Tag Archives: autobiography

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

 

Life is a daring adventure….

“Life is a daring adventure or nothing” one of my all time favourite quotes and it sums up for me what life is all about. If you aren’t trying new things or challenging yourself on a regular basis then  you arent growing or expanding and life becomes stale, predictable, boring even.

I get that adventure isn’t for everyone but you don’t have to be an adrenalin junkie to put a bit of adventure in your life. For me adventure is trying new things, visiting new places, new learning and moving to the flow of life,embracing change as it comes your way.

The last few years have seen me do a bit of solo adventuring. Travelling to parts of the world I have never visited and seeing things I have always dreamed of. I have embraced solo travel and also the joy of going on retreats with other like minded souls. I love the expansion I feel when I discover new places.

This year my adventure has been a lot about leaving a 10 year corporate career to step out on my own. Learning new technology and ways of working and marketing my business. Mastering new skills can be quite and adventure!

I have also traveled this year with my partner and with friends. Once again a new experience, a different adventure. The biggest benefit of new experiences regardless of how risky they are in the physical sense is that you learn to feel grateful for what you  have and also learn to adapt to new situations more quickly.

Todays adventure might seem really simple to most but for me it was another opportunity to change my view. To see the world differently, to see myself differently. Today I went to an open home to look at a house with some land. Seems simple doesn’t it but to see it that way is really only seeing the surface. Attending and open home implies an openness to moving, living in a different environment and essentially changing everything in your day to day experience from where you buy your coffee to route you drive to work.

I am not going to buy this house or even make and offer but it was and still is an adventure. A new adventure loaded with possibilities, new dreams and new magic!

I wonder where this adventure will take me 🙂

If you would like support to shake up your routine and fit more adventure into your day then click here to book a free clarity call with me or visit my website www.paulamcfarlane.com

This blog post is in response to Natalie’s 10 Day Freedom Plan Blog Challenge Day 8

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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.

What is your default setting?

This new lifestyle I have embarked upon, so much slower than the racing pace of my former job, has given me space to really examine my own inner workings.

This has always been an area of interest to me. I have self analysed my way through life’s hurdles to this point and also accepted the support of others when I felt it necessary. Some of this has been shared here on this blog in the hope that someone else reading it might find it useful but also for the relief of spilling it onto the page. Writing is my pressure relief valve!

Last week I took a deep dive into my darkest feelings about myself. Feelings the “self help” world would call “limiting beliefs” This week I have felt lighter, extending myself the hand of understanding and gently inching forward beyond those limits.

What has persisted is a sense of restlessness. In an effort to free myself from my inability to settle into any distinct routine I have taken my own advice. I have slowed down, got acquainted with my restless feelings and I have resumed my meditation routine.

What has come from all this self contemplation is an awareness that I am waiting for instructions! I am waiting to for someone to tell me what to do next…..

After 10 years in the fast paced world of Sales where life is governed by call cycles booked 3 months ahead and targets to be measured by every step of the way, I have become very used to working to someone elses instructions. So used to it in fact that without it I have been left completely overwhelmed by the decision of what to do first, what to do next and what to do after that!

This awareness was quickly followed by another….I can give myself permission to do whatever the hell I want!

I am having to do a Factory reset on myself because all of my default settings are out of whack!

I am defaulting back to the routine of a life I no longer belong to – I don’t want to go back to and I am realising how conditioned I was to respond to life in a certain way.

There was essentially nothing wrong with this in the context of the role I was in. I was very successful and achieved results I am proud of however I no longer need to operate from the same defaults. I am in a position to take time to discover new ways of operating, new defaults settings for my working life.

My restlessness and procrastination has had a purpose to it. A deeper understanding of myself and the freedom to redesign my operating system. That’s where the JOY is! Paula Version 5.0!

Life’s greatest opportunity is that we are not limited by our default settings. We can always upgrade our operating system to perform in a more joyful way….

If we are prepared to give ourselves the time and space to discover this. To take a step back, a wider perspective, to appreciate all that we are – the good, the bad and the downright annoying! There is magic in the process I can promise you that!

Are you coming up against parts of yourself that are getting in the way of your success? Feeling stuck or blocked? I can help. email me at pmcfarlane@clear.net.nz to set up a free skype call to see if coaching is right for you.

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!