Connecting to our Power

I am thinking about the future. I’m asking people what sort of world do they want? Because I don’t believe the future world will be made by other people, it will be created by us. Each of us will be a part of shaping this new world. Our world will be shaped by our actions and our inaction. What things did you ignore, close your eyes to and continued to hope someone else would do it? What future do you want our children to have?

These are challenging questions, but I notice a difference in people now and it gives me great hope for the future. In my street and all around the country people are looking out for each other. An example is a household that can get shopping delivered, is now putting an elderly neighbours order on, so they don’t have to go to the shops. They can stay safe because people are looking out for each other.

What has changed?

I admit that there always were members of the community who have put a lot of their personal time and energy in to making a better world. They know that if you want something doing, crack on and make a start. Actions make a better world. But this hasn’t felt true for everyone. Many people have felt disempowered, unable to affect change in any way in their own lives or the lives of others. This is reflected in the numbers of people turning out to vote.

People have been so busy making a living they haven’t had time to stop and think, look at where they are in life and what they are doing. When we are living according to our values, we are living with integrity. Do you value money over family or is family first? Do you need more money for more stuff, gadgets and distractions or more quality time each week with your family and friends? Where does your time go? What do you prioritise? What are your values? Are you living life according to your values?

Strengthening Communities

The “Great Pause” has made us all stop to some degree. We are faced with a huge challenge; the pandemic and our actions matter. Everyone is being asked to act responsibly, to think of the greater good which is in their own good. The focus has moved away from the individual, our busy lives, our personal aspirations of success to the community we are in. Our lives, our safety depends on us working together and following the Government guidelines. Although we are physically distancing, we are also becoming closer as a community. Communities can be geographical, households living in the same area, but there’s also a strengthening of communities of interest. People are coming together, learning together, sharing their wisdom and supporting each other online. We are being tested to our very core, our beliefs are being challenged, this can make us feel unstable. Reaching out to others helps us in uncertain times. Community is important, we are social animals.

 

Powerful acts of kindness

I see people all over the world acting from their hearts, helping members of their communities online and locally. Because at some level we realise that when we do good deeds, they benefit others and us. Volunteering in our communities, kindness, the act of giving, makes us feel better. We are being helpful and we’re building a better world. Our actions make a difference. The difference is we are all remembering this, we are consciously connecting to our power, our power to make a difference. We can each make a dramatic difference by our actions and our words.

All our little actions, virtuous deeds make a huge difference. We have the power to change the world. Can you feel your power? That knowing, like a little flame that has been fanned in the Great Pause. Our power and our passion are coming back to life.

Can I make a difference?

What do you want to create? You have the power to make decisions and carry them through with your actions. It only takes 25% of the population to adopt something and it comes a new norm. David Noonan’s 2018 article quotes Arnout van de Rijt, who studies social networks and collective action “this is about a minority trying to change the status quo, and succeeding by being unrelenting. By committing to a new behaviour, they repeatedly expose others to that new behaviour until they start to copy it.”  “The other environment in which the 25 percent effect is particularly evident, Centola says, is online—where people have large numbers of interactions with lots of other people, many of them strangers.” If you are involved in online communities, this can be very powerful. The way you act, can draw like-minded souls to you. Your actions can change the world.

What does the new world look like?

Are you concerned about the state of the planet? What would you like the new world to look like? How do people act? How do you act in that new world? How do you want people to act towards each other? Do you want people to be suspicious, fearful of eye contact and smiles? Are people expected to manage in isolation? Or do you want to continue to build stronger communities, through kind deeds and smiles? Do you feel we should be involved in local and national decision-making structures? How can new decision-making structures enable people to be involved in a meaningful way? How can we bring our skills and expertise to our communities to help and support them thrive? What can you do to make the world you are dreaming of a reality?

How are you acting and thinking?

The old world was imbued with “my opinion and my actions don’t matter”. That world doesn’t exist anymore. Everything has changed so much over the last couple of months. Has your thinking changed? We have felt the power of our actions, our voice calling for action from our leaders. We’re still in Lockdown and we can influence what happens next. What we do influences the world we create. Our actions towards each other, our community our world does make a difference. We have been reminded of our power. Now you choose how you use it. Do you want a better world? How will you make a better world?

Share your thoughts about the actions you will take now and in the future. What have you wanted to do in the past, but not made time for? What will you stop doing? What have you learnt over the last 2 months? What do you want to continue to do in the future?

