How does it feel to sit in the Sisterhood Campfire Circle?

Connection – Community

Can you feel a longing inside? A hollow feeling, the emptiness of an unmet need. It’s hard to put your finger on what it is exactly. I’ve felt this hollow in myself in the past and only when I stepped into a women’s circle was there a profound internal change in me. I felt like ‘I’D COME HOME’.

This is a felt sense, not something the mind can make sense of. This feeling isn’t something you get from being with family or on fun a night out with friends or from buying something. It is deep nourishment. Simply BEing you is enough. You feel nurtured from the inside because you’re connecting to other like-hearted women in the Sisterhood Campfire.

At the Sisterhood Campfire we create meaning together. We learn about ourselves through being in relationship with others.

Your soul calls you to sit in a Woman’s Circle  

Our lives are busy. So many things call for our attention every minute of the day. We are habituated to being available to others through our phones 24/7. All this means we lose sense of who we are. The Sisterhood Campfire is a safe space, a quiet space within the busyness of life to reconnect to core of who you are. Experience clarity, awareness and reconnection to your knowing.

We visualise, relax, journal and deepen into exploring ourselves, with the intention of unfolding. Stripping away the masks we wear. Liberating ourselves from the things that no longer serve us.

The embodiment practices at the Campfire allow you to reconnect with your body. This is time for you, a gift to yourself. You will feel calm and centred. If you dedicate time to coming to the Campfire, you will reconnect to your intuition.

Deepening your Roots

As this is a safe sacred space, there is an Initiation Ceremony, If you want to join the Online Sisterhood Campfire you need to speak from your heart and claim your seat by the fire. You set your intention to be part of the Circle. You will be witnessed by others as you step into the Circle. We support and celebrate each other. This is a loving space where you can move from your busy mind into your open heart. We have the intentions to be ourselves. We hold space and listen with heart to one another. This radical unconditional love and it allows us to deepen into self-acceptance.

Here we pause the journey of life and take time to rest and reflect, by the fire, in the company of like-minded women. This space allows us to deepen our roots. From this place we can take a higher perspective on life. We are no longer in the drama. Feel grounded and centred in who you are. Become aware of life’s lessons and with this awareness comes the liberty of new choices.

The Campfire is a close group. After the Initiation new women are absorbed into the group without compromising our depth, vulnerability and realness. Over time the depth of openness and intimacy builds and becomes stronger – we are fiercely protective of that. We are exploring feminine spiritual practices. We are meeting in a space beyond the mind and the personality. We are exploring new and radical ways to nourish each other as women.

Every Woman’s Circle is different. Some are places to chat about the past or share worries about the future.  This Circle supports you to stay present. The power to make changes in your life is in the present moment. Your practices here in the Sisterhood Campfire will ripple out in your life. After the Circle there is a time for informal connection and chat around the virtual tea urn. We are women and we like to chat. There is space for it all.

Let all the pretences fly.

It is time.

Are you joining us?

Testimonial

“Last night I sat in Sarah Nicholson’s Sisterhood Campfire circle for the first time. Sarah brought us into the circle through meditation and visualisation, creating a really strong connection with all members of the group.

Sarah led us with some energy awareness exercises – what it was to be present and connecting, opening us up to how our interactions with each other feel, through sharing and listening. Everything about the experience was considered and focused. We had breakout rooms, which were used to have more one to one experienced conversation and listening.

I really enjoyed the full experience, having done 3 of Sarah’s previous courses, I knew to expect a clear and strong development, what I loved was the gentle relaxed way she held the circle and kept raising our awareness, opening up our conscious awareness. “

Bridget Bernadette Karn

Sisterhood Circle – why do we need it?

Sisterhood Circle – why do we need it?

Is your busy life full of thinking, thinking, thinking? Do you end up feeling frazzled, tired, empty or flat? Is there is a sense of overwhelm being not far behind you, nearly catching you up and the fear of it derailing you? Do you feel tired of continually pretending to be something you are not? Do others seem to have it all sorted out and you feel a mess? Are you fed up with comparing yourself to others?

Do you want to unhook from all that doing in your life but you don’t know how? Does your life lack meaning? Finding the bottom of the wash-basket isn’t fulfilling. Do you feel isolated and alone? Are you disconnected from others when connection is what you want more than anything? Are you tired of the inauthenticity all around us?

