Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Greetings From Heaven (And This From A Pagan...!)

A tree near my work - proof that it's spring, and a perfect 
expression of my life right now!

I spent a lot of the last two days looking at pictures of the most gruesome wounds in various stages of infection and necrosis. And I'm having the time of my life.

I guess it helps that I have always had a huge interest in medicine and healing in all its forms, so I'm soaking up the information like a sponge and can't believe I'm actually getting paid to learn these things for my new job. The other reason why this is so very enjoyable is that peculiar feeling of having stepped into a dream. The company I've joined really is the best thing that's ever happened to me employment wise. For the first time in a regular daytime job, I don't count the hours until I can go home, don't dread Mondays, and don't have to drag myself out of bed to go to work.

It doesn't even take that much – just a company that expects a lot (nothing is more disheartening than being underestimated and under-challenged) but sees their people as human beings instead of just numbers. No-nonsense, down-to-earth people who LISTEN to your ideas and don't just say they are committed to developing your career but set you a clear path from day one. I'm still Inside Sales, but our boss told the entire team (all five people plus team lead) on the very first day that I'm going to move into a training/coaching role after a while.

Another factor is the work – it makes so much sense to me to sell products that promote wound healing. It shortens suffering and helps people so much. Watching some of the videos the trainer showed us, I couldn't help but notice that the nastiest of wounds (apart from those caused by accidents) often occur in conjunction with first-world problems like obesity and unhealthy lifestyles. Well, the body can and will repair itself if it is fed the right, whole foods, but I also know that it takes more than intellectual knowledge to be able to make changes. With my eating disorder history, I know how virtually impossible it can be to make simple healthy choices, so I'm glad there is medicine to help those people. The last thing I'm going to do is point fingers.

Incidentally, remember how I said I had put on a lot of weight in the last four years but didn't mind? Well, that's still true. I see myself as curvy rather than fat and horrible. And with all that self-love and acceptance, I suddenly find that I am no longer in need of the comfort (junk) food and big portions that were often my only comfort after long hard days in the office. I actually live mostly vegan right now and I'm stunned at how fast the pounds drop off me. Coincidence? I think not.

But by far the best thing about my new job are the people. Such beautiful, lovely human beings, all of them. I don't think I ever mentioned my big dream of being a Coach and having a bird sanctuary in my own house in the countryside in a first-day introduction before. Turns out my colleagues believe in the law of attraction, meditate, have multiple interests, and are just the most open-minded and tolerant people you could hope to meet.

Which helps if you're the first five (plus team manager plus manager, and currently also a lovely trainer from the States) starting up a new branch, and hoping to grow into a large team over the next years. Gods, every bit about this is exciting, I just can't find anything that isn't perfect! Oh I know, over time there'll be things that aren't ideal. There's no such thing as ideal, every person/job/situation has drawbacks too. But it's a huge step forward, and I feel as light (ha!) as I haven't in years. It's the feeling of doing work - all day long! - that's aligned with my purpose.

And now excuse me while I type up today's notes. Afterwards, I'll read a little in my new medical dictionary. Yes, it's eight in the evening. So??

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Thursday, 3 April 2014

Spring, Musicians, And The Simple Life

It’s my favourite time of the year, the days are getting longer and longer, and even when the weather is horrible the temperatures stay relatively mild. I hear that some places have 20 degrees and sunshine these days – in Ireland it goes up to around 15, which means it’s almost time to change to my summer jacket. Jubilation!

I’m finishing up in my old job and feeling lighter of spirit than I have in a long time – not in spite of work for once, but because of it, because of the new job I’ve got to look forward to. I’m taking it easy these days and that gives me the opportunity to look around and notice things. I like noticing. 

One thing I notice is that I have almost nothing to talk about with people who routinely abuse politicians, bankers, the badness of the world and everything that moves. I just don’t indulge in these subjects any longer, I’m too busy feeding and nourishing that which already works well in this world and the people who initiate positive change. Absence of judgment makes for such a peaceful life, but it takes a little getting used to in conversation.

I’m listening to a lot of music these days, and even there I notice I no longer rigidly love or hate certain music. I’ve always been first and foremost a musician, and these days I simply appreciate good musicians even when the music they make isn’t to my taste. I also appreciate a much wider range of music these days. 

Some people do a double take when they know me as a metalhead and then I enthuse about how great the Bee Gees were. Well, they were – excellently written songs and that vocal harmony, at a time long before studio technology made it possible to adjust every voice so they sound perfect together. In fact, they recorded most of their best-known songs with all three of them singing into the same microphone – now that requires musicianship! They had oodles of it, and I love some of the songs they made. 

I love Brahms and Kate Bush and Yes and Metallica. They all have excellent musicianship in common. 

I’m sure one day I’ll have more exciting things to write about again, but for now, I enjoy floating. I enjoy taking a walk after work without wearing a scarf, and hearing the waves crashing around the foot of Bray Head. I enjoy talking to my friends. I enjoy sitting at home with my budgies and reading or re-watching the X-Files for the umpteenth time. I enjoy a cup of tea, and my new beautiful glass teapot. 