Metamorphosis -we are being called to change

Can you feel it? We are in the “Great Pause”. It’s a time to slow, a time to notice. We have been busy, working and following the rules. Abruptly our world has been changed by the pandemic. Many of us are still at work, but as we strive to work from home we are challenged with our emotions; uncertainty and unease, and new dynamics with those who share our spaces. We’re not working from home, we are working with home – children, partner, cooking etc. Work is not separate and given space, it has to coexist with our lives. I wonder whether what’s happening at the moment, this moment of readjustment, is actually a really good thing?

Our old life values

I hear people trying to be productive, wanting to write a long to-do list, and achieve so many things, so many new activities in this gift of time, but you know it’s just not reasonable. Because if you do only that, you shut out what’s important. You go back to shutting out how you feel. You go back to not seeing your partner or your kids or your pets all day. You buy food from somewhere and you don’t spend time with ingredients making food with love. You’re too busy for home care, for appreciating and loving the space you live in. You’re too busy to for a walk or a cycle and noticing nature and the seasons, you’re busy working and commuting. You look forward to Friday, instead of living in every day with joy.

We are in a transition

That was the old life. We are in a holding space, a transition to a new life. Life will never be the same life it was before. Just like 9/11, life will change, we’re not sure how at this moment in time, but we know it’s has changed for ever in some way. Social distancing has never been part of our global reality before. Will French people kiss each other as a greeting in the future? We don’t know, the new life has not yet started. We are in lockdown and so we are in a cocoon.

The midlife transition for women parallels this experience. Through life many women are shaped into what society wants them to be and to do. Their feminine gifts around nurturing and caring may be exploited, if they don’t have strong boundaries, a strong sense of self. They are expected to run the home, look after the children and have a job. Now we are in the Great Pause, many women are taking their foot off the accelerator. They felt exhausted, but unable to change, and now is a chance to pause, to slow down. They don’t have to dash from work to school pick up, to after school clubs, dinner, homework and on and on. There no external distractions or opportunities, it’s time to just be.

Now we can look back at our old life because we are not in it, with a detached objectivity. Was it all good? Did some things ******? Frustrate? Infuriate you? Why? What was happening at that time? What were you doing? How were you acting? Were you maintaining healthy boundaries? Do you want to do that again in the future or do you want to do something else? How could that look? Just choose what you want to do at any moment in time. There will always be an ebb and flow to work and life. We can’t separate the two, they are each part of our experience, but we do need balance. It’s important to not allow yourself to be pulled by one aspect too much – too much work or too much home, in either, you lose yourself.

Women’s midlife transition

Women’s hormones start to change in midlife and this is a good thing. It is a natural process which helps them prepare for the next stage in their lives. They are no longer willing to put up with the things they hid from themselves previously. This is the opportunity for personal growth, for knowing themselves on a deeper level and bringing more joy into their lives. This peri-menopausal transition is a cocoon. It’s a time when you can go inside and look at what’s happened in your life, what led you to now, what paths have you trodden so far on your journey. Either on your own or preferably in a Women’s Development Circle, you can work through your thoughts and emotions, find and allow yourself to drop the baggage you have taken on of other people’s views and expectation. Now is the time to cultivate wisdom and compassion, to reinvigorate your identity for the next phase of life.

A new life

Man or woman, we have choices. If we simply keep doing over and over, the same pattern, the same behaviours, the same thoughts and emotions, we have no opportunity to learn, we trap ourselves. We have improved nothing in our lives. Importantly we ruin the planet for future generations. Going back to the old ways is not an option. We need to find a new way individually and collectively. How will we thrive from this? There is a myth that you must be busy to be successful. What is success? Our views around money and success are being challenged. In lockdown, success is not getting sick and staying alive. Many people are feeling happier as they are spending quality time connecting with their loved one. Their priorities have shifted, they no longer take people or being alive for granted. They want meaningful connections with themself and others.

 

We are still in the loop of lockdown, in the cocoon. If you are a woman in midlife you also have choices. Do you try to conform to what society celebrates and turn back the clock or do you choose to look at society’s views? Do you take the time and decide whether they are views you want to buy into? What will you choose to believe? How would you describe post-menopausal women? Are they the way makers, they show the way to a better world? Are they beautiful and radiant? Visible, important and inspiring? Post-menopausal women are driving huge positive change in our society.

