Category Archives: resistance

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

 

 

 

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

Joining the largest nation in the world!

Have you joined it? The largest nation in the world?

Procrasti-NATION!

What I am really enjoying about this 10 day blogging challenge is that it is asking me to step outside my writing comfort zone. Not so much in terms of topic but in terms of the environment and conditions in which I write. I have to admit that I have a writing routine that has become a little rigid in that I have felt unable to write unless the environment and conditions were “right” This in itself could be considered procrastination – today’s topic- more on that soon.

Today I am well and truly outside my writing comfort zone. I am sitting in an ice cream truck on a race course surrounded by hot rods and classic cars! A great example of the freedom lifestyle- to be able to do what you want to do you must learn to complete tasks and get work done in any environment.

So no blogging procrastination for me today but I am not unfamiliar to procrastination by any stretch of the imagination. I can be as crippled by inertia and inability to act as the next person. Procrastination is also one of the key reasons my clients come to me for coaching.

Why do we procrastinate?

In my experience, from the experience of my clients and also from a conversation I just had with my partner it seems to me that fear is generally the root cause of procrastination.  What this also means is that we can try any number of tips and trick to beat procrastination but until we address the underlying fear the procrastination will return.

What are we afraid of?

It can be many things and often its different for different people; fear of success, fear of failure, fear of not getting it perfect, fear that it or you are not worthy or deserving, fear of the uncertainty of the outcome…..

How do we ditch the fear?

I am a big believer that to really bust the fear for good we need to go deep. I have a great process that I walk my clients through which helps to not only identify and understand the fear but also to hear its message. Surprisingly fear brings its own gifts.

In the short term I would encourage you to make friends with your fear. Acknowledge its presence, where do you feel it in your body?  Can you name it? Feeling and knowing your fear can free up some energy to act. Can you feel it and take action, even if its just a start. Taking some small actions now that you have acknowledged your fear may help you to relax and get things moving.

Sometimes a little bit of logic applied at this point can also make a difference. Ask yourself these questions. Will it matter in 10 days? Will it matter in 10 weeks? Will it matter in 10 months?

Hopefully some of these tips have helped and instead of continuing to read my blog you are now off to complete whatever you have been putting off! If not it could be indicative of a deeper core fear and I would recommend seeking out a coach or counsellor to help you identify and work with it.

It also helps to know that procrastination is a perfectly normal part of the creative process and often occurs when we are attempting or creating something new. In fact right now I am procrastinating about beginning to write the content for a 7 day e-course on finding purpose. I have planned this e-course out but have yet to sit down and actually write it and record the videos. The key is to be really clear on when your procrastination is about readiness of an idea to be birthed and when its because you are afraid.When you are creating something new, the germination stage of the new idea may feel like procrastination but you might just not be ready. If this becomes a sustained lack of action or a stronger resistance that’s when you have a problem.

As I wrote at the beginning of this blog having the perfect conditions and circumstances around me to write is no longer an issue so beginning my e-course is the next task on my list today!

If you would like support to get clarity, bust through bloacks and take action book a freee clarity call with me here or visit my website www.paulamcfarlane.com

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 7

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Are you Bringing yourself to the table?

This time last week I spoke at a women’s business networking event about bringing more of yourself to the table in your business. I was surprised how much meaning my message held not just for the audience but for myself.

In the week that has passed I have reflected on where I too am holding myself back from my business and have found myself engaging more deeply with my fears and stepping forward into parts of my business that I had been holding back from. It has been easy and natural and I have enjoyed it more that I imagined I would. My fears have taken a back seat to what I really want to achieve and I have been riding the high of taking on new challenges and nailing them!

But it wasnt always this easy, some days even thinking about doing some of these things caused me pain and anxiety.

Today I want to share with you some of the steps I have taken to change this and how to recognise if you too are holding parts of yourself back from fully engaging with your business.

So what does it mean to bring more of yourself to the table in your business? and why is it something that we need to consider?

As a business owner you have stepped into a world that asks many different things of you. You are the face of your business, you are the accounts person, the debt recovery specialist, the advertising guru, the marketing expert. You are responsible for strategic planning, cashflow forecasts, recruitment and the training and running of your team. Sounds like fun doesn’t it? In addition to this you may also be a Mum, wife, partner, lover, sister, daughter, friend etc etc. Are you starting to get the picture?

