Author Archives: joyfulpaula

About joyfulpaula

I live in Christchurch, New Zealand and started this blog just over 2 years ago after becoming a widow at 43. Initially part of my grief process it has grown into much more. Striving to live a life that is connected, memorable and with no regrets is joy for me and this blog records my adventures and learnings along the way. I recently steeped into freedom after 10 years in a corporate career and am currently finding my "what next" I hope you enjoy reading myjoybug as much as I enjoy writing it.

Hello, this is your growth calling…..

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves” Viktor Frankl

There is a part of me who has for 48 years (my whole life) been searching. I have lived with curiosity and a desire to know more. Maybe you have too….

I seek a deep experience of life, of love, of my own human-ness and I enjoy exploring my own nature. I look at the way I respond to the world and the results I get, to try to understand my relationships, my feelings and what they mean for me and those I interact with.

I have named this my “call to growth”

I am called to grow in every way possible and as much as I have the capacity to do so I answer that call. Those who know me often say that I am strong but I know that in actual fact I am no stronger than anyone else. The difference is this deep desire to understand, make peace with and to grow through life’s experiences. The good, the bad and the heart breakingly difficult. I am a deep thinker, a deep feeler and in more recent times have come to know myself as intuitive and empathic.

I know that I am not alone in this. I know that many of you share my need to know more and that some of you out there reading this will be seeing your self in my words. You are recognising the part of you who seeks more of yourself, the part that desires a deep connection in your most important relationships, in your work and with life itself.

I suspect that your journey and process is somewhat similar to my own

  • You have likely been through events and relationships that cause you to feel that in some way you were inherently lacking, unworthy and not good enough to do, be and have the things that you desire.
  • You sometimes still feel that lack of worth and it’s quite likely that it is holding you back from doing the things you want to do.
  • You give more than you receive. The way this occurs may look different on the outside but in the end it’s all the same. Some of us give outwardly, always doing things for others first, some of us give ourselves to our jobs, overworking and burning out. Others over give in relationships, putting our own needs aside for our partners. We can often do that to such an extent that we lose our sense of identity to the relationship.
  • You may also have an interest in all things spiritual and you seek new ways of understanding yourself and the world. You feel energy in places and in people and in experiences.
  • You probably cry at movies or find it hard to watch the news
  • You also have times where all you can do is sit on the couch no matter how hard you will yourself to do all those things you “should” be doing
  • You love people and places and variety just as much as you love silence and alone time and routine.

I am writing this blog today because I want to celebrate the beauty and diversity of all of you. All of the seekers out there who are just like me, or just a little like me but are looking, questioning, feeling and embracing what life puts in front of them.

I want you to know that I walk alongside you and I see your struggles, I see your beauty and your deep feeling heart. I know what it is to be in a crowded room but to feel utterly alone. You are not foreign to me or alien or strange. You fit right in and I celebrate each and every moment you are embracing the call to grow. I am cheering you on from the sidelines and knowing that even in your darkest places the light eventually shines.

What I have learnt from my own callings is

  • That the world is full of people just like you and me. Allow yourself to open up to that and you will find yourself drawing them to you
  • Your personal care is a priority. Recognise when you need to stop working, giving, engaging and let yourself fill up on alone time to process your experiences and reflect on your growth
  • There are things you can do that support your call, like meditation, writing, walking, creating, and being in nature. Find the things that work for you and make them a regular part of your routine.
  • You are worthy beyond measure, more valuable than you can comprehend and there is magic in your existence. Never forget that, no matter how hard it is.
  • You are always doing way better than you think you are!

My curiosity, desire for growth has already lead me to many great self discoveries, along with some magical experiences and some very special relationships and I know there will be more to come. I also know there will be more dark days and more internal struggles. I surrender to that now, knowing deep within that there will once again be days when the sun shines and the water sparkles.

I feel blessed to be who I am and to have in my experience the desire to grow, to expand, to challenge my own thinking, to know more, to be more. To me this is the essence of what life is all about. This is my search for meaning.

