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Where our experience of midlife really comes from

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For some women, midlife is a total breeze whilst for others it can quickly become a nightmare.

We’ve all been conditioned to think our experience, our happiness or misery come from the things outside us – our situation in life, our health, our finances, the things that happen to us. So when all is going well – we feel great. But we also take it for granted that when difficulties strike it’s inevitable that we feel bad.

But this isn’t actually how life works.

You see our emotions and experience are never the direct result of what happens to us, these situations never cause happiness or unhappiness. Feelings aren’t a result of the world and life events, but a reaction to our thoughts about these situations.

You can test this yourself because some days, you’ll find, for example, your child’s cheeky comment charming, the next day, it will irritate you. Same situation, different outcome feelings.

And if a situation led to a specific set of emotions, your emotions would remain constant from day to day but they don’t do they? Because the same situation on a different day is likely to trigger very different thoughts about what’s happening.

Take another example. Standing waiting in a queue. One person may view this as a highly irritating interruption to their day. Another may be glad of the chance to stop, slow down and enjoy the pause. Again there is no one pre-set emotional response that we can have to this scenario.

So what impact does this understanding have on our midlife?

It means that what midlife means to us is less a reflection of what’s out there as some objective reality of how the world views this time of life and more a reflection of our thoughts about it.

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And there are some very important ideas we need to understand about thoughts.

First of all we can’t control our thoughts – I have no idea what next thought is going to come into my mind and there’s no way I can predict whether it will be the type of thought I’ve had before or whether it will be something completely out of left field. Most of my thoughts are fairly repetitive but every so often a really odd thought will come into my mind that seems to come out of nowhere.

But what I also know is that these thoughts are not necessarily true, able to predict the future or in fact worth paying attention to at all. I don’t have to give them the starring role in my life and neither do you. They are just thoughts that come and go and the less attention and importance we give to them, the quieter our mind becomes.

So let me share how this can make a difference with an example. Coming across this awareness has been huge for me in my own experience of what my might be described as a mini midlife crisis.

When I hit my late forties, I felt really miserable for a few years thinking that my life was on a slide downhill. There were so many things that I still wanted to experience and I felt convinced that it was all too late for me. To be honest, I felt bitter, resentful, fed up. But when I discovered this understanding, I realized the downs I’d experienced were due to believing my thoughts. I thought they were reality, a true reflection of my midlife worth and future life prospects.

But these thoughts were never the truth. 

And when I finally deep down “got” my feelings were due to believing my faulty, inaccurate thinking. That was huge.

I realised the feelings these thoughts generate, come and go. Thoughts about my age, the menopause, midlife, drift in and out of my mind. Some days they were focused around the new opportunities that I could see surrounding me. Other days, my mind was crowded by preoccupations about what was being taken away (smooth skin, youthful looks).

Now sometimes, yes I still worry about drooping and sagging body bits and regret past opportunities but I know these thoughts and feelings will pass. And if it's a useful thought such as needing to take more exercise or eat less chocolate, I take action without overthinking or analysing.

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It might be worth pausing me for a moment and think about how this relates to you. Don’t worry if it’s not making complete sense, if it is that’s wonderful, but maybe you need to give yourself time to start becoming more aware of the thoughts you have. When you’re feeling happy and energized, what sort of thoughts are you thinking? When you’re in a less than cheerful mood, again what’s going on in your mind?

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If you’d like to discover more about your own experience and know you want to do more with your midlife (and beyond) even if at the moment you haven’t the foggiest what that might look like, get on a free Flourish call with me.

Just click the link to sign up.

Together we’ll explore what your version of a great midlife looks like and we’ll get you moving forward.

My guarantee: You will make progress during our conversation.

We'll also talk about whether 1:1 coaching with me is the right next step for you. For details of my current coaching package there is more info here.

I look forward to talking to you. 

Three happy truths to help you deal with sadness

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This week has been very sad for me as we’ve had to put our very elderly dog down.

I’m not a dog person.

Freya our dog was my husband’s passion, but over the years I’d come to cope with the mess, the mud, the smell and the restrictions she’d placed on our lives in various ways (and there were still many times, I resented it all!). I still disliked dogs, but loved Freya (if that makes sense!). But this week, has taken me by surprise. I’d expected to feel relief. Instead I’ve felt so sad and the depth of pain has shocked me.

