‘Faith is an oasis in the heart that will never be reached by the caravan of thinking’
How often do you find yourself overthinking when you’re stressed?
Totally stuck in your head or going round in circles with no end?
It makes sense to think we can think our way around things but sometimes, getting out of our heads and into our bodies is the best thing we can do. Y’see, without learnt tools to master our minds, our brains are designed to keep us stuck focusing on the negative and continuing to do what we’ve always done. Not very evolved, hey?!
Case in point – a career coaching client who was so stressed she was really quite depressed and unable to move forward had a 360 about-turn when she took her focus off thinking about careers and instead reconnected with doing the things that brought her fun and joy in life.
All the things that took her out of her head whether cooking, drawing, running or seeing her friends.
And boom! Then the clarity came – from being more and thinking less. Like a counter-intuitive detour around stress. The renewed energy and clarity came from moving her body rather than just sitting in the stasis of thought. Ironic, isn’t it, that when we stop thinking so much, sometimes we unlock feelings that guide the way.
As the legendary Dr Wayne Dyer says: ‘Think less, feel more’.
What do you do that brings you joy and gets you out of your head? When did you last have this experience? And what were the results?
For me it might be things like travelling, local adventures, meeting new people, working in new cafés, or doing a new activity like paragliding in the wilds of Italy above. Connecting with free spirits in sublime nature is always a sure fire way for me to change my state and get clarity on confusion. Note – most of these things involve movement – as Tony Robbins says: ‘Motion equals emotion’.
What one change can you make today to get out of your head and into your body?
Episode 13 of The School of Success Podcast Series is now live! An inspiring and eye-opening deep-dive into how shifts in your diet and lifestyle can transform your life and support females in their 40’s suffering with hormonal imbalance regain vitality, restoration and balance.
This interview with the accomplished Melanie Flood, Nutritionist, Health Coach and Female Hormone Expert, teaches you:
– top tips for losing weight fast, the healthy way;
– the surprising link between nutrition and mental and physical health and the shocking consequences of a bad diet;
– the truth about supplements and the six pillars of wellbeing;
– how gut, hormonal and genetic testing can optimise your wellbeing and happiness;
– the surprising signs of the peri-menopause; and
– why you shouldn’t believe everything a doctor tells you
This is also for you if you have an interest in how optimisation of sleep, movement and even the products you use in your lives can have a huge bearing on your wellbeing and happiness. Or maybe, like many of us, you’re not sure what a Nutritionist and Health Coach is and the main benefits of investing in one!
In this super informative interview, Mel shares her expert wisdom from her own journey struggling with low energy and anxiety and top tips for turning your life around using diet and lifestyle. A successful registered Nutritionist and leading expert in women’s hormonal health, Mel works with a range of clients but has a specialist focus on the perimenopause.
Episode 12 of The School of Success Podcast Series is now live! An inspiring and eye-opening deep-dive into why becoming a mother is the perfect time to start a business!
This interview with the accomplished Leadership Coach, Author and Workplace Wellbeing Creator, Sabine Matharu, teaches you:
– top tips for overcoming the limiting beliefs that stop people from launching their own businesses;
– what’s really going on in new mums’ inner monologues when they go back to work;
– myth-busting around the risks of launching your own business;
– how to use adversity to laser-focus new career goals and expedite health, wealth and happiness; and
– how organisations can better support working parents
This is also for you if you have an interest in how to optimise career clarity before making a change and how to find the killer weapons required to start and scale a business fast. This is also for you if you’re not sure what a Leadership Coach is and the main benefits of investing in one!
In this super informative interview, Sabine shares her expert wisdom from years as a management consultant turned successful author and entrepreneur working with women across a whole host of industries whether new mums, aspiring entrepreneurs or leaders in their field.
A professional or an entrepreneur, a country bumpkin or a city slicker, a conformist or a free spirit? Or are you a hybrid – a suited and booted banker or lawyer with the ‘perfect job’ but a niggling desire to explore less well-trodden paths? Or maybe you’re just plain confused about where you fit and what really drives you.
