Monday, 6 July 2015

My Blog's New Home

I have done a lot of research into branding and it was the aspect of my business that I enjoyed the most. I enjoy social media and I love reading and writing about finding your life passion. In order for my blog to gain more exposure and to make the most of social media, I believe the best home for my blog to be WordPress so I have migrated her there. 

I am not sure if the email subscription will be migrated or not so you may have to sign up again. Sorry for the inconvenience but I do believe this is the right next step. 

In the last few weeks, I got a new laptop because the other one belongs to my previous employer. I had to migrate all my information and install all applications to function correctly. I had a great deal of difficulty getting my email address changed on my iPhone but that will hopefully be sorted out soon. 

The formatting on the migrated posts on my new blog was really messy and I simply had to fix it. I had flashbacks of html training and XML projects of my distant past. But I corrected them all as it just wont to do have formatting that is not pretty. Please do let me know if you find any glitches as I would like it to be perfect. 

Doing all that fine detail admin work was quite labourious and frustrating. I am able to do it because I believe in things looking good and being done properly. However, I think it's no co-incidence that I feel a cold coming on in the past few days. But I think the blog is looking good and I'd love you to come and visit:

With love

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Moving Towards my Destiny

I am officially unemployed now for the first time in my career. To tell you the truth I'm thrilled about it. The reason I'm not to stressed about money is that I put a lot of money away into the business over the years. It was used to pay salaries and expenses of the business and the debt to me accrued into my shareholder loan account. Now that I have left my business I will be paid out the money, with no interest. Nonetheless, I have the luxury of living off the money for six months while I find my way to living my passion fully. 

Elizabeth Gilbert says that you are free when you are living your passion while fully paying your way. I don't need to be obscenely wealthy. I'd just like to pay my bills and live a modest life. I am already rich in what I have in my life - a beautiful family and living in one of the best climates in the world. My major focus now is to write because I feel that it is my calling. It is the fulfillment of my destiny so I simply must follow it. 

Now that I'm quite a lot better I have a coach to help me meet my goals. I know myself well enough to know that I'm not so good without external accountability. I need to have someone expecting something from me to deliver at my best. In my days of training for ultra marathons, I needed the fixed big scary goal of race day to motivate me. I also needed people waiting for me at the nearby shopping centre where we started our morning runs. 

So I have now made a daily commitment to write purely on my book. My blog and articles  will be extra if I have the energy. I do love my blog so I promise I won't neglect it! I'm also trying to figure out whether I should write on the weekend or not. Perhaps I need to confine writing to the week days so that the boundaries between work and leisure are clear. Or is it better to write when the inspiration comes? I wrote two articles and a blog post on the weekend so I know that it's possible to squeeze in writing when I'm feeling inspired. I then felt entitled to take Monday off. This is just the kind of freedom I need, not to be constrained by expectations and obligations. 

Although I have not yet made money from my writing I feel that I'm making great progress. My book's concept and structure are really taking shape and I'm applying myself to get the content in. I'm writing articles now which is fun for me. I am also becoming more organised in that I'm setting up a new website and will be moving my blog to its new home soon. I bought a new laptop and I am pleased to say that I set everything up successfully by myself. 

I know that I have a long way to go before I can make money from my craft. But I feel that I really don't have much of an option now that I know what my calling is. I am clear that I need to write but it is possible to make money out of writing in a variety of ways. Enlisting the help of a coach is my way of forcing myself to move forward and select the right option. 

I am most passionate writing about wellness and making sure that your career is aligned to your values and your passions, not necessarily your strengths. It's inappropriate to build a career on weaknesses but it is also possible to be good at something and to not enjoy it. I am organised and efficient but admin is my kryptonite. 

I'm a proponent of building your career from what you love. That is the key to happiness and a fulfilling life. If you are searching for meaning, your work has to be fulfilling. Have you understood yourself well enough to know what your passions are? Is your working life aligned to what you love? If not, what are you going to do about it?   

Sunday, 28 June 2015

How Resilient Are You?

