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Transformational Journeys

CHAI CHATS: Insights from India Yoga Teachers Training

By | Insights to help you #quickshift, Transformational Journeys, Transformational thoughts | No Comments

A new ritual has developed between my soul sister and me. Once family by paper, we are now family by heart … but with our busy lives and my location free living for the past few years, our connection was often relegated to shorthand Whatsapp messages, a gulped cup of coffee when our paths crossed in CT or JHB, or if lucky, a more extended lunch every now and then. Speaking on the phone never quite cuts it, you know? So in 2018, we decided, in our 50’s, to carve out a new annual ritual of dedicated time together.

Even when we attended our first Yoga Spirit Fest (um, to be honest, it was more of a dance fest just no booze or meat), we were already calling it annual!

Precious time for the two of us to connect – lingering conversations over cups of chai tea and coffee, no rush to cover big headlines only, time to slow down and be with each other. All relationships and friendships need this to feed each other. My recent lifestyle in the past few years have felt like a conundrum – loving the gallivanting and adventures but also skating on the surface of many things in my personal quest to live location free. Some of the insights from our conversations that unfolded in between yoga in 2018 have since transpired and come to fruition in my life. New steps were taken, new business decisions put into action and deeper emotions processed. That’s the unbelievable power when someone who cares, just sits and listens without judgment. Simply lets your words land on their heart. Most times, I can find the solution or feel the next step emerging, just in the speaking and the hearing of it land softly. Do you have that person in your life?

Travel takes an inordinate amount of time and energy for me now. I am never in one place long enough to settle into a routine and BE, to immerse or to rest. Some things have definitely suffered –like knowing that I am not always truly present and patient as a partner or friend when truly needed. Also my lack of deeper connection into a community other than fleetingly popping in before waving goodbye again; or never knowing where my next hair cut might turn out (come on gals, you know the stress of that one right?), The lonely downside of gallivanting globally and another plane to catch. Sounds glamorous when I say I live #locationfree, but it is honestly taking its toll where it really counts.

What if what I really want is the thing that is eluding me? How do I make sure I take the right steps to fulfillment and a way forward that is aligned, and not just skip on to the next place that beckons my gypsy soul?

For our annual connection time, “let’s go to India” we said. Soul Sister has been there many times, but this was a bit different for us, my virgin trip. Our ritual for 2019 was to be a Yoga Teachers Training in Rishikesh, even though neither of us is necessarily rushing out to become a full-on teacher, we wanted a deep IMMERSION and better yoga instruction, more than a pampering retreat experience. “Let’s be bold,” we said, “Let’s aim high,” we said. “Dive right in.” Deeply unprepared, just saying yes and showing up, not really knowing what was in store for us as most of the girls and guys were less than half our age. 8 hours of instruction every day in 33-degree humidity. I sweated half my body away. (darn ….I wish)

Here are some personal insights from 7 short nights in Rishikesh, India…

Get Up and Get Out
On our very first morning, we both jolted naturally awake at 6 am, like little kids on Divali. Knowing we only started our training at ten am on the first day, we could not resist the pull of the mighty River Ganga a few u-bends below us. The most revered, sacred river in India was just at the bottom of our hill. Flowing like a river in flood, even though the monsoon season is over, this immense gushing river speeds past mountains and villages spreading hope, purification and faith to all. Albeit highly polluted to a western brain, it is the pure liquid that is celebrated in full by everyone. Everything centers around it – and the energy from it was honestly joyous and mesmerizing!

We just pulled on clothes, started walking down the hill, jumped in a tuk-tuk, instinctively negotiated the price to a local rate, and followed our nose down the hill. A few kilometers later we realized we were heading away from the bridge we wanted to walk across, so we just jumped out and started walking back, in the morning cacophony of the streets.

In a country where folk are so compassionate and treat each other with the utmost respect, I felt unbelievably safe. Walking with my bag and camera and not one iota of fear or threat. Just huge smiles were greeting us at every turn – and a few amused looks at my mop of silver hair. All Indian women (unless about 80) have thick black, coconut smelling hair. Even the older men dye their silver hair all sorts of colors. Oh well, best I own my silver dowry proudly as it was fun being asked to have my picture taken with locals.

Before most people on our course were even awake, we had already experienced the colorful context of the sacred Mama Ganga in Rishikesh and where we were spending the week.
Do you just get up and out and are you brave and bold when you travel, or shrink away from the experience?

 

Witness the Synchronicities
While mindfulness is becoming the trendy buzz in the western world, the East just LIVES within this philosophy. It’s in the water, the rivers, the food, the air. Nothing to think about – it just seeps out every pore of the locals. It’s why I have always been drawn to it, I guess. But for Westerners, we often have to force ourselves to be wide-awake, mindful, and in gratitude mode to see what’s unfolding in the magic of each moment.