 

Be aware of this space, of this gift of the Great Pause. The world is changing. We are at moment like no other in our life. Our country, our community, our lives have changed. A moment to notice a fork on the road. Do you want to become the bitter old woman, clinging on to the past, blaming others? This is the toxic feminine. The other path is that of the Wise Woman who has worked through the hidden emotions, like an archaeologist of her life, she has looked in the depts of her life and found the hidden gifts. Gifts that have always been there, but they were buried. You know the Wise Woman she has the childlike joy, and the kids like to hang around her. She has a mischievous twinkle in her shiny eyes, she doesn’t want to be anyone’s enemy, but she is also no one’s victim. She stands in her truth and power. She brings wisdom and compassion to the world. Now is the time to choose your path and the world you want to create from that place.

“Your action, what you do, depends on who you are. The quality of your action depends on the quality of your being. […] So there is a link between doing and being. If you don’t succeed in being, you can’t succeed in doing.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, The Art of Power

 

I invite you to join the Wisdom Queens Development Circle if you want to journey with other women who also choose to become Wise Women. The Development Circle runs online Sundays 7- 8pm 10th May – 21 June

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/102890728940

How do you feel in Lockdown? Life of Pi

When we check in with each other at the start of Zoom calls, there’s a standard question: How do you feel? I wondered, how do I feel? So I have been internally scrolling through the emotions that the Pandemic has brought up in me and others, looking for ways to convey how these last couple of months have felt. It’s like a film rather than life. Ang Lee’s 2012 film Life of Pi comes to mind, rather than some end of the world epic.

If you have seen it, you will remember it has a peculiar story. A ship goes down and the only two survivors are a boy called Pi and a Bengal Tiger called Richard Parker, travelling together on a tiny boat, in a vast ocean, with no particular direction. In our reality, our homes are our boats. We are cast off from our social groups, each other, isolated by social distancing. We are individuals or small families in our own space, with the wide world outside, but one that seems strange and inhospitable to us now.

Some of us have supplies in the boat and some of us don’t. There are people who were very fearful, hording food and toilet rolls. They felt a need to prepare for the coming unknown. By buying lots of resources they were controlling what they could, in a world that felt out of their control. These unique times are triggering our fears at many levels. Showing us our subconscious thought programmes. We choose whether to act on them, go out and panic buy or manage our fears and reassure ourselves there will be plenty for everyone if we share. Every day we can make a new choice.

For some, it may not be possible to go out and get food. Some people’s sense of self is being challenged, something that challenges our very foundations. A friend, who never thought of herself as vulnerable and old, has had to grapple with this label, this identity that was imposed on her a few weeks ago. She was categorised in a way she would never label herself. To be labelled as old and an unwelcome drain on NHS resources, is brutal, when you see yourself as vibrant, creative and productive. These labels are being given to many, it’s not only about age. To be out mixing with people who may or may not be carrying the virus, for those with medical conditions, is putting themselves at risk. We are in lockdown to stop a surge of cases that the NHS can’t manage. We are staying home by choice to save lives. How do people who can’t be independent any more feel about the supplies dwindling in their boat? Do they feel more isolated, more fear? Do they feel powerless? Do they feel a burden on society? Are they grappling with their mortality?

In the film, Pi is on his own, in a small space, a boat, in an inhospitable environment trying to survive and share the space with something unpredictable, something that could easily kill him. Around us, Covid-19 is invisible. The fact that we can’t see this threat makes it more menacing in some ways as it could be anywhere. This results in people feeling very stressed, there’s a collective fear around the world. The mind repeats “there’s a threat!” all the time, “watch out it could be anywhere, be vigilant, be very vigilant.” Being full of fear for our own safety all the time is exhausting. We just can’t sustain it. The stress affects us negatively and results in our immune system becoming compromised.

The awareness of death portrayed in Life of Pi gave it an emotional depth, a tense quality. A sense of Pi wrestling with his views of God. Which god and what form did god take? How could God allow him to be on his own in such a harsh environment? Why was God testing him? In the film, Pi shows his ingenuity, he overcomes problems and grows in confidence and knowledge. At some points in the film he’s enjoying life and thriving, he’s adapted to the new life.

There are moments of extraordinary spellbinding beauty within the film. Nature is magnificent, fascinating and humbling. The light of the sunset on the water made me cry it was so beautiful. I see more people out walking, noticing spring, day by day as the leaves on the trees develop. People are slowing down and noticing, sensing and feeling the world around them. They are excited to see a butterfly or bumblebee. The notice the beautiful flowers, and they sense something has changed in them, they’re noticing the colours are more vividly. We are now in the moment, appreciating what we see and sense. We feel life, we are realising what’s important as the distractions are stripped away. We are really living life, not rushing past it.

