Category Archives: personal interest

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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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

 

 

 

New Year…Old Leaf?

I don’t need to tell you that it’s that time of the year……when we earnestly pledge and promise to make changes, big and small for the coming year. New Year’s resolutions in my mind aren’t necessarily a bad thing. This time of the year gets us reflecting on what the past year has been and what we would like to create for our future. I’m a big believer in that, in taking time to review and reset, to ask ourselves the question “Am I where I want to be? and to set goals for the year ahead.

For many this time of the year is about making a commitment to “turn over a new leaf” when it comes to things we want to change or believe we “should” change for our health and wellbeing. We propose to give up our “bad” habits, to eat healthier and to begin a new exercise regimen, to lose weight or to finally run that half marathon. Whatever you are proposing to change in the New year are you in fact turning over a new leaf or are you once again recycling and old one?

Often times we have the same resolutions on our lists year in and year out. So why don’t we achieve them? And why is it that we wait until the year is at an end to do this rather than at other times of the year? I have been pondering this as I review my own 2016 goals.

I am an active goal setter and work hard to achieve my goals through the year but like many of you I still have resolutions that don’t get achieved.

This year I have started my own business, graduated as a Business coach, traveled to a new country, left the security of a regular pay check. I have run a group coaching program (3 actually) and two mastermind circles. I have increased my followers both on my blog and on my facebook and instagram pages and as I write this today it will be my 30th blog post for 2016 (although my goal was 52!) but I havent lost 10kgs (I have actually gained weight!) and I haven’t ticked off the other health and well-being goals on my list.

When I reflect on why this is the case it becomes pretty clear to me that the things I have given most of my attention to are the things I have achieved the most success with. Although this is not exclusively true. At the beginning of 2016 I wrote down a list of 81 things I wanted to do in 2016 (I couldn’t quite get to 100) Without giving any time or attention to this list other than to review it once during the year I have actually completed 21 of them.

My best advice when it comes to resolutions and goals is that it’s never a bad time to set them. If you feel drawn to doing it at this time of the year then by all means write them down and make a start. but we can also turn over that new leaf at the start of a new month, a new week, or even a new day. In fact every minute holds within it an opportunity to make a change, start something new or to set a new goal.

My feeling is that we do a large chunk of our goal setting and resolving at this time of the year because we get a chance to pause. The space between christmas and the New year is when we are either on holiday or the pre-xmas work pressure has eased. We get some time to reflect, to connect and to feel what needs to change.

What if we took time out on a regular basis to do this? What if we gave ourselves space quarterly, monthly or weekly to reflect on where we are at and to re-focus on our goals? I suspect we would find motivation levels would be sustained far beyond the first few weeks of January and our resolutions would have a greater chance of surviving! So don’t let New Years be the only time in 2017 that you reflect on where you are at and what you want to create.

My resolution for 2017 is to create space every week to review my goals and to re-set and adjust them quarterly as the year unfolds.

“What you focus on grows, what you think about expands and what you dwell upon determines your destiny” Robin Sharma

Feel free to join me…or to share with me your resolutions for 2017 in the comments below

To download your free 2016 Biz review workbook Sign up here

For support setting you 2017 goals click here

 

Someone just like you!

Self employment can be a lonely business! Over the past few weeks, as I have actively been working to promote and build my business, I have been networking and putting myself out there to meet other business owners. I have engaged with all sorts of business people both online and face to face. What has become really clear from these experiences is that as business owners we all face similar challenges in being self-employed.  Being a business owner can be lonely and isolating.

As humans we are hard-wired to connect with other people, to feel accepted, loved and part of a social/family group or tribe. When we step away from paid employment to work in our own business we can lose that sense of connection, collegiality and team support.

Having a business can be a lonely existence. We can feel isolated, out on a limb and that other people in our life just don’t really get it! When we feel like this and also face challenges in our business it can become doubly hard. We have no one to bounce ideas off or even to just unpack all of the crazy, scary thoughts that are running through our minds with.