Whatever category you fall into, most of us from Generation Y were bred by folks with far less opportunity than us professionally. With more conventional views of what constitutes a ‘proper’ job, our parents may have inadvertently left us stuck between a rock and a hard place – between what we should do and what we want to do. But ‘should’ is where it all goes wrong.
Expectations versus reality
Nobody knows this better than Kristen Kimball, author of ‘The Dirty Life’ and former freelance journalist and Harvard graduate from New York. After a chance interview with a hunky farmer, she upped sticks to set up farm with her green-fingered interviewee, leaving the city lights and life as she knew it in her wake. You heard right – East Village in favour of mud and veg in the middle of nowhere. This is a story of two love affairs that interrupted the trajectory of an intellectual glamour-puss’ life – one with farming and the other with a man who milks cows for a living. A striking tale about love, happiness and the power of instinct, ‘The Dirty Life’ is a must-read for anyone feeling a little disillusioned with the daily grind or what life’s all about.
The product of a neat, middle-class world, Kimball’s novel charts the mental and physical challenges she faced leaving the glitzy world of ‘convention’ in favour of rural slog. ‘Writ[ing] with precision, authority and gratitude about what is evidently, despite its rigours, an idyllic life’ (New York Times Book Review), Kimball challenges our views about wealth, success and love, giving food for thought as compelling as the gastronomical delights she chronicles.
Kimball’s union with Mark, a rugged hulk of a man with a passion for food and farming, is a world away from the corporate sphere she might have settled into. But as with the different kind of ‘wealth’ she finds farm-side, Kimball takes us on a journey full of surprises, a journey which exposes some stark ironies about our perceptions of ‘success’ and ‘happiness’ of City life.
Does success equal happiness?
‘The Dirty Life’ makes us question our ‘values’ as we know them. In Kimball we find a cosmopolitan New Yorker who, like many of us, supposedly ‘has it all’. A woman with all the trappings of refinement, yet one who is, by her own admission, blinded by ignorance. Openly admitting her surprise that a ‘salt-of-the-earth-type’ person such as Mark could talk with dexterity and intelligence and that ‘the physical world – the trades’ was not in fact ‘the place you ended up if you weren’t bright or ambitious enough to handle a white-collar job’, Kimball shows us the danger of defining people by what they do. In Kimball we find a highly educated woman who has travelled the world with her job, yet whose eyes are opened by an entirely different world, stunned by the happiness she finds ‘pulling warm eggs out of a nest box’.
Shake things up…
So, what is the moral of the tale? Keep meeting new people, keep an open-mind and be true to yourself. Work out what is important to you and don’t be afraid to question reality as you know it. Have the courage to live a life true to yourself, not the life others expect of you and remember, the most successful life is one which unearths what makes you truly happy. Fulfilment goes far deeper than an impressive job title and it will bring you fruits that money can’t buy.
The Theory of Everything was quite something for Eddie Redmayne. He was already high on my list just for being a dazzling, redhead, for his (inoffensive) public school charm and for those stunning green eyes, but his performance in The Theory of Everything propelled him into unchartered territory.
I had assumed that The Theory of Everything would be about physics, planets and a famous scientist. And though it is, of course, about the incredible Stephen Hawking and his awe-inspiring achievements, it’s about far more than physical matter.
A Bit of A Game-Changer
This is a tale about the great themes of life – love and loss, strength and frailty, courage and fear, comedy and tragedy. This isn’t a perfect love story with violins and roses, romantic longevity untainted by challenge, this is a story about the varied and subtle shades of life at its most difficult and most beautiful. This is a story of reality and hope united, a story of a young couple bound by a love so strong that we are carried to dizzying heights with Jane’s passionate commitment to Stephen, a commitment at its most beautiful on his diagnosis with Motor Neurone Disease. Her inner courage is heightened by her miniature size, a gumption soaring way above the testing physical and emotional obstacles which are laid in their marital path. Stephen’s strength is as inspiring, manifest in his wicked sense of humour, sparkling eyes and remarkable scientific achievements despite his physical constraints. Nothing grips human nature more than strength in adversity and boy is this a hero’s tale – not just of the incredible scientist himself, but of his steadfast wife, unbending in love and sacrifice for the man she loves.