Pi has to find a way to live with the tiger until they get to land. We too have to find a way to live with Covid-19. Being in constant fear will harm our health. We need to find a way to coexist on the planet. The virus like the tiger is part of nature. We need to treat it with respect and look after our own health and not get depleted by being constantly fearful. The lesson is do not live in fear,  live the best life you can. Each day has 24 hours, you can spend them feeling sad or happy, you choose.

My question to you is, how are you feeling? If you are uncertain, fearful, how will you manage your fears so you can live with the tiger and enjoy your beautiful life? If you or someone you know wants support with this transition, join me on Navigating Change and Strengthening Resilience. Friday 8th May 1pm register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/102840903912

Sarah Nicholson

Coping when our lives have been drastically destabilised

We’ve never known our lives to be so destabilised. Many emotions are rushing through our bodies at the moment. It may be challenging to identify them because many are uncomfortable feelings which we don’t want to feel. In this challenging situation, what can you do to stabilise yourself in this ever-changing world? I have a few suggestions for you in this blog.

You are feeling your fear and the collective fear

Firstly, let’s get to the source of the problem. Many people are feeling their own fear, fatigue and panic as well as the collective fear and anxiety. Do you remember when Princess Diana died? There was a collective mourning: sadness with an edge of anger. Now the world population is dealing with the Covid-19 virus and this invisible threat brings fear and grief as our lives change in unimaginable ways.

The unthinkable is happening all the time. For the majority, our structured, busy work and other aspects of our lives seem so distant from our current reality. We are now in lock-down, staying home to save lives. It is like being in a film rather than the life you’re used to, it seems so unreal. People queue outside food and pharmacy shops 2m apart. Patiently waiting and hoping that the shelves have been restocked when the enter. We’re used to getting what we want when we want and with relative ease. This is a stress to our systems. Will there be food at the shop or something we need? We don’t know. This is a very different UK.

We are grieving

We are grieving for the life we lost. The stability and the sense of control we may have felt. We are also feeling anticipatory grief. This is your mind going into the future and imagining the worst-case scenarios. We know the world is going to be different from this moment forward. We aren’t sure exactly what it we will have lost. It means we feel unsafe moving into this unknown new future.

Journal to access your feelings

Whatever we are feeling it is important to allow ourselves to feel. Let the emotions discharge themself in some sort of safe way. Scientifically it has been shown that journalling helps individuals to get through challenging emotional times much faster. It allows you to process your thoughts and feelings. There’s support to get you going on Facebook at ExploreDiscover/posts You don’t need to write for long, 15 minutes was long enough. You do need to be radically honest with yourself about how you feel, no editing, be raw. Once you have written it down with a pen on paper (very important) then ask yourself, is there something else underneath this? Trust the process.

Be kind to yourself

This is not a situation you or any of us have encountered before. As a country we have never been put in lock-down. A virus is making its way across the globe stopping all forms of travel and transport. It is an unseen killer, and this makes us feel unsafe. There is the economic turmoil and the loss of connection. Don’t just expect yourself to bounce back. You will feel tired and foggy headed at times. Be kind to yourself. How you treat yourself is important. You may need to cultivate a new level of compassion for yourself. How could you do this? What does the scared child inside you need from your adult self? Do this and you will feel calm.

Watch what you’re feeding your mind

Without really noticing, it can be easy to fill your head with news hour after hour. It’s important to pay attention to what’s going on, but don’t let it fill every moment. As with all things in life we need balance to maintain our health and happiness. What you allow into your head is food for your brain. Watch what diet you feed it. This is even more important when it comes to children, as an unseen killer can give them nightmares.

Keep things in balance

Our minds show us pictures. My parents getting sick. We see the worst scenarios. You can’t stop thinking those thoughts, but you can balance them with best scenarios. Try to find balance in the things you think. People may get sick, but they can get better. Neither scenario should be ignored, and neither should dominate.

Noticing what you enjoy

This is reminding us of how precious life is. It makes us realise we’ve been being busy, rushing and we were scattered. Human doings not human beings. Now we’ve been forced to stay in one place for a period, we have time to notice. To come into the present. Write in your journal about what you see, what you notice this spring. Are you hearing more bird song without the traffic and aeroplane noise? Are you enjoying being in nature? Do you notice how good it makes you feel? After the lockdown how will you change your life? Will you still make time to visit the park once a day?

Think about the good things you want to continue to do in your life, such as pottering or even camping in the garden. Lots of people are joining the Facebook group: The Great Garden Indoor/ Outdoor Camp Easter 2020. This is bringing us back to the little pleasures in life. Having fun on our own or with our families in lockdown.