Do you have questions? Would you like a little more support as you navigate your growth? Did you know that I offer a few free 30min Intuitive insight sessions each month where we can talk about whats happening for you and unravel your experiences together. You can book your free spot here

 

 

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Feeling the call…….an invitation to action

I wrote today’s blog post on Sunday 23rd July, just over 30 days ago. Although at the time I wrote this post I did not publish it I did follow my own invitation to solitude. What has unfolded for me over the last 30 days has been an amazing illustration of the benefits of exactly what i wrote about in this post. I have greater clarity, I have followed my own guidance to refresh my branding and make small but important changes in my business. As a result I am happier, more engaged with my work and working and plying with a new sense of Joy and energy. I invite you to join me……………..

 

Lately I’ve been feeling the call. Soul Whispers, internal urges, that lingering sensation that it is time.

Being a widow with no children, I have a love /hate relationships with my alone-ness. As much as I crave company I also crave solitude. You would think that a person in my situation would have alone-time sorted but true solitude is not just about being the only person in the room.

It asks us to be present with whatever we are holding inside, good or bad.

For the past few weeks I have had house guests and i have allowed them to become my convenient excuse. My excuse to not meditate and to deny myself true moments of solitude.

I become aware again of my perfectionism….my need for the perfect set of circumstances to align before I set aside my Busy-ness (even when alone) and settle into some moments with myself.

What I find there in my solitude is a chance to fill up on myself, to feel the presence of my soul self and to reconnect with all that is within and around me.

It is in this place that i can draw from when I am stuck or confused or in need of some clarity. It is in this place that my intuition, desires and heart reside.

I ask myself why I avoid deep drinks from the well of solitude and my answer is a rising tangle of fear and excitement. I am afraid of the power of what lies within me, of the depth of my own presence and what it asks me to bring forward.

This age old oscillation of fear/intuition/power/darkness/light and ego is present within all of us and can manifest visibly in procrastination, resistance and putting everyone else before we give to ourselves.

This reluctance to truly own the power of our presence, keep us small, dims our light, dampens our creativity and stands in the way of our success.

Today I take a stand and say “No More” no more dulling our magnificence!

Join me in a commitment to the self and all that reveals

Join me in a conscious movement closer to yourself, your heart, your power.

Join me in action by taking steps on what is revealed

join me in walking in the face of fear and discomfort.

Join me in finding more joy, more clarity and inspiration in solitude.

Join me in the magic of rediscovering yourself!

21 Days of Solitude

Join me each day for the next 21 days as I carve out moments of solitude and share the experience on Instagram using #21daysofsolitude 

Saying it as it is….

Have you ever felt like a fraud or that you don’t measure up?

Today I’m calling “bullshit” Who’s with me?

This week I ran my first live webinar. I loved it and I know that those who participated received value from it. I wrote the content for the webinar “10 Soul Strategies to Kick Procrastination” in November 2016.  So why did I procrastinate for nearly 8 months to bring this content to my tribe?

If I’m really honest, over the last few months I have felt myself a fraud, that I didn’t measure up. I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my gut, a hopelessness, a uselessness. I was struck down by comparisonitis and crippled by the thought that I had to do this the way I see others do it in social media.

I felt invisible in such a noisy social media world and a little bit sickened by the empty promises of “learn how to generate 6 figures in 5 months” hype. I saw authenticity being pedaled as the latest “must have” in the most inauthentic ways.

What I fell victim to and I know I am not alone in this was allowing social media to influence my own measure of value and success. Quick Fix business schemes are marketed in a way the hyper creates an artificial sense of what success is.

The reality is that the majority of small businesses take a minimum of 2 to 3 years to really hit their stride.

So I called “bullshit” on the social media hype that I was buying into…

Dont follow me to be followed back!

Dont sell me your magic formula that you still haven’t proven to yourself works yet

Dont sell me your Uber successful launch strategy that you are trying out for the first time on me, that was sold to you by someone else who got it from someone else!

SHOW ME WHO YOU ARE

Show me your soft underbelly, your journey, your darkness, your failures

Show me all the things you don’t want me to see, show me your soul, your integrity, your values

My biggest takeaway from the last few months is that I am comfortable building my business in the same way I like to cook food…Slowly, I am savouring the journey.

And that all the aspirational marketing hype drew me in for a reason. It speaks to the part of me who has success in her soul, who knows her time is coming and is preparing for the shoes that currently feel too big for her to fill.

This is my invitation to be who I am, to do it my way and to grow my business in a way that feeds me, and is in alignment with my values. To stand in my own integrity and be my own version of authentic.

