June 12th, 2018
Handling stress 2.
How to deal with stressful times on board.
If you saw my previous ‘Stress’ post you will have seen that I wrote about how to prevent yourself from getting stressed during the long summer season.
Now I would like to give you some solutions on what to do to help yourself, when you are feeling stressed.
Look out for stress symptoms such as:
Short term memory loss
Addiction (alcohol, drugs, sugar)
If you find yourself having some of these symptoms here are a few simple steps that can help you find some peace and feel less overwhelmed.
During your rest period, find a writing pad and a pen.
Empty your mind! Write down everything. Chores, worries, appointments, conscience, shopping, projects, frustrations and everything else that is on your mind.
Forget writing comprehensively and readable. Just get everything down on paper. Keep writing……
When your mind feels empty you have made an active effort to simplify your brain activity, with the purpose of shifting your mind from anxious to calm.
Make this a daily, hourly or even moment to moment practice. If you experience repeats, it is possible there is important information for you to look at and think more deeply about.
Breathing exercise. Breathe in slowly to the count of 3, then breathe out to the count of 3. 1-2-3 in breath, 1-2-3 out breath. Do this for 8-10 minutes and you will feel more peaceful and less overwhelmed.
Gratitude! Every day try and find 5 things that you are grateful for in your life both on board and off. Write these down too. Over time you are likely feel a shift from negative to positive.
I have mentioned before, many times, the importance of mindfulness. If you are not already practicing meditation, this is a good time to start. Find a free app or look on YouTube for free guided meditations.
Do ‘LIKE’ my page, so you can follow my upcoming posts, where I will share on other subjects relevant to living life as a professional yacht crew member.
I wish you all a stress free summer season and do take care of yourselves out there.
June 1st, 2018
Handling stress 1!
How to prevent stress from entering your life.
As an ex veteran in the yachting industry (my first season as a chef on board was in 1983, so I’ll let you do the calculations yourself), I know that I am not speaking out of terms, when I say that at times, a lot of pressure is put on the crew to perform to the highest standard, for prolonged periods of time.
This can have serious implications on our health, both as it is happening and in our future lives, if we don’t take care of ourselves properly.
I once worked with a stew who told me she had previously been so stressed that all her body hair had fallen out!!! This is of course an extreme example but even if less extreme, this can weaken our immune system considerably for years to come and maybe for the rest of our lives.
But what we as crew must understand is, that though we don’t have control over the amount of hours we have to work, we do have control over how we cope and deal with the situation we are in.
Prevention is always better than cure, especially in the case of stress and this is where you can help yourself.
On top of my list is mindfulness/meditation. Meditation is, by far, the most important tool I have learnt to make me able to cope with chaos, unpredictability and long hours. You can always find a few minutes in your day to meditate and over time you will find an important difference in how you view your situation and life in general.
Start out with 5 or 10 minute daily meditations and increase the time as you start to enjoy the practice. You might find it ’boring’ in the beginning, but do persevere until one day you are looking forward to the calm that mindfulness will give you.
There are a sea of free, guided meditations on YouTube and also many free meditation apps to choose from, so find one that you like and just do it!
Rest. Rest. Rest! Get as much as you can, when you can (if you struggle with sleep, a sleep meditation can be a great help).
Listen to soothing music and watch NON stressful films during your hours of rest.
Try to exercise if you can find the space.
Some stress symptoms to look out for are:
Addiction (alcohol, drugs, sugar)
If you find yourself having had any of these symptoms previously, I will be talking about how to handle stress when you are in the situation, as well as other subject relevant to living life as a professional yacht crew member.
I wish you all a stress free summer season and do take care of yourselves out there.
May 27th, 2018
Life and its surprises!
At times, when we have no expectations, life surprises us and we are richly rewarded.
That happened to my friend Liz and myself on Sunday, when we decided to leave super early for a hike up Puig Tomir yesterday (1103m), here in Mallorca, Spain. Our aim was to beat the heat of the day….which never came by the way.
We scrambled up the mountain in the mist of the morning, when I stopped and turned around to say something to Liz. The sight that met me took me by such surprise, that I made Liz jump when shouting “WOW”. We could have missed the amazing view behind us altogether.
