Tag Archives: Change

Feeling the call…….an invitation to action

I wrote today’s blog post on Sunday 23rd July, just over 30 days ago. Although at the time I wrote this post I did not publish it I did follow my own invitation to solitude. What has unfolded for me over the last 30 days has been an amazing illustration of the benefits of exactly what i wrote about in this post. I have greater clarity, I have followed my own guidance to refresh my branding and make small but important changes in my business. As a result I am happier, more engaged with my work and working and plying with a new sense of Joy and energy. I invite you to join me……………..

 

Lately I’ve been feeling the call. Soul Whispers, internal urges, that lingering sensation that it is time.

Being a widow with no children, I have a love /hate relationships with my alone-ness. As much as I crave company I also crave solitude. You would think that a person in my situation would have alone-time sorted but true solitude is not just about being the only person in the room.

It asks us to be present with whatever we are holding inside, good or bad.

For the past few weeks I have had house guests and i have allowed them to become my convenient excuse. My excuse to not meditate and to deny myself true moments of solitude.

I become aware again of my perfectionism….my need for the perfect set of circumstances to align before I set aside my Busy-ness (even when alone) and settle into some moments with myself.

What I find there in my solitude is a chance to fill up on myself, to feel the presence of my soul self and to reconnect with all that is within and around me.

It is in this place that i can draw from when I am stuck or confused or in need of some clarity. It is in this place that my intuition, desires and heart reside.

I ask myself why I avoid deep drinks from the well of solitude and my answer is a rising tangle of fear and excitement. I am afraid of the power of what lies within me, of the depth of my own presence and what it asks me to bring forward.

This age old oscillation of fear/intuition/power/darkness/light and ego is present within all of us and can manifest visibly in procrastination, resistance and putting everyone else before we give to ourselves.

This reluctance to truly own the power of our presence, keep us small, dims our light, dampens our creativity and stands in the way of our success.

Today I take a stand and say “No More” no more dulling our magnificence!

Join me in a commitment to the self and all that reveals

Join me in a conscious movement closer to yourself, your heart, your power.

Join me in action by taking steps on what is revealed

join me in walking in the face of fear and discomfort.

Join me in finding more joy, more clarity and inspiration in solitude.

Join me in the magic of rediscovering yourself!

21 Days of Solitude

Join me each day for the next 21 days as I carve out moments of solitude and share the experience on Instagram using #21daysofsolitude 

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What Letting Go Reveals…..

Has your vision for you life and business become clouded?

Do you sometimes feel that you are getting in the way of your own success?

What would happen if you just let go? 

Todays blog is about the surprising benefits of letting go and the freedom it can bring you in your business and your life.

Letting go has been the dominant theme for me this year and as we hit the full moon earlier this month I found myself releasing more than I had ever imagined I was holding on to.

Early this year I made the decision to sell the home I had shared with my late husband and to find a new home for both myself and my business. My home sold quickly and I was forced to acknowledge that a huge amount of physical clearing needed to occur before I could actually move. Knowing this process would take some weeks to complete and with a strong desire to begin my new life free from the weight of possessions that didn’t belong to me, I gave myself permission to step back from my business and to continue to serve my existing clients but to let go of all of the demands of marketing. promoting and growing my business.

I focused on the process of lovingly going through my late husbands tools and equipment and items that he had collected over his 45 years of life and finding new homes and new people who appreciated them to pass them onto.

What I learnt from the process of letting go of these possessions was that clearing the clutter on a physical level will reveal a layer of mental clutter, internal belongings, beliefs and patterns that are also waiting to be cleared.

There was an invitation to let go on another level. To let go of everything that is holding you back from being who you are.

Tied up with these physical possessions was a letting go of where I had thought my life “should” be and who “should” be in it. In letting go of “shoulds” came an acceptance of what is.

I have come face to face with my perfectionism, the need for a set of perfect circumstances to arise before I can act.

I was able to see with crystal clarity the patterns that led me away from myself and from where I most want to be.

The root of procrastination and resistance rose up to met me, revealing all the ways in which I sabotage myself and hold myself back.

So why do we have all these internal scripts and processes that we hold on to?

Why do we let this internal junk get in the way of or goals, dreams and deepest desires?

Your stuff, the things that hold you back, the limits you place on yourself are a hardwired protection mechanism shaped by your early experiences. Your young self unable to make sense of the world around you developed a highly specialised system of checks and brakes to save you from the pain of loss, failure, rejection and to set you up for the best chance of fitting in and receiving love.

Call this your ego or your monkey mind, your bad habits, this hand brake to success exists in all of us.

However, just as I have recently experienced we are able to let go of what no longer serves us on both a physical and an emotional level.

To do this we must acknowledge deeply these patterns and make peace with them. Understand how they have served us and thank them for their gifts before the process of letting go is truly complete. For me this was true even though my process was an unexpected side effect of letting go of physical belongings.

What I am left with is lightness and a freshness. I am seeing with new eyes and a new way of being is revealed to me. I have clarity.

The feeling of being weighed down and the desire to feel free of self-imposed limits is not unique to me. I see this in my clients, my friends, my wider networks.

We all have within us the ability to achieve the life we dream of, so ask yourself the question………. What’s getting in the way? What do I need to let go of?