I’m not afraid of the pain.

I know it comes from my thoughts of my sadness, of not having her in my life anymore. All of this feels appropriate and right. There’s no way I want to positively think my way out of it. No reframe I want to impose. Feeling that pain is part of losing an animal I loved.

Yesterday, I allowed myself to sob and shed tears (a lot of them). The pain passed, I felt lighter and then had a thought about making a cup of tea. I drank the tea, felt better and went to pick up my daughter from school. We cried (again) and laughed thinking of funny memories with dear Freya and then something else again came through.

So making sense of it all this morning, this is what I see and thankfully these are three happy truths which have helped me deal with the sadness. .

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1. We’re very poor at predicting our future feelings in this case my expected relief versus the sadness reality. I spent years worrying about how I was going to feel if this event happened, or that crisis occurred. Very rarely did the problems I was anticipating come crashing into my life and if they had, well, this was a wonderful example for me of how we’re so rubbish at knowing how we’re going to feel anyway.So many times we predict we’re going to feel sad (or any other emotion for that matter) so it makes far more sense to sit with any emotion when it comes rather than work out a strategy for dealing with it in advance.

2. Any emotion once felt, doesn’t seem to stick along too long. Feel it, let it go, feel the next one, let that go too is my new mantra.I’m following the example of any three year old child.This one is key as the ultimate pain comes in resisting and holding an emotion back. Go with whatever comes (the next point may help).

3,These feelings can’t hurt us – they’re part of being human and if someone could magically wave a wand over you, would you ever truly want to rid yourself of emotions?

Before my discovery of the three principles or the inside out approach, I’d have been so afraid of those feelings and their power. Now, I feel them  but am less inclined to label them good or bad. Yes there are still more comfortable feelings, less comfortable ones but I’m aware how amazing it is to have the awareness to feel any of it. Here we are, living our day to day lives and we all have a vast hoard of emotions coming in and out. So far this morning, I’ve felt sadness, impatience, enjoyment, love, gratitude, irritation, stress, boredom, excitement - and that’s all before lunch!

Emotions move in and out, I don’t need to analyse them, they’re my life and there’s space in my mind and heart to experience it all, even the sadness and the loss. If I truly want to live fully, I know I have to feel whatever comes, step into it, let go of the fear, experience it all and I’m so willing to do that now because I know that these three happy truths are going to help me deal with sadness or any other emotion.

How about you?

Sleep well, dear Freya

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If you’d like to discover more about living with your midlife emotions and you know you want to do more with your life (and beyond) even if at the moment you haven’t the foggiest what that might look like, get on a free Flourish call with me.

Just click the link to sign up.

Together we’ll explore what your version of a great midlife looks like and we’ll get you moving forward.

My guarantee: You will make progress during our conversation.

We'll also talk about whether 1:1 coaching with me is the right next step for you. For details of my current coaching package there is more info here.

I look forward to talking to you. 

Why you are never, ever stuck (even when it feels like you are!)

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I spent years in my midlife feeling secretly, miserably stuck. My self-confidence was at one of its lowest points ever, I questioned my sanity and couldn’t shake the doubts that the best life had to offer was behind me.

And yet despite decades of self-help and psychology exploration, when I finally came across a new understanding, the three principles or an inside out approach, the climb out of the depths of doom and gloom was quick and effortless.

And if you’re feeling as if there’s no way out of this for you too, I’d like to share some of what I discovered here.

Being stuck is just a collection of thoughts

This may sound strange, but as a mentor of mine says, if you can’t put the object of your thoughts into a wheelbarrow, it doesn’t exist except as an idea that’s living inside your head. So can we put being stuck into a container of any sort (no matter how big or small)?

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The answer of course is a huge no. It’s impossible because however much we search, we’re never going to find “stuckness” out there in the world. It’s a mental construct made up of nothing more tangible or concrete than a collection of thoughts (and this is where our glimmer of hope and midlife transformation lies).

Thoughts are not necessarily “the truth” even though we often act as if they are. I loved the Tooth fairy as a child and when I was young I had many thoughts about which latest outfit she might be wearing. But then I discovered that she wasn’t real and I had different thoughts about her.