From screeching with laughter at magically appearing bananas in airports, to a profound 45-second sighting of the Dalai Lama floating past us in Delhi domestic airport, to a loved Ashram literally just down the road from our yoga school, to closed doors being unlocked and opened for us in sacred spaces, To caves of profound silence, to intense conversations from all the teachers we experienced that just kept saying the right thing at the right time for me (offering several objective teachings for me personally) ….we just kept noticing and laughing at all the love and life that showed up for us.

Do you witness all the little wonders of synchronicity in life that show up in each moment? Sometimes you just have to lift your eyes and look, deeply look, with soft eyes. Soft eyes will laugh! Soft bellies will laugh. We shouldn’t have a six-pack, just one pack that knows how to live, love, and laugh!

 

Take it as it Comes
You either love it, or you hate it – there is just NO grey in India

India is honestly hot, smelly, chaotic, dirty, and everything else in between. Loud, colorful, generous, poor and sacred. You can either embrace it all, inhale deeply and let it seep into your bones for the full experience, or you can be precious and tiptoe through your time there and hate every minute. And you can never know that until you go! Reading about a place, dreaming about a place, making plans to visit a place, watching movies about a place do not do anything to replace BEING in a place. No short cuts – not even with high definition movies or virtual reality. The power is in the experience of it. Always. We attempt to pre-empt too much with our western brains.

India will likely push your buttons – it pushed mine. But I chose to sink into the experience and surrender. The true art of letting go right? The very darn thing I teach with my de-cluttering and concept of #livelightlivelarge. We cannot control everything in life, but I can do my best to control how much I squirm or delight in response to life and just be ok with it all. That’s within my realm of control. Living in our little haven of Swiss Cottage above Rishikesh was humid, hard, loud and dirty – yet utterly delightful, sacred and filled with unbounded love and respect for life, each other and yoga. 33-degree rooms have no aircon – we’ll still breathe, and I love Bikram, right?

No shoe policy indoors means kinda dirty feet all the time. Who cares. I and my grubby clothes literally smelled all week, no matter what I tried. You know it’s bad when you catch a whiff of yourself! Banknotes than probably have ten diseases present – well bless the money and just pass it on. Weak instant coffee for my daily fix was like gold – until I see a gleaming coffee machine on day 5! The delight in my eyes lit up the whole village! Bikes, cars, tuk-tuks, buses, cows, monkeys, dogs and people all one trail – just keep your wits about you!

Can you honestly allow yourself to immerse fully? If not, then perhaps regroup and get the heck out!

 

Impact of gratitude
Gratitude in India appears a different concept – they see everything they do as an act of service, of love, of serving their faith. With no expectation other than to serve and help. No gratitude needed. I have so much to learn here – I am far more Westernised in my thinking of in and out, give and receive, thank you and showing appreciation. Maybe I need to surrender into service more, to do for the joy of doing, give for the joy of giving. The selflessness oozes out of their pores and shows me up to me!

Our yoga philosophy teacher says when a family makes chapattis, they offer up the first three: one to the gods, one to the cows and one to nature. If very poor, they will split one into three to give the first “three” away, and only then feed the family. Sacred ritual. So often when we as westerners show our thanks by “tipping,” we feel we have helped the other person. But actually, they have allowed us to serve and help them. We are the lucky ones in being able to give, not them for receiving!

This is such a personal test for me – when I saw the look on our teachers’ faces when gifting them something for the week– not even knowing what was in the envelope money wise- it was humbling to see the honest gratitude of being appreciated when no expectation is present. It’s filled with pure love.  No airs and graces, zero expectation. I witnessed such a transition of the ego into the spirit. What we all aim for, right?

These are powerful, dedicated teachers who devote their lives to healing and teaching – and within them runs a deep humbleness that was profound to witness. A small thank you brings so much joy mostly I feel because they see the joy in our giving too. The cycle of life?

So the question I ask is am I honestly being grateful for everything I have and can I do more in service, without expectation of return, or is the western way of always wanting ‘more’ detrimental to inner peace? Seeking more love, more fun, more attention, more sharing. More peace. What about acceptance of what is?  I need to understand the balance of giving with no need for anything in return and balance that with seeking and living with joy and passion. Going where energy flows and spirit is free. I’m finding this is my lesson at the moment.

What’s your current lesson in life?

The amount of money, number of houses, or jewels on our fingers does not a happier, more peaceful person make. That comes from within. I have really attempted to be more satisfied with less, to be living without a home, without too many possessions and needing less generally. Living mostly from a suitcase in the last 3.5 years, ever moving, ever restless, ever traveling, I have been trying my best to tread lightly as I go. Leaving somewhere a little better than when I arrived.