I’m officially in remission for a month now but have still been feeling really tired. I keep wondering what it will take to address this fatigue and just how much longer I’ll be struggling. I look so forward to the days where I don’t need to have an afternoon nap to survive as it really does take time out of the day. I’d love to do yoga a few times a week and be relaxed about going out more than once a day.

I’ve finished reading the book The Resilience Factor and I found it to be really helpful. In the design of a happy life, resilience is really vital. No-one can have a life without adversities, and it’s how we handle them that defines our happiness. The book provides a range of strategies to combat flawed thinking and poor responses when things go wrong. I found it to be really practical and powerful in helping to manage life’s blows, although I cannot say that I have mastered all the skills.

The book states “First you must become aware of the kind of person you are, and that means examining your deep beliefs and values about yourself, your world, and your place in it.” The authors urge us to identify the thinking patterns that are holding us back and to challenge our limiting beliefs.

As I’ve mentioned before, in designing a happy life and pursuing your passion, it is imperative that you know yourself first. Knowing yourself in this book’s context is about how you think and getting to understand your beliefs. By listening to the narrator in your head during adversities, you can uncover why you are reacting the way you are, and challenge beliefs in order to have a more appropriate response. Examples of how we think is whether we attribute problems to ourselves or to others and whether we feel that the issue affects everything in our lives and will always be there. How much control we feel we have over the problem plays a role, as does our level of optimism and our ability to accurately assess the situation. Resilient people are able to derive meaning from failure and feel empowered to take action.

Some of our beliefs are well-known to us but many are deep-rooted and difficult to uncover. Some of the self-development work I have been doing lately involves challenging beliefs that do not serve me. There are a few healing modalities such as Theta Healing® that help you to uncover these beliefs and even replace them with more constructive ones. As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the negative self-talk and our inner critic can be really harmful and needs to be addressed if you want a happy life.  

The person who has helped me the most in my healing journey has to be Meryl. She is skilled in a variety of healing modalities that appear quite complex to me. I must confess that I am confused about all the modalities that she practices but this time we worked on limiting beliefs, those that lurk far beneath the surface and that are affecting my energy levels.

The relief that I felt and still feel after visiting Meryl is nothing short of magical. In a one hour session she seems to have lifted a great burden and I feel far less fatigued. I must admit that if anyone said this kind of thing to me I’d probably roll my eyes and think them a little loopy. But nevertheless, that was my experience. I am yet to fully understand what she does and I’d love to write a blog post on it to give you more details but that will be for another time.

Boosting our resilience through challenging limiting beliefs remains a powerful method of personal growth, regardless of the method used. Since our beliefs govern our behaviours which can have dramatic impacts on our relationships, it’s worth knowing under what context we are acting. Knowing yourself allows you to be better equipped to handle life’s challenges and to manage the stress before it becomes serious.

Do you understand your thinking style? Do you tend to jump to conclusions in your thinking, or to mind read? What beliefs are holding you back from being the best you can be? What are the beliefs costing you and are you prepared to challenge them?

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Healing Series Part 1: Body Stress Release

In this healing series, I’ll explain the various healing practices that I’ve experienced and what I gained from them. I truly believe that in taking an active role in healing myself that I have sped up my recovery. Today’s topic is called Body Stress Release, or BSR for short.

Even before I became ill I met a wonderful lady called Lourentia at a business networking breakfast. I have since abandoned the networking breakfasts but it was a real blessing to meet such a quality person. I have been going to her sporadically for many years and at stressful times, ironically, I scaled back on the visits. After my diagnosis of my stress-induced auto-immune disease, I started going for BSR again.

Lourentia asks me each time where I feel discomfort or pain in my body. In the past I’d have aches and pains due to running injuries or stiffness. Since my diagnosis, I usually just feel tired, and not surprisingly have a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders. So I tell her all the areas that ail me so that she knows where to focus her efforts.

I take off only my shoes and then lie face down on a treatment table, much like the ones used for massage. I can breathe through the hole in the table my feet must dangle off the edge of the table. Lourentia then begins her treatment by putting her hands onto my back. She gets a feel of where the body needs work and goes ahead with the treatment. You are required to turn onto your back midway during the treatment in order to access all parts of the body. 