A Sisterhood Circle is a sacred space. It is a safe space to take off your masks of mother, wife, lover, employee, daughter and ease back into being yourself. Being held and holding others allows us all to relax on a deeper level. There is no need to perform and act a certain way. If the tears need to flow, they are welcome. Releasing the emotion enables us to heal.

Our ancestors sat in circles.

This was a powerful time. The knowledge of many was brought together and shared across generations of women. Sharing circles enable women to respond to their life challenges with greater dignity and grace. In the circle they would also support each other to sort out the problems in the tribe. This is a foundation block of the community’s dynamic in indigenous cultures and it’s why its resurfacing as a global phenomenon.

This is a place to celebrate feminine strength. One of our defining feminine strengths is being able to be vulnerable. In Circle we witness each other’s challenges. We aren’t there to fix you. You aren’t broken. We trust in you and your journey. When you open and allow yourself to be raw and honest with yourself on a deeper level, you’ll open to soul level insights into your life. Taking responsibility for yourself, your beliefs, thoughts and actions is the detonator for personal transformation. We hold a loving compassionate space for you as you journey.

The Circle has its own magic. Each woman comes to circle present for herself and others. Presence is the magic. We hold space and listen with heart to one another. This is your space to befriend authenticity. When you open to this community you feel connected and supported. The Circle helps women identify and master their personal lessons.

Because of the challenges we experience individually as women, as well as the collective awakening our planet is facing, we need spaces to feel safe. As we individually and collectively look deeper at our beliefs, actions and their consequences we feel a seismic change ripping our old world apart. We are being shaken to our core as we become more and more aware of how connected we all are to each other in our global village.

How do you feel about joining a Sisterhood Circle? 

Are you a little anxious? I encourage you go under the feeling and find out what fear is under there. Do you fear being judged or kept small by other women? These fears are common, read my bog about the Sister Wound. If you want to clear these beliefs, I encourage you invest your time and resource in my workshops to Heal the Sister Wound.  These fears are part of us until we confront them and create a new story, one where women support each other to shine.

The Sisterhood Circle I have created, is called the Sisterhood Campfire. We are all on life’s journey and this is an opportunity to stop like a weary traveller by the fire. Take time to relax, be yourself, feel your achievements, your challenges and be present with yourself. Be present and open to the wisdom of the Circle. Every time you join you will learning something new about yourself.

If you have more questions, book a complimentary 20 minute call. I encourage you to find out community and your own deep sense of belonging.

Are the eyes in the mirror the eyes of a woman you respect?

The 8th March is International Women’s Day. It’s a time of reflection for me. Why do we need this day? Why do we still need to highlight the discrepancy and inequalities? Why do they still exist? It may be a struggle for women in other countries, but why are women still underrepresented in positions of power in my country? Why is there a pay gap between men and women? How does this situation continue to be perpetuated?  Glennon Doyle says “You need to look dead into your own eyes – at your real self. You need to make sure there are no lies there. You need to make sure the eyes in the mirror are the eyes of a woman you respect.”

Do women not value themselves?

I see amazing capable women in all walks of life. Why aren’t they leaders and decision-makers? Why aren’t we creating a world that is more compassionate and supports everyone in our society? Women are just as capable as men, so what creates this situation? Do women not value themselves?

The gender pay-gap

Women are usually paid 17% less than men. Men ask for things that will advance themselves four times more than women. Typically, me will ask sixteen times a year for things that will advance them. They don’t get everything they ask for, but because they ask for so many things, they will get something’s. They will ask to be released from time consuming tasks, and they be given to junior staff member. They will ask for referrals. Men hustle more. 20% of women say the never negotiate. Why is this? Why do women settle with what they have been given? Do they think they aren’t worthy of more?

This is about beliefs!

This isn’t about capability. This is about beliefs. How do women get trained to settle for less?  If you are a woman, how have you had your wings clipped and been put in a cage without realising it? Or in your heart, do you realise you are caged, not reaching your full potential, but you don’t know how to change your situation? What beliefs have you taken onboard that mean you don’t ask for what you want? Doyle in her book Untamed reflects “If we keep passing down the legacy of martyrdom to our daughers, with whom will it end? Which woman ever gets to lie? And when does the death sentence begin?”

Do you know what you want?

In Untamed, Doyle lists what women desire:

“I want a minute to take a deep breath.

I want rest, peace, passion.

I want good food and true, wild, intimate sex.

I want a relationships with no lies.