But I still seek lots of experiences in the world. Always wanting more, India taught me about being grateful for every little thing that IS, not what could be.
Who can you give to today, who can you be thankful for, who can you acknowledge – whether by saying something or offering a token of your thanks? It’s all about the smile – make people smile and let yourself laugh from your belly!

 

Different Teachers, Different Strengths
Everyone I came across had something to teach, prod, nudge, or remind me about. There was no getting out of it when 8 hours of every day were immersed in some aspect of the training. The power of ego and how it shows up, the power of purification in the morning even when I was apprehensive of the neti pot, the anticipation of a hard class that landed up being delightful, the blessing of hearing that looking after your own passion and walking away when something doesn’t bring you deep joy, is ok. Truly ok. Everything is perfect just as it is, and you must follow your heart and try to do no harm in the process.

And often it was about how to find the JUICINESS in your hamstrings! Can you imagine – juicy hamstrings? My legs just light up at the thought of being juicy. Learning how going back the most basics of basic yoga positions is often harder than doing the complicated asanas. But all spoke the same thread – it’s all about preparation and purification for meditating, in order to reach enlightenment and compassion. Simple.

My overall take away is that everything and everyone counts – each and every perspective make up the matrix of the whole, and we have to choose what we need at each step along the way. I was left with the conundrum of understanding and knowing in my soul where I am, juxtaposed with how to remain patient, kind and trusting that we each have to walk our own journey. My eternal dilemma in life.

I also remember that we don’t have to be all things to all people – we each resonated and gelled with different teachers during the week. Just like we resonate with different people in our line of work – yet often we take it so personally if we feel like we aren’t reaching enough people, or getting enough business. I am in charge of MY life, and if I can help you change yours because we resonate, fantastic. If not, there is someone better to support your journey professionally.

Do you live your life with this knowing – that the right people will find their way to you and vice versa?

How can I have such tolerance in some areas and zero in others?
I realized with a revolting jolt that I can feel 200% patience with strangers, and yet complete intolerance for my near and dear. No matter how many times people might tell me that I am impatient, and too fast, I still have to internalise the lesson. What’s that about, hey? I think that when any of us humans are feeling un-appreciated, un-seen, and un-loved, every part of our small-minded pettiness, aka the ego, comes up for grabs. Well, mine does! As impatience and intolerance. Mostly for myself, then for others. So my more in-depth attempt is to find a way to be more graceful and a little less ego-driven. Yikes, that’s a blooming tough one! My personal double-edged sword!

How often in life that my / your energy, action, and kickass-ness translates in the very next breath to impatience, intolerance, and judgment, for myself and those closest to me. Knowing how to walk that fine line takes wisdom. The whole week in India, all I felt from our teachers was grace, patience, and compassion. What a joy to behold, and I realize how much I have to learn from their presence in my life.

India was a transitional gift to my soul, and a time where CHAI CHATS with Nats are forever etched in my heart.

I simply have taken the next step on my journey, trusting I am truly where I need to be, no matter what. Because there is simultaneously also deep joy – the essence of both that life requires!

I trust in the bigger picture that …

…if something is meant to be, nothing can stop it, and if something is not meant to be, nothing can make it so.

Namaste

Dear Realtors – 10 ways home owners mess with the sale (and your mojo).

By | Coaching Tips 'n Tools, Get organised NOW, Selling Your Home, Transformational Journeys | No Comments

Realtors – Understand 10 ways your sellers unconsciously sabotage the speedy SALE of their home
(plus mess with your income & reputation)

 

92% of people are guilty of number 1, but NO-ONE talks about it and I am here to change that!

Dear Realtors – you have my deepest sympathy!

Selling all your client’s homes -Yuck or Yah? Or a bit of both? Everyone knows that selling a home elicits dread, anxiety and heightened stress for the seller and the buyer. But what about you and your pivotal role?  Don’t your client’s drive you nuts sometimes, or the current market place and trends that seem top make everything that much tougher for you to get the deals through?

If you are taking the time to read this, then I understand and respect that….

  • You have been in the business for a long time
  • Are brilliant at what you do
  • Always super duper professional
  • Engaging, generous with your time and go the extra mile
  • Passionate about people, families and homes
  • Have a great eye for what works and doesn’t……

… and yet still you feel like you are wading through sludgy mud. You are fast having to adjust to ever-changing market trends and the fact that more and more sellers believe they can handle the transactions on their own (yeah right!).