It was a magical moment looking back at Puig Major and Puig Massanella sticking through the cloud below us. A complete wow moment that had us both stopped in our tracks in disbelief, that the world can be so very surprising and beautiful.
It made me grateful again on so many levels. First, that i have friends mad enough to get up with the sparrows to do such things as walk up a mountain.
Second, that we set off on a hike on a day, that did not promise perfect weather, which in return gave us an experience so different, that i think I’ll never forget it.
And third realising that we miss so much when we limit ourselves and our thoughts about what perfection is.
Get out there and just do it people!! Live the best life you can. Sometimes you will find the perfect life closer to home than you think and it may just be free.
February 12, 2018.
Creating Life Balance.
Finding balance in life can be extremely difficult. In a conversation with friends the other day, we discussed how our lives has every minute of every hour filled with one thing or another, at the expense of spending valuable time with family and friends, or doing the things we love to do.
We have, of course, created this life ourselves. We buy a house and get a mortgage, we have children and we want all the things that everyone else have. Then we find we are working all hours to pay for our lifestyle.
Is this how you want to live your life? If not, ask yourself these few questions from 1-10 to the best of your ability. Are there places in your life that could be tweaked a little to free up time?
1. What is balance for you?
2. What does it take for you to have balance between work and family/free time?
3. How much, or how little time do you want to spend working and how much time do you want to be present with your family/friends?
4. How do you know when you are in balance?
5. What will it cost you and where will you be in a year if you don’t manage to find balance?
6. What will you gain from finding balance and where will you be in a year if you manage to create balance in your life?
7. What is needed to create balance?
8. Are you willing to do what is needed to create balance?
9. When will you start living in balance?
10. What will you do today to take the first step towards creating balance in your life?
If you feel inspired and would like to work in more depth on how to create balance in your life, please feel free to contact me.
A letter to Morocco. 8th November 2017.
I thank you for your hospitality on my recent 9 day trip to you, my first visit to you ever.
My 3 days in Marrakesh was filled with smells, sounds, impressions, people and lots of laughter.
Morocco you are funny!!
Your people are full of humour and kindness. I did not expect to have so much fun bantering and bartering with your people. The bustle of the souks was mesmarizing. The nightly party in Jemaa el-Fna plaza with food stalls, snail stalls, fruit stalls, storytellers, henna women, gamblers, drummers, music makers, the list goes on and on, was pure madness and unequalled by anything I have ever seen before.
Your mountains are spectacular, filled with intriguing villages, built literally out of the ground they stand on. Each village is the colour of the earth underneath them. Grey, pink or greenish as the hills roll colourfully up and down your valleys.
The smell of apples from your apple orchards was everywhere, at this perfect time of year to visit you. Listening to the sound of prayer time echo through the valleys from every village mosque became familiar and calming.
We walked through rolling hills, up beautiful rivers where we saw how life was lived. Women gathering food for the animals and for the family. People bringing their animals to higher ground to graze for the day and returning to their homes at night. Shepherds riding their mules while chasing their goats.
All just living one day at a time. How much I learned from watching this, from seeing happy satisfied children playing with no concerns or worries in the world. Women together washing the clothes in the rivers having fun and helping each other in the community. Life is simple and hard in the mountains, but everywhere we went we were met by a ‘bon jour’ from passers by.
You provided us with a fantastic team to take us safely and securely through our 5 day trek. Young Mohammed and his 2 mules made it easy for us to walk as they carried our luggage, food, water and cooking gear.
Omar cooked us great food from a makeshift kitchen set up under a tree or in the shade of a rock to provide us with lunch during the day and dinner at night in our refuge.
Rachid our guide taught us to walk slowly slowly up up up, to try and minimise the chance of altitude sickness. Walking slowly is unfamiliar to me but I found myself getting into a rhythm of not concentrating on anything other than putting one foot in front of the other and blowing my constantly running nose, because those were the only things that mattered right then.
Toubkal base camp is at 3600 meters. The air there is thin and I didn’t feel quite myself while we were there. Thankfully I had remembered to take headache tablets with me, because I needed them every day.
