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  1. Blog - Make like a TreeAutumn is most definitely here; the trees have been beautiful this year. As the colours change and leaves flutter to the ground at the slightest provocation of the breeze, the strength and skeletal beauty of the trees reveals itself. Once disrobed, those naked structures appear to stop growing whilst passively facing the Winter, unprotected. 

    But there’s nothing passive about it. Those trees are organised. The leaves have completed their Summer job so are ejected to prevent them from acting as sails in the high wind and bringing the tree down. They hunker down, much like we do. Dead bits fall off. But limbs will regrow to balance their structure out for optimal efficiency under the coming sun. 

    Meanwhile, unseen, a super-highway of supportive and communicative fungal tendrils under the ground silently carry out their work to connect the forest as one living organism. Above ground, the trees get busy making their own anti freeze, preparing themselves in advance as the light diminishes. Apparently dormant through the harshest weather, they get ready to grow new, fresh foliage to nourish themselves once the coast is clear in Spring. 

    You can see where I’m going with this, right? Most of us, if we are honest, have a sense of foreboding and “oh shit”-ness regarding the fast approaching, semi- locked down Winter here in the UK. We know, rationally, that it will pass, but suspect that by the end of January we will have had our fill of dark days, shite weather and being cooped up - whether in isolation or in close proximity to others - and will be desperate to let rip and start frolicking like a new-born lamb going nuts and playing “king of the castle”. Our attempts at Hygge will probably be full of biscuit crumbs by then at the very least.

    So, how do we make like a tree? Here is my best reckon.

    • Get out in the weather, just a bit, every day. Anoraks are sexy. Trust me. You’ll appreciate the shelter of home more and your immune system will also thank you

    • Feed the birds. We need them.

    • Eat for nourishment first, pleasure second.

    • Learn how to develop your cooking from scratch skills and become a chicken stock ninja. You’ll feel so much more resourceful creating your own dishes.

    • Don’t stop moving. Dancing like a loon in the kitchen is perfectly acceptable. Move it or lose it Baby.

    • Tidy out and chuck what you cannot repair, recycle or donate. Knowing what you’ve got in your nooks and crannies is good drill. As is declobbering your energy by jettisoning stuff that no longer resonates. Also, if you own less stuff, then Spring cleaning is going to be a breeze. Yay!

    • Don’t sulk. Hibernation does not have to mean isolation. Find ways to communicate and share airspace with or download those you love or admire. 

    • Turn the dark to your advantage and get your sleep habits nailed down. Get some proper rest so you can regenerate.

    • Stay clean. Stay on top of Covid drills and your own personal routines because little things matter - to your own sense of well being, and also to everyone else’s benefit. Fly your flag with the standards you keep. Don’t preach, just keep your own corner properly and to your own satisfaction

    • Don’t forget to have a snorting good belly laugh at every opportunity you can. It doesn’t all have to be serious. Having fun is still perfectly permissible - we just have to get a bit creative to get in the mood!

  2. Blog - PassionOver the past few months, I have come to know a fascinating and fabulous woman through my work as a coach. She’s massively into birds, particularly raptors. Before I met her, I knew very little about birds of prey, but her passion is infectious and her knowledge on the subject deeply ingrained through years of careful yet enthusiastic study. She has taught me a great deal as we walk and talk and has lit a latent spark in me I never knew I had.
    There is something very appealing about observing a person who is totally driven by a passion which, actually, seems to have chosen her. Her interest in raptors dawned on her over time and she gradually allowed it to inhabit her life. She gives it full access to her waking thoughts and finds space to give it free rein. She acts upon it where she can and lets it drive her. She allows it to inform her yet has no great over-arching plans to dominate the world with it for any ulterior motive.
    When you express and share a passion with different yet like-minded people, something special happens as you are each taken out of your innermost thoughts to focus on the common subject of interest. That little, unassuming piece of not-a-lot is scooped out of the ether and, as the group of ardent admirers focus their attention on the subject, it grows legs of its own and becomes a “thing”, a phenomenon, a piece of genius or an integral part of the puzzle you’d never known was missing - until you switched the light on!
    It’s passion which makes something into a sexy no-brainer, gives people the over-riding desire to buy into something, gives purpose, adds the X factor. Take passion out of the proceedings (or be careless enough to leave it behind as other nonsense takes over) and you will be left with a desiccated husk or a poor imitation with no beating heart. Like the difference between a microwave ready-meal curry and spending the evening in the company of good friends in the best Indian restaurant you know. The former is perfunctory, convenient and cheap. The latter is an expression of joy, love and colour.
    Passion, combined with an open heart and mind, is where the adventure starts.
  3. Glorious Cracks

