Category Archives: Creativity

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 

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Get into your Groove

Getting into a good groove with your business to ensure your are productive and efficient in the time you have available is essential but also takes a bit of work and sometimes creativity.

When I stepped out of my full-time job into my business it took some time for me to feel connected and comfortable with a new routine. I had been working in the corporate world for 10 years with a heavy travel schedule and having unstructured time was foreign to me I wrote about it here Coming back to what works… Since my realisation a few months ago, that I no longer had to fit into a routine prescribed by someone else, I have been experimenting with structure, routine and tips and tools to make my working day both enjoyable and effective

The easy part for me is that I love what I do so much that I am eager to get started every day. I am in my office and ready for “work” by 9am. The hard part has been finding a routine that works for me and minimises distractions. I can get caught up with emails and Facebook and friends who know you are at home phoning or dropping by for coffee or asking for favours as they know my routine is flexible. I am learning that I need boundaries to ensure that I maximise my time.

I have used the pomodoro technique to good effect and now teach it to my clients. I find it quite satisfying to tick off time blocks and complete tasks. You can find out more about the pomodoro technique in Natalie’s post today here

I have also discovered that I like to vary my workspace. Although I spend the majority of my time in my office I like to go to a cafe to write my blog. I find the noise and chatter in the background of people going about their lives around me, allows the words to flow. I can get into my writing zone.

What is working for me best in terms of structure is to grid up my day into 30min slots and block out time for client work, work on the Biz, writing, exercise, appointments etc. I put this plan together as I book appointments each week ensuring I am leaving space for other tasks that need completing. Then each day I am using a second grid to mark out what I actually did to compare to my plan. This is highlighting for me where my greatest time bandits are and what times of the day are most productive for me. I am also getting a good idea of how long each task takes from tracking it this way.

I also include in my planning grid space to record my top 3 tasks to achieve each day, clients I need to contact and any other essentials that need to be taken care of.

Getting really clear on your top 3 tasks each day is especially important if you have limited time to work on your business., as the saying goes if you fail to plan you plan to fail!

The best part of creating structure and planning for your business is that it is entirely yours and you have the freedom to change it, tweak it and adjust it as much as you like until you find your groove!

Todays top 3 Tasks

Write Blog post for challenge

Prepare content for 7 day purpose guide

Clear clutter from my desk

If you would like more clarity, and structure around what you do and action steps to take book and free clarity call here or visit my website www.paulamcfarlane.com

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 5

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Oh such a Perfect day!

Today’s Blogging challenge is to write about your perfect day. Imagine there are no limits. You can create a vision for your future that looks and feels and includes anything you want! You can design a working/living style that is exactly right for you, that makes you feel happy, connected and on purpose.

This exercise is not new to me. I have done it myself a number of times and its something I often ask my clients to do. Knowing what you want to create provides a roadmap for your business and the choices that you make. Designing an ideal life will also highlight for you what in your current life needs to change and evolve. From a spiritual perspective the law of attraction says that if we believe it we will see it. Our thoughts create our reality. Our subconscious mind is unable to discern reality from fiction so if you really connect to the images and feelings of what you want to create you draw towards yourself the perfect conditions and opportunities to make it happen.

Go Confidently in the direction of your dreams…..this has been a favourite quote of mine for a very long time. Most of us like the idea that we can create what we want in our lives but to do this we actually have to relax that parts of our self that tells us we cant have what we want. We come up against our conditioned limitations and beliefs such as “I don’t deserve it” or “you have to make the best of what you have” or “not everyone is destined for greatness” We fear our deepest inner most desires being laughed at or ridiculed or that we are arrogant to want to much for our lives. Sometimes we have felt so discouraged by our circumstances that we don’t even dare to dream. We have disconnected from our true desires.

When I ask my clients to write for me about their dream day some grab the opportunity with both hands and others resist it and need support to work through what holds them back from what they want.