Everyone reacts differently to altitude sickness. It has nothing to do with fitness or age. You either manage it well or you don’t. We saw young guys carted off on mules to lower ground and older people trekking happily up to the summit as if they never did anything else.
Our aim from the beginning was to make it to the Toubkal summit which is Africa’s second highest peak after Kilimanjaro, at 4167 meters. We hoped we would make it up there but we could not be sure we would succeed.
On the day of our ascent to the Toubkal summit you provided is with the most beautiful day Morocco. A brisk cold day of sharp, bright sunshine, windless and a minimum amount of snow, was all in our favour. We walked slowly slowly up, stopped again and again to catch our breath. The air was now so thin we could feel it in every step we took. It was an effort but we made it up to the top in 4 hours (not fast, but not slow either).
The feeling is hard to describe. I couldn’t really understand why I felt emotional but when I mentioned it to my travel companions after a big group hug, they had felt the same. I suppose the achievement hadn’t dawned on us until we reached the top. We had made it!
Thank you Rachid for your patience, your humour, your kindness to everyone around you, your easy going personality and most of all for your professionalism and simply knowing what was best for our group. You worked tirelessly to make sure we were comfortable and happy. Without you we would not have made it to the top. You are good at your job.
Rachid our guide.
Thank you Omar for excellent food every single day, cooked under the most difficult of circumstances. You did not disappoint us a single time. I didn’t expect to eat so well in the mountains but you proved me wrong and as a chef myself, I salute you!
Omar the cook on the left and Mohammed the mule keeper on the right preparing dinner in a refuge.
Thank you Mohammed for going out of your way and beyond your job description by joining us in the ascent to the summit. This to make sure that we had an ‘out’ in case one of us needed to go back down before the top. You should have had a few hours off but instead you joined us walking far too slowly for you. You are a true trooper!
Omar the mule keeper with me at the summit.
Thank you with all my heart Jan and Carla. Without you I simply would not have had this experience, it would not have entered my mind. My life has expanded with the adventures that we do together and I am grateful to have such like minded friends in my life.
Thank you Gill and Jeremy for accompanying me to Marrakesh. Without you I would not have had such fun. I was grateful for your company.
Thank you Morocco for an unforgettable trip. I am full to the brim with experiences and gratitude. I believe you will see me again sometime in the not too distant future.
With love, Anna
If you are interested the details of our 5 day trek in the Atlas mountains go to:
Climbing Toubkal will provide you with treks ranging from 1 – 9 days.
If you have any questions or would like some tips, please do not hesitate to get in touch, I am only too happy to share my experience with you. Anna
October 16th, 2017.
“Burnout occurs when passionate committed people become deeply disillusioned with a job or career from which they have previously derived much of their identity and meaning. It comes as the things that inspire passion and enthusiasm are stripped away and tedious and unpleasant things crowd in.” – Unknown.
It is not possible to deal with burnout until we admit and recognise that we are burnt out.
Often the realisation comes too late, because we have already forgotten ourselves through lack of rest and variety, in the pursuit of being perfect all the time. We have become bored, withdrawn, self neglecting, conflicting and blaming. Our personalities have changed notably to others and the belief that others are lazy has set in. We feel empty inside and soon depression and perhaps even mental and physical collapse occurs…..a full blown burnout.
If you have experienced burnout in the past or you want to avoid the experience, you have to invest in yourself. You must find a way to reconnect with yourself and your passions every day, making time for yourself.
Examples of what you can do are:
Develop a method to calm yourself.
Analyse and what you love and hate about your job.
Settle for less than perfect.
Take good care of yourself.
Cultivate a support network. Set limits. Ask for help.
Plan for the future.
9th May, 2017
The River and Movement
On Sunday, I was so fortunate as to be able to attend a lovely day retreat at Anna Skelton’s, People Tree in Alaro, Mallorca. A fabulous group of Irish women had come all the way from Ireland to attend several retreat days there.
We ate fabulous vegetarian food prepared by Anna’s husband Andy, did yoga meditation and sound healing with Anna, learned numerous techniques on mindfulness and we were coached through several workshops by guest star Elizabeth Whelan of Zestivo.