Just as the name suggests, the premise of BSR is to release, by small touches to pressure points, the stress that is trapped in various parts of the body. The practitioner tests for stress in many areas of the body and then works to release it. They use the feet as a means to monitor the effects of what they implement. I feel sensations in my body as Lourentia performs the releases, almost like a little ripple of something travelling up my spine or down my legs. Sometimes the pressure needs to be quite hard and the points can be quite tender but overall it is a very pleasant experience and something that has helped me a great deal.

Being an ultra-marathon runner I have a strong belief in the mind-body connection as it is very clear that your mind tides you through the end of a tough race. This connection has been even more evident to me this year as I’ve understood how stress has caused my body to turn on itself. Thankfully I am in remission now and the feedback from Lourentia also points to a much greater recovery since last year.

There are many ways in which BSR can help improve your overall health such as better posture, released tension in the neck, shoulders and back and even things like sinus. There are no side effects and it is a non-invasive treatment. I have benefited from BSR in treating a variety of ailments but in current times, to diminish the stress held in my body, particularly neck and shoulders. It must be said that with the many healing experiences I'm undergoing, it's difficult to attribute improvement to one discipline but overall, my sinus is not nearly as bad as it usually is during winter and my immune system is getting stronger. 

If you are interested, you can read more about Body Stress Release here:

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

One Chance?

I watched a lovely movie this week called One Chance. It's a true sorry about the discovery of unlikely opera star, Paul Potts. From a child he had an unrelenting talent for singing and he always knew that opera was his destiny. At one point in the movie he suffers a setback in his journey when he gets criticism for lacking confidence. He almost gives up and tries to live the life his father wants for him but it's no use, the passion is too strong.  

I've been thinking about how hard it is to remain focussed on your destiny in the face of rejection or doubt. I am mainly focussed on recovery now but I cannot ignore the fact that I have no income. I have resigned from my business in order to spend more time recovering. I can't embark on something new when I only have a few hours a day to dedicate to it. I'm pretty much an all or nothing person and I'm not very good at half measures. If I can't run ultra-marathons, I probably wont run at all. I'll throw myself into something that I can really succeed at but only once I can. In the interim I need to focus all of my attention on getting well and getting enough rest. It is hard, however, not to worry about how I will make money out of my talent and whether I'll have to sell out and get a dreaded job again. 

The movie ends with Paul Potts being selected from Britain's Got Talent and ultimately winning the competition. After a lifetime of struggles he is finally living his destiny, proving all the naysayers wrong. When changing career paths, I think it is vitally important to remember stories like this. As if it's not enough that we battle our own inner critic on a daily basis, but there are plenty of people out there ready to give us a plethora of reasons why not to follow our dreams. It is only your true friends who believe in you despite the interim setbacks on the way to your dream. 

Watch the Paul Potts first audition by clicking hereI love how he is so unassuming, the very thing he was criticised for when he almost lost hope. I think his humility is part of his charm. There is a lesson in that for all of us - being true to ourselves and persisting to bring the passion that lives within us to life. 

What dreams have you given up on? What passions are you yet to bring to the world?

Monday, 22 June 2015


I have always judged people who run away from their families harshly. But not anymore. I understand why people run away from their children. I too, feel that despair today. The childcare is completely relentless. As a person struggling with illness, it doesn’t take away their need for love, attention, food, fun etc. It never gets easier, it’s a never-ending struggle and you completely lose sight of yourself. Between the lunches, the demands of the teachers, homework and relentless feeding, pouring juice, wiping bottoms, there is nothing left for me. I don’t have the strength to care for myself, let alone these kids.

I have felt that I really wished to be hospitalised with this illness. Even for three days, just to have someone feed me and care for me and to let me read and sleep. I’m the only one around me who seems to understand that it’s pretty serious. I’m the only one who can feel my exhaustion and know how much strength it takes to get out of bed and out into the cold to take a child to school. As much as your loved ones say they care, compassion runs out at some point. People get sick of helping the one who has always been so capable. Well, just so you know, I’m sick of it too. I’m sick of feeling tired and having headaches and struggling to do the things normal people do. I’m sick of asking for help and compassion. I’m sick of it all but I don’t get to escape this fatigue.

