A health adventure – are you in?

A health adventure – are you in?

My passion for the outdoors brings a smile to my face and allows me to keep fit and healthy. I get to explore all sorts of terrain including Scottish Islands, woodland hideaways and beautiful coastal routes. Health adventures can take all sorts of shapes and forms. I’ve eaten fresh fish on white sandy beaches and woke to the sound of the sea, or a nearby stream. I love indulging in the planning of a new adventure, and a trip to a new place. I haven’t always enjoyed getting outdoors and participating in activities that help me feel healthy and well.  I grew up in a city and in my teens I had no such interest in anything remotely healthy. It wasn’t till my late teens that I discovered exercise and sprint distance triathlons in my 20’s. Two decades later, I still compete. I enjoy that there are three disciplines which all require being in the outdoors (swim, cycling and running). I love being in the company of inspiring people who are all championing each other regardless of ability and age. Some take these events very seriously, with the top of the range kit and the hard core training plans. Others like me just rock up (often after a night of copious wine and dancing) and just enjoy the fresh air, the sunshine and the ‘I can’ feeling that is generated knowing that, regardless of your speed or position, you have lapped those people sitting on the couch watching television. I have always loved running. In particular running in the woods in all sorts of weather,  the more dramatic the weather, the better. One of...
Dont let fear in the driving seat

Dont let fear in the driving seat

Having given much thought to what is required to get out of our comfort zone of life, I felt compelled to write about fear. It struck me that in the face of change, even positive change, fear is inevitable. It can become a barrier and a driver for anxiety and it can hold us back. Maybe it is time to create a dialogue with fear, allowing it to be on your life’s journey but never letting it take the drivers seat. It is important to clarify that fear is as normal as breathing. It comes from our thoughts, creates unhelpful emotions and can impact our actions. For some it will manifest as fear of failing, fear of looking stupid or fear of making the wrong decision. Believe it or not there is also such a thing as fear of success! In my coaching sessions where we address fear, I have heard people say “what if I succeed, and then I cannot handle it”. This is a great example of how fear can inhibit us. How does fear hold you back? My research on this matter led me to a fabulous quote Elizabeth Gilbert ‘your mafia mind is a bully’. This was a reminder to me that people who achieve greatness are usually people who ditch their fears. Marie Forleo talks openly on this matter. She advises us “Don’t be held hostage by your fears”. My two most significant encounters with fear presented in the past two years. One related to leaping in and setting up my own business and the other came when my partner was diagnosed with cancer. In both situations, I noted that...
Words of wisdom ~ from the most surprising places

Words of wisdom ~ from the most surprising places

I was compelled to write about inner wisdom and advice to self having spend many coaching sessions supporting clever people to trust themselves to make good decisions. Sometimes we forget that we have great advice within us to give other people and because of this, we neglect to listen to our own ‘wise self’ as we face decisions and dilemmas in life. This leads us to look to other people in our lives to give us the right answers, when actually we often already know everything that we need to know. I would like to share advice with you from a diverse section of the population. In doing so invite you to become clear about those pieces of advice that struck a chord with you. I will invite you to tap into your wise words, and remember your own good advice that you can share with others or indeed take to heart yourself. I will begin with advice from an 80 year old man. You may had read something similar – a lovely list of great pearls of wisdom gathered over time. I selected the ones that I liked to share with you. He advises; Be the most enthusiastic person that you know. Always accept an outstretched hand. Be brave and if you don’t feel brave – fake it, usually people can’t tell the difference. Choose a life mate carefully – from this decision comes 90% of your happiness or misery. Keep a notebook by your bedside – the million dollar ideas usually come at 3am. Next we have advice from Andrea Mann, an author who wrote in the standard issue magazine....
Life lessons – On a bicycle

Life lessons – On a bicycle

One of the activities that I enjoy doing as a life coach is creating a weekly challenge for my clients. It is aimed at inspiring and encouraging people to get more of what they want from life. One of my recent challenges was called ‘follow your best advice’ and aimed at helping people to take their own good advice. A few weeks later I went on a bike adventure that spanned three days, and covered 120 miles of off road biking in the rain. It is known as the Sandstone way. I decided to put this challenge into practice and discovered that my light bulb moments from my journey were also transferable to my life in general. I felt compelled to share these lessons with you. The importance of being prepared: I found myself participating in a weekend of biking without making the time to organise my equipment. I discovered on route that my waterproof jacket zip was broken. This prompted me to reflect on the benefits of being prepared, given that it rained the whole weekend. This was a tough lesson to learn. Safety net planning: In advance of this event, given that it is notoriously difficult, worried that I might not be able to complete it.  Asking myself What is the worst thing that could happen here? What is worrying you the most? helped hugely. Once you work out what your worst fears are, you can create a contingency plan to manage should this situation arise…and then get busy doing it anyway. Take time to recharge and refuel: If you are planning to sustain yourself on any...
Cast off your shell and grow

Cast off your shell and grow

It is my belief that when we learn to become comfortable with discomfort, its is possible to get more out of life. We can experience more, we can create space to grow and we can become a better version of our current selves. I was recently told a story about how lobsters grow. The story teller described how lobsters become restricted in their shells over time. In order to thrive they then cast off their shell and seek safety underneath a rock while the new shell forms. This analogy reminded me that times of stress are also signals for growth and can be used to understand how humans grow. Like lobsters if we can learn to become comfortable with discomfort and take risks, it is possible to get more out of life. We can create space to stretch,  grow into it and become a better version of our current selves. If it was simple, we would already be doing this on a day to day basis. Yet at some point in life we have all opted out of something important on account of discomfort. For this reason, I felt compelled to address the importance of learning to manage stress in order to allow growth. If we approach adversity or change from a place of opportunity, we will believe that we can grow in the process and ultimately we can have more, be more, and do more. The question that must be asked, why is it that that we often experience anxiety in the face of a new challenge and why at these times, do we tend to stick with...