It was a day of total self indulgence, relaxation and looking at our inner selves. Completely enjoyable and we were promised an energy reboot and a fresh perspective which was delivered to the full. A lovely day indeed.
We were asked to pick a card in one of the workshops and I picked the one below.
The River and Movement, which tells me to go with the flow and let things happen in their own time, which is what I have been telling myself for ages.
This is always, however, hard for me to accept because I always want everything to happen NOW! Going right back to Christmas, when I was a child, where I simply couldn’t wait for the time when presents could be opened. I would make so much noise and fuss that my mother would let me open a present early…..well, Im not proud of it, but Im still a little like that.
I have learned though, that this is not how life works. Things come to us when we relax and let life open up, and when we stop fighting and forcing our hand. Only then can our minds take in the new information that we need to make changes.
My first thought, when I saw the card and looked at the river flowing through the beautiful landscape, was “I wonder what’s around the next corner into where the river disappears”. My curiosity always wants to see beyond, but I suppose I’ll just have to be patient and wait and see.
1st May, 2017
Green Apple Coaching would like to offer you, Profesional Yacht Crew, a chance to find new ways of coping throughout the upcoming summer season.
Does your experience tell you, that half way through the season your patience and strength starts to wane? Does it become harder and harder to keep the always needed smile on your face? Does the crew and guests start to get on your nerves? Do tempers get frayed, because you have now worked for 2 months or maybe even 3 without a day off?
This is all normality for us as yacht crew and the constant demands can bring us to near breaking point.
Does any of this sound familiar? It certainly does to me.
After several years as a super yacht chef, I went through this myself on several occations and listened to many stories of crew burnout.
But it doesn´t necessarily have to be like that. You can choose to learn new coping strategies and to have support throughout the long season by signing up to coaching sessions designed to your exact needs. Sessions can be done over the phone, so you can have contact throughout the season from anywhere.
Have a Healthy Summer Season.
April 20th, 2017.
A Magic Trip Around Menorca.
What are you passionate about? What is the one thing that makes you forget the world and feel you could go on forever doing just “this”?
My passion is not everyone’s cup of tea. Many people say, “I don’t know how you do it, I couldn’t think of anything worse”, but when I put on my well worn hiking boots, an 8 kg back pack with everything I need for 6 days and I walk out into the open air, with a few like minded friends, I am unable to think of anything I´d rather do. I am then truly in heaven.
That is how I spent my Easter this year. 6 days of hiking around the coast of Menorca, on the famous trail, the Cami de Cavalls. The beauty of the island was mesmerizing.
Not once did I think of anything except what was happening right there and then. That is what you call “living in the moment”. Every moment of every day was lived to the full with no thought for “tomorrow”.
I only thought of food, water, sleep/shelter, (and my sore feet) during this time, the very basic human needs.
My gratitude list grew moment by moment, as we turned another corner and a beautiful, beach, cala or spectacular sea view was revealed. Our days were filled with “wows” and “ohh my gods” and “how amazing is this?!”
Blisters and throbbing feet were the reminder that we were doing something different. That we were pushing our boundaries beyond what we were accustomed to. On day 3, I was sure I would´t want to walk day 4, but day 4 came and I was ready to go again.
The promise of more beauty and the feeling that my body was getting stronger, kept me going and focused. By day 6, I didn’t want it to end and I felt sad when it was all over. The feeling of companionship and accomplishment had filled me to the brim with gratitude.
It struck me, at the end of this magic trip, how little is needed for me to feel fulfilled: Water, food, shelter, friendship, a spare pair of clean socks and a spare clean t-shirt as well as a bar of soap to wash, and a few other essentials. With that little pack I would have been happy for a very long time. I didnt miss my home comforts and plentyful wardrobe once.
I walked towards my home late in the day, the feelings of “real life” came into my mind. That little ping of “reality”. A familiar, slightly negative feeling, but I decided to say “no” to that feeling and let it pass, bringing myself back to the moment, where everything is OK.
Do what you love! Always!
April 12th 2017
The Summer Season: Stress Onboard.
How can you deal with the stress onboard during the long summer season?
The way we deal with stress can be strongly influenced by the training of the mind. We can train our minds to think positively as supposed to negatively during stressful periods.
