Category Archives: Travel

Working Holiday or Holiday working?

Imagine yourself in Portugal….Imagine yourself in Indonesia…..Imagine yourself in Spain… You are on holiday, seeing the sights, sipping the local wine/cocktails/fruit juice, enjoying the sunshine and relaxed pace. Sounds idyllic doesn’t it? So how do you have this and run your business too? How do you take your business on the road with you?

This is my intention…to create a business that is location independent. Why would I want to do that? A couple of reasons. I like the scenery to change and also I see myself wanting to continue to do what I love long into my retirement. I don’t want to have to choose to give up my job to travel. I don’t want to have to say no to adventure because I need to be somewhere or I don’t have leave owing.

The past few years I have traveled quite a bit and its during this time that I started my blog. Being away on holiday hasn’t stopped me from writing. In fact I  probably write more taking inspiration from the places I am visiting and the things I see around me. So how about working with clients? this is something I am yet to try. I am comfortable with skype and zoom and use these platforms to coach clients  but by far the majority of my clients are face to face. This is the way my business has evolved at this point. I don’t see this as a limiting factor in my business at this stage. I am pretty confident that if I needed to I could switch my clients over to the virtual world.

Travelling and working also opens up new possibilities for how my business could evolve. What experiences could I offer in the location I am traveling too? Is it an opportunity for me to run a workshop somewhere else in the world? Is it a chance to host a retreat? Something I have always wanted to do.

To work effectively while travelling will require a similar level of discipline as my current situation of working from home. Carving out time for various tasks each week to ensure that they are done would still need to be a priority. Looking at what works better when travelling is what I would explore. Does it feel good to spend a small focused amount of time each day working and then to have the rest of the day free or would I be better to schedule a loberg work session every 2 or 3 days. This I am yet to discover and explore.

I would like to publicly set then intention here on this blog to schedule a holiday in the next 12 months that also includes some work time. I invite the miracle of how this will unfold for me into my life and welcome it with open arms. You might want to pencil in a visit to this blog next September to see how it went or to hold be to account. I would like that!

One of the great gifts of my job as a Business Coach is that I get to support people to create a business that fits with their dream for their life. I get to see their business idea emerge, be nurtured into life and to take them where they want to go. I get to support others to get clear on what they want and whats getting in the way of that. I get to see the miracle of moving through a block unfold its potential in someone’s life and business. I feel blessed to have these experiences and also grateful that it inspires me to continue to breathe life into my own dreams to keep the fire burning within my own belly. What would I ever want a holiday from that !

If you would like to get clear on whats holding you back in your life and biz 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 9

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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.

Traveling Soulo

For the last few years, out of necessity rather than choice, I have travelled by myself.  Traveling Soulo has many advantages. I use the word Soulo as for me that’s what it has been, time to reflect, fill up, heal, to take care of myself, to be and to be alone.

Each and every one of my Soulo adventures has bought me precious moments of gratitude, realization and reflection. I am changed because of them.

This year only the first part of my holiday will be Soulo and I feel grateful both that I have some Soulo time and time with others.

The first part of my trip took me to Singapore and as I headed to the hotel in a taxi I had an unexpected moment of deep connection with myself. It made me realize why holidays are so very important.

When you strip away all of the stuff in your life, your job, your house, your things, your stresses, your responsibilities and have only what you can fit in your suitcase, you have an opportunity to really feel who you are.

You are not your things

You are not your job

You are not your To Do list or all of the nagging things on your mind.

It is when we part company with all Lifes distractions we can feel our own presence and hear that quiet voice inside.

Holidays fill us up because our inner voice, our inner truth, our true self can be heard.

This to me explains why when we travel to certain places we feel a strong sense of connection, a groundedness, an aliveness and a sense of Freedom. We fall in love with it because it allows us to be ourself. We have a chance to feel our own heart, we become present with ourself.

Sometimes when my holiday is over and I am home again I have this same feeling when I think about the places I have been. I become wistful and wish that I was there again. Is it possible that in that moment I once again become present to myself?

I have a new challenge for myself after this holiday is over. Can I hold true to my connection despite all the distractions that home will bring?

Hmmm I hope so….I’ll keep you posted!

in the meantime if you’ve been thinking about traveling Soulo go book yourself some flights! And Feel free to ask me for some recommendations for your Soulo adventure

Paula x.

Full Circle Moment….

Very seldom in life do we pause long enough to catch up with ourselves, with where we are at and what we have achieved, overcome, worked through and healed. We get so caught up in the doing we forget the importance of allowing time to just “be”. I pressed the pause button this week. Paused the craziness of my work schedule to spend a week on “Fiji time”

Fiji holds a very special place in my heart. I got married here. I have travelled here in the days after severe earthquakes at home, I have spent time here with my beloved late husband and also with dear friends. This place has wound its way around my heart with its warm air, sparkling waters and smiling people. Life is always on pause here. This visit has been extra special. I have had time to write and reflect and to meet up with parts of myself that were here in this place in a different time in my life.

I have travelled far and wide in my life since my first visit to this place, from the highest of highs to the depths of my grief. Recently my attention has been drawn to posts on my Facebook feed related to grief. They have told me “grief never ends” ” you never stop grieving ” ” you don’t get over you loss you just learn to live with it” I once felt deeply connected to these themes. They touched the core of my grieving but now they feel completely incongruent with my experience . My grief has ended. I no longer feel the deep loss I once felt.

