for your aural pleasure…

July 20, 2017

This Summer, I am currently extracting no small amount of pleasure from driving my aces new car, with Bodhi the Wonderpup in the wingman seat, while listening to a juicy podcast.

I’m feeling a little obsessed with the medium, as I’m preparing to launch my very own podcast!

Courage & Spice is the podcast for humans with self-doubt.

After spending 2014 in various Oxford libraries researching self-doubt for my MA, the last few years have been about coaching clients through their particular flavour of self-doubt. And I know it is absolutely possible to alleviate the impact it has on our relationships, our creativity and our work in the world.

Self-doubt has become an absolute passion for me, I could talk about it ALL DAY. I cannot wait to share Courage & Spice with you!

The podcast will be ready in September, so in the meantime, I thought I’d share the contents of my Podcast Stream. Enjoy.

OnBeing – Krista Tippett is my Podcasting Spirit Animal. Poets, writers, scientists, cultural and religious leaders engage in hour long conversations on the nature of being human. I’ve been introduced to countless unknown smart people through OnBeing.

This American Life – Like tiny documentaries, Ira Glass weaves three short stories through a loose theme.

Revisionist History – Ubergeek Malcolm Gladwell revisits unknown or misunderstood incidents from history. Way more interesting than it might sound.

Under the Skin – Russell Brand is human marmite, yes, however, I loved this interview with my favourite comedian Frankie Boyle.

Making Oprah – Having grown up with Ms O as a surrogate mother, I absolutely loved this short series from NPR on the making of the Oprah show. I remembered so many of the episodes mentioned! Mostly though, this reminded me that the best business advice ever: run your own race.

Hashtag Authentic – my good friend Sara Tasker started her podcast earlier this year and she is a huge inspiration to me. In her down-to-earth Yorkshire way, she talks about life as a creative entrepreneur with a mix of thoughtful advice, her own learning and juicy interviews.

Being Boss – Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson’s episodes are a mix of business advice and interviews with business owners. A welcome relief from the squillion young and hungry male podcasters (who I imagine have bought all of Chris Guillebeau’s books, fantasise about a paid gig on Pro-blogger and wear t-shirts that say ‘do epic shit’).

RadioLab – Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich co-host this brilliant series on big ideas. It’s about trying to make sense of being human with a sound evidence basis.

Invisibilia  – another from the NPR stable and I’ve only heard a couple of episodes. This is about the invisible forces that control human behaviour – so interesting.

We’ve been having a chat on Facebook about our favourite podcasts! Feel free to share yours.

have we reached Peak Inspirational Quote?

July 12, 2017

This post is an extract from my latest Notes from the Path newsletter.

It took me a long time to be able to say ‘I’m a Coach’ out loud, without inwardly cringing.

Even though I believe deeply in coaching, and completely respect its place on the spectrum of human wellbeing, this work has a reputation for being somewhat… cheesy.

There can be an unfortunate but well-meaning tendency, to point out the screaming bloody obvious or offer patronising advice that completely ignores the complexities of our lived experience.

I just googled how many inspirational quotes are on the internet? and my laptop made a whirring sound, before exploding.

And yet.

I have been lucky enough to work with coaches and therapists, who have helped me make sense of, and meaning from, loss and grief, my shitty behaviour patterns, life’s many challenges and stresses.

And over the years, I’ve worked with hundreds of women to help them turn around seemingly intractable circumstances and find a way to thrive a little more.

So I straddle the fence between an unconditional belief in the resilience and resourcefulness of us humans, alongside deep empathy for the valid and important reasons that it might not actually be possible to just ‘follow your bliss’ right now.

There are, of course, few simple, easy, one-size answers to life’s big questions: how do I believe in myself? Why do I keep repeating that same pattern? Who am I underneath all these expectations? Why is ‘this’ so hard?

We all long for the magic pill, the easy answer, the direct and straight route to freedom.

And our Western culture is very very good at promising the quick fix.

This is why we never see an ad for a pair of jeans, we see an ad for an entire lifestyle. The inference being we can bypass any tricky navel gazing – and completely ignore our lived reality of financial, racial, size, class and gender privilege – simply claim a life of denim-clad success and beauty by purchasing a few metres of well-cut fabric.

*stares at four pairs of jeans*

If you are feeling some positive vibes fatigue, if you’ve reached peak inspirational quote, if your self-help book purchases have single-handedly funded at least one carpark at Amazon – this might help.

This is an invitation to notice your relationship with what ‘yes’ feels like for you.

I believe the first step to making a change in our lives, comes from knowing what we want to say yes to.

But so many of us are hamstrung by one of the great lies proffered by the self-help industry: Every true decision should feel like a ‘hell yes!’ otherwise, it’s a no.

It sounds great in theory, but it’s just another simplistic quick fix:

  • Waiting for the ‘hell yes’ can mean we ignore the valid ‘quiet maybe’.
  • So many ‘hell yes’ decisions are born out of what we think we should want.
  • The ‘hell yes’ implies a spontaneous certainty that ignores the inherent nature of self-doubt to protect us from risk.
  • When we do feel the ‘hell yes’, we can expect the process of change to be equally simple and certain. It means we can interpret any difficulty, challenge, block or setback along the way as ‘proof’ that this was the wrong decision.
  • It means we miss out on an incredibly fulfilling and sometimes difficult and confusing walk through the labyrinth because we were waiting for the easy, straight road.

So instead of waiting for the ‘hell yes’ just try to pay attention, to what you pay attention to.

What feels good in your life right now?

What are you intrigued by, interested in, talking about, thinking about?

Why does this matter to you?

What is the safest, smallest step you can take today to create more of that yes feeling?

What are you learning about how yes feels to you?

five diets ALL women should be on!

June 28, 2017

1. The Apologising Diet Do you apologise when you bump into pieces of furniture? Do you have a verbal tic of starting every sentence with ‘Sorry…’. This one’s for you! Who are you apologising to? What are you apologising for? If there is nothing requiring your sorry, you can safely ban the entire ‘unnecessary penance’ food […]

solstice dreaming

June 21, 2017

I spent yesterday in a floaty muumuu frock and nothing else. It was about a billion degrees. I had four glorious coaching sessions, two short naps and drank 5 bottles of fizzy water. The house was covered in grumpy furry beings. And today is supposed to be hotter. So that’s excellent news. We are at the […]

where will you be 15 June 2020?

June 15, 2017

I poured my coffee while Bodhi chomped away at his kibble (tied to the fridge so he doesn’t chase the cats). On the other side of the kitchen, said furs were breakfasting on Sheba treats (because they require a little bribery to get them in the kitchen these days). I sat at the table, listening […]

how to believe in yourself when you’re self-employed

June 08, 2017

Most business owners will tell you, being able to feed your family from the contents of your very own imagination is one of the most fulfilling sources of joyful pride, ever. Less discussed, is that it can also resemble something like intense daily therapy. When you’re self-employed, alongside the complete autonomy, comes ultimate responsibility. It’s […]