    Do not Google this title

    The ancient Japanese developed the art of Kintsugi (golden joinery) which is the repair of broken or cracked pottery items with liquid gold. This has an unusual effect, as the very scars which had rendered the item ugly or useless become the most attractive thing about the reconditioned piece. The mended scar becomes the star!

    The idea of Kintsugi seems to be closely related to another Japanese philosophy - Wabi-sabi- which celebrates the flaws and imperfections in something or someone.

    So, what about our own glorious cracks? The stuff we never seem to improve on or get right, the bad habits or hapless lack of skill that trips us up time after time and makes us feel less than adequate?

    The thing is, nobody would really like us if they though we were perfect. We’d seem untouchable, unrelatable, unassailable and boring maybe. Deep down we realise that, in order to perpetuate the myth of perfection, we’d be constantly uptight in our efforts to project the mirage of our best selves, living our best life. And we all know that’s bollocks, don’t we? Because apparent perfection can cleverly conceal the fragile ego of someone who feels they are not worthy of appreciation of who they truly are. You know, that normal human being that looks like a sack of spuds as a default setting, farts like a skunk and licks the dinner plate when no one’s looking (no - just me then?)

    There is so much more mileage as a human to revealing our frailties and imperfections. There is so much more to like about someone who skids in sideways with their arse on fire, bits falling off them left, right and centre - because they bring energy, honesty, fun and relatability. There is, in my opinion, far more grace and honesty in being yourself than trying to fool yourself or be something you simply are not.

    I think the biggest thing of all is this; it is in working to repair ourselves or help others that we become resilient and also understand ourselves better through conversations and relationships. Rejoice in each others’ cracks! (as it very much were) because those cracks are where the light gets in and the love spills out. Our cracks, when we choose to reveal them) shout out “there’s room for you to help me here.”

    And I don’t mind that at all.

  4. Blog - Imperfection is SexyRamblings Number 2.

    The tendency to perfectionism seems to be such a common trait in people that come to me for coaching. It disguises itself as something good, but if you let it dominate the way you operate, it steals your time, energy and sense of humour. Not fun, not productive and certainly not sexy.

    I reckon the solution to allowing yourself to deliver “adequately imperfect” boils down to trust and faith. The old “am I good enough?” question. Well, yes you are. You have all of you to give. You know which bits of you work best. Which bits are brilliant. Don’t worry about the shitty bits; let someone help you with those. Back yourself up, have faith, trust yourself.   And remember - imperfection is far more badass and appealing than perfection (honestly? No one cares how much you’ve polished it. Have a word with yourself...)

    If you are a leader or manager, then trust others to do the same once you have lead the way. Make sure you communicate (don’t just send!! Listen twice as much) Allow others to shine for you... and for themselves, in their own way and work with that. The results can be astonishing. Trust and faith.

    Refrain from over-engineering; it’s boring and predictable and the results are impinged by the limits of your own imagination. Being imperfect allows us to live humbly and reminds us that there is always something bigger in charge of proceedings.

    Allow the universe to deliver something spectacular, but remember to give it a little help by knowing how you want to feel about the outcome and have a rough (but not too specific) idea about what you want. Go about your work with enthusiasm and curiosity, do the work (not overwork) and allow others to add what they have to give. Then, press the “fuck it, that’ll do” button and relax about the outcome. Fine tune once the results are in and repeat as necessary.

    You’re going to have far more time and energy to enjoy being sexy.

    Ps I’ve just read this back and it’s a bit preachy. Soz. But hopefully useful, nonetheless. Stay safe x