We can take control of how we cope with stress in our lives and consequently achieve a form of tranquility and fulfillment even during the hardest periods.
Learning and using these techniques can completely change the way we view our world when the going gets tough. When we learn to zone out from all the chaos going on around us, our inner world will remain calm.
That doesn´t mean we dont do our jobs, it just means we do our jobs better and with focus without anyone or anything being able to rock our inner selves.
As a life coach I can help you find your stress triggers and teach you techniques on how to cope with the situations that put you under pressure.
I wish you a Happy Easter.
1st April, 2017
The Summer Season is Nearly Upon Us!
What challenges do we, as professional yacht crew, come up against during the often long hard summer season?
As the season progresses and down time is sparse, it can become difficult to cope with daily life as a crew member.
We start to feel fatigued and sometimes stressed, which in turn can change our behavior and our thoughts can become negative and strained.
We may have to work with people we don’t like or care for at times, making life onboard hell.
We are away from family and friends for long periods of time and may start to feel lonely and wishing our life away, by willing the season to end as soon as possible.
Crew politics can become unbearable and in some cases the strain is eased by alcohol intake and may even result in alcohol or drug abuse.
Does any of this sound familiar to you?
If so maybe its time for you to find a new coping strategy. A new way of thinking that can support you during the hard times that are inevitable during the season.
I can teach you these coping strategies as well as teach you valuable tools you can use to help you cope with all situations as they occur, even later in the season when you are tired, fed up and you want the season to end.
Once I learned these tools myself, I was able to cope better with the stress and long hours and gave me more enjoyment in my day to day life onboard.
Wishing you a calm summer season.
13th March 2017
“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass… get up, get up, get up!! Happiness is not the absence of problems, it’s the ability to take action and deal with them.”
– Steve Maraboli
Only one thing can change our lives today and that is taking action. Until we do, nothing will happen…..life will not suddenly happen to us or for us. If we want to make changes we have to move ourselves towards them or we will simply stay still where we are and never be satisfied.
Picture yourself as an 85 year old. How will you feel if you don´t take action and make your dreams a reality now. When time is finally running out what will your regrets be? Dont let that happen! Dont leave your life till later…take action now! No one else will do it for you.
Wishing you an active day.
March 7th, 2017
“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”
– Sylvia Plath
What makes you happy? What really fills you up and makes you feel completely satisfied with life in that moment? Do you even know what it is?
For years I forgot that for me its about nature, being in it and part of it. I grew up in nature, but thought I had moved on and took no real notice of the nature around me.
For years I forgot how brilliant I always felt when I was in the mountains hiking. I needed to re-learn this but once I had identified it, I knew what to do.
First, find like minded people who loves to do exactly that….hike. Second, boot up and show up and make new friendships and BINGO……a new happy life is born.
Do you know what makes you feel this way?
If not, maybe its time to find out what makes you tick and feel happy and free.
Febuary 21st, 2017.
“Expectations are like fine pottery. The harder you hold them, the more likely they are to crack.”
– Brandon Sanderson.
Expectation and disapointment far too often shows themselves to be partners. For example, how often have we had high expectations of a new relationship being´the one´, only to be disapointed because it didn´t turn out to be, what we had dreamed of or expected.
We then consequently, in our disapointment, end up casting blame on the other for letting us down.
When we can admit to ourselves that our expectations are too high, we can stop being our own worst enemy and stop expecting perfection from others, as well as ourselves.
Once we do that, we may find the happiness that has eluded us.
February 14th 2017
Willingness to Change.
“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
– Isaac Asimov.
Why do we have to be WILLING to be able to change?
Because once we are willing, we can give ourselves permission to change. This may sound strange, but to change we will have to clean out the old ideas to allow new ones to enter. But often we are afraid of change, because of the people around us. We are scared of what others will say about us or how others will react to the changes we are trying to make. Some may even try to sabotage us in our attempt, due to their own fear of being left behind.
Therefore the willingness to change is of the upmost importance, because the wish has to come from within. It has to be needed, wanted, wished for so badly, that it feels worse to stay stuck where we are, than to move into new, unknown territories in our lives.
