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Monday
Feb122018

Get Passionate!

A while back, I worked with a client looking to revive his  marriage of 30 plus years. The kids had finally left home and life had taken on a dull cycle of routine. He laughingly remarked “The wife and I always anticipated the day the kids would leave home so we would be free to have sex in any room at anytime.” And then more seriously “But we don’t have sex anymore. It’s been ages.”

 

He missed making love to his wife and the intimacy they once shared.

 

Having successfully raised four children, each with their own lives, they seem to have lost theirs in the process.  

So, we began to strategise what he might do to reignite the passion in his relationship. His love for his wife was evident, but he was unsure as to how to approach her. Not being a very talkative man, especially when it came to feelings, we had to brainstorm some possible approaches. We compiled a long list of ideas, and he left my office two hours later with a plan.

I received a text message a few days later, saying number 6 and 13 from our list worked a treat! Being curious, I looked at my notes to see what we had written for number 6 and 13. 

He had left for work, as he usually did each morning. He drove out of the driveway and secretly parked the car just out of sight of the house. He walked back to the house. His wife was busy clearing away the breakfast dishes when he entered the kitchen and said “You know, I adore you.” He then lovely took the dishes from her hands, keeping eye contact, he pressed her against the wall and kissed her passionately (His words “Like I did on our honeymoon”). And as she was catching her breathe, he left and went to work. 

He also left a note in the shower for her, which she found later that morning, reading “Your are still the most beautiful girl I have ever set my eyes on.”

 

Which was close to one of the first things he said to her when he met all those years ago.

 

Upon his return from work he was treated to…well I think you can guess.

 

The moral of the story? Renewal. Life does get in the way of our desires, our love. Routine is something that should never apply to love making and love making is not limited to two naked bodies beneath sheets. It’s a continuous process that takes words, actions, sentiments, gazes, playfulness and attention. 

He broke the old patterns of routine, and reminded them both of the passion they once shared.  Passion has not routine. For a few moments she was swept of her feet (what a fantastic feeling!) and he got to take control, confidently to express his desire, all in a kiss. Then he left and that built anticipation. Anticipation is the best aphrodisiac. It creates longing, excitement and hunger. It wakes us up from the day-to-day humdrum and renews us in ways nothing else does.

So, how might you renew your love?

Friday
Dec082017

Weight a minute!

Most of us consider beauty to have something to do with body shape and size. We have to be a certain dress size before we allow ourselves to entertain the idea, we may be beautiful. 

I don’t know many women who love their body. I do know a lot of women who put their life ‘on-hold’ because their body is the ‘wrong’ shape or size. We all know someone who is ‘on-a-diet’. We all know someone you frets over her ‘weight’. It seems to be a constant preoccupation for women - and of late, more men.

Personally, when I see the word diet my brain abbreviates it to DIE.

The thought of a diet fills me with dread, doom and disaster. To me, a diet means I can’t have the food I want, when I want; I have to avoid certain food groups, go hungry, or eat weird combinations of food I am not familiar with. I have spent countless hours preparing ‘diet dishes’ that taste like stale cardboard! As you can see, I have some unpleasant associations to dieting. I become a pre-diet stress bunny and sabotage the whole thing before I even begin. 

This constant battle to keep our waistline under control is nasty business. We get force fed the concept of diets and quick-fix detoxes everywhere we look. There is a $50 billion Weight Loss industry benefiting from our failures! Every fad diet is designed for short term success and long term failure, so you keep trying another and ‘they’ keep selling. I don’t buy it. They all say the same thing: 

 

LOSE FAT FAST !!

 LOSE THE BULGE !!

RAPID WEIGHT LOSS !! 

 Stop! Stop! NO MORE! 

 

Tell me...do you like losing? When you play a game, or place a bet, or fight a fight...do you like losing? NO!!!!!!! LOSING SUCKS! How do you feel when you lose your car keys or your phone? Annoyed? Frustrated? Losing does not make us feel too flash. If anything, it sets off a whole load of unpleasant sensations and unhelpful thought patterns that we drag into the rest of our day. 

 

Now let’s look at the word WEIGHT.

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘weight’?

 

Maybe you associate weight to heavy, hefty, large? Useless words if you are looking at becoming lighter, are they not? These words hardly help our brain calculate when we will achieve our goal, let alone start it. It’s like watching your language around a small child, so…NO BODY SWEARING!

Ever considered saying what you really want? Like, “I am gaining my health” or “I desire to feel sexy and confident in my body” or “I’m am getting slender and strong”. These have nothing to do with losing. They all aim at getting more! A new target is set! Stop weighing your words and let them be lighter, freer and more empowering. Aim to WIN.