I have thoughts about what I’m capable of and then realise I might just as easily have thoughts that tell me the opposite. Thoughts pass in and out of our mind without our control and they’re as real as cotton wool clouds. They can change with little or no effort and so our idea of stuckness, what it says about us, whether we’re going to be swirling around in it for any length of time, is never real. It’s never “out there” but only a reflection of our current level of thoughts.

So if stuckness isn’t real, how on earth might we move beyond it’s apparent appearance of reality?

I want to reassure you that there’s always a step away from the mind games going on in our head.

Always. The step might seem tiny, insignificant even, it may be subtle, almost a whisper or glimmer, but I promise you, it’s always there. So how will you recognise it? It might be a quick idea or feeling about wanting to go and have a cup of tea, walk the dog or chat to a friend. It’s the opportunity for something different or new to come into your experience.

It will rarely look earth shattering in any way.  And all you have to do is take this next step and then when you’ve done that, the next step will occur to you and the next and the next. You may have no idea where this is all leading, you may feel that each tiny step is so insignificant you’ll wonder how can it possibly ever lead you out of stuckness but it will, gradually and gently until you can look back and marvel at how far you’re come.

You have a never ending supply of new ideas and steps forward – they’re your birth right as a fully thinking, feeling human being. Just trust you have a constant stream of next steps available to float right into your awareness and the more and quicker you act on them, the faster they’ll float into your mind at exactly the right moment.

And so finally, my love I hope you’re starting to glimpse the idea that there is nothing wrong with you, nothing that’s broken or needs fixing. Your stuckness was never a sign that you’d lost it, that anything serious was wrong. Midlife isn’t the time to get out the slippers and stay at home, staring at four walls for the rest of your life (unless you want it to be, of course).

Your innate wellbeing never left you and looking inward, allowing new insights to help you move forward is all you ever have to do to help you transform your stuckness.

I can’t wait to hear what you get up to!

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If you’d like to discover more about getting out of your own stuckness and you know you want to do more with your midlife (and beyond) even if at the moment you haven’t the foggiest what that might look like, get on a free Flourish call with me.

Just click the link to sign up.

Together we’ll explore what your version of a great midlife looks like and we’ll get you moving forward.

My guarantee: You will make progress during our conversation.

We'll also talk about whether 1:1 coaching with me is the right next step for you. For details of my current coaching package there is more info here.

I look forward to talking to you. 

The easiest way to lasting and effortless change

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You’ve tried willpower, every self-help technique going and programme after programme.

But still that thing you want to change hasn’t shifted.

You’re convinced that change is virtually impossible and you’d better learn to accept who and where you are.

And yet people do change –we know that and the evidence is all around us. But what’s the one thing virtually guaranteed to ensure that change could happen as quick as a flash, with as much effort as taking a long, slow, confident breath?

Insights.

Those ah ha moments, the sudden knowing that seems to come fully formed from nowhere. It’s a deep “in the body” experience, the answer to a problem, a clear next step, a no questions or further analysis necessary.  It brings with it an obviousness, a “why on earth didn’t I see that earlier?”

It’s simplicity perfection.

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We all know what we need to change in our life whether it’s getting through an entire packet of biscuits on the sofa in the evening, telling the friend who always puts us down to shove off or creating our version of the perfect career.

But we know this at an intellectual level.

Deep in our gut, there’s resistance and conflict and what needs to change is never started or we’re easily distracted.  We start the diet but we’re quickly tempted by the extra helping of cake, we smile sweetly at the friend’s snide remark.

Something more is required and instinctively we know this.

We talk about a “change of heart” when all becomes crystal clear, when the 30 a day smoker quits overnight, when we finally walk away from the intolerable situation, knowing this time, we’re not coming back, when we stop doing whatever it is that’s ruining our health or mind.

Once we have an insight, there’s no debate, or hesitation we just get on and do it.

We take the action,

But unfortunately insights don’t turn up on demand. They’re shy, elusive creatures and come in their own time and way, they’re unpredictable.

And the more we push and struggle for one, the more they elude us.

So what helps?

A quiet mind.