Personally I am half and half. I love to dream about what I want to create. I get excited abut my vision for my future and I love to write it down and to create vision boards from what i have written. However to share my dreams in public for other people to view…that is where I meet my resistance.

What I know about goals is that if we share them even with just one other person we have a much higher chance of achieving them. So with that in mind I am going to move through my resistance today and share with you my Perfect Day.

My perfect day begins without an alarm. I wake up from a restful sleep with my partner. Together we go for a walk on the beach or in the hills and then enjoy breakfast together sharing our intentions for the day. We are blessed to be able to live where we choose which means we often split time between NZ and other tropical locations giving us a long summers and  a very relaxed lifestyle. Each day after breakfast I spend a couple of hours in my workspace. My workspace is an open studio in a garden setting with lots of light and stunning views. I will spend my time meeting with my admin team and planning the coming days/weeks. I might spend time creating workshops or programs or I might be working one on one with clients either face to face or virtually. Some days I will be travelling to deliver workshops and seminars. I love that I have created a working life that allows the scenery to change and for me to express myself while supporting others to experience deeps success in what they do. I love that I have created a prosperous business that supports me and a number of others and that allows me to give to community projects that are close to my heart.

Most days I will also have some quiet time to meditate, journal and work on my latest writing project be it blog or book.  I finish work early to meet up with friends or family or to swim or indulge in a massage or spa treatment.  At the end of the day I meet up with my partner to share what the day has bought us and to either go out for dinner or to spend time preparing a meal together. I feel completely fulfilled and satisfied at the end of every day. I love that I have freedom  and time for what is important  and to travel and learn new things. I enjoy spending time reading and indulging my creativity through writing and art. I feel blessed to be living the life of my dreams and grateful for all that I have, all that I am able to contribute and that I can do this by simply being myself!

If you have read this far I invite you to do some dreaming on your Perfect day. What is it that you want to create in your life? I also encourage you to notice if you resist doing this and what comes up for you when you think about it.Let me know if I can help. You will find me at www.paulamcfarlane.com

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 3

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The Problem of Purpose

In my work as a Business Coach one of the key things my clients are looking for in their work is to feel a sense of purpose or to feel that they have found their purpose in life. I really understand this desire for purpose as I have felt it and searched for it too and it is precisely what lead me to what I do today.

Why Purpose?

Why do we feel this need to have a deeper level of meaning in what we do? For me the search for purpose arose out of loss in my life. Losing loved ones called me to ask the “what am I here for” question and garnered within me a desire to know that in my short time on this earth that I lived fully and happily and had a positive impact on others. Knowing loss has created within me a desire to live each day in meaningful way.

For others the motivation to find purpose comes out of experiences of feeling that there is more to life that the material things we are able to attain or achieve or conversely from a desire to achieve in life. It can also come from a desire for a greater sense of connection with others, with loved ones or community or the environment, from a sense of wanting to make a difference. The search for purpose can come from a desire to do something just for yourself after years of putting the needs of others first or doing what others wanted or approved of.

Regardless of what motivates us to find purpose that process of uncovering it can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. It feels both illusive and that we “should” know what it is. We hear “you’ll know it when you find it” which can create a sense of “Why is it not happening for me?”. We can feel some how inadequate that we are unable to know the secret, that we haven’t had that “aha” moment when we meet our purpose head on.

From my experience it seems that there are a number of Myths about purpose that actually get in the way of us finding it. Today I’d like to bust a few of those myths!

(1) You are less of a person if you haven’t found your purpose! life is a journey, not a destination! so maybe you have yet to feel a sense of purpose, that doesn’t change the fact that you are you, you are unique and talented and beautiful. Instead of beating yourself up because you feel your not “there” yet use this time to celebrate where you are and who you are! Explore your desires, what you want your life to look like, and who you want to spend you time with. The better you know yourself and your wants and desires the closer you are to discovering purpose.