 

Words casts spells that’s why it is called SPELLING!

 

Monday
Nov132017

One label does not fit all

A while ago I was busy organising the herbs and spices in my kitchen when my daughter came to enquire about the activity. She decided to help out by writing the labels for each jar and it wasn’t long before she started to label everything around us. She had a label with her name on, I was given one with “mum” written on it, even the kettle got labelled. 

It wasn’t until later, that I noticed the label on my shirt and peeled it off. I stood looking at it - “mum”. It’s quite the badge of honour! Yet, I’m more than just ‘mum’ - I am many things - a woman, business owner, therapist, partner, lover,  friend, daughter, student, trainer, writer - I am no one thing, but a multitude of different roles and options.

We give most things, around us, labels don’t we? We give ourselves labels, we give our emotions labels, our roles, our moods, our health, our beliefs, our occupations. Labels are useful for the contents of jars in my kitchen, but I am beginning to question the labels we use everywhere else. Doesn’t a label limit and confines?

 

Consider these labels (I hear them a lot from clients):

“I have social anxiety” 

“I have depression

“I am worthless

 

Giving something a label immediately identifies something that we can deal with in isolation. But, it can also limit what we experience. We may even fixate on the label we have, and adapt to fit it rather than question whether the label is fitting.

 

To say ‘I have social anxiety’  immediately limits the scope of possible social interactions. Could it be that you are just out of practice or that you don’t always enjoy socialising? Perhaps you are shy? Holding onto the label - social anxiety - means you have an excuse not to practice your social skills and not to feel more comfortable in social situations.

To have depression, could be you’re feeling low this week, or maybe something has happened that’s left you feeling sad and down for a while. It focusses you on the depression and not the moments of possible enjoyment away from that label. You may even deepen the depression by focussing on “having” it.

 

Feeling worthless is low self esteem that has been learnt. Keep reaffirming that label and you prevent yourself growing and changing into what you might wish to become.

If we get rid of the label, we open to possibilities that move us beyond, and away from it. What if we questioned its’ validity and, get to decide whether we want to keep it or change it? We have more flexibility in our situation and, therefore, more options.

If I stick to the label of ‘mum’ how will I ever be a lover? A business woman? A student? A teacher? A coach? I am more than a mum, I am woman who is so many wonderful things with so many roles, choices, likes and dislikes. One label does not fit all.


Thursday
Oct052017

Polarity & Passion

Polarity is a key ingredient to a great relationship.

That’s a bold statement, I know, yet every healthy relationship has a male and a female part to it. One partner is more masculine whilst the other is more feminine. And this is important, because contrast creates passion.

 

These male-female dynamics keep balance in the relationship.

We need to respect that men and women have different roles, different thinking and different ways of dealing with things. For example, most guys have a man cave and most women can talk a lot! Men, when they have a problem, go ponder. And women, when they have a problem, stay in it and keep going until it is resolved.

When working with clients, I notice a lot of women do not understand the concept of the Man Cave. “Why doesn’t he talk to me and tell me how he feels?” (If I had a dollar for every time I heard that…!!!) And then the guys, are just baffled as to why she gets so angry and moody when he tells her how to sort her situation out! Go figure!!

When a fella has a problem, a decision or some dilemma, he has to walk away from it and reflect. Physically and mentally he goes into his Man Cave. It may be the shed with a beer to tinker, it maybe mindlessly scrolling through the screen in his hand. He does something else while another part of his brain tackles the problem for him.

 

What some women do (when he does this) is freak out and go pester him. DO NOT VENTURE INTO THE CAVE LADIES! Do not ask: “What’s the matter?” “Why aren’t you talking to me?”. This only makes him go deeper into his cave, because he needs space. The fact he needs space annoys the hell out of some women, but he does. STAY OUT OF THE CAVE and look after yourself. Right now, he needs man time. Given space, he’ll work out a strategy. Then he’ll come out and sort it, and may even talk to you about it.

 

Women, when faced with situation, need to discuss it. So fellas, when she has something on her mind, make her a cup of tea, get a packet of TimTams, sit on your hands and SHUT UP! Let her talk… and talk… and talk. DO NOT try and solve it for her, she’s a big girl, she can do it herself. Give encouraging nods and mutterings and let her get on with it. When she talks it through, the problem comes out. It sits in front of her and she solves it. You don’t have to do anything. Easy!