Everyone is trying to undercut your commission and you probably aren’t having as much fun in this industry anymore? You even think about getting out and doing something less “uphill” or stressful pretty soon. But, you also just LOVE this industry and it runs in your blood. And ….sometimes your blood boils when your sellers just won’t listen darn it, refuse to heed your advice or uphold their end of the bargain to get ready for show day or viewings of their property. Aaargh!!!

There is only so much responsibility you can take – the rest is up to them, isn’t it? On top of the painful sales and lodging of documents process, you also know all the other stressful stuff your clients dread in anticipation – which often means you are not their favorite person in the transaction.

It’s easy for them to mutter about when you want to view the house, or canceling viewings at the last minute when their child is sick, or another emergency arises. Or they complain about your commission, the photos aren’t right or you aren’t bringing enough people through to view. It’s always YOUR fault isn’t it?

So how do you find a way to approach this all with a new edge?

To stand out in the sea of sameness in the industry?

To be the REALTOR to offer something totally different with a uniquely compassionate angle?

A way for you to honestly help your clients help themselves and get on board?
(P.S. HOME-OWNERS – If you are a homeowner about to sell and reading this, then you would be better off reading THIS ARTICLE WRITTEN JUST FOR YOU)

For them to ultimately get what they want with more ease and grace?

To enjoy a smoother viewing process, offers to purchase and ultimately the speedier sale of their home?

To offer them a way to handle and process all the stress of the sale and move in their hearts and lives?

A way for you all to feel invigorated about the process of selling and moving again?

I’m Kate Emmerson, the Quick Shift Deva, and I am hell-bent on supporting realtors and home sellers in today’s stressful times. Helping realtors to shift your vooma back into showcasing and selling homes and doing what you love, and letting me help you handle your clients and their hearts, minds and homes.

To help you offer your clients a unique way that has never been spoken about until now – one in which they willingly step up and take more responsibility for getting 100% ready to sell.

That’s my forte- speaking directly through you, to your seller. Coaching, cajoling, nudging and providing practical solutions to shift the sale of their home with grace, speed and ease. Helping them process the angst, stress, to de-clutter, pre- pack, handle inevitable show days/viewings, and ultimately being fully ready to make this move.

So whether your sellers are moving because it’s aspirational and they really want to, or because they somehow feel forced to, they still have a way of embracing the process. To feel way less stressed, more in control, at peace and actually excited about uprooting life, heart and home when selling this time around. To be able to embrace this dreaded process with a lightness of expectation of what’s unfolding.

This is such a potentially powerful and pivotal time in their lives– one that is usually their worst nightmare that fills them with angst and stress. Yet, it can be done with grace, ease and speed through the transition.

Can you imagine shifting the status quo and being able to say how much you LOVE dealing with your clients again?

How you feel more connected to them yet not taken for granted?

How you have discovered a way to make the selling process effortless and life-changing for them?

As an expert in letting go and moving on, I’ve spent 16 years researching home-owners and working in their homes, understanding what keeps them deeply stuck at the internal, psychological level. Holding on for dear life, not budging on ideas or price. When your client feels truly ready to move on, from the inside out, that particular home will sell with lightning speed. And I promise you that my process is down to earth, practical and simple to implement. Clients refer to my style as compassion with a kick!

You know you want me on your team!

I challenge you to have an open mind as you keep reading…

For most home sellers, the notion of getting their home ready to firstly invite you, the realtor, and then let total strangers trudge unceremoniously through their space, opening all the cupboards (oh yes, you know this is true!), deciding if this space suits their taste and budget can elicit feelings of terror and panic, even in the most resilient of folk. There’s always a heady mixture of emotions contemplating selling a home, aren’t there? It’s debilitating and overwhelming. Life is already busy and stressful enough, and this is just a huge added burden on their plate and they hold you responsible for it going smoothly. After all, what are they paying you for?

All sorts of things come into play for them.

How will they pack up everything?

Do they even want to use you, as their realtor if they don’t “have” to?

Are they making the right decision and do they have clarity about what they want?

Who do they trust to move their worldly possessions?

Will doggie Rufus adjust to the new house?

Will grandpa be ok in the new home?

How will they ever get their home show-day ready with all their current obligations?

Gasp – what about that hideous overflowing garage and shed they never got around to clearing out. It’s downright embarrassing and now they are thinking of having you walk through their space!

Will they ever find a beautiful new space that feels like home again?

Will their worldly possessions ever fit into that new space?

While it’s true they have to dig deep to face the above, and most people hate it, what if there is something far more critical that is the real sabotage to them selling their home? It all starts with what’s going on inside, and you can be the one to introduce them to this novel idea.

If you are reading this article and wondering how your clients might be sabotaging the sale of their home, chances are they are in one of a few places right now!