(2) Your Purpose is out there waiting for you to find it if you could just look in the right places! Your purpose is not separate from you, it will not necessarily be something that you “find” and suddenly discover is you. What if you are your purpose? Yes I know, I was a little challenged by that idea when I first heard it too! But what if your purpose is to express yourself fully and authentically in the world? What would that mean? How well do you really know yourself? Do you know your values, your strengths, your patterns? How much of what your know about yourself has been shaped by other people’s beliefs and behaviours rather than from your own deep desires or by what feels right for you? Uncovering the truth about who you really are will lead you to your purpose.

(3) Your Passion is your purpose! That actually may be the case but what if you don’t know what you are passionate about? or what if you are passionate about wine or French poodles or swimming in the ocean, how do these things become your purpose? Your purpose isn’t necessarily a thing that you do with your life. It can be the qualities that you express in your day-to-day interactions, it can be how others feel when they are with you rather than your life’s work or career. What qualities do you bring forward in life? Are you a giver who feels joy from giving to others or a doer who feels happiest when doing practical things. Do you grab life by the horns and feel inspired by adventure or are you more measured and considered, radiating a sense of calm to all those around you? Do you love to solve problems or to come up with new and resourceful way of doing things. Understanding the qualities that it feels good to express will lead you closer to a sense of purpose.

(4) I’ll know my purpose when I find it, I just have to keep looking! Finding your purpose wont necessarily happen in a light bulb moment, it might be more of a slow burn that creeps up on you when you least expect it. That’s why its important to take the time to get quiet, to let go of the search and to just be with yourself. Give yourself a moment to notice what feels good and what feels out of sync for you. One of the biggest clues to being on purpose is a sense of being in the “flow”, everything feels easy and light and leaves you buzzing. Notice what lights you up inside and what is occurring in these moments. Your purpose might be more subtle than you imagine, don’t rule anything out!

(5) Once I find my purpose everything will fall into place. Living your purpose is actually quite possibly the scariest thing you will ever do! It can feel raw, exposing and vulnerable. You will still face challenges even when what you are doing is absolutely your purpose. Stepping into your purpose will ask you to show up as who you really are. No filters, no matching what you think others want you to be, just being you. Your fears will not suddenly disappear because your purpose has arrived. Living your purpose will often ask you to show up and be true to yourself despite the fact that its scary and despite the fact that you feel afraid. But its worth it!

So have you found your purpose yet? If not you are not alone. You have my invitation to take the pressure off yourself to be “there” now. You have my invitation to explore, to taste test, to discover and uncover. Allow your purpose to gently find you in your exploration, in your noticing, in your discovering and understanding of yourself. Allow it to creep up on you from where your hidden talents lie and your desires and dreams meet and become your special magic. The special magic that is YOU

You are your purpose!

I would love to support you to discover your purpose! Email me to arrange a complimentary phone call to see if coaching is right for you pmcfarlane@clear.net.nz or visit www.paulamcfarlane.weebly.com

 

 

What you want, wants you…..

My “Love your Biz” group coaching program just entered its 4th week and I am loving seeing and hearing the shifts my coachee’s are making. They are really making the choice to step into or towards what they really want to do. There is something so utterly and completely affirming and obvious about watching someone connect with what they really want, to be on purpose. It’s almost as if what they want,wants them too!

It raises the questions for me “Why do we wait so long ?” (why did I wait so long?). Why do we wait so long to let ourselves feel what we desire? Why do we wait so long to immerse ourselves in the joy of that? Why do we spend so much of our precious life doing stuff we don’t enjoy or becoming what others expect of us instead of becoming ourselves?

The answer to these questions is complex and multilayered and as unique as we all are. However there are some commonalities. A lot of what we choose to do is a conditioned response rather than a conscious choice. Many of us grew up with limits ” You can’t do that”, “you can’t always have what you want”, “money doesn’t grow on trees you know” “that’s not what girls do” “that’s not what boys do” “that’s not as easy as it looks” “you have to work hard to get what you want” “children are to be seen and not heard”

So we limited ourselves to fit the norm, to comply, to be accepted, to be loved. We learnt to put what we really desired on to the back burner until we literally forgot what it was altogether.