I know, huge generalisation and sometimes women have a cave (I know I do) and some men can talk the hind legs of a donkey…but there is still polarity. Every man wants to feel needed and every women wants to be cherished. So, let him work the problem out in his space and let her feel like she is listened to. Then let me know how you get on!

Monday
Sep042017

I SEE RED!

The other night I spilt red wine all over the table cloth and carpet. There are a few choice swear words to begin with I can assure you! But then I let it ruin my meal, in fact, I was stewing over it right though dinner and the rest of the evening.

It’s not the wine’s fault the stain exists and no one pushed me. I simply spilt some wine, so what?! Yes, the table cloth is stained but it’s just a piece of material is it not? It happens. 

 

Anger is a horrible feeling where we experience a loss of control over our thoughts and our reactions.


We can react quite irrationally. It just seems to rise up from no where. It explodes out of us and before you know it, we have these intense emotions that we express outwardly onto those in the close proximity.

 

Have you ever said something in anger and regretted it later?


The connection between what angers us and our way of expressing our anger can be a tangle of ideas, history, experiences, learned reactions, just a huge knot of who-knows-what. We simply lose control. 

 

Anger is a perfectly normal part of being human.


It’s when it over consumes us and we have the potential to be aggressive that it is not so nice. Anger is emotional pain and frustration. Maybe it’s the pain of looking a fool in front of a loved one, or the the frustration that our boss took credit for our work, or we weren’t shown the respect we expected from another.

 

Our emotions can travel from mild irritation to explosion!


It’s important to catch the words you associate with that emotion. Rage is quite a different response to annoyance. We don’t tend to stop ourselves and gauge what would be a suitable reaction. What word would best suit the circumstances? Annoyance, irritations, frustration, lost, impatience, displeasure, anger, rage?They all have a different response. What if we checked in with the angry feeling and label it accordingly, we could choose! Wouldn’t that change how we respond?!

Yes, I spilt some wine: a waste of wine; a mess to clear and delayed dinner; and a stained table cloth. But my family and friends were around me, I had delicious food on my table, I had love in my home. I double downed on myself. I got angry because I was angry. Ridiculous!

Had I stopped to check what was going on for me I would have realised that I didn’t take away from that moment by spilling wine. I took away from it by staying in anger when easily I could have just covered the table cloth with an old tea towel and relaxed into my evening.

 

 

Thursday
Mar162017

When the world is running down

I recently, asked myself the question:

If I had one year left to live what would I do differently and how would I live that year?

I gave it several weeks of consideration. I turned to my journal, talked to close friends and took a real intense look at my life. After much thought I came to the conclusion that there was not a lot I would change. I like how I live! 

But it was this conclusion that caused me some distress and made me rethink the question. If I like how I live, what do I have to look forward to? Is there nothing I still want to do with my life? Have I really been to all the places I want to go? Have I tasted all the food I want to try?

 

Have I done it all?

No. No I haven’t done it all.


I haven’t been to South Africa to meet a beloved friend, I haven’t been to Tuscany to taste the fresh pasta, I haven’t done a lot of things. But when I thought about it, it didn’t seem to matter so much. Why the hell not?!! Alas, more questions. 

I love being a mother and I get so much from the relationship I have with my kids. We laugh and grow together every day. I love the partner in my life, we give support to one another and have fun.

I love my job, because it’s an outlet to do what I was destined to always do. I get to help people discover their potential and be more than they believe they can be. 

I have fabulous friends. I live in a small, friendly town that is so far away from the problems in the world that I feel safe. I love the quirky house I have where nothing matches and the garden is untameable. I love all I have.

I seem to have fulfilment in my life. It doesn’t mean I am permanently happy and content, it simply means I enjoy what I have. I put effort into all the elements of my life and in return reap the benefits.

There is song by the band Police called “When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around” (great title). Also, a relevant statement to remind me to make the most of what is here, now, at this time in my life. How many of us stop to do that? What if we were to make the “best of what’s still around”? 

Life’s not perfect. It’s diverse and challenging and sometimes it’s not what we want. How different would it be if we appreciate what we have and look for pleasure in what’s around us? 

Will I keep things the same and just get bored? NO WAY! I love the variety of life. But if I was to die a year from now, I wouldn’t try and catch up with my life to cram in all the regrets of my past. I’ll savour the present and sip it slowly until the last drop is gone. I’m grateful I can say that. 

 

Tuesday
Feb072017

Fifty Shades...of Wisdom

Bette Davis said it well. “Old age ain’t no place for sissies”. Just shy of 50 I am beginning to understand what she meant.