And I invite you to do the same and I just know the world will love you exactly as you are!

Have you felt affected by all the social media hype too? I’d love to hear about it, feel free to share in the comments below. If you feel like you’d like to connect I’d love to invite you for a  a free clarity call with me here or visit my website here

 

What Letting Go Reveals…..

Has your vision for you life and business become clouded?

Do you sometimes feel that you are getting in the way of your own success?

What would happen if you just let go? 

Todays blog is about the surprising benefits of letting go and the freedom it can bring you in your business and your life.

Letting go has been the dominant theme for me this year and as we hit the full moon earlier this month I found myself releasing more than I had ever imagined I was holding on to.

Early this year I made the decision to sell the home I had shared with my late husband and to find a new home for both myself and my business. My home sold quickly and I was forced to acknowledge that a huge amount of physical clearing needed to occur before I could actually move. Knowing this process would take some weeks to complete and with a strong desire to begin my new life free from the weight of possessions that didn’t belong to me, I gave myself permission to step back from my business and to continue to serve my existing clients but to let go of all of the demands of marketing. promoting and growing my business.

I focused on the process of lovingly going through my late husbands tools and equipment and items that he had collected over his 45 years of life and finding new homes and new people who appreciated them to pass them onto.

What I learnt from the process of letting go of these possessions was that clearing the clutter on a physical level will reveal a layer of mental clutter, internal belongings, beliefs and patterns that are also waiting to be cleared.

There was an invitation to let go on another level. To let go of everything that is holding you back from being who you are.

Tied up with these physical possessions was a letting go of where I had thought my life “should” be and who “should” be in it. In letting go of “shoulds” came an acceptance of what is.

I have come face to face with my perfectionism, the need for a set of perfect circumstances to arise before I can act.

I was able to see with crystal clarity the patterns that led me away from myself and from where I most want to be.

The root of procrastination and resistance rose up to met me, revealing all the ways in which I sabotage myself and hold myself back.

So why do we have all these internal scripts and processes that we hold on to?

Why do we let this internal junk get in the way of or goals, dreams and deepest desires?

Your stuff, the things that hold you back, the limits you place on yourself are a hardwired protection mechanism shaped by your early experiences. Your young self unable to make sense of the world around you developed a highly specialised system of checks and brakes to save you from the pain of loss, failure, rejection and to set you up for the best chance of fitting in and receiving love.

Call this your ego or your monkey mind, your bad habits, this hand brake to success exists in all of us.

However, just as I have recently experienced we are able to let go of what no longer serves us on both a physical and an emotional level.

To do this we must acknowledge deeply these patterns and make peace with them. Understand how they have served us and thank them for their gifts before the process of letting go is truly complete. For me this was true even though my process was an unexpected side effect of letting go of physical belongings.

What I am left with is lightness and a freshness. I am seeing with new eyes and a new way of being is revealed to me. I have clarity.

The feeling of being weighed down and the desire to feel free of self-imposed limits is not unique to me. I see this in my clients, my friends, my wider networks.

We all have within us the ability to achieve the life we dream of, so ask yourself the question………. What’s getting in the way? What do I need to let go of?

Get curious, become an explorer of your own internal landscape.

The mountain may seem high but the view from the top is incomparable.

Its time to just let go………

I’d love to hear your experiences of letting go, feel free to share in the comments below. If you feel like you’d like some more support with what you need to let go of you can book a free clarity call with me here or visit my website here

 

 

 

Undo the overwhelm!

How often do you feel overwhelmed in your business or life in general?

Over the last few months from my own experience and from hearing stories of overwhelm from many of my clients I have come to realise that overwhelm is a very normal experience and it is possible to break it down and work your way through it. The biggest downside of staying in overwhelm is that it sucks the joy and meaning out of life and that can leave you questioning the very thing you believed to be your purpose. Being on purpose does not mean that you will never experience overwhelm.

In today’s blog I want to share the 3 major ways that overwhelm can keep us stuck and get in the way of what we want to achieve.

Feeling overwhelmed is really, really, common whether we are business owners or not. If I look back at the last 12 months (my business is 11months old) I would say that I felt overwhelm weekly and sometimes daily! When I get overwhelmed I suffer from what I call “deer in the headlights syndrome” I freeze. I can neither go forward nor back. The very thought of dissecting the overwhelm, overwhelms me!