Where’s The Real Wow?
But for me, a more subtle ‘wow factor’ lies in the twist towards the end. The Hawkings’ ability to adapt to new and uncomfortable truths is established early on through Stephen’s illness but later, with the breakdown of their marriage, come some truly powerful messages. That the changed status of their incredible relationship didn’t undermine their happy ending bears poignant testimony to the power of the human spirit, challenging our perception of romance, commitment, happiness and success. For despite being the most brilliant example of ‘for better or for worse’, this ended up being a tale whose value wasn’t determined by whether the couple remained together or apart… this was a tale about success in a far wider sense – the ability to accept the twists and turns of life and adapt to changes thrown your way, no matter how unfair or futile.
What Can We Learn From The Theory of Everything?
In this respect, The Theory of Everything is aptly named, for it really is rich in messages about so many aspects of human existence. The aforementioned twist, set against a tale of such supernatural love and professional achievement, shows us that imperfection can still be inspiring and that magnificence is not always born of picture perfect endings. Intelligence is not just about brilliance and jaw-dropping achievement. It can be of a quieter kind, found in dignity, courage and the ability to adapt to change. In an increasingly digital society dependant on the disposable, this film shows us that those who don’t end up with perfect Facebook statuses can still find immeasurable success in their lives, looking back and looking ahead, whether personal, professional or familial, external or internal – together or apart. Indeed, any other type of ‘perfection’ seems rather superficial and mundane set against a tale so rich in challenges and beauty that follows – but a static snap from a virtual world built to dazzle. The Theory of Everything challenges this empty cultural norm, showing that real beauty shifts and moulds to the circumstances of life – a life which can be rosy, shady and just plain difficult. A real life where real brilliance goes way beyond a perfect picture, inspiring hope in loss, beauty in pain, humour in suffering.
And it is in this vein that The Theory of Everything finds its cosmic power – in the quiet beauty of one of the closing scenes which sees the former couple united in the Queen’s perfectly manicured gardens, sharing their pride in the children that they have created together. The dignity with which they move on to confront life apart from one another after their incredible love story, without compromising the deep respect that they developed for one another, struck me as a great perfection. Nothing supernatural, nothing cosmic, nothing to write home about on a Facebook wall but a flawed reality rich in hope, humanity and dignity.
Why Should You See The Theory of Everything?
The Theory of Everything is a remarkable tale about the power of the human spirit – a spirit which can be dazzling, other-earthly in abilities and passions and spell-bindingly inspiring but one which is also, just that – human – flawed, challenging and complex. A truly metaphysical tale, The Theory of Everything unites improbable points of likeness on so many levels to incredibly powerful effect – strength in adversity, humour in suffering, passion in frailty and happiness despite separation. I can see why Stephen Hawking said he was proud of Eddie Redmayne. Both seem to be remarkable men, probing life’s deepest questions in dazzling fashion.
“People are put into our paths according to who we can learn the most from at any given time. Like a giant universal computer, higher forces know exactly what combination of energies, in exactly what context, would do the most to further us” ~ Marianne Williamson ~
I recently finished a powerful book I’d begun reading at the end of a four-year relationship.
Among other things, Marianne Williamson’s bestseller, A Return To Love, shares potent insights into the three types of romantic love:
1. Love born of ego;
2. Love that helps you grow; and
3. Divine love.
She explained that while the third is the one that helps you reach your highest potential, the second, the transformational kind of love, can feel like the most powerful of all three.
You’ll find the below pearls of wisdom helpful if:
a. You’re newly single and wanting to expedite the healing process;
b. You’ve been unattached for a while and are feeling flat about the coming year; or
c. You’re in a relationship you’re not sure about and are struggling to get clarity.
Ever wondered why you’re unable to make change despite feeling frustration, boredom, anxiety or depression about your current life?
To make any big change in your life, you need to do more than recognise discomfort – you need to create the time, space and resources to get real clarity. From there, change becomes easy.
