I believe nothing good gets away – it’s never too late to choose a new story for yourself
Hello, lovely. I’m Sas.
I’m a Certified Coach trained by Dr. Martha Beck and the Coaches Training Institute and right now, I’m wading through an MA/PhD in Coaching & Mentoring at Oxford Brookes (yep, I likes to be learnin’).
I became a coach after almost twenty years of helping thousands of people navigate change in their place of work, and facing the crucibles in my own life: grief, loss and longing.
My own transformation path has led me right to you.
First, some backstory . . .
When I was five, I was in the Red Group because I was best at reading. And I had to sit at the front of the class because I was also best at talking. And questioning. Everything. All the time.
I have a boundless curiosity for words and people, stories and ideas.
At university I studied psychology, philosophy, poetry, feminism, theology and politics, consequently I am a fabulous dinner party guest; (I also learnt not to ever let anyone cut your hair in exchange for a Def Leppard CD). My post-graduate years were spent immersed in strategic business management.
But no amount of book learning could prepare me for the sudden death of my beloved mother, one random Tuesday in 2002.
A year later came the equally unceremonious end of my marriage.
Grief-struck and sad, I raged against the universe for all the ways I had been wronged. During the day, I was leading big complex projects; at night I resorted to my lifelong default of food and wine to numb out my too-hard-to-feel feelings. I spent a lot of time in my little London flat, thinking.
Then I had a LOT of therapy.
I decided I did not want THIS to be my story.
Instead, I decided to say yes. Often.
And I found myself playing cards until 3am with several German backpackers in an underground Estonian bar, exploring the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul and running with bulls in Pamplona. I was woken by the call to prayer in a Marrakech riad, kayaked the Cares Gorge and climbed the Picos Mountains in Northern Spain. I watched the sun set in Santorini, crossed the Charles Bridge in Prague and backpacked around Italy for weeks. I compared the breakfast pastries of New York, Bruges, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Paris and had my luggage lost every single time I flew Iberia airlines.
My pendulum swung from ‘Woman Curled Up in a Ball’, to ‘Most Likely to Skinny Dip’ for half a dozen years of exhausting, brilliant fun.
But I knew I was still a disembodied head chasing the next high.
Work, pinot noir, shopping, food, too many mad adventures with inappropriate lovers — it was all an Olympic-level exercise in staying busy, to avoid being alone and facing the truth. That I felt broken, disconnected and angry, often with a little guilt and shame sprinkled on top. Neat.
It wasn’t until I stopped trying to outrun vulnerability and uncertainty that I really started to heal
Utterly knackered, I went home to New Zealand to rest. Staying still allowed me to breathe out. I began to feel all the scary feelings. It was like wearing a scratchy, woolly jumper 24/7. It felt epically crappy. But I knew it was real.
I opened myself up to the whole spectrum of emotion, and everything transformed.
Over time I was able to love all of my story; heart-shaking losses, and cringe-worthy mistakes included.
I know this will be a lifelong practice. And here I am: sober, amplified and thriving, without all of my shit together, mostly in the flow of an awakened life.
I have a conscious, loving relationship with my body, cherished friends whom I wouldn’t hesitate to call should I ever be arrested (and they wouldn’t be queuing for the payphone behind me). I share my life with Ash: Mr P – my best friend and co-conspirator – I don’t ever want our conversation to be over.
I started to tell my story on the interwebs in 2007, and found myself connecting to the most amazing peeps.
A magic alchemy of healing, teaching and learning came from sharing and it is no small truth to say that blogging changed my life. This is the next step on the journey; I’m thrilled you are here.
And I’d love to work with you.
You can learn more about 1 on 1 coaching with me here.
And you should totally sign up for Love Notes to receive once-a-month goodness in your inbox. Expect favourite recipes, mixed-tapes, morsels of coachy goodness, giveaways and sneaky-peaks into offerings. Join the cool kids club!