We have to open our minds up, maybe even to things we have previously opposed. If we don´t, we cannot let in new ideas. It is not possible, because we cannot live differently if we keep hold of our old limiting convictions.
Think about how positive it would be to dare to live a life with an open mind. Open to suggestions and new input, that could lead to greater life satisfaction for ourselves and for those around us.
Become willing to make positive change today. You will not regret it.
Wishing you a wonderful day.
February 7th 2017
A New Mission.
“Dreams must be chased, for if we wait for them to chase us we will live a life of waiting.”
– Craig D. Lounsbrough
Why should we have a mission in life? What does it really matter whether we have a clear idea of where we want to be or what we want our lives to look like?
If we don’t have a mission it is likely we will feel a lack of purpose and we may consider life to be painful, that there must be more to life and that we feel dissatisfied and out of place in this world.
This eats away at our inner peace and leaves us unhappy with our choices and questioning the meaning of our lives.
We may then blame our unhappiness on having the wrong partner, job, salary, house, friends etc. and say “If only we had all the right things in place, then we would be happy.”
However, when we then achieve these things we find we are again not happy after a while.
So why is that? What is missing?
When we look to the outside world to achieve happiness, we leave ourselves open for disappointment because our expectations are based on what others can do for us.
What we need to learn is to rely on ourselves…..at least most of the time, so that when life becomes difficult, we are strong enough to weather the storm.
We can make a new mission any time that includes aiming to live a better, happier more fulfilled life with commitment to LEARN how to live this better life we want.
To continuously find new inspiration to become the best that I can be, and to inspire others to change and live well and happily, with love and respect for themselves as well as others.
Wishing you a happy day.
January 30th 2017
Why do we sometimes choose to live in denial instead of facing the cold truth about ourselves?
We can be in denial about an endless list of things such as food intake, alcohol intake, credit card spending, relationships etc.
We deny that these problems exist because the truth is far too painful to face or we fear what will happen if we change.
But long term denial doesn´t work. Reality will come and bite us in the butt one day and possibly with a great big bang. Then we can choose to cast blame on others or blame ourselves and do something about it. The choice is our own.
For years I denied to myself that the amount of alcohol I consumed was affecting my life. I drank in the name of fun and get togethers with friends. As time passed and I got older I became less and less happy. I couldn’t´t understand why. I lived a “happening” life of travel. I had enough money and friends and constant change. The one thing that was always consistent in my life was my drinking habit….I never changed that.
I denied to myself that it was the alcohol that was stopping me from being the person that I wanted to be because…”why would it be?”, “I´m not an alcoholic!….they are the people on park benches holding onto a carton of wine”, I would tell myself.
But deep down a little voice would remind me now and again saying, “until you stop this you will never be happy”. I didn’t listen to that voice until 5 years ago, when I finally gave alcohol up completely.
It was a MASSIVE decision, because I knew it would affect my current life and my relationships, so it wasn´t taken lightly. It was a decision taken from love for myself and an attempt to make real lasting change for the remainder of my life. Who knew that alcohol could have such a great negative effect on my happiness? I certainly didn´t! I always thought drinking made me happy. It never had occurred to me that it could have been the reason for my unhappiness.
Letting go of my denial has brought me limitless opportunities and a new beginning. I am “awake” and alert to make life changing decisions now and I have not looked back….not once!
Wishing you a happy day.
January 24th 2017.
Accept or Resist.
“Nothing brings down walls as surely as acceptance.”
― Deepak Chopra
Acceptance: “a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition, often a negative or uncomfortable situation, without attempting to change it or protest it.”
Sometimes we have to accept that what we need today, is not what we have. That the life we truly wish and burn for, is missing many ingredients. But we cant let go. We want to hold onto all the things we already have, even though these things are stopping us from achieving what we long for.
It may be holding onto a relationship that isnt going anywhere, hanging onto a job we hate, a crowd of people we dont fit in with, old bad habits and excesses such as alcohol and food etc.
First we have to admit the problem before we can stop resisting and accept it. Once we do that we are on the road to real positive change, because then we can look for a solution and subsequently find one.
When we eventually do accept our problem/s, all the misery, frustration and struggle against life falls away and we can carve ourselves a new path that includes all the things we want and wish for.
