Tag Archives: memories

6 Years….

I have thought long and hard today about whether to share this letter from my journal I wrote this morning. Its a very personal outpouring of my feelings on the 6th Anniversary of my husband Ande’s passing. I am sharing this in the hope that its exactly what someone else needs to read…..Take a moment today to forget how annoying your partner is and just appreciate them for who they are and who they are not….do that for me xx

Dear Ande,

When I saw how beautiful it was this morning as I walked on to the beach with my coffee I cried. I cried becuase we never took enough time to share this kind of normal every day beauty together.

My life is not empty without you. My life was emptier without me. I have consciously worked on it these last 6 years, on building my relationship with myself, because ultimately even though you are missing in my life and I miss you, you werent my missing peice. I was.

Even if you were still here, this inner journey would have had to take place, for me to survive, for us to survive.

So much of who I am is a work in progress. Parts of me always will be.

I imagine I will always have this desire to stretch and to grow past the edges of myself and in lots of ways this is your legacy. Who I am is your legacy.

6 years ago I decided that. To make my life a tribute to you. To all they days you didnt get and to all the times you didnt share yourself, let yourself be seen, or recieve the love and respect others had for you.

You were special, your life was special, my life with you was special. I hope that you know that now. I hope that you know just how much you were loved.

I dont always get it right this legacy building. I have days when I choose to stay stuck rather than take the next step or to feel my feelings, or to stretch into my growth.

I dont always do the things I know I need to do. I am learning to show myself compassion in those times, to know that there is for me a tomorrow to try again.

I am learning to let my grief rise and fall like the tide as it needs too, my grief for you and for myself. They hold hands as they walk along the beach together.

I will never not miss you in my life. I am grateful for the way you still show up, in a dream, in a feeling or in something someone said.

I now know that missing you doesnt mean I cant have love and joy and happiness. Sometimes those things come because of missing you. The human heart, my heart, has the capacity to hold love and sadness in equal measure.

Our capacity to fill our lives with joy is only limited by the capacity with which we are prepared to be who we are. Thank you for showing me that.

In your absence you have taught me many things. The belief that you had in me has become the belief I have in myself. The love, trust and understanding you showed me have become the love, trust and understanding I show myself.

Losing you has opened within me a capacity to open to myself and to help others to open to themselves too.

Your life has blessed mine in ways neither of us could ever have imagined. Every person I help, every time I have the honor of leading someone home to the truth of who they are, you have that honor too. In honoring my clients I am honoring you.

Today I sit with sadness and beauty and loss and love and gratitude and pain and delight living in my heart in equal measure.

Thank you for walking by my side. Thank you for reminding me every day to be a little more me. We were each others rocks and you are my rock still.

Today is for you and today is beautiful

Love always

Paula xx



What you want, wants you…..

My “Love your Biz” group coaching program just entered its 4th week and I am loving seeing and hearing the shifts my coachee’s are making. They are really making the choice to step into or towards what they really want to do. There is something so utterly and completely affirming and obvious about watching someone connect with what they really want, to be on purpose. It’s almost as if what they want,wants them too!

It raises the questions for me “Why do we wait so long ?” (why did I wait so long?). Why do we wait so long to let ourselves feel what we desire? Why do we wait so long to immerse ourselves in the joy of that? Why do we spend so much of our precious life doing stuff we don’t enjoy or becoming what others expect of us instead of becoming ourselves?

The answer to these questions is complex and multilayered and as unique as we all are. However there are some commonalities. A lot of what we choose to do is a conditioned response rather than a conscious choice. Many of us grew up with limits ” You can’t do that”, “you can’t always have what you want”, “money doesn’t grow on trees you know” “that’s not what girls do” “that’s not what boys do” “that’s not as easy as it looks” “you have to work hard to get what you want” “children are to be seen and not heard”

So we limited ourselves to fit the norm, to comply, to be accepted, to be loved. We learnt to put what we really desired on to the back burner until we literally forgot what it was altogether.

For some of us our fledgling desires were crumpled by off-hand comments from teachers, family members and peers or even squashed by outright teasing. This lead us to hide or disguise our special talents and heartfelt desires in an effort to fit in , be liked and accepted.

I remember being told at school that to have a career in Art or creativity, you had to be incredibly talented, the message I received was that I was “not good enough”. Believing I was not good enough not only denied me the opportunity to experiment and develop my creativity, for a long time I held the belief that I was not good enough for anything, relationships, friendships, to earn decent money, to have nice things or even to lose weight. It can be quite a journey to recover those fragile lost parts, to reclaim self belief. It feels scary and really vulnerable but for me choosing to take that journey has allowed so much more love, joy, creativity and satisfaction in my life than I could ever have imagined.

And now I get to do that for others. To gently guide them up the mountain of limiting beliefs towards clarity and new perspectives. To hold the lantern in the mine as we dig for the gold of true desires and uncover purpose beneath the layers po judgement, fear and hurt.

For me this is not work….it is an honour. it is an honour to support others to support themselves. To see them show up as who they are and receive the rewards of living on purpose. To discover that what they want, wants them too.