A mentor of mine talks about thoughts per minute. When our mind is busy and frantic, those thoughts whir around at a fast rate, rushing from one to the next, whipping up momentum. We can quickly find ourself up to 389 thoughts per minute.

When we are more at peace, thoughts drift into our mind and out at a leisured pace, there’s more space in our thinking. Thoughts per minute could be as low as 10 or 20.

So how do we get there?

First of all we need to recognise we have all the wisdom and knowing we already need, there inside us. We don’t have to look outside to anyone else for help, simply to settle down into what’s already there, waiting for us. Being fully present in our world helps, taking time out to relax and enjoy, listening to the small whispers of inspiration and guidance. Filling up with soul food is another useful way, finding  nourishing experiences, books, people that nurture and inspire.

And then, when we’re least expecting it, the shift happens. We get the insight, the idea of what to do next, the certainty of the decision that needs to happen.

It’s all there and then change is made, easily and effortlessly without us hardly noticing until days, months, we notice that something is different, we’ve changed, our life has transformed.

And how crazily easy it all was!

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If you’d like to discover more about changing your life with more ease and you know you want to do more with your midlife (and beyond) even if at the moment you haven’t the foggiest what that might look like, get on a free Flourish call with me.

Just click the link to sign up.

Together we’ll explore what your version of a great midlife looks like and we’ll get you moving forward.

My guarantee: You will make progress during our conversation.

We'll also talk about whether 1:1 coaching with me is the right next step for you. For details of my current coaching package there is more info here.

I look forward to talking to you. 

Why I no longer do the mindset work

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I used to be a mindset junkie. Up early in the morning to scribble off the to-do list of meditation, affirmations, journaling and visualisation before I began work on my business.

I was deep breathing, relaxing, imaging, writing and chanting for all I was worth.

And yet…

I didn’t get clients and I wasn’t growing my business. I assumed it wasn’t working because I wasn’t trying hard enough.

So I gritted my teeth and put in more effort.

Exhausting!

And still I got nowhere.

Now if it mindset work has helped you in any aspect of your work or life, that’s brilliant. If it’s enabled you to reach dizzy success, keep doing what you’re doing.

But if it didn’t work (or even if it did and you’ve been struggling to keep up the momentum) read on.

Let’s look at some of the underlying assumptions in mindset work because everywhere you turn on social media, you’ll find guru coach after guru coach, all telling you this work is non-negotiable.

Assumption 1 – you need fixing.

You’re a wonderful person, you’ve got talent, skills but your past has broken you in some way. Somewhere along the line you picked up beliefs about who you are and what you’re capable of. And these beliefs, well they’ll keep on holding you back unless you can get them healed and changed.

As I discovered, searching for all of these negative beliefs can be like housework in our house. Make a room guest-ready, turn your attention away for a nano second and poof! Another pile of dirty clothes has mysteriously appeared in the corner!

It’s a never ending vicious circle and the faster you work, the quicker you’ll find more to work on.

And yet, you and I know there are plenty of times when we’ve succeeded or achieved despite the hot mess that’s going on inside our head.

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When I started as a trainer in a large organisation in my early twenties, I had huge gaps in my faith in my ability to present to groups. It was scary and uncomfortable and the voice in my head, spent much of the time telling me how rubbish I was.

 But I carried on anyway and eventually leading and facilitating groups became more comfortable, more familiar.

You’re not broken and you certainly don’t need fixing. Ignore the thoughts, laugh at the beliefs and do it anyway.

Assumption 2 - Without regular attention your mindset is going to go to collapse into a heap.

If we sit quietly with our thoughts for any length of time, it becomes obvious that our thoughts jump from one subject to the next without any conscious control on our part.

Some of those thoughts are uplifting and positive and make us feel happy and light.  Others spiral our mood down fast and furiously.

We can’t control what pops into our heads, but if we sit long enough, another one will come trotting along. Forcing our thoughts to go in a certain direction takes up so much mental energy and why would we want to try and control our thoughts?

Once we understand thoughts don’t need to be taken as the truth, they don’t predict the future or necessarily tell us anything useful about who we are we just have to notice them coming into our head and out again and that’s as far as it goes.

So what’s the alternative?