Ever wondered why people telling you what you should do rarely works? Because sometimes it comes more from a place of projection, protectiveness and bias than objectivity and real listening – truly sitting in the moment with you and really hearing what lies beneath is usually quite different, leaving you feeling heard, understood and pumped to uplevel your life.
This is exactly what I thought coaching wasn’t when I first started out. Honestly, I was hoping it was a quick fix involving talking to a wise owl who could help me cut corners and expedite change fast.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
When I heard it was being guided by the coach asking a series of questions to help me work out who I was and what I wanted, I thought it sounded like hot air.
Then we started practising coaching – and I ate my words fast..
I quickly realised helping someone connect to who they truly are and what they truly want versus telling them what they should do, is where the magic happens.
I see this kind of magic happen daily with clients – whether midwives moving into project management, financiers moving into consulting, lawyers moving into coaching or graduates moving into advertising and beyond.
It’s not rocket science, but boy does it work.
As a wise friend on Mindline once said, really active listening is like developing a sixth sense.
So I say again – attention energises, intention transforms. Finding space to be truly heard and to deconstruct what’s really going on for you is an essential component to creating the intention required for change.
So if you’re feeling misaligned with your life or career, what’s stopping you?
And if you’re still feeling stuck, remember, nothing changes if nothing changes 💫
Episode 5 of The School of Success Podcast Series is now live! A once in a lifetime personal account into the complexity of happiness and the fragility of mental health, no matter how fortunate you may be
This inspiring interview with the wonderful Clare Milford-Haven, aristocrat, ex-Tatler journalist, polo player, mother and co-founder of @jamesplace, the first non-clinical charity specialising in the prevention of male suicide, teaches you:
– what kind of things trigger depression and suicidal crisis;
– what type of person feels suicidal;
– why men are particularly vulnerable;
– the signs and symptoms of mental illness;
– how you can save a life in the smallest of ways; and
– why those most at risk may be the last people you expect
This is for you if you have an interest in what it is to be human – happiness, sadness, fluke, chance, adversity and everything in between. This is also for you if you have men in your life you care deeply for, whether father, brother, husband, boyfriend, son or otherwise.
This is also for you if you want to learn how to understand a misunderstood and stigmatised subject that affects far more people than we realise (85 men take their lives every week in the UK, with 75% of suicides being male and suicide being the leading cause of death in men aged 20-49). In other words, suicide is a silent epidemic that gets far less air-time than Covid19.
We need to do something about this.
In this warm-hearted interview, Clare lovingly guides you to discover a range of powerful tools to help you spot signs of vulnerability in your nearest and dearest that might otherwise go unsaid, tools to help loved ones express how they really feel and support systems to help those in crisis.
You can find Clare @jamesplace on Instagram and at www.jamesplace.org.uk/ 🍬
Be warned, Clare is an inspiring example of motherhood, innovation, making a difference and above all, saving lives.
In the face of a global pandemic, kindness has been revealed to be the greatest currency of all.
Nurses and carers continue to be revered for putting their lives on the line for others.
Companies like Starbucks, Krispy Kreme and Crocs have gone viral for offering free products and services to frontline workers.
Innovative movements like Scrub Hub South East London have garnered praise for creating personal protective equipment for our medical professionals from their kitchen tables.
On the other side of the coin, business owners like Richard Branson, Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham have drawn scorn for their seeming disregard for employee and taxpayer wellbeing when kindness should seem like a drop in the ocean of their privilege.
I am often asked why I left law to train law firms in Mental Health First Aid. In aid of U.K. Mental Health Awareness Week, I would like to share my story.
The truth is, many lawyers are confronted with the same career paradox that I was: they are high achievers who have made the cut, they have skills in abundance, thrive under pressure, problem-solve and add real value to clients.
Yet they are still human beings with lives of their own. The challenges of juggling an intense workload, managing relationships, caring for family and other life stresses have never been more apparent than during the pandemic. COVID-19 has put mental health on everyone’s agenda. Read the full article for Legal Week here.