Cultivating more compassion

If people get a bit grizzly, realise they will also be feeling the grief and may not be themselves at the moment. We need to treat each other with compassion. You choose how you act in the world. Let there be more compassion than fear. I’m seeing more compassion in the world as I move around my community. We ask how each other are. I notice that people are genuinely interested in the answer. In England, you may ask “how are you?” But it’s a courtesy statement, a form of greeting. People didn’t really want to know the answer. The old “I’m fine” because I can see you’re too busy to listen, to me has gone. In this brief period of time so much has changed. We have restrictions on our liberty, but we have deepened our compassion. We notice each other. I hope we continue to learn these important lessons that this situation is bringing us. We can learn and grow into better versions of ourselves.

If you want a coaching session to support you through the six stages of grief, the final is to find meaning, get in touch with me. https://explorediscover.me/coaching/

Perimenopause

Keeping Your Confidence Through Perimenopause

Menopause is a woman-centred experience and needs a woman centred approach. It’s difficult to express some of the feelings and experiences during this time. This is a rite of passage into maturity. In her book “The Wisdom of Menopause”, Dr. Northrup calls menopause “the Mother of all wake up calls.” Everything that you have swept under the carpet comes up during menopause, for you to deal with, to face, to heal, to let go of and to learn from as you become the next version of you. Whatever needs to come up for you to be this next, healed version of you, will show itself as physical, emotional and spiritual symptoms.

January 2019 my confidence seemed to drain out of me. Sometimes I’d been getting hot and sweating in the night and this made me wonder, had I slipped into peri-menopausal? Was I moving from the summer into the autumn of my life? We never know when the blood flow will begin, so too, we never know when the last period will be, or how long it will take to not come again. Even though I don’t know it will unfold, I understand it’s part of my journey as a woman.
I started to investigate the menopause. I found out that other cultures that have a much more positive regard for elders in their society are having a different experience. Women don’t experience difficult physical symptoms like hot flushes in cultures that hold elders in high regard. I found that fascinating. Having a positive attitude to getting old made a huge difference to your experience. In my workshops I work with women to define their future, so they feel positive and confident about their life.

I had felt my confidence draining away, which is an unnerving experience. There was no external reason for the way I felt inside. This challenge has enabled me to create tools to support other women, to avoid falling to the bottom of this pit. Our creativity and willingness to share our gifts with the world is linked to our confidence. I can give you tools that will fan the embers of your confidence into a roaring flame!

If you want to see what I’m talking about join me for an introductory workshop:
• Menopause – Grounding, Passion and Power – this supports women going into/through peri-menopause which is a rite of passage for all women. This workshop will not give you medical support, there’s lots of information elsewhere. I offer you tools, language and concepts to prepare you for getting the most out of this transformational process.

More information about all these workshops and a brand new course launching soon please visit the website: Workshops and Course

Sign up to register your interest or book a discovery call today

Finding opportunities through the Menopause

Whether you are at the start, middle or end of your menopausal journey, one thing is true, this is a new phase of life. A change in hormones affects how we feel inside, about ourselves and our lives. In this blog I will suggest how you can transform challenges into new opportunities to step out and shine. Life is for living!

My journey begins

Earlier this year my confidence just seemed to fade away. I was able to function, do my work, socialise and get about, but I felt empty inside. My confident-self had drained away and I couldn’t understand why or how? Some nights I was hot and sweaty, was that me or was it just a bit warm this summer? What was going on with my body?

These are symptoms of the perimenopause caused by changes in hormone levels. Feeling low, cross and irritated, irrationally angry, rage or upbeat and then low are all symptoms some women experience. Now I recognise them as such, they are no longer bewildering and overwhelming. Feeling relaxed and happy with myself and my current stage in life is very important. I accept that this is a natural process and welcome the transition. Being open, letting it flow easily rather than resisting it.

But still the challenges are out there and my feeling of a complete lack of self-confidence was very real. How did I get through it? I accepted that this was some sort of temporary feeling that had no external reason. This analysis helped me feel better, it was just a matter of step by step, getting back to the whole me. The way I did this was simple. I listened to my body and set myself some great fun goals to work towards. I didn’t push, I just let myself move towards them.

