioned and the magic that we had believed in as children disappeared. I don’t know about you but I love hanging around kids, playing with them and I’m so fascinated with how fascinated they are. My 2 ½ year old nephew Jamie made a caterpillar out of an egg carton and I swear he delighted in it for hours! He named it, he talked to it, he played with it, he made it rawr and squealed with delight as we joined his games.

Obviously I wouldn’t be talking about all of this if it was never to be a part of your life again! The magic of life is real. You may not see reindeer fly or a bunny hopping over your wall but those feelings of fascination, wonder, awe, trust and magic are within you and you can let them all out to play again! When you do, life becomes magical!

We don’t see it, we feel it.

What I find so amazing is that we were taught this by our parents and society as well, but the real message got lost over the years. If you asked a child ‘What’s the magic words? He or she will easily say to you ‘please’ and after they have received, ‘What are the magic words?’ they will tell you ‘Thank You’.

That’s it! That’s how you bring forth magic into your life, you must say the magic words, ‘Thank you’. When we actually stop and acknowledge the wonder and abundance of the life we are living, when we are thankful for it, we shine. When we focus on the good stuff we have, we feel good, we feel happy and then it’s so much easier to trust ourselves and focus on the good stuff we’re headed for.

If you practice gratitude a little, your life will change a little. If you practice gratitude a lot every day, your life will change dramatically and in ways you can’t even begin to imagine! Try it for yourself, take a moment now and close your eyes. I want you to run through all of the wonderful things and people that you have in your life right now, feel thankful for what you have and smile. I honestly don’t know any better way to shift your energy and emotions from down and dull to happy and energised!

‘When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around’ Willie Nelson

I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress; that you got something valuable from it and could relate! Please get in touch on the facebook page and share what you’re grateful for this week! Can’t wait to see!

Until next week,

P x

Growing Pains at 27?

I came across an old diary entry last week which I had forgotten I had. The entry was over 18 months old and at the time of writing it, I was in Australia meeting my partners family for the first time. We were there for 3 weeks and there was such much stuff going through my head at the time. I was quite emotional while we were there; it was really unnerving that I wasn’t able to put my finger on why I felt so raw and just not myself! I was able to blame jet-lag for a few days but after a week I knew that couldn’t be the reason anymore so I went off for a long walk on my own, took my diary and a pen, grabbed a coffee from a little coffee hut and I plonked myself down and began to write.

 Here’s what I wrote:

“I’m very aware that a change is taking place. I’m holding onto the past I suppose. I’m growing up and it’s quite bittersweet. I don’t really want to – but at 27 years old, I have to ask myself is it not about time? Am I being overdramatic? To be honest, I don’t think so. I think that this is another part of growing up. It’s the in-between-y stage.

Obviously I’m not a child anymore but I really don’t feel like an adult. I have a bank account, pay bills, live with a boy, drive a car and have my own business which is all very grown up but the next big milestones and major events of my life –the traditional markers of adulthood like buying a house, getting married and starting a family are coming soon. I wonder if everyone experiences these feelings of apprehension and uneaseiness?

It’s kind of scary and I find myself looking back an awful lot. Being carefree, having fun, playing with bubbles and going to amusement parks and parades has always been a big part of who I am and what makes me smile but it’s all very childish- I mean does that all get left behind now?? I think it’s scary because I don’t know who I’ll be as an adult.

But in saying all this, I know that something great is coming- I feel like a caterpillar entering a chrysalis- she may know that she’ll emerge as a butterfly and be able to fly but I bet the caterpillar is frightened of losing herself in the process! I think that’s where I’m at.

When I think back on how far I’ve come, all of the changes I have made in my life so far, how wonderful things have been- there really should be no reason to be frightened so why am I?

I think it’s because I’m not focused on the future, I keep looking back instead of forwards. I know if I look forwards and direct my focus on where I want to go, it will feel lot more secure. Who do I want to be? “

 *******************************

 I find diaries really fascinating! I had no recollection of writing that until I actually read it again and immediately I was brought back to that moment! At the time, I really did feel nervous and anxious about growing up! I was having growing pains at 27 years old which may seem ridiculous, but at that particular time in my life, it was real and it felt scary! I had to accept it, embrace it and decide who I wanted to be as an adult! Interestingly, I got engaged less than 3 months after writing that diary entry and less than 12 months after writing it, I had bought my own house. Very grown up indeed! At some level, I must have been aware that is was on the horizon!

But anyway, I was very grateful to have stumbled across this last week and I thought I’d share it with you! I honestly would love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Have you ever experienced anything like that? Can you relate to it? Please get in touch and share your thoughts and stories!

Until next week,

Look after you,

P x

How the real you says No!

I know that you’re reading this or following my work because you know that there’s something 484318_10151361617128460_1077609347_n else, something more that you are meant to do, have or be but you can’t put your finger on it right now. I know this because it’s exactly how I felt as well and how most of my clients describe their feelings.