Let me know how you are doing, and if you decide to leave a comment, please feel free to also share your website or personal blog – I promise to visit! We need to spread the word about what we are doing in our lives and work, so we’ll infect more of the world with wonder and beauty and the simplicity and sustainability of small businesses.

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Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Big Changes Incoming

SOOOO, no blog entry for two weeks. Sorry about that! I have the excuse that once again it’s the end of a quarter and I’m crazy busy at work – so much so that I often don’t feel like looking at another computer monitor when I get home (or in my lunchbreak, for that matter).

But the good – ok, great – news is, that this is about to change. I’ll still have a quarter end in future, but I’ll also have a new job and I suspect it’s going to be a lot less stressful. I’m very, very happy about this, as I’ll not only do Account Management but am to be moved to a team trainer/coach role after my initial training! Isn’t that amazing? Here go dreams coming true. There’s nothing I’d like more than do what I love most and combine it with a regular salary. Of course I’ll still keep building up my own Coaching and Teaching business at the same time, but it’ll feel wonderful to also spend my daytime work hours in alignment to my purpose.

So this is my last quarter end in my current job. I’ll have the second week of April off (hurray!) and then on the 14th I’ll start the new job, hopefully rested and happy. I honestly can’t wait.

With the big news out of the way, here’s what else has happened. Spring is here and I spent a lovely, quiet-but-exciting Spring Equinox high on energy from the burgeoning nature around me. The weather is trying to bring back winter but spring is slowly winning, with daytime temperatures getting milder and the sun coming out more often than not.

I feel relaxed, balanced (it’s not a co-incidence that the theme of the Equinox is balance, methinks!) and content. I am looking forward to my new job, my old job is a little stressful but ok, especially with the lovely people around there, and in the meantime I coach my existing clients and feel so very humbled, every time. It’s the greatest inspiration ever! By the way, did you know that I now offer free consultations via Skype to people who are interested in Coaching but not sure whether they should sign up or what package is right for them? You can sign up for one on my website – no strings attached.

I’m also getting really nice feedback on my short “Sparkly Difference” videos, which you can watch a) on my website, and b) on my YouTube channel which you can even subscribe to! I just love seeing people’s reactions. The videos are several hours work out of every one of my weekends, so it’s nice to see that you guys like them. I really do appreciate your feedback so very much. Keep it coming!

Speaking of subscription, you can also subscribe to this blog. You will never receive any spam from me, nor will I pass on your details. All you’ll get is a short email every time I post a new blog, which is usually about once a week.

I’d love to connect with you more, and hence my request: If you have a website or blog of your own, please share the URL in the comments here. I promise I’ll visit! You can also post links to your Facebook page or Twitter, if you have those. And while I’m not very active on my private account on Facebook, I do update my page regularly. It gives me a buzz to look for a new beautiful “good morning” and “good night” picture for you every day, and I also post a daily “Thought for the day” with hagish musings, as well as sharing interesting or funny posts from other pages. Check it out, and drop me a “Like” if you feel called to.

Sorry for the long list, but I so often forget to tell you what I’m up to and where else you can find me, I need to seize the opportunity when I remember for once and tell you absolutely everything! Now that’s out of the way, I’m able to send you my warmest spring blessings and much love. If you feel like someone’s hugging you right now, that would be me.

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Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Now Listen Closely...

                             Investing vs Not Being Able To Afford Something

The older I get and the more I talk to people, the more I realise that it's the small differentiations that make up 90% of the misunderstandings and conflicts in the world. I'm not even exaggerating.

Someone posts against animal cruelty on Facebook. Someone else will jump in and say: "It would be better if people cared for starving multitudes and people who are tortured and war victims and and and..." Now if you look at it, this statement makes NO sense, because it assumes that to care about one cause must mean one can't care about anything else.

I care about people AND animals. I care about all living things equally. Some people might only care about one or the other, but you can't possibly know this from just one post on FB. D'oh!

Then there are the many, many people, from atheists to pagans, who denounce "religion" as the root of all evil. It's a wrong statement. What they mean is "organised" religion. Indeed, many hierarchical religious organisations have problems with too much power on certain levels, and abuse of power on all. Religion, however, comes from Latin re-ligere which means re-connection, or connecting back. That's exactly what I'm doing. I am religious, not just "spiritual" which by its name refers to the spirit. My religion encompasses body, soul, mind, and spirit equally.

Don't get me wrong, please: I'm not saying everyone needs to agree with me. What they should do though, is use the correct term when complaining about something. It would prevent a lot of misunderstandings.

A while ago, I wrote on this blog that Samhain/Hallowe'en isn't actually proven to have been the "Celtic New Year". People came back protesting that they "could celebrate the New Year when they chose". You know what? They're right, and I never said otherwise. If the 1st of November makes sense to you as the New Year, by all means declare it your New Year, and more power to you. However, please don't say it's the "Celtic New Year" because we don't really know whether that's true. A lot about the Celts is still in doubt.