Prioritise yourself

Being very busy at work, the pressures of running a home and finding time to fit in family, friends etc. can mean a residual level of stress in your body. If you are stressed, your body is already challenged. Reducing your stress allows your body to cope with things in a more natural and flexible way. Taking time out for yourself, sitting and reading a book in bed, enjoying your garden or walking in nature can help you feel less stressed. Self-care is important, it’s not a nasty self-indulgence as some people think, it de-escalates things, allows us to regain our equilibrium and our strength. This is a crucial step; you need to get your footing right. Prioritise yourself.

Yoga is a wonderful way to let the stress drain from your body. Find a teacher that works in a way that suits you. I like to listens to my body, doing what it needs in the yoga session. Ask around to find a good yoga teacher, that’s fun to be around. You can’t banish stress if it feels serious and strict. Meditation, massage and acupuncture can also provide relief from stress and lift your mood.

Be mindful

Emotions can sweep us off into an internal storm. Being mindful (awareness) of what you are doing at each moment in time can often help you feel relaxed and better able to manage mood changes. Be conscious of your body and how it feels from the inside. Notice what you are doing and how if feels on your body, on the outside. It’s a way of linking back to the real and not getting swept out-of-control by an emotional tornado. Notice the little things, the smell of a beautiful rose, focus on its delicate beauty and incredible colour. You can delicately touch its petals. Use all your senses to notice and feel what you are doing in the moment.

Living in the moment

The past is done, there’s nothing you can do to change it. The future is the future, you can’t control it. What you do in the present moment is all that matters. When you live in the moment, you are completely present for your friends and family, which is the greatest gift you can give. You notice more, life is richer. Living in the moment, can reduce anxiety levels because you don’t worry about the past or future events.

Lots of laughter

You choose what you do with your time. Doing something that makes you laugh will make you will feel closer to others. Giggle therapy is just so good for you and it stimulates your immune system. I feel so much better after a good belly laugh. I went to see Russel Howard in Leeds and was laughing uncontrollably at one point in his show. I came out feeling lighter, and the laughter didn’t end there as we were sharing funny stories from our own lives after the show. Choose to hang out with good positive people that make you laugh.

Keep in touch

My friends are also noticing their bodies changing. Being able to share our experiences of life and our bodies is important. This social support stops us feeling isolated. It’s important to have others to go to in times of need. Pick your friends wisely, you don’t want drama and negativity. Solid individuals who know, that this too will pass, willing to just listen, understand and who believe in your ability to cope.

Positive thinking

How you think about the menopause influences how you experience it.  Studies show that negative beliefs held prior to the menopause can be predictive of a more difficult time. For instance, the more catastrophic your thoughts about hot flushes, the more intense they will be. How you feel about yourself and your life is crucial. If you’re over the hill and past it, as a Western culture obsessed with youth and beauty may have you believe, you feel there’s no hope.  But Chinese women described menopause as, “wisdom and maturation,” “a symbol of achievement,” and “a time to start enjoying life.” They’re just starting to get into the stride of life. They don’t experience as many negative symptoms of the menopause as western women. Choose your thoughts and think positively. The best is yet to come.

Keep a diary of things each day that bring a sense of joy and make you smile. Its best if you can do this before you go to sleep and set your mind thinking positive thoughts. You will start to think more positively, looking each day, for the good things you are going to write down in your journal. Your life will become much happier as you focus on the good things each day, negativity slips away.

Transitional phase

Not all women report feeling negative effects of the menopause. Zoe Ball even has some advice for other women who are going through “the change”… Have more sex!

See this as a transitional phase, it is the adolescence of older age but better than adolescence of youth because menopausal women have confidence and experience. This is a time of choice and should really be about finding out what you really want. Now is the time to take charge and shape the remaining chapters of your life.

Find a couple of pages in your journal, and title them “To Do List”. Next, think about some things you’d like to do in the future. There’s lots to live for and enjoy doing. Write them in a list and tick them off as you do them. You can buy some beautiful underwear, go on a course, visit somewhere new – whatever excites and challenges you, write is down. This is a time for exploring who you are and connecting to your inner wisdom.

New opportunities, new challenges

This third phase of our lives enables us to look inwards. As infants we look outwards learning about the world and ourselves. In the mother phase we nurture and create, giving ourselves and our time to others. Now is a time for self-development and inner work. Your “To Do List” should have challenges that allow you to try new things, test out new hobbies or interests. Physical challenges that push you a little further. Maybe, like myself, you’ve been wanting to do something for a while and haven’t got around to it yet. Pop it on your list.