I want to be comfortable in my own skin.

I want to be seen, to be loved.

I want joy and safety for my children and fro everyone else’s children. I want justice for all.

I want help, community, and connection.

I want to be forgiven, and I finally want to forgive.

I want enough money and power to stop feeling afraid.

I want to find my purpose down here and live it out fully.

I want to look at the news and see less pain, more love.

I want to look at the people in my life and really see them and love them.

I want to look in the mirror and really see myself and love myself.

I want to feel alive.

If women trusted and claimed their desires, the world as we know it would crumble. Perhaps that is precisely what needs to happen so we can rebuild a truer, more beautiful lives, relationships, families, and nations in their place.” Do you know what you want? I ask this pertinent question as you will settle for what’s happening if you don’t have a vision of what you want in your life.

What do you want in the next year? What do you want in the next 3 -5 years? I want women to be able to affect positive change in the world. To use their gifts of creating community, cooperation and cocreation. Why are we still celebrating International Women’s Day and highlighting inequality if we need these gifts in the world? Why are we in this mess? Data shows that a woman will have to be able to meet 95% of the criteria for a role before she will apply. Whereas a man will apply on matching 60% of the criteria. They see themselves as potential!

How do we raise girls in a way that creates these belief systems which result in them hold themselves back? If we can get a grip on that, we can stop perpetuating these beliefs.

How we are socialised

  1. Girls are socialised to be good and focus on the needs of others.

Boys are encouraged to be pushy, get ahead, set a goal and do it. Self-determination.

  1. Society doesn’t like aggressive women; it stigmatises them calling them bossy or selfish.

How we are regarded by our peers our friends affect our actions. If you head into a room of teenage girls and boys, groups of friends chilling, watching a film and ask “who want pizza?” you will get different reactions. Notice! The boys will self- resource and decide if they want pizza, they’ll say yes of no. The girls will look at each other to see what their friends want to do. Do they want pizza? There’ll be a spokeswoman for the group who will speak for them saying yes or no. These young women are already socialised to put the needs of others before themselves, to be liked, to fit in, to be acceptable.

Workplace values

“…women leaders often get conflicting feedback — told on the one hand that they’re too bossy or aggressive, but on the other that they should be more confident and assertive. A huge body of work has found that when women are collaborative and communal, they are not perceived as competent—but when they emphasize their competence, they’re seen as cold and unlikable, in a classic “double bind.” say Smith, Rosenstein & Nikolov.

Releasing negative societal biases is all our responsibility.

We need new ways of working to create a better society and businesses. People say what makes a successful leader are the positive traits such as compassion, which women leaders receive in their performance evaluations. Smith, Rosenstein & Nikolov ask “So why isn’t this translating into more women in these roles? It’s one thing to describe an ideal leader, it’s another to describe a real person’s performance without being influenced by stereotypes about their gender, or stereotypes about what a leader should be.”

I am sure this blog has just clarified what you know in your heart and from experience. However, I’m not here to just complain about the situation. I encourage you to change. I encourage you to ripple change through you, out into life. Becoming aware is the first step. It takes deep honesty to see how we are part of the systems and how we perpetuate them by our complicity. Selfless women make for an efficient society but not a beautiful, true or just one! When women lose themselves, the world loses its way.

It’s time to step forward shoulder to shoulder with other women. Let’s help those behind us by bringing them up to our level. Celebrate and stand up for women ahead of us as they are cutting the trail to a better future. Doyle asks “What if a responsible mother is not one who shows her children how to slowly die but how to stay wildly alive until the day she dies?” I’m an auntie, I see myself as an elder and it is my responsibility to bring my wisdom to the world through my actions.

I create safe spaces for women to take off their masks. Places where they can be in a circle with other women. This is an ancient way, that has supported women for millennia, taken online in our modern world. Join my free taster: Experience the Sisterhood Campfire session on Thursday at 7pm This is a time to relax and reconnect to your feminine wisdom.

If you recognise that you have lost yourself to our culture’s arbitrary expectations and you want a straight and direct root back to yourself… YOU, no onelse, then join my 10-week transformational programme. Value Yourself is what is says on the tin. It reconnects you to your truth, the wisdom of your life. What we need are women that are full of themselves.  A woman who is full of herself knows and trust herself to say and do what must be done.

How can we create change in 2021? Be the change you want to see. You are the permission slip for other women and men to do something different. We can change the world through our beliefs, thoughts and actions. Black Lives Matter proves it! Now let’s change the world for 51% of the population! Let’s support each other to thrive.