Where do you find your CLIENTS fit right now?

A. Life is changing rapidly, and they are just contemplating selling their home. This would be a very exciting and aspirational move to upsize, downsize or life-size. But right now they might be unsure which route to take along with a mixture of dread and excitement. You might not even be on their radar yet!

B. They are unfortunately being ‘forced to sell’ their home (perhaps due to economic, death, health, divorce or relocating), and are both resisting and dreading everything about life right now it. It’s all too much to handle, it really shouldn’t be happening, they are in shock, and now they have to wrench themselves from their safe safe nest. It couldn’t get any worse. They might view all realtors as another vulture trying to take advantage of them….. or you could be really clever and position yourself as someone who truly understands and can support this awful time in their lives!

C. Their home is just not selling and has spent way too many DOM’s (Days on Market), but they really need this property to sell fast. Enough already! There have just been far too many people trudging through the doors, they are sick ‘n tired of you and no real offers to purchase are materializing. They are losing hope of ever selling, blame you as their realtor, feel frustrated, trapped, and can’t move forward. Horrible all round!

My guess is that you are a Realtor wanting to up your professional game and find unique ways to support your clients to sell faster and with more ease. You are interested in unique ways to help you do your job better – you’re brilliant at what you do, but know something is missing that’s outside your scope of expertise.

You’re confused why a perfect property is somehow not shifting on the market, or you know your client needs help to get a grip on making peace with their life, moving on and handling emotional and physical clutter. You are exhausted from everything being an uphill battle with your sellers and need a business boost.

 

Here are Kate’s 10 ways your clients are unconsciously self-sabotaging the speedy SALE of their home!

 

PART 1: LOOSEN THE EMOTIONAL GRIP

  1. SAY ‘GOODBYE’ EARLY ON
    In my experience, over 92% of sellers fall into this trap, and it’s the first way they will sabotage the sale! It’s also the one no-one else out there talks about because it is considered too fluffy, too soft, too naff. But it will affect the speed, ease, and ultimately the financial aspect of the sale. This is the single most significant factor that your client is 100% in control of and the one to take the most seriously. They have to be ready in their heart and entirely at peace to welcome this move BEFORE you put the “For Sale” up! Take control early on and help them emotionally “detach” from the home and say goodbye to this era of their life with mindful intent. Emotional closure right upfront will bring acceptance and significantly reduce stress.
  2. Most sellers wait till move day to get the emotions in check and wonder why it’s so unbearably stressful. This psychological, emotional, and mental shift is how Kate supports her clients (with life-changing practical exercises) at this pivotal time to ensure they do not sabotage the potential sale. They are energetically and emotionally embedded into every brick in their homes and they have to loosen this grip before they can move on. Homeowners don’t usually wonder about how their “energy” is embedded into every brick and mortar of their home. This is where they realized the dream of owning this home, perhaps had their first child, started a business, danced around the kitchen table after signing the big corporate deal, made love to their partner, and watched little Jamie take his first steps. It might also be a space signifying struggle, heartache and pain – and now they have to say goodbye. It’s all very complicated at a heart level and most folks don’t know how to approach this time and process. Kate shifts that in a jiffy.
  1. PLEASE STOP CALLING IT ‘HOME’
    Too many sellers sabotage the process and hold on with double doses of superglue! They intensify emotional attachment, heartache and stress, by continually referring to this space as ‘home.’Yes, of course, it has been their home, and you feel like you are honoring them by speaking kindly about their “home”, but one of the pivotal shifts to make is to help them consider from this moment onwards, that they are a custodian of this space and start thinking of the home as a house. The challenge is that from now on, every time you all speak about it or think about it (after you have done the emotional closure that Kate’s teaches), is to always use the term HOUSE instead of home! Better yet, think of it as a guesthouse always ready to welcome new guests. Keep the term home for the potential BUYER. You can catch Kate live on the radio sharing her passionate house selling tips to Shado Twala on SAFM
  2. HELP THEM CATCH A WAKE-UP ABOUT WHAT’S LURKING
    Most sellers do a little tidy up around the house, thinking they will clear out properly when finally packing the boxes and move. Beep! Remind them that buyers will open cupboards, and more importantly, they will get a “feel” of the house. If it feels stuffy, cluttered and overfull, buyers will feel stifled in the space even if it is seemingly the perfect house for them on paper and budget-wise. The moment your client decides to sell, please get them stuck into de-cluttering every single inch of the space. They need to, as I like to refer to it,  Zap Your Kr@p – Not only will it make the house appear more spacious and light for the buyer, but means they will also not lug any “stuff” that no longer serves them into the next phase of life. A house move is an ideal time to purge at every level. Let go and live a little lighter, taking only that which you love, use and respect into your new home. If THE SELLER fills up too much of the house, there is no room for THE BUYER to breathe new life into this space. Tone down that bright cerise wall, get rid of 75% of the objects d’art and remove the 30 family photographs stuck on the wall! Buyers need to be able to envisage THEMSELVES living in this space.