I’ve wanted to walk The West Highland Way ever since I heard about it. This summer I made the time to do the 96 miles. It wasn’t until I was walking on day two, did I really feel in my heart, what a great gift this was to myself. This act of self-love, time for me in nature, doing something I love – walking and exploring, it was simple and yet so profound. It was a key moment, filling up the empty space inside I’d been feeling. I gave myself time to think, to be and regain my feeling of self-confidence because it was time to just know me again, no distractions.

This is a transition phase, an opportunity to become who you are meant to be. To do this you need to push out of your comfort zone and develop in to the new you.  Whatever your challenge, prioritise time for it. A long-distance walk, canoeing in the wilderness or cycling in North Wales, make time for a journey into yourself. If you want support and guidance to plan your journey, sign up to Adventurous Spirit. Whether you are travelling near or far, go on that inner journey and step into your power.

I’m developing a new course designed to help you navigate the emotionally roller coaster of menopause – you can read more and register your interest today – Wisdom Queens

The importance of adaptability in a crisis

On Tuesday Italy went into lockdown. This is the first time a country has quarantined itself in my lifetime. This is a new experience for me, seeing how the world is choosing to deal with this challenge.

I attended a great training course on Wednesday. We talked about how to deal with environmental problems such as earthquakes, fire and rip tides. We also covered acts of terrorism and shooters as they target areas with lots of people. We watched a film of people panicking, a streetlight went out and people screamed and started running, because some ran, others ran, they didn’t know why, the fear-based reaction created panic. This may sound all doom and gloom but it’s not. It’s thinking about possible problems and making a plan, a strategy to deal with them. We hope for the best and plan for the worst. If something does go wrong, you can flip into doing something you know rather than panicking.

FEAR

The virus seems to have created a lot of fear. It feels like a fear-virus in our consciousness. Being in all this fear isn’t pleasant. Panic buying and hording is fear-based action. There’s helpful information explaining what the virus is, how it’s transmitted and advice on sensible actions people can take to stay safe.

I had planned to go to Valencia next week. The Festival I was visiting has been postpones at the moment but they intend to run it in the future.

The week after, My plan was to go to Florence in Italy. I am now not going. Am I upset? NO. It doesn’t matter if I go now or in October or next year. Things can be rescheduled. I’m not fixated on going now. I’m flexible.

Getting target fixation can mean that your mind gets such a narrow tunnel vision, you lose perspective. You are so set on the target; it can mean your other senses are compromised. This isn’t good. When we’re travelling or anytime in life generally and we are faced with a situation we need to ***** it. This is thinking on your feet:

  1. Does it look wrong? If there’s something not quite right about the situation, don’t do it
  2. Does it feel wrong? Trust your KNOWING – don’t do it
  3. Don’t get target fixation – this compromises your ability to think objectively – this can be deadly!

My assessment of the situation in Italy is:

  1. Florence doesn’t look right the streets are empty
  2. It doesn’t feel right, my insurance won’t be valid
  3. I can go another time; it will be okay later in the year

Italy is just an example, but whatever we are doing in our lives, we should use these three checks. Always trust your gut instinct and don’t do it if it doesn’t feel right.

BEING FLEXIBLE

Flexibility is hugely important it’s a state of mind and a way of being. Move with what’s going on around you, adapting and flowing. We still need strong roots; we need to know ourselves and trust in ourselves and our ability to cope and adapt. Knowing that you have lived through worse challenges gives us confidence as we are facing a challenge.

We are in a time of uncertainty and I encourage you to step back and see the bigger picture. Know that this too will pass. Be flexible and see what opportunities a change of plan offers you. I have plenty of books that are waiting to be read if I need to self-isolate. We need to treat each other with kindness as we move through this time doing our best to adapt and change as needed. Being in control is a figment of our imagination. Anyone that has been affected by a serious sudden accident or bereavement will tell you. Life seems to be in control, but we don’t control life. Life is a force of nature. We need to flex with it doing our best to adapt and learn as we go.

Be like bamboo – flex in the storm, not like a ridged tree that is blown over. Adapt and move. There are so many choices every day – millions, you can change the course of your life in any single moment. What will you choose?

The world doesn’t need me to support women to go travelling independently at the moment. I will return to that when it’s useful.

Currently I am looking at delivery online training to those looking inwards right now and using this time to reflect and refocus on their life.

More details coming soon…

Learn more about me here

 

Workshops

WORKSHOPS

Learn more about ExploreDiscover’s range of exciting travel workshops for women and book online.

“ASPIRATION”

“If you don’t know where you are going any road will get you there” This workshop will connect you to your inner compass so you can get clear on the direction you want to go in.