However being self-employed whether you’re a business woman or man it doesn’t have to be a lonely journey. There are plenty of opportunities for support available. From industry groups, to business coaches, to mentors, to networking organisations and online support groups. The options are far wider that you might think. Experimentation is the key, not every group/coach or organisation will be right for you and your business but I guarantee that your people are out there. If you approach finding your tribe with an open mind you may find it easier than you first thought

“What you seek is seeking you “Rumi

As a Feminine Business Coach I felt that I didn’t really fit with traditional coaching models or even people’s understanding of what coaching was. I was almost afraid to tell people what I did because I wasnt sure it would be understood or accepted. That all changed for me earlier this year when I attended RISE and had an opportunity to hear Sue Lindsay speak about the feminine way of doing business and the benefits it brings even in the corporate world. Suddenly I felt validated and legitimate and proud to own what I do. I knew that I had to connect with Sue and did something I never do. I introduced myself to her. Sue was not only lovely in person, she very generously gave me some of her time via Skype to help me refine my story and the story of my business. Meeting Sue was one of the key things that prompted me to really engage with other women business owners in a networking capacity which has been incredibly rewarding for me personally and for my business.

Connecting with like-minded business women and hearing them share experience of feeling lonely and isolated has prompted me to begin to change that in whatever small ways I can. I have begun to run Mastermind circles here in Christchurch for women business owners and I am also gathering a tribe of women online (Love your Biz) to receive support, share experiences and learn together. I am proud to be able to offer this to my clients and women business owners who are looking for support on their journey to creating a life and business they love.

If you like to join my tribe of women business owners click here

If you’d like to know about my mastermind circle click here

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 6

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What is your Superpower?

Todays blog post is about really owning what you are good at, connecting with what you love doing and identifying the strengths that other people see in you.

We often shy away from owning our strengths for fear of appearing arrogant or “big headed” In New Zealand we call this Tall Poppy syndrome but the real values of knowing what you are good at is that it will lead you closer to your purpose. Finding purpose is one of the key things I find my clients are wanting to achieve in creating a life and business they love. I have written about it here The Problem of Purpose When we feel a sense of purpose in what we do we experience a deeper level of success and satisfaction that goes far beyond achieving in the financial sense.

So how do you find your super powers? For me it has taken 2  previous businesses and a 10 year corporate career to really find my sweet spot.

What I know now is that I am able to give great clarity to people. I can break down ideas, problems and information in to clear steps. I have a knack for knowing when someone is rubbing up against a block or a fear, I use my intuition help me with this and I have developed some really effective tools for helping people work with what comes up to address it and clear it. I am also an awesome brainstormer which makes me a great ideas person. Combining this with my love of people and desire to help and support others and Coaching is a great fit for me. It uses my skills and makes me happy.

To get to  this point I did a lot of experimenting. I followed a love of plants and gardening to train as a Garden Designer and  run a business in Garden design and maintenance business only to learn that it took the joy out of gardening for me. Gardening for me works great as a hobby but not as a career path. I also have a range of other skills that just don’t make me happy in the long-term. For example I had a very successful career in sales and sales management. I love working to targets and enjoy working with people,but sales just didn’t give me the level of connection I was looking for and I realised I wanted to help more than my role as sales person would allow me.

All of my past experiences have led me to this point. The point where I know my strengths and skills and how to apply them in a role that allows me to do something I really love. And this is what I wish for you. I want you to also experience the joy of loving what you do

So How do you find your superpowers? Start with a career/life audit.Take a look at your past experiences and what they have shown you about yourself and your skills.Then as Natalie suggested with this blog challenge write some lists of the things you are good at and the things you really enjoy doing. Then go ask some of your friends and family what they think your good at because you’ll find some more gold there. You might be surprised at what you find. If nothing else you will be a little clearer and closer to finding your purpose.