This is a challenge to women in the workplace:

  1. How will you support women colleague and enable their success?
  2. What support structures are needed to create a supportive network for women within your organisation?
  3. Men as allies – the Millennial generation are much more likely to want time with their families, holidays and things women want. Connect with them as fathers of daughters, feminist and work with them to create a new culture.

This is a challenge to women outside the workplace:

  1. How can you encourage girls to grow up as self-determined?
  2. What will you show you value in a girl/woman? What will you say to her when you compliment her? Do you comment on how she looks or what she does?
  3. How can you support her to get the skills she needs to be able to negotiate for what she wants in life?

Message me info@explorediscover.me  if you want to know how I can facilitate workshops and ongoing women’s support networks in your business.

As always, every great journey starts with the first few steps. What will yours be? I’m interested to know your thoughts, please share them in the comments below. How have you been tamed? What do you desire? How will you reclaim you?

Where did we lose our connection to Nature?

Watching Attenborough’s “Extinction: The Facts” at the weekend, I was heartbroken by the images. The horrifying intensive cattle production, the tragedy of the last two white rhinos and ecosystems being destroyed to grow soya, a cash crop, that would be shipped to another part of the world as animal feed. My heart was broken open. How could be have become so removed from nature as to not care? Why do we not value ecosystems? Why do we feel separate from nature? What happened in our history?

The Burning Times was a period of about three centuries in Europe. Mainly women were killed because they were said to be witches. This was the separation of human from nature; man from woman.

Why did it occur?

There was dramatic climate change around 1460- 1540, it’s referred to as the Little Ice Age. You may have seen paintings in galleries of people skating on the frozen rivers. The growing season shortened, crops failed, 80 years of heavy storms and longer harsher winters. Lakes and rivers froze. Rivers and canals were main trade routes. This resulted in malnutrition and famine which leads to disease and epidemics. People were suffering and this caused social tension.

During the Middle Ages there was a pervasive dogma of Christianity portraying God as separate from nature. God was father sky and nature was mother earth. In searching for a culprit for the starvation the Church began to frame nature as the workings of the Devil.

Rural communities had lived in harmony with nature, working with natural cycles. In 1485 Pope Innocent VII ordered an official “witch hunt” which lasted nearly 300 years (Hutchin & Storm 2019). In communities medicine women held the wisdom of plant medicines and healing. In this new religious patriarchal system, it was dangerous to be a wise and/or independent woman.

What’s the relevance today?

There was a severing of connection to Mother Earth. The dynamics changed from protecting the earth to a conquest of it. When you don’t feel a deep connection to the earth and other sentient beings you don’t value them, they are a commodity to exploit.

We know we are at a critical time, Attenborough made that plainly clear in Extinction: the Facts. In the last 500 years we as a species have ruined our home on planet earth. If we don’t change our behaviour there won’t be a future for our children or grandchildren.

The Burning Times created our disconnection from nature. It is now time to reconnect, to honour the earth, the plants, animals, insects and to live in harmony. Indigenous people have done this for thousands of years, we can also do this. It starts with changing our beliefs and value system. This is individual internal work. Communities are made up of individuals, it starts with our own personal choices.

What are your choices?

Consumerism is driving a lot of the destruction. We can choose to do something different. Let’s not go back to “normal”, it was an unsustainable route. Let’s find a new path, a route to longevity and joy. We don’t need lots of stuff to be happy, we just accumulate useless junk. Everyone knows of people with lots of money that are unhappy. It’s time to stop and think, create a better way of being. Let’s not ruin the planet.

If you want to spend your money invest in your most valuable thing – yourself. You need to be part of the solution.

Heal your life. If you are committed to doing work on yourself join my free workshops. I believe we need to heal our wounds and reconnect to create a better future.

How will you make changes in your lifestyle?

If you don’t what will be the consequences?

If you do how will you feel?

Making a decision

How do you decide?

How did you used to decide?

Have you changed your decision-making process? If you have how has it changed. What made you adopt a new strategy?

We find ourselves in the grey area between lockdown and not yet in the new reality without physical restrictions. Businesses need to adapt and change through this ebb and flow of changing guidance. As individuals we are faced with moral decisions that weren’t part of our everyday previous experience. Do be aware that this continuous need to make decisions can result in decision fatigue.