Losing my husband and all of my dreams and plans for the future was unimaginably difficult but this trip to Fiji has shown me that where I once felt loss and grief I now feel a deep gratitude for all that Ande and the loss of Ande has brought into my life. I feel incredibly blessed to have had the time with him I did, blessed to have been a part of his life. Losing him has been both a life defining and life giving experience. It has given me back myself. It has shown me that there is so much more to be experienced and enjoyed in every moment than I ever believed possible.

So never let a Facebook feed or anyone else define the process of your grief. Your grief, your loss is yours alone. It is a painful and raw experience. It may be similiar to mine or it may be completely different. The way you grieve in no way diminishes the value of the life you have lost or the place that person held in your life. Allow yourself the full spectrum of your grief, gift that to yourself.

This time Fiji has gifted me what can only be described as a full circle moment. A moment so filled with gratitude and joy that tears come again to my eyes as I write about it. I found myself standing next to myself whole and complete and healed. No longer who I once was but happy so very very happy  and stronger and braver and freer than I have ever been. I found my joy bug!

I shed my old skin here, leaving behind the parts of myself I no longer need, that no longer serve me. When I leave tomorrow it will be with a full and grateful heart. Ready to step into the new and knowing that the next time I need to press the pause button Fiji will be here waiting for me.

Bula!

Paula

The last sunset…or is it?

This blog post was written 10 days ago on my last night in Hawaii…it has taken me this time to feel ready to share what turned out to be a very personal reflection Enjoy!

Tonight is my last night in Hawaii. I feel I want to summarise my thoughts and feelings in my journal to share with you and what better place to do it than on the beach watching the sunset. However Mother Nature and Human Nature have conspired against me. The sunset obscured by cloud and the beach obscured by crowds!  Waikiki is an interesting beach experience and certainly no place for solitude! My retreat, the pool bar at my hotel – open air, in the warm breeze watching the madness on the street below.

Curiously I feel a little bubble of Joy and not seeing the sunset, as if the universe has taken the opportunity to remind me of the many sunsets that stretch ahead of me in my life…why finalise that experience tonight.

My thoughts turn to home and what I take forward with me. I know that I am returning a little changed, not in my essential self but in how I am prepared to show up on my return. I feel I can no longer put off what it is I want to create and in the same way, that I can no longer hide the truth of who I am.

I am aware of what I am afraid of and the things conveniently put on hold in my life when I stepped on the plane just over a week ago. There has been a lot of talk about burning desires on this holiday and I have repeatedly asked myself the question of what burns within me. This has also been a solo expedition and although I have made some wonderful new friends it has become clear to me that although I am an expert at my own company I really prefer to share my experiences. (no doubt an essential desire of any blogger!)

Before I left home I started seeing someone. A big step for me and the timing of this break if I am honest, served me. I was cautious and afraid. I am the kind of person who has embraced love in the past, diving in boots and all. This level of commitment has come at a cost, I have lost pieces of myself and my beloved husband.

My experience of losing Ande has made me afraid to risk love again. When you love someone who is terminally ill it is easy to lose yourself completely to their cause. Ande’s care and survival became my purpose. I doubt there is any other way to manage it but the all-consuming nature of it and the depth of the loss afterwards is not something I wish to repeat.

I can see now why Hawaii called me….I came here to really feel those parts of me. The parts that go missing in giving myself to another. The truth is that I am changed now. I know myself, I am clear on what is mine and what is not. I know I am enough exactly as I am. I no longer need to shape-shift myself to other people’s needs. Being utterly myself is where it is at!  Most importantly I can admit to myself that I am ready to step forward into something new. I am prepared to take a risk, to risk my heart.

I don’t know what the future holds but I do know that I am in! I am ready to live deep and live full, no matter how scary or vulnerable it feels.

Sometimes its good to put your life on pause….

At the Dawn of a New Day…….

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours” Henry David Thoreau

Maui, Hawaii.

This morning I had the great privilege to witness the dawn of the new day from the summit of Haleakala. Getting there involved a 150am wake up call and a 230am departure from my hotel in the company of a small group of like-minded women whose friendship, laughter and generosity of spirit has warmed my heart these last few days.

It was no accident that this trip to Haleakala (10023ft) came at the end of our 3 day writers workshop in Maui. It has been an intense and inspiring 3 days and we were all invested in marking the end of our “writing from the  soul” experience in a way that acknowledged it’s significance for each of us.

Haleakala is considered a place of spiritual significance, an earth chakra, and energy vortex. Local legend tells that it was from this same summit that Maui lassoed the sun with his sisters hair to slow its journey across that sky each day so that his Mother could dry her tapa cloth. To this day the summit of Haleakala experiences 15 minutes more sunlight that its surrounding coastline.

This mornings sunrise also felt significant to me and my companions. As the sun cracked the sky flooding the summit with light I felt my commitment to take what I have learnt over the last 3 days and to put it into action.  To write and to write to be read. The invitation to us all to prepare a book outline to be submitted to Hay house by December 14 this year.

There is something very special about witnessing the first moments of a new day. Yesterday falls into the past and we have a choice about what we will bring forward into today and what we will leave behind.  The light brings a promise of all that is possible and an invitation to create anew. Breathing in those first moments of sunlight this morning filled me up with hope and joy and excitement as I step confidently into my new day.

Tomorrow there will be a new sunrise and a new choice of what to leave behind and what to bring forward and to birth in the new day.

What will you choose to confidently step in to?