Instead I polish up my procrastination skills…I watch daytime TV, I make snacks when I’m not hungry, I check the snail mail and the email and I hang out for hours on social media. All of these things fail in every way to alleviate overwhelm and in fact often serve to intensify it.

So how do we manage our feelings of overwhelm in our business and in our personal lives?The first step to dealing with any difficult experience is to gently allow yourself to feel it, acknowledge it and accept it. It’s time to stop avoiding the overwhelm!

In my experience the source of your overwhelm will likely be :

(1)time

(2)knowledge or

(3) the stretch.

If we can work out which of these 3 are at the source then we are more than halfway to resolving it.

(1) The most common source of overwhelm is time…and not enough of it! The first step in defusing the time problem is to have a really good look at where your time is going and what time you actually have available. Identify your time drains and look at how you can eliminate these. Are there ways in which you can re-order your routine to free up an extra half an hour a day? Can you shuffle your schedule to give you some bigger chunks of time to work with?

Once you have established your time limits then look at all of the things you need to complete. Make a list…yes I know that making a list in itself can feel overwhelming but believe me you will feel a lot better once you do it. Look at each of the items on your list and ask yourself how essential they are for you to complete. Put all the non-negotiables into your schedule first.

It is likely that the simple act of making a list has reduced your overwhelm but if not you can trust me that once you start to tick off some of the items on your list you will be able to breathe again. This is also a good time to re- evaluate the standards you are setting yourself…are you expecting and unrealistic level of perfection that results in things never being completed? Make your new Mantra “done is better than perfect” and make a start.

(2) The second source of overwhelm is knowledge. This is where we feel overwhelmed because we have reached our outer limits of knowledge on a particular subject or aspect of our business. Once again it’s important to be gentle with yourself and to be accepting that there will always be things that you need to learn.

For me starting out in a new business after 10 years in the corporate world I had to admit that my marketing skills from my previous businesses was completely outdated. Social media was my new learning curve and boy was that overwhelming! The great thing is that new knowledge is so readily available now. There is always someone who knows what you don’t so find a coach or a course or a mentor who can help you to get on track to gaining the skills you need.

(3) The third reason we feel overwhelm is when we are in the stretch. The stretch is that place where you are putting yourself out there, owning your genius and testing your new skills and abilities. It might be a new program you want to offer or a new way of working or a new product or service. It may even be a new way of communicating your needs in your relationship or a new aspect of yourself you are learning to share and embrace.

Personally I find the overwhelm associated with the stretch the most challenging. Recently I have been leaning into the stretch in my coaching business and owning my true nature as a business coach. I am acknowledging that what I do does not fit within a traditional model but is soul based. My clients have been quick to accept my new moniker of soul based business coach as it aligns with how they have experienced what I do, but owning this dimension of my work more publically has felt overwhelming because of the stretch.

When overwhelm is in the stretch it’s important to know that it will feel uncomfortable initially as you grow into this aspect of yourself or your work but the rewards are enormously satisfying. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the stretch the my best advice is to go slowly, dip your toes in and test the water and feel the expansion as you do. Nurture and celebrate your small steps as you would a child who is learning a new skill.

 It is my hope that some of my suggestions will help you to relax about your feelings of overwhelm and to let go of the battle you have with yourself. When we relax about what is occurring it allows us to drop our resistance and then the way forward begins to appear. Don’t be surprised if your desire to procrastinate is strong here its normal to feel a level of resistance to your growth.  After all overwhelms best friend is procrastination and that is another blog entirely that I look forward to sharing with you soon.

Paula xx

Where are you today?

How are you feeling? Whats happening in your life and in your business? How big is your week this week?

Do you even have time to contemplate answering these questions? Are you overwhelmed by how much needs completing or are you madly scrambling to find more clients/contracts/jobs to pay the bills?

Why do I ask……

We are now 8 weeks into 2017. We have reached that point where it seems both a long way from the centredness and relaxation of the summer break and equally as far from the next opportunity to take more than the weekend off (if you are even managing to do that) This is where we can lose ourselves to the momentum, the busyness,the rush and hustle.