For me, coming across an understanding about who we really are, provided the huge leap forward.

I realised I’m the watcher observing the thoughts, the quiet mind behind all the mental chatter.

I’ve got access to all the intuition and wisdom I could ever need, right now inside. It’s there, already hardwired into the system.

I don’t need to work for it. There’s no need for mental exercises and gymnastics. All I have to do is allow the thinking to slow down and wait for my glorious wisdom to show itself.

Because it’s there, innate and always to be relied upon.

It might only be a whisper but it’s there. And you know this too. This is the insight that comes to you when you’re relaxing on holiday, it’s the deep knowing that you have when you suddenly realise that a difficult situation is going to be ok.

There is nothing you need to do.

Relax and breathe and lean back into the arms of your wise self.

The one thing that brought me to success in business was taking action. Listening to any inspiration or creative thought that came to me and taking the next small step and the next. Ignoring all the overactive thoughts about why not and just taking it all lightly, joyously.

Oh that and giving up reading all the mindset books and clearing mental space for my own inspiration to shine through.

Simplicity. Ease. Peace.

Worked  a treat!

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If you’d like to discover more about changing your life without the mindset work and you know you want to do more with your midlife (and beyond) even if at the moment you haven’t the foggiest what that might look like, get on a free Flourish call with me.

Just click the link to sign up.

Together we’ll explore what your version of a great midlife looks like and we’ll get you moving forward.

My guarantee: You will make progress during our conversation.

We'll also talk about whether 1:1 coaching with me is the right next step for you. For details of my current coaching package there is more info here.

I look forward to talking to you. 

Rediscover the wonder of the world

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Feeling jaded? Living with the “seen it all before” feeling, the same old, same old?

In a way, we have seen it all before and it can seem as if there’s little that’s new and exciting. That tired feeling of “been there, done that” can be overwhelming at times.

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We’re midlife women, we’re busy, harassed. We’ve got very important, long lists of things to get done. And so it can be so easy to rush from one thing to another in a daze. Not noticing, not paying attention to the world as it is, but focusing instead on the world as it is in our heads. Our busy, frantic minds are where the action is and the constant whirring of conversation in our minds never stops, never lets up from our attention for one second.

It can be very easy to be hypnotized by the everyday and trivial in our life, and to move from one task to the next in a dazed stupor.

And so the world as it exists in our mind can very easily become routine and dull.

But wait a moment.

Just ignore the constant chatter. Still the mind for a while,

Then you’ll have space to pay close, exquisite attention to your world. Take some long, slow breaths, look around. Because the world out there is constantly changing and there is always something fresh to notice.

When you reignite your senses, you can rediscover the wonder of the everyday, the familiar. Look at the detail of your world, the small, fascinating minutiae.

As you stop and pay attention, even the everyday and the “oh so familiar” can bring a new sense of wonder to your heart - the steam from a mug of coffee, the smile of a loved one, the sound of a bird outside your window, the feel of a soft, cooling breeze.

Looking around, I can see photos of my family that I haven’t even noticed for such a long while. They make me smile (especially the daughter and dog selfie). Noticing the arrangement I made of old china cups and saucers I made a long time ago, I notice afresh the colours I love.

It’s all there, waiting to be rediscovered and seen, heard and felt anew when you look closely.

Or perhaps you prefer the grand, wider view.

Instructions

Go outside and look up into the sky on a clear night and gaze at all the stars.  Remember we are all living on a tiny planet spinning through space. As far as we know, it’s just us but who knows! Ride with your imagination up into our solar system, through the Milky Way and beyond.

Isn’t this thing called life so incredible and magnificent? Isn’t it astonishing that we’re here, living and conscious, aware of who we are and our life on this beautiful planet?

Still feeling jaded and midlife weary?

Use your senses and rediscover the details of your now, think wide view a little every day and rekindle your sense of wonder.

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If you’re fed up with feeling midlife weary and jaded and you know you want to do more with your midlife (and beyond) even if at the moment you haven’t the foggiest what that might look like, get on a free Flourish call with me.

Just click the link to sign up.

Together we’ll explore what your version of a great midlife looks like and we’ll get you moving forward.

My guarantee: You will make progress during our conversation.