All of the roles we perform in business and in life ask different things of us and often things we havent had to do before or that we know arent our areas of strength, sometime it can even be hard to do the thinsg we know we are good at because we are afraid to really put ourselves “out there”. Our ability to step up and engage is directly affected by our fears and our self belief

I suspect like me you likely got into business because there is something you are passionate about, something that you love doing and your business allows this. However there will be other things that scare the living daylights out of you. It’s the scary places that we hold ourselves back from because we don’t feel our power and our passion in those parts of the job.  We are afriad because we are holding on to old conditioning and beliefs that arent serving us.

For example when you pitch to a big client for a new contract you may come face to face with your fear of not being good enough and the part of you that doesn’t believe she can really pull it off.

When you have to sit down and get real about the numbers in the business or prepare your paper work for your accountant you may meet the part of you who is afraid she isn’t smart enough, who doesn’t believe she can do it and who carries the belief that she just isnt good at maths.

When things in your business start to really take off up comes your fear of success, or your belief that you don’t deserve it or that the higher you go the harder it will be when you fail.

When its your time to shine in your business you will feel your fear of rejection, your fear of being seen and your belief that you are not worthy.

This all translates into lost opportunities because you said no when you should have said yes. It puts the contract in your competitors hands because you really couldn’t bring yourself to the table. And it will see you procrastinate and procrastinate on jobs you know you need to get done because you just cant seem to make a start. It will have you watching others enjoying the success that you crave.

The good news is that you can change the effect your fears and negative beliefs have on your business and on your life. You can move forward and have what you want quickly and easily if you choose to and the rewards will be great. You will not only enjoy more success and growth in your business but you will feel more deeply satisfied, connected and engaged in what you are doing. You will have more joy, fun and freedom in what you do.

So how do you kick your fear to the kerb and up your self-belief? I’d love to tell you its easy but the truth is it will challenge you to do this. The good news is that over time it does get easier. A lot easier.

I woud encourage you, if it feels too hard to seek some support from a coach. Two heads are better than one and a good coach will be able to help you identify  what the issue is faster and hold your hand as you work through it.

In the meantime here’s 3 strategies to get you started.

(1) IDENTIFY: make a note of what you are avoiding and putting off doing in your business. What tasks and activities fill you with dread? When we know where we are holding back it becomes easier to take action

(2) FEEL: engage with the feeling you have when you think about doing these things. Let the feeling tell you its story. Where does it sit in your body? How big is it, what colour is it, if it had a name what would you call it. What other tasks and activities make you feel this way. When was the first time you remember having this feeling? When we become familiar with our feelings we can identify when they are impacting on what we are doing and we are in a stronger place to work through them.

(3) AFFIRM and attempt: now that you are really familiar with the feeling, acknowledge it when it comes up for you. Using an affirmation may help such as “even though I am feeling not good enough it is safe for me to start writing this pitch” Even though I am afraid of not getting it right it is safe for me to start my paperwork” Then make a start. it can help to have a timer and set it for 5 mins even though you are feeling your fear you are going to work on it for just 5 mins. Once you make a start you will find that you are able to work on it for longer than you think!

By engaging with what holds us back we are empowered to move forward. By engaging with our fears we begin the process of healing the parts of ourselves that are wounded, afraid and holding on to beliefs that no longer serve us. You can let your fears and lack of self belief dictate the level of success you experience in your business or you can at any moment take back your power and choose a different way. Its really up to YOU

So take a moment to reflect on your business…..where are you holding yourself back? where are you not bringing yourself to the table.

And then decide to step up and engage. You can do this. I know you can 🙂

I’d love to support you with this process and to answer any questions you have along the way. Feel free to share or ask questions in the comments below or to send me an email pmcfarlane@clear.net.nz

 

 

 

Coming back to what works…

I never could have anticipated how unsettling it would feel to be creating a new routine and role for myself this year. The first few weeks after I finished my job were actually really easy to fill. I was tired and much in need of a good long break.

The last 4 weeks have been difficult to say the least! My new job is to set up my coaching business. To decide what I want to offer, create a business name and brand, decide who my customers are and what differentiates me from the competition. All of these things I have done before quite successfully for my previous 2 businesses. However, after 10 years in a corporate role where my job was to support small businesses to grow and increase sales I have had the luxury of being exposed to many different ways of doing this.

I now realise how important this gestation stage of business creation is. I don’t want to rush the process or force it to happen. I have a lot of ideas. I always have had but I am learning to ground them. To pull them down out of my head and into my heart. To really feel which ones are right for me.

One of the key areas I want to coach in is supporting others to create heart centred businesses and here I am having to walk my talk!

It’s not enough to bring something to life that I like and that works. I want to fall in love with my business, so in love with it that I cant help but give it life, nurture it and nourish it.

Part of my restlessness has come from being in a position to create my own routine. Sounds like a good problem to have doesn’t it! I have a choice about when I start work and when I finish. I can choose how many hours are in my work day.