This week I’d like to encourage your to draw breath, to create space regardless of how busy or not busy you are. Find a way to inject a gap into your week just for you. It can be as little and an hour or even 20 minutes a day or if you really want to amp things up gift yourself a day.

Step off the treadmill for a moment and gather your thoughts, let go of busyness, pressure and hurry. Connect with yourself and feel where you are at, feel the reason you are here doing this, feel the part of this that “is you” and not your business.

When we create regular gaps in our schedule to reconnect with ourselves and what we are creating it becomes easier to stay on track, we accomplish more and it is easier to find the energy for the doing.

We step into flow, we find satisfaction and contentment or we identify what is not flow and not satisfaction and it becomes easier to make the necessary adjustments, to self-correct, to feel re-inspired towards our goals, mission and purpose.

Whenever you are feeling tired, overwhelmed, too busy or not busy enough in your business its time to take a step back, to turn to yourself and ask the question “where am I in this?’ “where am I and what do I need?”

To be able to show up consistently and to create something you love in the long term – that sustains you financially, emotionally, spiritually, professionally and personally, staying connected to yourself is the key.

Dont wait for someone else to notice and to give it to you….

Dont wait until you are burnt out and just dont love it any more

Dont wait until its too late to change course and make the necessary adjustments

Take that time today, this week. Gift it to yourself, you deserve it. You are more worthy of your own time and attention than you can ever imagine.

I’d love to hear your experiences of giving yourself time in your business, feel free to share int he comments below. If you feel like you’d like some more support with this feel free to schedule a free clarity call with me here or visit my website here

Are you ready yet?

With the first month of 2017 already more than halfway complete do you feel your year has started?

The beginning of a New Year often comes with much new energy. We feel the excitement of beginning anew, clean slate, fresh start. But sometimes we don’t…..some years begin a little slower,it takes time to get used to the idea that returning to work in an inevitability. We should ourselves into setting goals and plans for the year even though we’re not really feeling it.

I have felt that this year and I know I’m not alone. I have had a slow glide into 2017 in some respects. My business goals remain unrecorded despite the fact that I have already ticked off 2 items from my “things to do in 2017” list (swimming with the dolphins 🙂 and my first DIY project)

What I haven’t felt ready for, is making plans for my business. I have been back at work for more than a week but I allowed myself to push the pause button on setting my intentions for the year.

My current business is not yet a year old and I am very much experimenting with what works and what doesn’t, what finds me in the “zone” and what pulls me out of it. I have allowed myself the time this year to feel the energy of readiness develop in its intensity.

As a business owner it can be easy to get very,very quickly caught up in the business of doing with very little downtime or breaks. After all if you’re not working no funds are coming in to pay the bills. I walked this road in my previous businesses, barely allowing myself more than the stat days off and back to work.

What this taught me is that this is a sure way to fall out of love with your business! I have learnt that its worth taking the time to rest and recover, recharge and rest the compass for the coming year. For your business to sustain you emotionally and spiritually as well as financially you need time out to feel the purpose in your day-to-day actions.

It’s okay to not be ready. Just like New years resolutions that you don’t keep business goals that don’t excite you or that you “should”yourself into with feel onerous and like a chore to do.

It’s all about Goals with Soul!

Goals that excite you from the inside out, that make your heart sing, give you tingles and feel in alignment with your purpose.

This might mean that you throw away your previous plans and re-invent your business or it might just be a building on 2016’s goodness, either way if you’re setting goals you can feel your halfway to achieving them.

So how do you set goals with Soul?

in some way exactly how you always do…

(1) Write them down

(2) Date them

(3) review them regularly

But with Soul Goals you want to really allow yourself time to connect with how you will feel when the goal is achieved. Imagine the outcome, visualise it, create a picture in your mind of you doing it!

Does it excite you? Does it feel good? Does it feel so good that you can’t not do it? Now you have a Soul Goal. If you have followed this process you will also be feeling the energy and excitement building to make it happen.

If you don’t feel it,don’t do it! If you dont feel it ask yourself the question is this something I really want or is it something I think I should want?

Give yourself more time, allow yourself more dreamspace for what you want your life to be. It’s never going to be too late to set your goals for your business. Set goal setting aside and re-visit in a few days.

This is your business, your life. It’s only you that holds the key to unlocking the treasures your future holds. You are the cartographer of the map of your life.

Are you ready yet?