During Lockdown, many people enjoyed the simplicity of their life.  Being told to stay home, stripped out many decisions – how to travel, where to eat and what to choose to eat from a menu of options. It was simple, lunch would be something from the kitchen.

This gave bandwidth for some of the bigger issues. What do you want to do with your life? Am I happy? Am I doing what I want to be doing for the next 5 years? How is my lifestyle affecting the planet? How can I make changes in my life to create a more sustainable future?

Decisions are an opportunity for us to say something about who we are and what our values are. We become the authors of our own lives.

As philosopher Ruth Chang explains in her excellent TED talk on how to make hard choices:

Far from being sources of agony and dread, hard choices are precious opportunities for us to celebrate what is special about the human condition, that the reasons that govern our choices as correct or incorrect sometimes run out, and it is here, in the space of hard choices, that we have the power to create reasons for ourselves to become the distinctive people that we are.

How do you make a good decision?  Think long-term: who am I to be? If you know what you want in the future, you have a direction for your life. This is your vision for you and the world you want to live in. When you decide, how does it enable this reality to come in to being for you, your community and the planet?

If you are unsure of the destination for the next part of your life, get in touch with me. A complementary 20 minute call and I can help you to clarify your next steps.

It’s impossible to know whether the choice you’re making is 100% correct. We can only decide with the information we have at that moment in time.  Instead of feeling powerless, remember that your gut can be just as powerful a reason to make a choice as all the information and opinions you’ve already gathered.

I don’t just use reason to make a decision. To weave the life I want, I my values are the warp threads and I’ve learnt to listening to my gut wisdom. How will you make decisions in the future?

Glastonbury Feeds my Soul

About now I would be returning home from an amazing week at Glastonbury Festival. I spend a week volunteering. My job is in the Lockups. They are a safe place for people to check-in their valuables, so they don’t have to leave them in a tent or worry about misplacing them.

Glastonbury is like nothing else I have experienced. It is it’s own little world for the week. Some of the usual culturally accepted ways of doing things on the outside don’t apply.

People are friendly.

Anyone will help anyone at Glastonbury. There is a real sense of community and kindness. If you are a bit lost, just ask. If you want a recommendation, just strike up a conversation with a stranger.

It is liberating

You can wander where you want to see what you want. My soul relishes the creativity and freedom. If you like something you can stay, if you don’t you can head off to find something else. This makes the Glastonbury crowd very discerning. If they don’t like it, they will just leave. There are too many other good things to see and do.

You are a life-long learner

There is so much to visit and learn. Information is interesting and challenging. It is presented through many different forms of art – theatre, spoken word, talks, clever graffiti art in huge installations, exhibitions, VR, music and more. You can learn so much trying out new experiences about yourself. Your views of the world and how it “should be” are challenged.

Getting creative

You can learn new skills in Green Crafts area. There is an opportunity to have a go at making a stone or wood carving, stain-glass, willow weaving, blacksmiths, sewing, leather workshops and many many more. I made a bone ring inspired by Viking archaeological finds. By doing the workshop, I was stepping closer to the experiences of my ancestors and their lives.

The earth is revered

The festival raises money for charities that stand up for the rights of the earth. There are no single use plastic bottles, no plastic cutlery or plates. All the food waste is collected, sorted and composted. The wasted is sorted to make sure all the recycling is taken out. Beautifully painted colourful bins all around the site are labelled so people can take responsibility and sort their waste.

There’s lots of information about the state of the planet and what people can do to make a difference. We can always make a difference by our individual actions. With information we can hold decision-makers to account and be clear that we want change. We want to look after our home, our planet for us and future generations.

Diversity is celebrated

No one will have the same experience at the festival. You just can’t get round the whole site in a weekend. The site has a rich diversity of food, music and experiences. The international cuisine is incredible. I miss my dinner to the best fresh falafels I will eat all year. The huge diversity of music all over the festival. There are huge stages and little intimate gigs, all with something different.

The circus and theater areas are filled with entertaining street artists walking around. Block 9 is the gay scene, and everyone is welcome. The Unfair Ground is the shadow-side of the festival. Shangri La is a huge art installation, it’s like walking round a film set. Every year it has a thought-provoking message – such as Corporate-Hell. I love the challenge, the wake up. We do just become complacent, not challenging the ideas our society is built on. This work brings those challenging perspectives to many thousands.