Uncovering desires can be hard work and it can seem impossible in the fog to even know where to start but if you want more, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that there is more! There are 3 simple things that you can do today that will bring your desires and your purpose a little bit closer

Step 1: What did you love when you were a kid? What did you want to do when you grew up? Grab yourself a sheet of paper or a journal and start writing a list. Don’t censor yourself or try to think it through just write everything you remember down. These little gems of gold from you free spirited childhood days are a starting point to begin your exploration

Step 2: Allow yourself to play. Choose something from your childhood list and start to explore and play with it as an adult. Or alternatively if there is something you have been wanting to try that’s not on your list go do that! Do a workshop, watch a “how to” YouTube video, start a course or just experiment at home. Allow yourself some free play time each week to experiment with trying out things you wonder about or think you might like.

Step 3: Get some support, whether it’s a coach, a counsellor, a Facebook group or just a few like minded friends having a cheer squad, someone to be accountable to and someone to hold your hand when it gets hard is one of the most supportive things you can do for yourself. I can confidently say that I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t reached out to my coach for support and leaned on the support of like minded friends.

So make a start today! If not now, when? My greatest wish is for you to DO, BE and Have all that you truly want. It’s out there waiting for you!

If you would like to try coaching email pmcfarlane@clear.net.nz or phone me on 0274327601 to set up a complimentary 20 min call to see if it’s for you.

For the month of May I am offering 3 x 45 min coaching sessions for the price of 2 and I have just 3 spots left.

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.



So…..About that Bucket List….

Do you even have one?

In the movie that gave a name to the list of dreams we keep for the things we most want to do, the characters were two old and ill men in the last days of their lives. They began ticking off experiences on the bucket list. Things they wanted to do before they died. As the story unfolds it becomes clear that in doing these things they had always desired they were able to receive more life. It filled them up, it was energizing, reviving, healing, it fed them heart and soul.

So…why put off what you desire most? Why do we wait until we are older, diagnosed with something horrible, are thinner or fitter, or until we meet someone, or have more money or more time? We constantly delay the joy we seek in discovering or experiencing something new. Are we afraid to give ourselves what we really want? What would it be like if we did?

Life is a funny old thing when you think about it….it’s easy to feel too tired to really consider this. Fatigue is an epidemic! It takes so much energy to do what needs to be done every it’s hard to find anything left for dreams and plans. But I what I have discovered is that, like the movie, it’s our dreams and plans that revive us from the weariness we feel. Even more so if we take action and live some of our dreams, tick something off the bucket list.

This week I am doing exactly that. I am in Hawaii, a place I knew I would love. It’s a heart swelling moment to find yourself in the field of your own dreams. And there is more to come this week, I am excited and delighted at the prospect. Savoring the experience is what it is all about, embracing it, plunging in, going deep. Not just for the pleasure of letting yourself have it either, although this is a gift I am open to receive! When I am back at home and feeling tired of my routine my memories of this week will sustain me. Experiences are better than things ( they have even done studies on this) your things you cannot take with you but your experiences travel forever in your heart.

So….what is on your bucket list? When will you begin….

No more cardboard moments…..

How easily we become entrenched in the monotony of our everyday routines. Wishing we had more time, that we could work less and play more and putting off joy until the weekend or our next holiday. I have been thinking about the things that make life memorable, the moments that have the most impact and that we remember forever. The ones that make you smile when you think of them.

Something triggered such a memory for me this week. I remembered seeing an expression of bliss and joy on the face of my lovely husband. I smiled at the thought of it. It wasn’t the kind of moment that would normally make a memory special. It wasn’t the kind of moment you would photograph and post on facebook. He was in ICU, he had not long been out of an induced comma. He had a strong desire to soak his feet in a basin of warm water. He had been asking the nurses and myself to do this for him. The look on his face when he finally got to put his feet in that warm water “utter and complete joy” I smile on the inside when I think about it, my heart smiles too.

Such a simple moment, unplanned, part of the every day routine in ICU, but rich and real and it will stay with me forever. This got me thinking about how we make memories and how to make a memory out of everyday because life is really short. I am fast approaching the age my husband was when he passed away, what if my memory making time is running out like his did?

What I have realized is that we have a choice. We can give ourselves over fully to every moment or we can go through our day wishing we were elsewhere making cardboard moments out of our everyday routines. Moments that all look the same, memories that have no distinction from each other, memories that you can put out with the recycling to use again next week when you are, once again not engaging with the life in every moment and every moment in your life.

So how do we change our mindset that tells us memory making is for “special times” I have thought about this a lot this week and I have been experimenting. What I have discovered is that if I allow myself to be fully engaged with what I am doing,  what I am doing gives me something back. It gives me a sense of purpose and completion. It helps me to recognize that I need to give myself a little more time some days or that I need to take a break or that its good to really enjoy exactly what I am doing no matter how big, small, exciting or important that something is.

The really surprising thing about this process of being committed to every moment is that it has given me more time. I have become less stressed and more effective at completing what needs to be done. I have had time to walk on the beach, to exercise, to cook for myself  and I have started to notice the joy that is all around me to be had. Sunrise over Wellington from the window of a plane. Turning up the car Radio and singing really, really, loudly. Deciding on my plans for my new kitchen and signing them off enjoying every change and every choice I am making.

My heart is open in sharing this with you I am fully engaged in the joy of putting down these words. Make the most of every moment, give yourself to it fully, it might surprise you, there is Joy to be had!