Learn More & Book

“Grounding, Passion & Power”

This workshop is designed to help you look at your life from the foundations up. If the foundations aren’t solid, whatever you put on top will fail in the end.

Learn More & Book 

“Menopause – Grounding, Passion & Power”

This workshop will not give you medical support, I leave that to the medical professionals. This is designed to support you to develop the foundations of your life.

Learn More & Book >

“VISION”

This workshop will support you in getting clear on what you want to do with the next phase of your life. Our life journey is made up of phases.

Learn More & Book >

Sign up today for information on the “Adventurous Spirit” online course

A step by step guide on how to prepare mentally and physically for your adventure.

Book a Complementary 20 minute phone call with Sarah to discuss which workshop is best for you.

Testimonial

"I chose the ‘Know YOUR Way’ workshop because I felt overwhelmed and was struggling to find focus and meaning. Although I felt I didn’t have time to do the course I knew it was important to make the time. Sarah was great, down to earth and easy to talk to. She helped me reflect and to recognise my self sabotaging behaviour and fears that were holding me back. I left the course with new insights and having created a clear step by step action plan of how I am going to make my dreams a reality, with short-term and long-term goals. After finishing this course I fulfilled one of my dreams and organised an amazing family trip, travelling round Cost Rica. Before the course it felt impossible. Invest in your future happiness. I would recommend this course if you are feeling lost and need clarity and guidance on how to make profound positive changes in your life."
Jen Todman

Solo not lonely – Make your own adventure this valentines day

Love yourself this Valentine

As we edge towards another commercialised holiday celebrating being loved I ask, must you be in a relationship to feel love?  Must we be defined by the vision of a loved-up couple whispering sweet nothings and sharing a bottle of something sparkling on Valentine’s day?

Is there a valentine’s day card that reads ‘Dear Me, You are worth it and I love you for everything you are‘?

I hazard a guess at no, but we don’t have to be constrained by these stereotypes and our limiting beliefs of what we are worth.

Investing in yourself, practising self-love and being kind to yourself despite cultural expectations is such a powerful action and can really make a difference to how you see your life.

Solo does not have to be lonely

Being solo in life doesn’t have to mean being lonely and unhappy.  Quite the opposite.  Discovering your inner purpose, aligning with your inner compass, going after the life that you want and all the adventures that brings, fills you up with new respect, new love and new dedication to you and everything you want to be.

Solo female travel has increased hugely in recent years. Google searches for ‘solo women travel’ increased by 32% in 2017 and 59% in 2018. The search grew to a jaw-dropping 230% increase in 2019. So women are getting out there, travelling on their own and experiencing the world just for them.

How do you feel about doing something for yourself as we move to Valentine’s Day?

What would your adventure be?  Where would go? What would you do?

This is the real juice of life. This stuff makes you sparkle from the inside out.  Kick back on the cultural lovey-mush and find you own romantic adventure with you.

Top 5 ways to practice self-love this Valentines

  1. Do something special just for you, massage, explore new foods -cook yourself a recipe from another country
  2. Write a list of all the places you’d like to travel
  3. Go for a walk, just with you and relish the sensory experience, enjoy your body
  4. Write down your goals and aspirations for 2020
  5. Invest in you. What courses can you do or which books can you read for self-development?

 

If you feel like you need a little support in reaching your goals and aspirations, my Womens Travellers Tribe could be for you.  A group of like minded women, supporting each other, learning new skills, empowering each other.  Read more about the tribe here – WOMENS TRAELLERS TRIBE

Could Valencia be the perfect City for your first solo travel?

The answer is yes!

I’ve just returned from a research trip to Valencia as this is the destination of my first graduation trip following the Adventurous Spirit course.

And I can guarantee you will not be disappointed.  Valencia is the third largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona. It’s a beautiful, vibrant and thriving city full of art and culture with great transport links making it easy to get around.

Despite the heavy rain and storms during my time there, I made the most of the rich history and culture

Here is a useful guide on things to do in Valencia and here are my top tips for an adventurous city break:

 

My top tips for travel:

  1. Pack your trainers and explore the city on foot
  2. Use the metro, easy clean and fast
  3. Tourist buses give you a different perspective of the city

My 3 must see attractions:

  1. The Fallas in the street in March or the Fallas Museum all year round
  2. Iglesia de San Nicolas
  3. Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias

My top 3 places to eat/socialise:

  1. DDL boutique
  2. Tapas at a great looking place
  3. Jimmy Glass Jazz Club

 

If you think Valencia could be the place for you, you can find more information about Adventurous Spirit and the graduation trips over on the website.