Do you see what I'm getting at? Small differences. Try relationships: how many times have you argued with an "other half", only to find that you had misunderstood each other, and jumped to conclusions? I believe I'm noticing these things more now because of my training as a Coach. Coaching is all about a deep, inner listening that has to be learned and practised. My clients often wonder how much of our conversations I remember – well, it's because I'm really really listening. It's a skill that can be learned and practised, and one of the reasons why I recommend to get Coaching from someone who has a recognised qualification. It's also why it's not recommended to do more than 3 sessions of Coaching with clients a day; you just couldn't keep it up. It eats up a lot of energy.

We can't all become Coaches, but to listen more closely is something everyone can do. I am so invested in this that I started a new series of very short videos (around 2 minutes each) called "The Sparkly Difference". Every weekend I publish another video explaining a small but important difference. The first one is posted above; check out the latest on my website or on YouTube and let me know what you think!

It's astonishing what a shift it is to listen more closely. Incidentally, it's also one of the skills I'm training as a pagan. Inner listening, intuitive listening are things I employ when I'm in nature. It's different from listening to words, of course, but the idea is the same: I aim to see what's there as it is, not as I interpret it after only half-perceiving it. I can only tune into the energy of a tree or a brook when I don't push my pre-conceived idea of the tree or the brook on top of it. I need to employ this unfashionable quality, humility, when approaching them.

Maybe a little more humility in general would do us humans good in our interactions?

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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

There's Nothing Wrong With You (And Me)

I do love the internet.

Last week I wrote you a love letter, expressing the vast amounts of gratitude and appreciation I feel for my online tribe these days. It's a genuine feeling and it makes me very very happy.

And then I talked about this in a FB group I belong to, and they all came to visit my blog, the comments section exploded and I made some beautiful new connections. I discovered people who think like I do, people I can relate to on a deep level – people I never would have met otherwise because they're half a world away. People who are definitely part of my soul tribe though, just like you are. Energy knows no distance, and it's the internet which makes all these connections possible.

We hear so much about how anonymous the web is, how people depend more and more on technology, and how bad it all is for you. I say: The internet is a tool, and like any other tool it can be used for good or for bad. If you stop living in the real world and only communicate online, then you have a problem. If you hug and love the people around you and send loving hug-vibes to those further away through the internet, then that's enriching and beautiful.

True or true? I find more and more that these small differentiations are very important. So much so that I started a series of short-and-sweet videos called "The Sparkly Difference". You can find the first one here (just scroll down a little) or on YouTube.

I also love how effortlessly it all blends into each other. Some people say that my pagan life and practice has nothing to do with my Coaching, but I think it all fits together very well. I connect with nature and the divine and strive to work positive change by shaping energy with certain tools and my will (=magic). In Coaching, I connect with people and help them work positive change by utilising Coaching tools and energy in the shape of my intuition. Both are directed at effecting positive change and progress. Of course there are differences, but no contradictions.

I've been busy this week, "prettifying" my Coaching website. I replaced the rather dull brown colour of the logo and menus with a gorgeous dark red, take a look! Do you like it? And while I was working away, suddenly my slogan dropped into my head, just like that. It's me and my Coaching to a –t, and I love it: "My passion is to help you thrive." I added that to the website, too! Please feel free to share the link; word of mouth is and remains the best advertising (and unlike online advertising, it doesn't cost an arm and a leg!).

My website rocks. Yes, that might sound a little over-confident, but d'you know what? I've browsed a LOT of Coaching websites lately, because I'm currently in the market for a Coach myself, and most have walls of text and the information is hidden underneath somewhere. It's also surprisingly hard to find someone who a) is qualified in a way that's recognised by major organisations like the ICF, b) works with abundance, law of attraction etc, and c) is within my current financial range. And most invite you to a trial session without telling you their prices! Dang it, I don't need to be convinced of the value of Coaching, and I know exactly what my budget is. Just tell me your price already.

Incidentally, I fulfill all these criteria. I should hire myself! Haha.

You know, I have become very sensitive to some things. For example, internet "gurus" keep telling anyone who'll listen (and pay them money) that you need to find what's missing from people's lives and exploit that in order to sell anything. Many Coaches have jumped on the bandwagon and their websites imply or state outright, that you are unhappy and unable to resolve the many problems you have, and that's why you need a Coach. Now don't get me wrong, everyone is unhappy sometimes, and we're all stuck on occasion, and a Coach can indeed help.

However, I refuse to make this my main angle for selling. My clients aren't incomplete without me, or incapable of solving their own problems. What I'm offering is a positive way forward with ease and joy, a way to transform one's life not out of desperation but out of the realisation that it's possible to be even happier and more successful. Is it just me or is there a big difference? For my part, I won't sign up with anyone who tries to tell me there's something wrong with me. I want a Coach who believes in me and my abilities and skills. And that's the kind of Coach I am to others, too.

Thanks for listening, my dears!

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