For some of us our fledgling desires were crumpled by off-hand comments from teachers, family members and peers or even squashed by outright teasing. This lead us to hide or disguise our special talents and heartfelt desires in an effort to fit in , be liked and accepted.

I remember being told at school that to have a career in Art or creativity, you had to be incredibly talented, the message I received was that I was “not good enough”. Believing I was not good enough not only denied me the opportunity to experiment and develop my creativity, for a long time I held the belief that I was not good enough for anything, relationships, friendships, to earn decent money, to have nice things or even to lose weight. It can be quite a journey to recover those fragile lost parts, to reclaim self belief. It feels scary and really vulnerable but for me choosing to take that journey has allowed so much more love, joy, creativity and satisfaction in my life than I could ever have imagined.

And now I get to do that for others. To gently guide them up the mountain of limiting beliefs towards clarity and new perspectives. To hold the lantern in the mine as we dig for the gold of true desires and uncover purpose beneath the layers po judgement, fear and hurt.

For me this is not work….it is an honour. it is an honour to support others to support themselves. To see them show up as who they are and receive the rewards of living on purpose. To discover that what they want, wants them too.

Uncovering desires can be hard work and it can seem impossible in the fog to even know where to start but if you want more, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that there is more! There are 3 simple things that you can do today that will bring your desires and your purpose a little bit closer

Step 1: What did you love when you were a kid? What did you want to do when you grew up? Grab yourself a sheet of paper or a journal and start writing a list. Don’t censor yourself or try to think it through just write everything you remember down. These little gems of gold from you free spirited childhood days are a starting point to begin your exploration

Step 2: Allow yourself to play. Choose something from your childhood list and start to explore and play with it as an adult. Or alternatively if there is something you have been wanting to try that’s not on your list go do that! Do a workshop, watch a “how to” YouTube video, start a course or just experiment at home. Allow yourself some free play time each week to experiment with trying out things you wonder about or think you might like.

Step 3: Get some support, whether it’s a coach, a counsellor, a Facebook group or just a few like minded friends having a cheer squad, someone to be accountable to and someone to hold your hand when it gets hard is one of the most supportive things you can do for yourself. I can confidently say that I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t reached out to my coach for support and leaned on the support of like minded friends.

So make a start today! If not now, when? My greatest wish is for you to DO, BE and Have all that you truly want. It’s out there waiting for you!

If you would like to try coaching email pmcfarlane@clear.net.nz or phone me on 0274327601 to set up a complimentary 20 min call to see if it’s for you.

For the month of May I am offering 3 x 45 min coaching sessions for the price of 2 and I have just 3 spots left.

The Kenny Rogers Principle

Yesterday I was preparing a session for my women’s business group coaching program and I was exploring our tendency to judge our personality traits, strengths and weaknesses and default behaviours as either good or bad. We can spend a lot of time berating ourselves for rushing in to quickly or for always procrastinating. We compare our creativity or our ability to get stuff done with someone elses and 9 times out of 10 measure ourselves as being not good enough. But this is not necessarily the case, even our most challenging qualities that gets us in to trouble the most can be superb strengths if we play our cards right.

You’ve got to know when to hold em and when to fold em!

In the context of my coaching work we were diving into business creation. My passion is supporting others to create businesses that they fall in love with. Businesses that are both sustaining from a financial perspective and also on a spiritual and emotional level. To create work that fills you up, gives you a sense of connection, allows you to be completely yourself and is deeply personally satisfying, is living your purpose.

This type of business requires really intentional creation. In the initial “seed” stage it asks us to be very connected to our feminine energy, to use our qualities of creativity, imagination, vision, to be receptive and open to what emerges. This is how we create from the heart and birth a business that is aligned with our values and purpose.