Community

We are all there to enjoy the experiences of the festival. Music, dancing, creativity, learning, making new friends and may be going for a healing session in the healing area. People dress colourfully, you will see some great fancy dress costumes. One year I saw a Top gun squadron out for the night in their cardboard fighter jets – genius! We are all there to connect and enjoy.

You will see all ages from little babies to the elders. There is no age limit on enjoying yourself!

Being in nature

For a whole week we eat, wash and sleep in nature. Camping, noticing the weather and adjusting to the situation day to day. We camp near an old oak tree that often has a kestrel nesting in it. We hear the blackbirds dawn chorus. Walking for miles across the site every day and dancing. Our bodies are happy.

Every week can be Glastonbury!

Listen to your heart and do what makes you feel good and free. Don’t waste your life, thinking I’ll do it tomorrow. Do it or do something better. Live your life!

I weave these elements in my life because it makes me happy. I try to be helpful and will give a lost looking tourist a bit of help. Kindness makes a better world. We are part of one race – the human race. Let’s build our community and support each other to build a better world. Let’s celebrate our rich diversity, it what makes us unique, it is not a threat.

Being in nature is good for us. There are plenty of scientific studies to show this. I love being out in nature and I am distressed that I am picking up so much litter after my fellow humans. We need to look after our planet and act responsible. This isn’t just about our hedonistic life, this planet needs to support future generations. We will need to modify our lives if we want humanity to continue. There are lots of things we can do and learning is the first step. Become aware of how your actions affect the earth and others through what you consume and choose to do.

We all make a difference. Each one of us is a logo piece. We can come together and create a beautiful giant structure or we can choose to isolate ourselves. At home we can volunteer in our communities, bringing our skills, passion and expertise to create a better world. Covid has shown us he creativity and resourcefulness of people. We need to continue to be creative and resourceful as we build a better world so we don’t slip in to old toxic ways. I believe we have been reminded of our own agency to be kind and build a better world. I believe we can do this if we want to.

Have you been to Glastonbury?

What are your take-a-ways?

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

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 Archetype workshops:

Archetypes are universally known repeated patterns of human experience. These themes are known to all of us. The word Archetype in origin mean symbolic pattern.

By exploring the archetypes, we open ourselves up to being more of ourselves. Think of yourself as a big mansion house. Behind the door of each room is a wonderful gift you can bring to the world.  We are taught how to act, we learn how to fit in and be acceptable. This process of socialisation happens to us as children. In your life you have unconsciously closed off doors to your many gifts. Now the corridors may be covered in cobwebs as you have accessed them.

You are stuck! Why can’t you move forward and do what you want in your life?

You are trying to do everything with only half the toolkit!  You’re having to using a hammer when you need a spanner. A hammer is fine, but you need other tools for different jobs.

How do you access the qualities you need to make a difference in your life?

The good news is you can access these energies and bring the qualities into your life.

Read about each Archetype and notice whether it is something available to you in your life. If you want to transform your life, these workshops can guide you to your gifts.  

Engaging the Archetypes on a path to transformation

“awaken the lover”

Explore the archetypal significance of The Lover in your life. Do you struggle to complete things/stick at things long-term? You need to activate desire in your life. Learn how to soften and open to a love-filled life. Reclaim your vitality, sensuality, passion and faithfulness

Learn More & Immediate Access to the Online Workshops
“awaken the warrior”

The Warrior wants to feel the elation from mastery, the sense of a job well done! This workshop will help you if you are risk averse and struggle to complete tasks. You need to activate strength and break out of your comfort zone. whether in business, an entrepreneur or for social change. The Warrior is connected to her heart, higher truth and knowledge, combined with the courage to act, protect, stand up for this truth.

Immediate Access to the Online Workshops 
“awaken the destroyer”

How are you at endings? Do you avoid them? Does that mean you won’t start things as you fear the ending? Do you hold yourself back from the richness of life? The Destroyer Archetype gifts you liberation.  Reclaim your bravery.  The gifts are leadership, risk-taking and progressive.

Learn More & Immediate Access to the Online Workshops

“awaken the explorer”

On this journey we delve into the Explorer Archetype and her goal of authenticity. The Explorer leaves the known to discover and explore the unknown. This archetype helps us discover our uniqueness, our perspectives and our callings. Explorers are looking for something that will improve their life in some way, but they may overlook that they already have much inside themselves. The gifts of the Explorer are independencebraverynonconformity and self-sufficiency. This journey will support you to enrich your life with these gifts.