If you would like my support to get clarity, move through your blocks and identify the steps you need to take book a 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 4

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What Indonesia showed me about Rituals

My recent holiday in Indonesia was a perfect opportunity for me to take a step back from my growing new business and to immerse myself in new experiences and culture. Indonesia is a melting pot if race, culture and religion. Hindu temples stand side by side with Mosques. The air can be both thick with incense from hindu offerings and alive with the call to prayer.

On thing that struck me about this melding of culture and religion was the presence of ritual in every day. In Indonesia every day is punctuated with moments to pause, give thanks, connect or pray. What I love about this sense of ritual is not so much about the practices of the individual religions but more about the opportunity for reflection that it brings. Rituals are an opportunity to slow down and become present to what is. In our western culture of rush and hurry lives I think there is a lot we can learn from that.

Ritual can give us an opportunity to be more effective at what we do and to feel a greater sense of purpose which ultimately leads to a deeper level of satisfaction at work and more joy in life.

So how do we incorporate Ritual? How could using rituals every day improve your business?

Firstly I think its important to distinguish between routine and ritual. Routines and rituals are similar in that they become a regular part of what we do every day. However routines are about how we navigate our day,week, month or year and rituals are about the mindset, presence and connection we hold as we move through our routine.

Rituals give us the opportunity to transition more effectively from one task to another, to mark the transitions from home to work or work to home. This can be especially important for those of us who work from a home office. Rituals can also be a useful tool in reducing procrastination and clearing negative feelings when a meeting, project or client appointment hasn’t gone well.

Personally I love rituals and use them quite naturally in my life and business. As a coach I use the ritual of lighting a candle before each client (regardless of whether they are face to face or via the internet) This small act of taking a moment to light a candle is a signal to me that I am switching from the million and one things on my “to do” list to being fully present to the needs of my client. It allows me to connect with my inner coach and to let go of whatever else may be on my mind.

I also use a ritual for writing my blog. I find that I struggle to settle to write in my office so I have created a blog writing ritual. I take myself off to a café and order a coffee. Once the coffee arrives that is my signal to switch into writing mode and I find the burble of noise in the café around me helps the words to flow.

Rituals can be really useful when we experience irritation on arriving home to families at the end of a busy day. Competing demands of your work day and the needs of you partner and children can be draining and cause friction. Choosing a ritual to mark the transition can help reduce conflict both internally and with loved ones. It could be as simple as playing a “wind down” song in the car on the way home or stopping for a few minutes at the local park to breathe in some fresh air and let go of your day. You might find that having a ritual of taking a shower when you arrive home to wash away the day before you interact with you family could work for you. It’s always a good idea to let your family in on your ritual as well so that they can respect that time and allow you the space to mark it each day.

We can also use rituals when we are stuck or procrastinating or to shift our energy after something hasn’t gone well at work. Once again keeping it simple is key. You might want to take a moment to reflect on what has happened and how you feel about it and then let if go. You might decide to take a few minutes in the fresh air to breathe or to meditate or do a few yoga poses if your office space allows you the privacy to do this. Using aromatherapy oils or burning sage as ritual to clear you energy can also help to move you through slumps.

To me the greatest values in using rituals is that it gives us an opportunity ti take a step back from the intensity of “do” and “get it done” it allows us to take a wider perspective, to see the bigger picture and to reconnect with who we are and why we are doing what we do. Rituals can move you from mundane to mission!

So how do you incorporate some ritual in every day? Firstly take a review of your day/business and reflect on what’s working and what’s not. Where are you feeling out of flow or stuck? Could a ritual help here? Start by trying one of my suggestions above. Use it for a few days and notice if it makes a difference. Alternatively use your own internal guidance to find a ritual that feels right for you or feel free to contact me for some ideas appropriate to your situation.

As a Business Coach I work primarily in the area of emotional and spiritual alignment. Together we walk the inner journey of uncovering the parts of you that are missing in your business with the goal of creating meaningful success in a business that you love!

If you feel you need support to do the inner work email pmcfarlane@clear.net.nz or phone me on 0274327601 to set up a complimentary 20 min call to see if coaching is for you.

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.