Updated: Mar 22
As I type this, we are into week 3 of lockdown in Luxembourg due to Covid-19. The things we previously took for granted, going to work, socialising face to face with colleagues and friends, being able to go about daily errands like shopping with ease, are currently not possible.
And so, in these unprecedented times, when it is not possible to journey freely outside, some of us are choosing to journey within. To focus compassionately on self-care and nurturing the other beings we may live with. It is also a time to learn new skills or revisit old ones.
In my family, near and far, people have been expressing themselves through cooking, gardening and sewing, to name a few creative pass-times. Personally, I enjoy personal development. I have been signing up for on-line learning courses and reflecting on my life journey to date.
There are many times in life’s journey that we face a fork in the road. My role as a coach is to support people to choose their own authentic path with confidence and help them to truly enjoy the scenery along the way, navigating the bumps and detours we inevitably face with grace and ease.
I can do this with confidence and authenticity because I have also navigated life’s many transitions - different jobs in different sectors, relocation, redundancy, parenthood, re-training, refining my sense of purpose in a new country. If you want to read my story in more detail you can visit my websites www.realisecoach.com and www.herd.lu In the meantime, let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, a few years ago and a lifetime away, I remember vividly sitting in our London living room with a three month old baby, our first born who had made us wait a looooong time for his arrival, opening the daily post. My stomach dropped as I read the letter from my employer, notifying me that my job - the one I was secretly hoping to return to part-time - was at risk of redundancy.
The irony was that earlier in my career I worked in human resources. The manufacturing industry of the North of England in the 1990s was not thriving and I sadly had the opportunity to get very familiar with the process of redundancies from both sides of the fence.
As my early career progressed I had the opportunity to take one of those forks in the road and move into learning and development. It was like a homecoming, a realisation that this is what I was born to do.
So, it was with distinct mixed feelings that I processed this letter, notifying me of my pending redundancy. On the one hand, I was shocked. I was planning to return to this job. I thought it was secure! The income enabled me to contribute to supporting my family.
On the other hand, in the last 12 months, with a change of leadership team, I had felt less engaged in the organisation’s direction and way of being. I was yearning for a career that was more in line with my personal values and also enabled me to spend more time with my new family.
I got brave, I took a risk. I knew I had two choices, to fall into the role of victim or to grasp the opportunity for change. I decided to use my redundancy money to add to my coaching qualifications and, alongside my leadership work, I trained to support new parents in making the psychological transition to parenthood.
Being brave and choosing the fork in the path that led to adventure, served me well as, three years down the road, we faced our next big decision as a family. Again, I decided, slightly reluctantly this time if I am honest, to be brave. We moved to Luxembourg.
At first everything felt different and bewildering but I jumped in feet first and got involved in a few volunteering roles to get to know the local English speaking community. It wasn’t a smooth transition. I needed time to grieve for the the familiar life, the family and friends we had left behind. But slowly and surely, with each positive step I took towards realising my goals, the beautiful country of Luxembourg began to feel like home.
A few years in and I was ready to take the next bold step and undertake further training to combine my passion for horses with my skills as a coach. This path eventually lead to qualifying with LEAP as an Equine Facilitated Learning practitioner and setting up our business HERD with my colleague and friend Kylie.
As someone who lives and breathes development, I really walk my talk. I love learning and developing my skills. I have numerous coaching and facilitation qualifications including CIPD, MBTI and MBTI teams facilitator, a diploma in performance coaching from Newcastle College and NLP practitioner status gained with the acclaimed author and teacher Sue Knight in 2006.
Recent forks in the road have led me to gain a diploma of higher education in postnatal group facilitation from the University of Bedfordshire and certificates and infant-feeding mum & baby yoga as well as Equine facilitated learning practitioner status. The path has not always been clear. It has been sprinkled with boulders of self-doubt and some unexpected detours.
But, as Joseph Campbell wrote, "If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it's not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That's why it's your path." This does not always feel comfortable! It is one good reason why companions and guides along the journey are so valuable.
My personal practice of mindfulness has also supported me along the journey and underpins my approach to life and work. I was introduced to mindfulness during my training as a mum and baby yoga teacher but my personal practice really deepened when we moved to Luxembourg and I was seeking something to help me cope with the ups and downs of the transition. I am excited to be embarking on an MSc in mindfulness and compassion in the autumn of 2020. I also recently trained as a Reiki practitioner and enjoy practicing Reiki
healing with people and animals.
My mission is to continue my lifelong adventure of learning and continue to share the insights gained along the path with my clients to support them to realise their best life. I am passionate about a holistic approach to coaching with nurtures our mind, body, emotions and spirit.
Being honest and vulnerable with you, talking about my achievements is not something that comes naturally to me. It took courage to write this Blog, and even my courage to press publish! But, as a coach, I am aware of the power of words, particularly the words we use in the quiet of our own heads! There is a personal authenticity and power that comes from being able to tell our own story with clarity and confidence.
If you would like to work on your story and write the next exciting chapter, get in touch to experience for yourself how we could work together. You can book a free no-obligation get acquainted call, to find out how I can support you to realise you best life, contact me to arrange a time. I am currently offering extended sessions of 45 minutes, in recognition of the unique challenges we are facing at the current time.
I would like to end by sharing a poem. Maybe our get acquainted call could be the opportunity you are looking for to start creating your own clearing?
Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself to this world
so worthy of rescue.