We'll also talk about whether 1:1 coaching with me is the right next step for you. For details of my current coaching package there is more info here.

I look forward to talking to you. 

Follow what you love

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Pleasure and fun.

Have you forgotten them?

Do you remember the delicious freedom to plan a weekend, a day or even for goodness sake, an hour? To prepare delights tailored to anything and everything that makes your heart sing?

Or have midlife obligations and concerns squashed every atom of juice out of your time and shoved mindless pleasure back into the realms of the far and distant past?

For many of us, we’ve spent so long looking after others and putting our own needs and desires on the back burner, that it can be hard to remember what we do like doing, where our own version of fun lies.

It can take an effort of willpower to sit down and remind our self where our joy lies and plan some time to do it.

But it can be done.  

I took up ice skating and for a few hours a week, thought of nothing else other than conquering my fear and feeling the thrill of learning and mastering something new.

I did feel guilty, for a while, feeling that the money should be going towards something more family orientated, that the time could be spent doing something practical and goal focused.

But now I know that it makes me feel so amazing that it has become non-negotiable.

And there are many things I would love to do but finances, school timetables and daughter hobbies simply don’t allow at the moment.

The wild part of me would love to pack a rucksack and hike in the Highlands of Scotland for a while, or sea kayak around some deserted island. I yearn to take off to live in a foreign country for a few months or ride bareback across the plains of Mongolia.

But for now, I content myself with sleeping in the back garden with my 12 year old daughter and hiking with my family early in the morning to enjoy breakfast on a Neolithic mound.

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And it’s been fun. We’ve created magical memories and satisfied my need for a little something out of the ordinary.

Gradually I’ve been flexing mine (and my family’s) adventure muscle, being creative, coming up with new ways to inject these into our life.

Because I realise that I’d become complacent with my pleasures, and used restraints as an excuse.

But the truth is that fun, pleasure (and in my case, adventure as well) are a state of mind.

There’s always a way to carve out a little pleasure and fun and these don’t have to be money draining or time consuming.

Sometimes, they involve my family. Sometimes they’re purely for me.

It’s the picnic in the garden, or in front of the fire on a cold day, it’s the walk under the moonlight, or the slow, indulgent bath.

It’s whatever you want it to be.

It’s allowing yourself to have more fun in your life in whatever form that takes.

So yes, continue to do what you need to do in midlife. Carry on looking after the family, working, caring for others, all the 101 things that we do.

But it’s also encouraging yourself to have midlife fun, rediscover interests long forgotten and try out something new.

Treat yourself every day to doing something you love, no matter how small and see where it takes you.

I’ll see you in the queue for the skydiving!

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What do you love to do?

What do you need to do more of / less of?

What would you love to start doing? How can you inject more fun and pleasure into your life, NOW?

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If you know now is the time to have more fun and pleasure and you know you want to do more with your midlife (and beyond) even if at the moment you haven’t the foggiest what that might look like, get on a free Flourish call with me.

Just click the link to sign up.

Together we’ll explore what your version of a great midlife looks like and we’ll get you moving forward.

My guarantee: You will make progress during our conversation.

We'll also talk about whether 1:1 coaching with me is the right next step for you.For details of my current coaching package there is more info here.

I look forward to talking to you. 

Midlife. It's time to be daring and brave

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Were you ever paralysed by concerns about what others thought of you when you were younger?

Have you noticed you care less these days about anyone else’s opinion about your life, your looks, or choices?

What I love in myself at this midlife age and you may have noticed it too, is I’m far more interested in what delights me, what I want to do and less bothered by criticism ( real or imagined) from other people.

The younger version of me was always so worried about fitting in, being normal and not making a fool of myself. Heaven forbid that I did anything too original or adventurous in case I slipped on the banana skin of life.

But as the years have passed, I’ve realized that people are so caught up in themselves  anyway, that most of the time, they’re not going to be even giving a passing thought to what we’re doing.

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And even if they are and have an opinion, well – there are a 1001 opinions that others may have about me, some positive, others less favourable and so what?

A while ago, I had a negative comment about a piece I had written. My initial reaction was upset, then anger and then paralysis.

I didn’t write again for months.