It’s like there’s something inside you that is reaching out, longing and yearning and sometimes you feel like you could just explode! What I’ve learned is that there is something inside you. That something is YOU– also known as your authentic self. You see, through my own journey and exploration over the past number of years, I have come across many teachings, books and articles which talk about us having different ‘selves’. The concept that resonated most with me and with most other women in their 20s & 30s is the idea of the ‘authentic self’ and ‘the social self’. Let me introduce you:

 The social self is that part of you that has been influenced by your culture, your environment, your peers, your family and society as you have grown up and throughout your life. It has taught you to value the same or similar things to most other people in your circle such as stable job, being financially secure, owning your own home, meeting a partner, having a family, having a pension, looking after your parents – being a ‘good girl’ shall we say!

 The authentic self is the part of you that knows your preferences for everything; it knows what you enjoy, what you’re passionate about, what brings you joy and what you love to do. The authentic self knows that you want to order dessert in the restaurant whereas the social self will tell you not to be a piggy as no one else is having anything! The authentic self is that part of you that is spontaneous, curious, fascinated with the world and playful.

 Our authentic self is great because when we tap into it, we can use it a bit like a compass and it will let us know when we’re moving in a direction that is completely out of sync with the ‘real and authentic’ us. The key is to learn how to read the compass! The following examples are a few ways in which the authentic self says ‘No’ and this can tell you whether you’re truly happy with the path you are on.

1. Sick as a dog!

 When you are forcing yourself on a particular path, struggling to repeat exams, trying to fit in and basically saying yes to things when you really want to say no; you’re not happy. There’s a general unhappiness, tense and anxious state that after a while becomes even normal. Bottom line, you’re under stress but you’ve probably been under it so long you don’t even realise it. When you are suffering with stress, your immune system is affected and its functionality decreases leaving you open to all sorts of illnesses. People with an over developed social self who keep putting other things and other people ahead of the needs of their authentic self can be under immense stress for years without realising it. They never consciously and deliberately recognise what’s going on- they may not even get to the point where they can say that they they’re unhappy in their career or with something else in their life but the authentic self is very aware and the effect on the immune system is disastrous. The result is what clients describe as overwhelmed and burn out.

 2. Vibrancy Vampire

 This is a really interesting one and something I know you have experienced! It’s 3pm and you’re sitting at your desk wishing that you were back in school in the baby class when your teacher would say ‘Put your head on your desk and go to sleep’- How I wished for those moments when I was working in my last job. I would be staring at the screen like a zombie, zero energy, trying to shake myself every time I noticed I was nodding off and terrified that I would be caught! So, I’d reach for the coffee and biscuits to give me a pick-me- up but even being stuffed with caffeine and sugar it didn’t help.I’d put on two stone in my last job as well  ( I kept snacking because I was so bored and or unhappy!)

 I had dragged myself out of bed that morning, dragged myself through most of the day and as soon as 5.30pm came- I would be heading straight home and crashing on the couch forever if not longer (possibly getting a take away because I had no energy to cook). This is what I call the vibrancy vampire- when we are way off course it’s like there’s a vampire that sucks out all of our vibrancy and passion for life. This is really one of the best tell tale messages that your authentic self can give you! As yourself ‘when do I feel drained and when do I feel vibrant and alive?’

 3. Feeding the ‘Nothing’

 I don’t mean for this to be as scary as it sounds but when your authentic and social selves nothingare disconnected, you will feel a void. Everyone describes the feeling slightly different as everyone experiences it in their own unique way. Physically, I felt it in my chest and it was like an anxious clawing feeling. Some describe feeling it in the pit of their stomach and others describe it differently again! For me, it reminded me of the film The Never Ending Story and how their world was being threatened by the ‘Nothing’– that’s how it felt- like nothing. There was nothing really wrong but nothing really felt good either- everything was just bleh, -grey, dull and boring. The feeling of nothing or void or emptiness was always there and I tried so hard to feed it, fill it, and do anything to make it go away. When it was really intense, a cigarette helped for about 30 seconds! Some people, they’ll go out and have a few drinks to try and numb it, others will exercise excessively, others will sleep around, some will eat excessively, some will shop, and some will hide from the world.

 Everything that we do, we do because we’re trying to change how we feel and feed this nothing! If we did manage to find something that dulled the feeling, it easily became a habit and something we would do on a regular basis- we all know that some habits are good but others can actually ruin your life. For me, it was cigarettes amongst many other self destructive habits- I believed that they took the edge off the nothing or anxious feeling.They made me feel better but only temporarily, pretty soon afterwards I’d be feeling pretty lousy about myself again! The reason I behaved that way was to try and change the way I felt, and the reason why I wanted to change the way I felt was because I was so miserable and the reason I was so miserable was because I had gagged my authentic self! I wasn’t allowing myself to listen to what I truly wanted, I wasn’t trusting myself and I wasn’t being kind to myself.

 Over the years, I have learnt that it’s quite difficult to break free from bad habits and addictions until you start acting more loving towards yourself, until you feel that you are worthy and good enough. I could only do that once I aligned my two selves and came back to the path of my deepest sense of purpose.

 I hope you enjoyed this issue of Progress! I’d love to hear your feedback so get in touch!

 Until next time, notice when no means no!

 P x

 To read more on this topic, check out

http://myquarterlifecoach.com/feeling-a-bit-disconnected/

Making some space…..

About 3 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 3 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 3 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 engaging declutter_life_2in 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 ten years ago and we had a lot of her clothes packed away. Clothes that we would never wear but 3 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 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 ours to make of it what we will…and we trust ourselves 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 feedback so get in touch!

Until next time,

Make some space!

P x