2-3pm 27th, 28th, 29th April Book Now

“awaken the creator”

On this journey we delve into the Creator Archetype and her goal of innovation. Creativity is creation of new connections. The Creator Archetype fosters all imaginative endeavours, from the highest to the smallest innovation in lifestyle or work. The challenge is ensuring you do not overload yourself with new projects but allow yourself to express yourself in beautiful ways. The gifts of the creator are creativity, imagination, nonlinear and nonconformity. This journey will support you to enrich your life with these gifts.

2-3pm 25th, 26th 27th May Book Now 

“awaken the entertainer”

On this journey we delve into the Entertainer Archetype and her goal of ​enjoyment.  The  Entertainer invites us all to play, showing us how to turn our work, our interactions with others and even the most mundane tasks into fun. We will navigate and neutralise the pitfalls of laziness and dissipation. This is a wise goal, to just enjoy life as it is with all its paradoxes and dilemmas. The gifts of the Entertainer are ​humour​, ​originality​, ​irreverence​, awareness. This journey will support you to enrich your life with these gifts.

2-3pm 22nd, 23rd, 24th June Book Now

“awaken the innocent”

On this journey we delve into the Innocent Archetype and her goal of happiness.  The Innocent Archetype embodies sincerity and is always truthful. They inspire people to do good. If you need to start a new project, you need to access the faith and trust of the Innocent to get you started. We will examine the pitfalls of this Archetype which are denial and also becoming dependent on others to fulfil their tasks. The Innocent’s gifts are sense of wondertrustfaith and optimism. This journey will support you to enrich your life with these gifts.

2-3pm 20th, 21st, 22nd July Book Now

“awaken the friend”

On this journey we delve into the Friend Archetype and her goal of belongingThey crave creating and forging connections with people. ​They work hard and live a simple life. They are democratic but not necessarily political, they believe in fairness and respect. They enjoy being part of a group and do not like the elite. This archetype helps us be accepting of people, by being friendly, understanding and inviting. We will dive deep and examine the pitfalls which are cynicism, the tendency to be the victim and chronic complaining and release these patterns. The Friend’s gifts are respectrealismfairness and altruism

9.30am – 1.30pm 20th August Book Now

“awaken the caregiver”

On this journey we delve into the Caregiver Archetype and her goal to help others. The Caregiver is an altruist moved by compassion, generosity and selflessness to help others. This archetype helps us raise our children, build structures to sustain health and life. We will dive deep and examine the pitfalls which are the suffering martyr and controlling others by making them feel guilty. “Look at all I sacrificed for you!”  We become aware of the potential for codependency patterns. The Caregiver’s gifts are empathycompassionpatience and generosity

2-3pm 21st – 23rd September Book Now

“awaken the magician”

On this journey we delve into the Magician Archetype and her goal of transformation. This archetype searches to understand how to transform situationsinfluence people and make visions into realities. A Magician can manifest something from nothing. They have significant personal power and can be a catalyst for healing and transformation . We will dive deep and examine the pitfalls which are manipulating others, a disconnection from reality and belittling ourselves or another, resulting in diminished self-esteem and release these patterns. The Magician’s gifts are highly evolved,  intuitioncharisma and cleverness

2-3pm 26th – 28th October Book Now

“awaken the sovereign”

On this journey we delve into the Sovereign Archetype and her goal of order and structure and hence an effective society. This is not an easy task s chaos and order aren’t far apart and the Sovereign needs to commit herself fully to the task. She inspires us to take full responsibility for our lives, in our fields of endeavour and in society at large. The We will dive deep and examine the pitfalls which are tyranny, controlling behaviours, rigidity, elitism and an attitude of entitlement and release these patterns. The Sovereign’s gifts are confidencepowerresponsibility, system savvy and control

2-3pm 23rd -25th November Book Now

“awaken the sage”

The Sage Archetype seeks the truths that will set us free. This Archetype can help us see the world and ourselves objectively, and to course-correct based in this data. Her gifts are skepticism and nonattachment. She is a seeker after truth and enlightenment and journey’s far in search of next golden nugget of knowledge. We will dive deep and examine the pitfalls which are the unfeeling judge, being over critical and impracticality and release these patterns. The Sage’s gifts are understandingintelligencetruth seeking, clarity and wisdom

9.30 – 1.30pm  17th December Book Now

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