There are times ofcourse, when we can’t change our reality, even if we try. It may be that our partner decides to leave us, we get fired from our job or someone close get sick or even dies. We are obviously not capable of changing these situations, and may find them hard to accept, but accept them we must for us to move on with our lives.
Acceptance is most importantly not related to weakness but rather to great strength. The day we can accept everything in our lives exactly as they are, change the things that are within our power and move on, then we are on the road to living a satisfying life.
I wish you a happy day.
January 10th 2017.
Swimming up Stream or Going with the Flow.
Have you ever felt that your life is an uphill struggle? Your plan is to get from A to B but there are constant obstacles put in your way.
It is exhausting and most of us have felt like that at sometime in our lives.
Then one day you just give in, you stop struggling and resisting and BINGO, everything starts to fall into place.
Its the old story of the woman who cant get pregnant and has spent lots of money on IVF treatment with no happy outcome. Finally she lets go and stops trying. The next month she gets pregnant naturally.
Letting go of control is hard. We want something so bad and we think we should know everything beforehand, that we need to work everything out for the best outcome for us. We then become stressed because things are not happening as we thought they would or should.
As I learn to let go and stop trying to be the arranger and organiser in my life (and maybe other peoples lives too), I also learn to listen to my inner voice, my intuition. When I do that, everything starts to flow. It then feels like I am doing the right things.
Learning to let go takes practice….Im still practicing myself……. but the more I do it the better life becomes.
As the human species of animals that we are, I believe we have forgotten how to listen to our inner selves. All other animals do it. They have instincts, or a sixth sence, but we have that too. We just need to learn to listen to what our subconcious is telling us again, as supposed to what society and the TV tells us.
Dont keep struggling against the tide. Learn to let go.
Have a very happy day.
January 3rd 2017
A New Year, A New Story.
“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, wispering ‘it will be happier’……”
How can we change hope into reality? How can we make sure that the life we lead is the life we want? How do we start saying ‘I can’, as supposed to ‘I cant’?
To do that we need to change our negative stories and limiting beliefs. We ALL have stories we tell ourselves, whether we know it or not. These stories and beliefs build up over time as we live life and give each experience a positive or negative meaning.
If we dont know we live by our story, we will be controlled by it and we can become an offer to it, which stops us from living our lives to our full potential.
Once we know our story and understand that we feel a certain way in certain situations, we can let go of the drama and change the way we behave or think in spite of how we feel. We can STOP believing the limiting story.
We will also be able to see how these stories have possible positive gifts hidden behind them.
An example from myself is the limiting belief I have, that I am not ‘good enough’. Every time I put myself into a learning situation with others, I spend far too much time agonising over, how everyone else are so much better at ‘it’ than I am. The fact is, I have no idea about others and how good they are, but I will believe they are better than me. When I finally identified this story I could accept that that is how I will feel for a while in these situations. The positive side of this is that it makes me work much harder than I otherwise would, because I dont want to fail. So I study hard, work hard and try hard, when it is important to me and therefore rarely fail.
What are your limiting stories? What negative things to you tell yourself about yourself?
I wish everyone of you a fantastic 2017. Live happy. Live the life you want.
December 27th 2016
Finding Peace of Mind!
“You will never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart”
– George Micheal.
Peace of mind used to be an elusive dream. Something I only ever felt during fleeting moments of calm, which was always influenced by outside forces, such as my interpretation of other peoples opinion and acceptance of me. So when I saw the above quote I felt sadness from hearing George Micheal had passed away, but it also reminded me of my own wish for achieving peace of mind some years ago.
What I learned, when I finally opened my mind to change, is that peace of mind came from accepting myself exactly as I am, and accepting others just as they are. I learnt that I don’t need to be right and understood all the time. What others think of me is none of my business, as it is none of my business how others choose to live their lives.
What kind of person I wanted to be was the question. I decided I wanted to up my standards and be a better version than my previous self. If I know I am doing my best at any given moment, and if I think about, and act on, what the next right thing to do is, I have earned my peace of mind.