The exhaustion makes me ratty and I end up shouting at the kids. Then I feel guilty for being a bad parent and yelling at them all the time. But I just can’t seem to see a way out.I can't go out to escape them because I'm really exhausted most of the time and going out makes me even more tired. But they are here, all the time, wanting things from me. Even when I have a nap, I feel obliged to get up after an hour or so because they might be starving, or without toilet paper or cold or lonely. The feeling that their 24 hour care is on your shoulders entirely is a great responsibility and there is no respite. That in itself is exhausting. Just to have to be the responsible one all the time. 

I love my children too much to run away from them. But I’m really exhausted. Weekends are hard. Today I feel that it is hopeless for me to have any dreams at all. How can I aspire to be anything and to follow my destiny when I’m so exhausted from just parenting? I can’t follow my life passion because I’m too busy just keeping them alive. At times I wish I had no ambition. I wish I was born being content to do the lowliest of jobs and to merely exist. Then I wouldn’t feel this despair of not being able to follow my dreams.

So what should I choose? Neglect the kids and get myself well so that I can have some future to look forward to? Or care for them and take months or years to recover fully? It wont do them a lot of good to have a mother devoid of hope. If anyone has any advice or solutions, let me know. 

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Are you Learning the Lessons?

Sometimes I wonder why I seem to be experiencing the same thing in a different form. And I have noticed those around me having similar experiences over and over. One cannot help wondering if we’re being given a lesson that we keep failing to learn.

In my corporate days I had a wonderful team of staff. We all worked together well with a similar outlook on the kind process and effort required to deliver high quality software. One of the contractors I hired into my team wanted to change job function. I gave her the opportunity to learn the new role, with my mentoring and support. She blossomed and was a solid member of the team within a short while. We had a lot of trouble keeping a good Project Manager, however, and finally we got one who was good. She was no nonsense but seemed to connect well with the team members and delivered well on the timelines. These two women were a similar age and started going out in the evenings together.

Within a short period of time the Project Manager started to challenge my leadership and drove a wedge between me and some team members, in particular her new friend. I could not believe what a betrayal it was when I had given her the chance and support to change direction in her career. I had done nothing but support her and a newcomer was able to poison her against me within a few weeks. I felt so disappointed by the other team members who didn’t have the courage to stand by their convictions in what they had confided to me about her.

I raised the issue with my manager, looking for some advice. His first comment was ‘get rid of her’, referring to the rotten apple Project Manager. My instinct was to be professional and to keep the Project Manager for the sake of the projects. My manager found it really suspicious that my integrity was strong enough to put the organisation above my dispute with this woman. In retrospect, not getting rid of her was a really big mistake because the longer she stayed, the more she created dissent and a divided team is not a productive team.  Needless to say, my legacy in that particular organisation far surpassed that of the Project Manager’s. Breaking up cohesive teams is not a strategy that can endure for long.

In the ‘family’ business that I ran for the past five years I had a rotten apple as well. She resisted me and challenged my authority from the moment I entered the business. Granted, no-one bothered to tell any of the staff that I was the new leader. But still, the resistance, underhanded sabotage and negative influence on others persisted for years. I should have weeded her out at the outset as it would have changed the entire dynamic of the business going forward.

I have always been a person who hires for attitude because skills can be learned. Inheriting people that were hired by the previous leadership can be really challenging, especially in our labour environment where it’s really difficult to fire someone. I have learned the lesson that a rotten apple or a toxic element in your environment is one of the most harmful things. To the team, to the business and to the leader, particularly a sensitive person. I don’t think I’ll be in an office environment again because it’s just not for me. But at least I have learned the lesson.

If I ever initiate or take over a business, I’ve learned that the first step is to root out any toxic elements. Once you have a team of motivated positive people, you can achieve almost anything.  

Have you noticed any trends in your life? Do you tend to have the same conflicts or the same issues arise again and again? What lessons do you think you’re supposed to be learning?

Passengers on the journey

Passengers on the journey