But eventually I realised that some people are going to love my writing, others are going to hate it and doing it for me, because it’s something I want to bring out into the world, that’s the best policy.

And in a sense, no comment, good or bad is the point.

I write as a creative impulse, because something in me needs to be expressed, not to achieve a certain aim or goal (although winning an award as Midlife Wonderful Writer of the Year would be wonderful), it’s not my why.

Now, I’ve noticed that with just the passing of a few more years, I feel even less concerned and it’s incredibly freeing.

I started ice skating a few years ago and couldn’t give a monkey’s fig how funny I look falling over all the time (very, I suspect). And, I say this as an incredibly self-conscious youngster, this is an amazing gift.

Coupled with the sense that our time is finite, we can get a sudden shot of the daring, bolder and brave juice in midlife.

But perhaps you’re worried about making a mistake.

Again, I’ve got you covered.

Because haven’t you noticed that much of what seemed at the time, your most heart-stopping mistakes, turned out in hindsight, to be incredible gifts in some way.

Even if now they still make you cringe.

So I’d encourage you to start thinking bigger and bolder.

Be brave, courageous and daring.

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How could you be bolder?

Where do you need to put on the brave pants?

Which whispers and dreams are asking you to show up more fully?

Start taking small steps towards your version of daring and brave, now .

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If you know now is the time for you to be bolder and more daring and you know you want to do more with your midlife (and beyond) even if at the moment you haven’t the foggiest what that might look like, get on a free Flourish call with me.

Just click the link to sign up.

Together we’ll explore what your version of a great midlife looks like and we’ll get you moving forward.

My guarantee: You will make progress during our conversation.

We'll also talk about whether 1:1 coaching with me is the right next step for you.For details of my current coaching package there is more info here.

I look forward to talking to you. 

Ditch the limitations in midlife

midlife crisis

It can be easy to see midlife as all doom and gloom.

So simple to feel it’s the time when the door to our youth slams firmly shut and the one to old age and frailty opens with a slow, ominous creak.

The menopause, weight gain, lower energy, sagging bits, empty nest can all make us feel gloomy about our life and unsure about our future

And yet there are plenty of examples of women our age who are out there showing up at midlife stronger and more vibrant than ever.

They’re out there creating second careers after the children have gone, pushing back our expectations of what’s physically possible, showing up as beautiful, powerful and energetic women.

So can you.

I firmly believe that midlife can be a powerful time to reassess where we are and where we want to go. It’s as if nature has provided a ready-made breathing space for us to do this. As menopause reminds us physically that our creative powers are no longer required for birthing the next generation, we can also take the time to mentally and emotionally take stock.

It’s not always easy. To embrace the new, we first have to be willing to let go of the old. We’re told that when one door closes, another one opens but sometimes it can be flipping uncomfortable waiting in the hallway.

Pin it!

Pin it!

That feeling of being in limbo, of being caught between the world of youth and the world of age, is what can make so many of feel as if we’re stuck, at this point in our lives.

Yet I prefer the term “resting”, rather than “stuck”.

Seeing it as a time to  gather ourselves to prepare for the next stage when we have the potential to show the world fully, what we’re made of and who we are, powerfully, completely present.

This is the perfect time, for us to stop and think about how we want to live our life in the next phase, who we want to be.

And there may be less limitations on this than we initially think.

So you want to dye your hair purple, take off to explore the world, start a wild new hobby? Go ahead, why not?

Reinvent yourself, embrace the parts of yourself you haven’t yet explored, play with all of it, take it lightly. Change is constant and the only mistakes you can make are in not exploring and experimenting.

Ditch any concerns you might have about having left it too late, being too old – throw away any restrictions and limitations and allow yourself the freedom to create the life you want.

The point is that these limitations about what we can and can’t do are in our mind, they’re those little niggling thoughts that sneak into our awareness.

Don’t overthink think them, drop them. Don’t waste your time analysing them or wondering where they came from. Instead turn your attention to thinking bigger, to living without limitation.

Notice when you place restrictions on yourself, be open to ignoring them and remember you have full permission to live a life that is rich and full.

Give yourself the freedom and space at midlife to explore what that’s going to look like for you and have fun with it.

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Find somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed, grab a notebook and pen and write down all the things you’d like to experience in your midlife, who you’d like to be, what you’d like to do.