Get curious, become an explorer of your own internal landscape.

The mountain may seem high but the view from the top is incomparable.

Its time to just let go………

I’d love to hear your experiences of letting go, feel free to share in the comments below. If you feel like you’d like some more support with what you need to let go of you can book a free clarity call with me here or visit my website here

 

 

 

New Year…Old Leaf?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To download your free 2016 Biz review workbook Sign up here

For support setting you 2017 goals click here

 

The gifts of 10 days Blogging

Today is the last day of the 10 day blogging challenge I have been participating in. As I reflect on the last 10 days its clear that this challenge gave me more than I had expected. It has increased the traffic through my blog, it has increased the number of people following my blog, it has increased traffic to my website and also engagement on my business Facebook page. All great benefits, however the greatest benefits are more personal.

Since I began this blog 3 years ago I have had a fairly consistent routine to my writing. It was a ritual for me. Initially I would write monthly and then it became weekly. For the last 10 days I have been here writing each day.

To participate in this challenge I have had to change my approach to writing in a number of ways.

I had to let go of feeling that I needed inspiration to strike before I could write, learning that sometimes inspiration occurs during the process.

I have had to get comfortable with posting on a topic I didn’t really want to write about and also with posting when I wasn’t sure if it was worth reading or that it was even any good. Learning to let go of the need for my writing to be perfect and that I am my harshest critic when it comes to what I write. Letting my voice be heard regardless of whether I judged it to be “good ” or not has allowed me to relax my writing style and also the pressure I feel “get it right”

I have let go of the need for the right environment and circumstances to be present before I could begin writing. It has challenged me to write in different environments and regardless of what else is occurring in my life.

It has asked me to re- examine my beliefs around what I was doing in my business and to really connect with what it is I want to create. I loved Day 2 and 3, connecting with my why and my perfect day and allowing myself to share that with the world.

It has asked me to do many of the things I ask my clients to do but forget to do for myself

It has helped me to share my story and express who I am.

This experience has taken me outside my writing comfort zone and that can only ever be good for my writing and those who read it!

I love that writing gives me a way of connecting with people and also to express what goes through my head on a daily basis.

I think a lot and I feel a lot and I have a strong desire to help people. Sharing my thoughts on this blog has helps me to feel that somehow somewhere I am reaching out and touching someone. That maybe my experience or perspective can be of benefit.

This challenge has allowed me to do that in a much freer more unstructured way and I know that that will lead me to write more, connect more, help more and feel more fulfilled in what I am doing.

And last but not least it gave me a chance to really consider why Freedom is my word for the year, what that really means to me and how I can feel it in my life each and every day.

I hope you have enjoyed the ride for the last 10 days. Gold stars if you have read them all! Rest assured this will not be the last you hear from me, in fact far from it.

If you would like support to connect with what you really want to create, to step outside your comfort zone and to feel more expressed in your work then I’d love to chat. 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 10

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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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Get into your Groove

Getting into a good groove with your business to ensure your are productive and efficient in the time you have available is essential but also takes a bit of work and sometimes creativity.

When I stepped out of my full-time job into my business it took some time for me to feel connected and comfortable with a new routine. I had been working in the corporate world for 10 years with a heavy travel schedule and having unstructured time was foreign to me I wrote about it here Coming back to what works… Since my realisation a few months ago, that I no longer had to fit into a routine prescribed by someone else, I have been experimenting with structure, routine and tips and tools to make my working day both enjoyable and effective

The easy part for me is that I love what I do so much that I am eager to get started every day. I am in my office and ready for “work” by 9am. The hard part has been finding a routine that works for me and minimises distractions. I can get caught up with emails and Facebook and friends who know you are at home phoning or dropping by for coffee or asking for favours as they know my routine is flexible. I am learning that I need boundaries to ensure that I maximise my time.

I have used the pomodoro technique to good effect and now teach it to my clients. I find it quite satisfying to tick off time blocks and complete tasks. You can find out more about the pomodoro technique in Natalie’s post today here

I have also discovered that I like to vary my workspace. Although I spend the majority of my time in my office I like to go to a cafe to write my blog. I find the noise and chatter in the background of people going about their lives around me, allows the words to flow. I can get into my writing zone.

What is working for me best in terms of structure is to grid up my day into 30min slots and block out time for client work, work on the Biz, writing, exercise, appointments etc. I put this plan together as I book appointments each week ensuring I am leaving space for other tasks that need completing. Then each day I am using a second grid to mark out what I actually did to compare to my plan. This is highlighting for me where my greatest time bandits are and what times of the day are most productive for me. I am also getting a good idea of how long each task takes from tracking it this way.

I also include in my planning grid space to record my top 3 tasks to achieve each day, clients I need to contact and any other essentials that need to be taken care of.

Getting really clear on your top 3 tasks each day is especially important if you have limited time to work on your business., as the saying goes if you fail to plan you plan to fail!

The best part of creating structure and planning for your business is that it is entirely yours and you have the freedom to change it, tweak it and adjust it as much as you like until you find your groove!

Todays top 3 Tasks

Write Blog post for challenge

Prepare content for 7 day purpose guide

Clear clutter from my desk

If you would like more clarity, and structure around what you do and action steps to take book and 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 5

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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