 

GRAB PART 2 (WITH HEAPS MORE TIPS AND IDEAS) OF THE ARTICLE ON THE NEXT PAGE BY CLICKING HERE, OR BETTER YET, JUST CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO DOWNLOAD THE ENTIRE E-BOOK AT ZERO COST

Thunder Rain … by Kate

By | Insights to help you #quickshift, Transformational Journeys, Transformational thoughts | No Comments

A poem inspired by an unexpected storm on my Greek island in the midst of summer. Being dragged out of bed by thundering noise suddenly brought these words tumbling out of me – and I have not written any form of “poetry” since 26 – almost half my life ago!

Thunder Rain

Rain cleansing broken hearts as dawn light appears
Water healing pain, buried not forgotten
Flowing through the lives
Of everyone deep in sorrow
Tumbling words in a gasping gush of water

Fumbling “I’m sorry” in a muddy pool
Wind curling ferociously around feathered leaves
Thunder beings crashing through the panes
Beckoning get up get up GET UP

As swallows take flight in bursts of energetic black
The tall sky keeps throwing off its cleansing cloak
Begging us
To wash away the stains, just for today

by Kate Emmerson

Poem inspired by gorgeous rain on a Greek island in the middle of summer. See my pic taken from my apartment

Kate Emmerson

Home Owners – 10 ways you unconsciously sabotage the speedy SALE of your home.

By | Get organised NOW, Selling Your Home, Transformational Journeys | No Comments

10 ways you are unconsciously self-sabotaging the speedy
SALE of your home!

 

88% of people are guilty of number 3, but NO-ONE takes it seriously. Seriously? 

 

Selling your home? Yuck! We all know that selling a home elicits dread, anxiety and heightened stress.

Perhaps for you, there’s a small dose of excitement about the future – but seldom glee and delight about the whole process that lies ahead.

If you dare announce to your friends at the dinner table you are about to sell, that statement will elicit groans of sympathy, followed instantly by stories from hell; opinions about how it’s currently only a buyer’s market, how realtors will rip you off, the awful removal companies will break precious belongings, or worse steal your stuff, what an awful upheaval, oi vey – the packing, the mounds of endless paperwork and basically just implying ….“are you mad?” And so it will go on, blah blah blah.

Do you know anyone that LOVES selling and moving home?

Yes, my clients!

I’m Kate Emmerson, the Quick Shift Deva and I am hell-bent on shifting home sellers (and realtors supporting them) to approach this from a unique and different angle. To feel way less stressed, more in control, at peace and actually excited about uprooting life, heart and home when selling this time. To be able to embrace this dreaded process with a lightness of expectation of what’s unfolding.

This is such a potentially powerful and pivotal time in your life – one that is your worst nightmare that fills you with angst and stress, or one that can be done with grace, ease and speed through the transition.

Can you imagine going against the status quo and being able to say how the selling process was effortless, smooth and life-changing? As an expert in letting go and moving on, I’ve spent 16 years researching homeowners and homes, understanding what keeps them stuck at the internal, deeply psychological level. When you’re truly ready to move on, from the inside out, your home will sell with speed and ease.

I challenge you to have an open mind as you keep reading…

For most home sellers, the notion of getting your home ready to let strangers and realtors trudge unceremoniously through your space, opening all the cupboards (oh hell yes!), deciding if this space suits their taste and budget can elicit feelings of terror and panic, even in the most resilient of folk.

There’s always a heady mixture of emotions contemplating selling your home, aren’t there? It’s debilitating and overwhelming. Life is already busy and stressful enough, and this is just a huge added burden on your plate.

All sorts of things come into play.

How will you pack everything?

To realtor or not to realtor?

Are you making the right decision and have clarity about what you want?

Who to trust to move your worldly possessions?

Will doggie Rufus adjust to the new house?

Will grandpa be ok in the new home?

How will you ever get your home show -day ready with all your current obligations?

Gasp -what about that hideous overflowing garage and shed you never get to clearing out. It’s downright embarrassing!

Will you ever find a beautiful new space that feels like home again?

Will your worldly possessions ever fit into that new space?

BREATHE.

While it’s true you will have to dig deep to face the above, and most people hate it, what if I shared there is something far more critical that is the real sabotage to selling your home? It all starts with you and what’s going on inside.

If you are reading this article and wondering how YOU might be sabotaging the sale of your home, chances are you are in one of a few places – where are you right now?

