Category Archives: self Help

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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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

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

 

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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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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