However we need our masculine energy and traits if this seed idea is ever going to grow into a flourishing business. Once we have that seed beginning to shoot its time for action, for doing for rational and logical thinking and to make things happen.

Whether we are male or female we all have masculine and feminine traits within us and will naturally act from our strongest traits. My personal style in my working life has always been more on the masculine spectrum of striving to achieve, ticking off goals and targets and getting things done. I have had to learn to balance this with creativity, love, imagination and vision to find work that was able to meet my deep need within for something that felt more soul filling for me.

Which brings me to the Kenny Rogers principle. Just like in his song The Gambler we need to know when to hold em and know when to fold em. The key is to know when to work from your feminine aspects and when to work from your masculine aspects.

To do this we can ask the question “What phase of my business am I in? Do I need to create, generate new ideas, nurture or germinate a seed of something new? Or is it time for action, goal setting and making things happen?” This way all parts of our personality are valued and accepted, we have a deeper connection with ourselves and our work.  We also get the best use out of our strengths and the opportunity to use and develop forgotten parts of ourselves which are often the parts that need to be included for the work to be soul satisfying on a long term basis and allows us to feel connected to our purpose.

This way we always hold the best cards!

Which cards are you playing today?

For more info on my group coaching prgrams and 1 on 1 coaching check out my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Paulamcfarlanecoach

Art is my gateway….

This week I had the pleasure of attending a 2.5 hour mixed media workshop. It was the first time in about 9 years I have allowed myself the time to make art. In the last few weeks as my new life is unfolding I have made a few new discoveries and the mixed media workshop gifted me with another “art is my gateway”

My strongest instinct in my quest for what’s next has been to allow my what next to grow and emerge from within me at its own pace and in its own way. In the past I have built myself a couple of successful businesses. I built them from a place of determination, action, driving forward and pushing through barriers. I built them from my masculine energy and reflecting on this has shown me that I learnt an awful lot in the process.

I learnt that I can create anything if I set my mind to it. I can, through my own determination and striving, make it happen. However I have also learnt that what I build from this place isn’t always what I want. It doesn’t make me happy. It makes me successful and exhausted. It takes a lot of energy to build it up and even more to keep it in the air. In a lot of ways this is why it has taken me 10 years in the corporate world to feel that I am once again ready to be self employed.

In the time between I have come to know, trust and understand myself in a deeper way. It has allowed space for me to connect with my feminine energy, my inner nurturer, the part of me that is soft, gentle, fragile. The place within me where love, beauty and grace reside. This to me is key to creating my what next.

My deepest desire for my what next is to allow both my inner feminine and masculine energy equal parts in its creation. I want to create for myself a work with purpose, that is sustainable, that feeds me both financially and spiritually. To do this my whole self needs to come to the party.

I know that I have to be patient and nurture the bud that is growing inside me. It requires me to trust that I will know the time to take action and drive forward when it arrives. This is a new experience for me but it feels good, really good, inviting.

In allowing this newly developing part of me to take centre stage this week I have been exploring the things that feel good and that nurture my spirit. Walking, yoga, meditation, reading, writing, knitting (that one was a surprise) listening to music and most importantly making art.

Quite unexpectedly I have discovered that for me art is a gateway. It connects me deeply to my inner feminine. It feels open and expansive and inspiration is right there in that moment. It is a similar feeling to the one I get when I write but softer.

When I step out of my masculine energy of doing and allow myself the freedom the create through writing or art I move into a place of allowing a more full expression of myself. I am out of my head and in my heart. My creativity is unleashed and I am able to bring forward new ideas and inspiration.

My creativity allows me to open and I know that being in this space is where I will find my what next emerging from.

Art is my gateway……

Are you a doer/ driver like me? How often to you allow your creativity to be in charge? I invite you  to give it a try…..make art, write, dance, make music, connect with your feminine aspects and share with me what you discover below…..

Paula x