We are constantly told that ageing is bad; it’s wrong; it shouldn’t happen to us and we must hide it. We have pills, creams, potions, diets and surgery to stamp out this vicious condition. 

Billions of dollars are made each year by the anti-ageing industry promoting their latest secret for staying young. Yet we are guaranteed to age every second, of every day and will continue to do so for the rest of our lives. There is nothing we can do about it. Age happens.

Kids frequently ask new acquaintances “How old are you?”. What a wonderful question! Straight away, it sorts our the pecking order of the group, often with the eldest at the lead. 

As adults, it’s quite the opposite! Age is rather taboo, it’s such a cringeworthy subject, we conceal it, lie about it and disguise it. We outwardly mask our progressing years, yet on the inside do we feel any different?

Last week I saw a recent photo of myself and was rather alarmed that I looked older than I do when I look in the mirror! How does that happen?! 

Physically, growing older is obvious with the grey hair, wrinkles (or laughter lines), sagging skins, etc. I guess we could say, that as we mature we take on character. But mentally, are we maturing at the same rate?

On holiday way, way back in my mid-twenties I was lounging by a pool at some hotel in the Mediterranean. Next to me was a wee elderly lady with an oversized sunhat and shades. We nodded polite hellos and basked in the sun with our tropical umbrellaed drinks. 

Our reverie was interrupted by the passing by of the ‘cutest-waiter-on-the-planet’.  Both of us women traced his every step until he was out of sight. Catching each other in this act, we fell into a fit of giggles and she remarked “Oh Honey, I may be 83 on the outside but I am a full blooded 22 year old on the inside…and well…he was cute!”

I’ve decided I don’t feel fifty years old at all. My daughter points out my greying hair and I remind her it’s not grey, it’s the colour of wisdom. No, I am NOT going to dye my hair, I’m not going to invest in anti-ageing creams and will stay clear of surgery. 

I’m not going to mask my years of experience and knowledge - I’ve worked very hard to earn this badge of honour! I’ve done things with my life and I intend to do even more. 

I now have the wisdom to really appreciate things I youthfully took for granted. I can appreciate by free time, my friends, my family, my body, my discoveries, my successes, even my dreams. I think I’ll call this newly found philosophy “Fifty Shades of Wisdom”.

Wednesday
Jan182017

No Retirement Plan

“I can’t wait to retire, I hate my job!” these words came out of the mouth of a good friend last week.

“Then, why don’t you change jobs?” I ask.

“It pays rather well” he shrugs.

“But if you are so miserable, is it worth the money? Surely your own happiness is worth more?”

“How will I pay my bills?”

“Downsize a little, go back to basics. Simplify things to what’s really important.” He was looking at me as if I was mad!

 

Typically, for most of us, work is a major part of our lives. We spend a good chunk of our day at work and, occasionally, our free time thinking about work. Our careers tends to dictate the kind of lifestyle we have. It’s not uncommon to also link our identity to what we do. 

 

I know a lot of people who do not enjoy their jobs. They take this dissatisfaction home and spill it into all areas of their lives including their relationships.

 

Way back in the day, I trained as an engineer. I went to university. I had  some amazingly interesting jobs for over a decade. But it began to feel tiresome, like I was hitting my head against a brick wall on a daily basis. I started to resent my job - the one I had worked so hard to have. How could that even be possible?!

During this time I had a very keen interest in hypnosis. I found that I would fantasise having a job where I was helping people with this skill, doing research and sharing what I learnt. It took me several years to pluck up the courage to actually make the switch in professions. Gradually, over time I moved out of one career and into another that is so much more rewarding.

I love my job as a clinical hypnotist and strategic coach. It’s not even a job to me. It’s something I am deeply and obsessively passionate about. When I am not helping my clients I am learning more things to use in my work. It’s not a ‘have to’, it’s a ‘want to’ and I can’t wait to get going. 

Whatever your circumstances, you can’t change the past nor the path you took, but you can choose the path you will now take.

What job would really excite you?

It’s so much easier to re-train these days. All is takes is some bravery and a plan! It’s entirely possible.

Consider what would you love to be doing? What kind of lifestyle do you want to have? Could you survive on less money if it meant you were happier? How would this effect your life and relationships? Would you work for yourself or someone else? 

Imagine a little way into the future and you are making this happen for yourself, go on…let your imagination run wild! Capture feeling excited about your day and how that would fuel your life. List what you want to achieve and map out how you would make it happen; talk to people in that profession and get some ideas and advice. Make it your job to get the career you want.