Saturday, April 25, 2009

Last week some girlfriends and I were chatting together over a “liquid lunch” when one of my friends asked, “what animal would the people that know you say you are?”. Well at this point, I started to think about all the lovely creatures I “felt” I could be; a lovely butterfly, a peacock, a koala etc etc. After much ribbing and laughter between us, the friend that posed the initial question turned to me and said “Van, I think you are a rhino”! Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather. I was absolutely gob-smacked. This was one of my closest friends saying I reminded her of a rhino. Well, I know I had a few pounds to lose, but she was really pushing it now! However, before I could retaliate, (I think my friend noticed the ghastly shade of green I had turned), she explained herself very quickly. She said, “Van, you remind me of the horn of a rhino because that part boldly sticks out and precedes the body. The horn goes first; it is strong, courageous and relentless. It explores the unknown and dangerous; it removes all obstacles in it’s path so it can move freely and travel safely with greater speed. The horn confronts the problems it has in it’s path; it helps the rhino change direction and protect it from harm. The horn is the teacher and the body the follower. The horn gets scarred so that the body can remain safe”.

Suddenly I felt really happy at being described as a rhino (for the first time in my life I might add!). I wanted to jump up and hug her. What a wonderful description. I didn’t have time to think about the details, and the fact that now, following reflection, I think she was being over-generous. I just felt so pleased that her perception of me had been so strong. Make no mistake I am a real “girlie-girl”, but her description made me feel very powerful and strong.

When I got home I looked up some facts about the rhino, and also found out (by chance!) that when it breaks off part of it’s horn, it grows back as good as new. This I felt really sums up most women; the ability to start over when we have failed. For me this is the best part of being a rhino horn. It’s the part of us that plunges ahead into change even though we may be terrified. The part that feels the way forward in the dark. It’s the part of us that represents courage; courage to question, to be willing to hear answers we may not want to hear, courage to look within, courage to learn more about ourselves.

Suddenly I was really happy being a rhino and not a cuddly koala as I had initially hoped for.

What animal would your friends describe you as, and why?

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Finding Joy (or cupcakes!)

I really love this picture.

As a Life Coach one of my principle aims is to help clients find their joy (again!). It is always there, but sometimes with the challenges we go through during our every day lives, we lose that connection; we forget how to feel joyous. It doesn't have to be big things, or huge goals that bring you joy. It can be very simple things.

Here are some things that brought me joy today:

i) waking up and finding a beautiful blue sky and only the sound of birdsong.
ii) laughing with, and loving my husband
iii) making the continued decision to only watch TV, or read books that make me feel good
iv)the bliss of silence (away from the madding crowd)
v) connecting with friends (worldwide) via telephone, letter writing and some of my favourite forums
vi)decadent cheesecake, and eating it without feeling guilty.

What brought you joy today?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What Quote Best Sums You Up?

"Some women have a weakness for shoes................I can go barefoot if necessary. I have a weakness for books" Oprah

I really LOVE this quote. If you ask my friends and family they are likely to say this quote best sums me up (altho' best don't ask my husband about the weakness for shoes which he might add is also a problem!). Needless to say I will do anything to get hold of a book I want to read ( and I mean anything!)

What quote best sums you up?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

I'm Back!!!!!

Dear friends
I can't believe I have been away from my blog for SOOOOOO long!

What happened? Despite the picture to the left, I have not been sunning myself on some deserted island. In fact I have been working my pretty little socks off! I am exhausted; sometimes finding myself in the surreal situation of coaching at 3am to accomodate clients the other side of the globe.

It's incredible to say but the recession has had an amazing effect on my coaching business, which in effect has left me little or no time to blog. Basically, the recession has proved to be a catalyst for people to re-assess their lives, and to think about what they really want to do. It's ironic really because it's also a time when most companies are looking to make cut-backs, and usually the first thing to go is training and coaching. However, in the world of personal coaching, this is not happening. I've had a whole heap of new clients who fall into distinct categories:

i) those who are completely stressed out at work and who are being pushed to the limits in their roles/positions.Consequently this has led them to realise just how much they hate what they are doing, and so have decided to invest in themselves now whilst they have the resources.

ii) those who have been made redundant and are using this time to really start following some of the ideas they used to doodle about when they were sitting at their desk on a cold, winter's Monday morning, contemplating yet another week in a job they absolutely detested (but which paid the bills).

iii) those that have suddenly realised that despite what their parents told them, there is no job for life, there is no such thing as a "safe" job, and that job security is not the be all and end all. Some of these clients quite like what they do, but have come to the realisation (through various events in their life) that life really is too short to keep counting the days to the next weekend or next holiday, and have decided to take the bull by the horns NOW and follow their bliss.

All I have been able to say to all my clients is "Bring it on!!!!" I am just thrilled to work with these clients who are really taking responsibility for their lives. It's really easy to sit back and say "It's impossible to make changes now as we are in a recession" (how many times have I heard that also?). But I say, now is perhaps one of the best times to take stock of what is working, and what is not working in your life, and start making those small changes that will not only recession-proof your life, but also get you through the tunnel into the light, quicker than most.

Do you fall into any of these categories.............I bet you do!