Where do you find yourself right now?

A. Life is changing rapidly, and you are contemplating selling your home. This would be an exciting and aspirational move to upsize, downsize or life-size. But right now you are unsure along with a mixture of dread and excitement – you don’t even know what’s involved up ahead.

B. You are unfortunately being ‘forced to sell’ your home at this time (perhaps due to economic, death, health, divorce or relocating), and both resisting and dreading everything about your life right now it. It’s all too much to handle, it really shouldn’t be happening, you are in shock, and now you have to wrench yourself from your safe nest. It couldn’t get any worse.

C. Your home is not selling and has spent way too many DOM’s (Days on Market), but you really need this property to sell fast. Enough already! There have just been far too many people trudging through the doors, you are sick ‘n tired of your realtor and no real offers to purchase are materializing. You are losing hope of ever selling, you blame your realtor, feel frustrated, trapped, and can’t move forward.

Perhaps you are a Realtor wanting to up your professional game and find unique ways to support your clients to sell faster and with more ease. You are interested in unique ways to help you do your job better – you’re brilliant at what you do, but know something is missing that’s outside your scope of expertise. You’re confused why a perfect property is somehow not shifting on the market, or you know your client needs help to get a grip on making peace with their life, moving on and handling emotional and physical clutter. You are exhausted from everything being an uphill battle with your sellers and need a business boost. You might find THIS ARTICLE I wrote much more suited to you and your profession. Or better yet grab my full 19 page E-Book for realtors HERE

Typical scenarios that unfold during the selling process: 

  • You make the decision to sell your home
  • You consider selling privately to reduce paying commissions – with the internet, you think it is much easier nowadays
  • You might contact a local realtor/estate agent to sell your home
  • Either you or the realtor/estate agent, gather current evaluations by looking at recent house sales in your area
  • Using this information and some market research, you come up with a market‐related price
  • Depending on where in the world you live, ‘home‐staging’ may be part of your realtor’s professional service to accentuate and highlight the assets of your home
  • You put your home on the market & wait for it to magically sell. After all, your job is done now, right?
  • And then you keep playing the waiting game- usually abdicating all responsibility!

Realistically, the price you want for your home is generally related to several factors: Yes, be honest!

  • The outstanding amount you still owe on your current mortgage/bond. Argh!
  • Other debt you might, have that you’re hoping to squash with accrued profit from selling your home
  • What you originally paid for the property
  • The money you have invested in upgrading and maintaining your property all these years
  • Your emotional attachment to the house and what you “feel” it’s worth (usually higher in your head than realistic!)
  • Other personal factors that might come into play to influence what you believe your precious home must sell for

So how do you start thinking differently about this whole property game?

Here are Kate’s 10 ways you are unconsciously self-sabotaging
the speedy SALE of your home!

PART 1: LOOSEN YOUR EMOTIONAL GRIP

  1. SAY ‘GOODBYE’ EARLY ON
    All sellers fall into this trap, and it’s the first way you will sabotage your sale! It’s also the one no-one else out there talks about because it is considered too fluffy. But it will affect the speed, ease, and ultimately the financial aspect of the sale. This is the single most significant factor that you are 100% in control of and the one to take the most seriously. You have to be ready in your heart and entirely at peace to welcome this move BEFORE you put the “For Sale” up! Take control early on and emotionally “detach” from your home and say goodbye to this era of your life with mindful intent. Emotional closure right upfront will bring acceptance and significantly reduce stress. Most sellers wait till move day to get the emotions in check and wonder why it’s so unbearably stressful. This psychological, emotional, and mental shift is how Kate supports her clients (with life-changing practical exercises) at this pivotal time to ensure you do not sabotage the potential sale. You are energetically and emotionally embedded into every brick in our homes, and you have to loosen this grip before you can move on.Homeowners don’t usually wonder about how your “energy” is embedded into every brick and mortar of your home. This is where you realized your dream of owning this home, perhaps had your first child, started your business, danced around the kitchen table after signing the big corporate deal, made love to your partner, and watched little Jamie take his first steps.It might also be a space signifying struggle, heartache and pain – and now you have to say goodbye. It’s all very complicated at a heart level and most folks don’t know how to approach this time and process
  1. STOP CALLING IT ‘HOME’
    Too many sellers sabotage the process and hold on with double doses of superglue! You intensify emotional attachment, heartache and stress, by continually referring to this space as your ‘home.’ Yes, of course it has been your home, but one of the shifts to make is to consider yourself, from this moment onwards, as a custodian of this space and start thinking of your home as a house. The challenge is that from now on, every time you speak about it or think about it (after you have done the emotional closure that Kate’s teaches), is to always use the term HOUSE instead of home! Better yet, think of it as a guesthouse always ready to welcome new guests. You can catch Kate live on the radio sharing her home selling tips to Shado Twala on SAFM 
  1. CATCH A WAKE UP ABOUT WHAT’S LURKING IN EVERY CORNER
    Most sellers do a little tidy up around the house, but 88% of the homes I get called into just don’t take this seriously! You keep thinking you will clear out properly when you finally pack the boxes and move. Beep! Buyers will open cupboards, and more importantly, they will get a “feel” of the house. If it feels stuffy, cluttered and overfull, they’ll feel stifled in the space even if it is seemingly the perfect house for them on paper and budget-wise. The moment you decide to sell, please get stuck into de-cluttering every single inch of your space. You need to, as I like to refer to it,  Zap Your Kr@p – Not only will it make your house appear more spacious and light for the buyer, but you will also not lug any “stuff” that no longer serves you into the next phase of your life.A house move is an ideal time to purge at every level. Let go and live a little lighter, taking only that which you love, use and respect into your new home.If YOU fill up too much of the house, there is no room for the buyer to breathe life into this space. Tone down that bright cerise wall, get rid of 75% of your objets d’art and remove the 30 family photographs stuck on the wall! Buyers need to be able to envisage THEMSELVES living in this space.