I don’t succeed all of the time of course, but peace of mind is no longer an elusive feeling that comes and goes as my thoughts jump around and try to convince me that they are true. It is now a more permanent fixture in my life as I learn to accept what is, and others as they are.
Rest in Peace George Micheal, you left us far too soon and I´ll miss your beautiful songs.
Wishing you a happy day.
December 20th 2016
The Value of Gratitude.
“The more I understand the mind and the human experience, the more I begin to suspect there is no such thing as unhappiness; there is only ungratefulness.”
– Steve Maraboli. Life, the Truth, and Being Free
As it is the week leading up to Christmas it feels appropriate to mention gratitude. The emotion of expressing appreciation for what we HAVE, as supposed to what we WANT, especially right now, where there are so many horrors happening in the world.
Cultivating a habit of gratitude, for every good thing that comes to us, big and small, and giving thanks continuesly for the good already in our lives, empowers us and frees us from feelings of self pity and misery.
We can deliberately cultivate gratitude, and will increase our well-being and happiness by doing so. The expression of gratitude to others is associated with increased energy, optimism, and empathy, because we cannot be grateful and unhappy at the same time.
Start cultivating gratitude today. Write a daily list of 5 things you are grateful for and see for yourself how your energy shifts positively after a while.
My gratitude list for today:
I am grateful we have our mother for Christmas again this year.
I am grateful for a lovely phone call today from a valued friend.
I am grateful for the hot cup of tea that warms me on this rainy day.
I am grateful for nature and the calm it brings.
I am simply grateful for feeling grateful.
I wish every one of you a wonderful Christmas. Give generously and accept with gratitude.
December 3rd 2016
A Step Closer.
What can you do today to take a step closer to the life you really want to live? What could be one tiny step in the direction of your destination?
Because that is all it takes, a small step of forward momentum and you are on your way.
But first you need to know what you value most in your life. What rules are you living your life by? Do your rules and current values support you in what you really want to get out of your life?
If you are not getting what you want it could be because your values are in conflict with each other and you have too many rules which will enevitable lead to pain.
For example, one of my goals is to live a life where I can have a dog and the unconditional love it will bring. Having a dog means (to me) a stable life living in one place.
One of the values highest on my list is freedom. Freedom to do anything I want whenever I want.
This is of course in direct conflict with owning a dog, because I will have to let go of what I value most. I will have another being to think of, who will rely on me for everything, so the consequence is my freedom will be taken away.
So what is more important, freedom or the unconditional love a dog will bring into my life? To succeed in reaching this goal, I will have to value unconditional love over freedom.
This gives me a choice. I can see that this is what it will take, for me to succeed in reaching this goal, if I am going to be a responsible dog owner.
Today I am one step closer to reaching my goal. I am not there yet, but I can feel it coming. I am ready to let go of my freedom and choose love.
Let me help you find where you may have conflicting values that are keeping you from living the life you wish for.
December 5th 2016
Where can I, as a coach, add value to your life?
I am talking about where one of my areas of expertise lies: “Burnt out” professional yacht crew.
What experiences do I have, that makes me believe I have something to give to exactly these people?
I started out as a chef in yachting in 1983 and have had a love/dislike relationship with the industry ever since. I loved the travel, loved the people, loved the fun and the parties and all that the industry offered, including attractive wages. My dislikes were the long hours worked, crew politics, relationship difficulties and lack of home life, to list a few.
I left burnt out on a couple of occasions only to re enter the industry again after a while. The reason to re enter was usually financial, but I now realise that I simply had a lack of imagination of what I could have done. If I had looked at what really makes me tick, a long time ago, and what really means something to me in my life, I believe I could have avoided a lot of pain and heartache.
That is, however, easier said than done and has proven to be the hardest part. Identifying what I love to do and what I burn to do deep down, has taken lots of soul searching, coaching and book reading. Part of me wishes I hadn´t left it so long. I could have sought help a long time ago, but I kept to what I knew and therefore remained in a “middle” satisfied state for a very long time.
Now, having done the work and having learnt how to live the life I want, I feel a freedom I have never felt before. It has been worth every painful moment.
Do you ever feel as I described? If your answer is yes, please don´t leave it as long as I did. I can help you find what you really burn for deep down.