Expand that list as far as possible, be creative and wild. Allow your imagination to travel far and wide.

And then commit to doing one of those things, in the next week. Plan it now. Do it!

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If you’re fed up with feeling stuck in midlife and want to explore how to ditch your limitations and restrictions or you know you want to do more with your midlife (and beyond) even if at the moment you haven’t the foggiest what that might look like, get on a free Flourish call with me.

Just click the link to sign up.

Together we’ll explore what your version of a great midlife looks like and we’ll get you moving forward.

My guarantee: You will make progress during our conversation.

We'll also talk about whether 1:1 coaching with me is the right next step for you. For details of my current coaching package there is more info here.

I look forward to talking to you. 

Why you might be knocking on the wrong door for happiness

why you might be knocking on the wrong door for happiness

My brother in law was shocked to see a hoard of diving equipment stacked neatly against the wall in my grandmother’s house, but this wasn’t the time to investigate further.

He had to get the front door open.

My grandmother spent her whole adult life living in a very old, tall, house. When she became very elderly she became a little deaf but she always phoned my mother on a Sunday evening to assure all was well.

One week, there was no call.

My mother became increasingly frantic when she couldn’t get any response and my stepfather and brother in law, were dispatched to investigate.

There was no answer to their fist-pounds on the door so the police advised them to force their way in through the back door. And that was when my brother in law discovered the diving equipment.

Pin it!

Pin it!

Rushing past, he flung open the front door and was surprised to see there was no one waiting outside. He leant out into the street. My stepfather and the police officer were stood outside a house a few doors further down.

He hadn’t realised the back gardens of the houses sloped back at an angle and he had broken into the wrong house!

Thankfully all was well with my grandmother.

How many of us do this?

We think the new home, the expensive holiday, the snazzy car will make us happy. And yes, they certainly bring a short-term thrill.

Think of even more simple pleasures – a walk in the woods, laughing with a friend. These can bring a calmer pleasure.

All of these examples from the materialistic quick shot to the more experiential pleasures of the soul, all seem to lift our mood. And there is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying them for what they are.

But do they really make us happy? Could it be that we too are knocking on the wrong door?

It’s an easy and understandable assumption to make.

We’re taught from such a young age that what’s “out there” can make us happy, sad, angry or peaceful.

The excitement of a birthday party makes us happy, the dreary, long, rainy wet afternoon lead to boredom and frustration.

But what if this is one huge mistake? Because the truth is, there is nothing outside us which has the power to make us feel anything.

We’ve all come across people who are gloomy sat on a beautiful beach. We all know of those who remain cheery and upbeat despite difficult circumstances.

Because it’s never the “what’s out there” that effects our mind. I know it looks that way, because it’s become such an ingrained habit of ours but our feelings come from another source.

Our feelings come directly from our thoughts.

Compare stuck in traffic = “I’m going to be late, I’ll be in such trouble. I can’t stop myself getting worried.” with stuck in traffic =  “I’m going to be late but I’ll sit here and take a chance to relax”.

So our happiness is created by our thoughts.

Turn your attention away from the lure of the outside world, for a moment, to the inwards, to you.

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Up for an experiment?

Don’t take my word for this if it’s all shockingly new. Start to play detective to your thoughts.

Mentally stand back and create a little space between them and notice what your thoughts are as the emotions come and go.

Observe how some days your work can make you angry, on others, elated. Pay attention to how your partner’s jokes can seem funny in one moment and irritating the next.

Start to listen to what’s going on in your head.

To find happiness, don’t knock on the door of trying to gain things or control your outside world, knock on the door instead of turning inwards and noticing your own inner world.

This is where true happiness is created or destroyed.

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If you’re fed up with knocking on the wrong doors for happiness and know you want to do more with your midlife (and beyond) even if at the moment you haven’t the foggiest what that might look like, get on a free Flourish call with me.

Just click the link to sign up.

Together we’ll explore what your version of a great midlife looks like and we’ll get you moving forward.

My guarantee: You will make progress during our conversation.

We'll also talk about whether 1:1 coaching with me is the right next step for you. For details of my current coaching package there is more info here.

I look forward to talking to you.