Today I have realised that I was struggling to let go of my 9 to 5 conditioning. Part of me feels guilty to be not working 9 to 5. So guilty in fact that I have felt unable to work or play some days, torn between what I “should” be doing and what I “could” be doing. Working in a traditional 9 to 5 way does not make what you do more valid or important. What is important is that you love what you do whenever you are doing it.

I have also come up against my inner demons. The part of myself that were kept in check by my successful corporate role. I have felt the part of myself that feels unworthy without paid work. I have felt a level of shame surface from old conditioning. I have judged myself and felt fearful for my future. My old self-destructive patterns have resurfaced. I have gotten in my own way.

There has been another level of healing needing to take place for me to step into who I am becoming.

This week I have come back to what works for me when I know that something needs to be healed.

I let go of my resistance and sat with the discomfort of all that needed attention within me.

I picked up my meditation routine which had waned from a daily practice to a hardly ever practice! And slowly I began to understand and slowly healing has been taking place.

I let go of shame, judgement and expectation and loved the parts of me that have felt afraid.

I recognise how much this process is serving me. How my patterns have served me also. Uncovering my own blocks and recognising the inner process that runs alongside creating something new will help me to support others to do the same. For this I am grateful…really grateful

I know that I am on course, my process purposeful. What has emerged from within is a much clearer idea of what I want to do in my coaching business, who I want to serve, what I have to offer and how valuable that is.

I am breathing life into this new business and beginning to feel its beating heart within my own.

I am currently taking new coaching clients if you feel that I can help you please email me at pmcfarlane@clear.net.nz for a free Skype chat

 

Old Dog…New Tricks…

Recently I have been undertaking to learn some new things and to implement that new learning. This has asked me to change some behaviours, to complete new tasks and to perform new roles.

All of these things I have done in the context of new learning many times before. As a small child I learnt to walk and talk, to read and write all by the same process. Taking on new information, moving from one behaviour to the next, crawling to walking, completing reading and writing tasks in ever increasing difficulty. Taking on the role of reader, writer, student and even teacher.

Going through the learning process again, to become a coach, I have had to take a step back, to witness my own experience and to join together dots as to what is occurring at each stage.

Historically I have been a bit of a sponge when it comes to new learning. I have happily added qualifications over the years- embracing what they have added to my working and personal life without much thought.

I have found it harder this time though.

  • I feel a greater need to really embody and understand new concepts.
  • I have felt a greater sense of pressure to put the theory into practice and also a resistance to it.
  • I have experienced a level of fear around completing new tasks and performing new roles.
  • And I have become curious as to why this is the case. To a certain extent the stakes are higher for me this time. I feel a stronger sense of connection to what I am bringing forward. It is more authentic for me. There is less for me to hide behind as a coach. What I bring to the coaching table is ME

 

In order to be able to support others to discover what the truly want I have to live that experience myself. I have to expose myself to the experience of asking for what I want and of trying things out for size. I need to experience success and also know how to respond when I am discouraged.

All of this has transformed my experience of learning to something new. I have an increased sense of curiosity about things that stump and confound me. I am acutely conscious of my giving up point, my attention span, the feeling I get when my brain encounters something new and it can’t close a loop.

This is not just a great experience for me to draw on as a coach; it is also really good for my brain! When we are small children learning new things every day our brains are creating new connections and pathways to assist us to understand new concepts and perform new tasks. The more new experiences we have the more pathways we create and so on and so on. But as an adult our brains tend to rely on the familiar using existing pathways rather than creating new ones. This can actually make new learning and changing behaviours and habits quite a lot harder.

Yesterday in a workshop I was attending the facilitator aptly described the lack of ability to take on or even engage with something new as being like an “undeveloped sub division”. We have nothing to connect it too or with! Attempting to build a house in a sub division that has no roads, water, electricity or other services is not just uncomfortable, it simply doesn’t work. There is nothing to connect up to!

Does that mean as adults we won’t be able to learn new things or change our behaviours? Not at all. The amazing thing about our brains is that they don’t like an unclosed loop or an “undeveloped sub-division” so it will seek to complete it. This is known as the Zeigarnik effect.

According to Wikipedia “the Zeigarnik effect states that people remember uncompleted tasks better than completed tasks” Essentially your brain won’t let you forget that you haven’t quite mastered something.

This has encouraged me to continue to take steps into the unknown even though my inner perfectionist wants me to hold back until I have it mastered. The Zeigarnik effect makes a strong case for letting go of fear of not getting it right and just doing. This is how our brains work.

In the doing lies the gold!