    READ PART 2
     CLICK HERE, OR EVEN BETTER JUST CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW TO
    DOWNLOAD THE ENTIRE E-BOOK AT ZERO COST

     

The airport dash of the silver-crested Cheetah

By | Coaching Tips 'n Tools, Insights to help you #quickshift, Transformational Journeys | No Comments

I stared Alroy straight in the eyes, holding his gaze and said, “You have to know, I’m NEVER that person that arrives at the desk last minute trying to squeeze in the queue and dash through the security, pushing in line. I have never, never, missed a plane or even been late for one in 50 years. 50! And boy, do I travel the world!” I stared him down, just a tad out of breath, grinning and not-so-silently begging.

He says, “the gates closed 15 minutes ago, mam, I can’t let you on,” as I inelegantly flung my case on the scale and he then had to continue as he glanced at his screen…. “And your bag is overweight, so you have to go and pay the fee – it’s too late.”

Somewhat deflated, I chimed back – “oh god, isn’t there ANYTHING you can do for me?”

“Well, maybe I can just call through and check with them – maybe?”

“Yes, please please pleaaaaase …….”

My eyes beady and heart somewhat lighter with his words of possibility.

“But your bag is still overweight.”

“Can’t we just let it through?”

“No, mam!”

He picked up the phone, “I have a VERY late passenger, she was checked in online, but her bag is overweight, is there any chance I can let her through?”

In the meantime, he is furiously (but not fast enough for me) filling out the overweight slip for me to go and pay. This is non-negotiable no matter how big my grin.

You also need to understand this. My motto is LIVE LIGHT LIVE LARGE, and yet somehow my suitcase managed to be 23.8 kilograms….on a 20kg allowance. Don’t even get me started on my hand luggage. I swear I need a new suitcase as this current one weighs 6 kgs EMPTY! Daft beyond daft, but it was a gift, so it makes my heart happy. Go figure. LIVE LIGHT, TRAVEL HEAVY!

Let me backtrack a little bit to how I even arrived so late at the gate….it never usually takes more than 40 to 50 minutes to get to Cape Town International from Houtbay in the middle of the day. I am not talking rush hour commuter traffic time. MIDDAY! Yet, as we get in the car, leave the bay and start climbing up over Constantia Nek, we realized there was a bit of a problem up ahead towards the circle at the top of the hill. I whipped out maps on my phone – damn! Red, red, red, everywhere. 38 minutes just to Constantia. Crawl, crawl, crawl. We banter back and forth about whether it’s even viable to hit the wheel and U-turn to go via Seapoint, but we are already at the point of no–return.

It took 40 minutes just to get to the top of the hill to the La Parada circle. Oops. More like DAMN! So I’m sweating a little bit. Actually sweating a lot, cursing a few people. Not to mention God followed by the Hout Bay road maintenance at the top of my list. Flashing through my brain is the thought that this is going to be the first flight that I ever missed. EVER! I have also been away from Naldo for six weeks while on a Greek trip, and this was my last little leg, just a two-hour flight to be in his arms and kissing his delicious lips once again. So while I know I am going to do whatever I can to make the flight, I also have to just sit back and relax and go, you know what – this is out of my hands. There is absolutely nothing, nothing, nothing I can do. But I also know I am going to give it my very best shot!

So by the time we were nearing to the top of the hill, Sarah says, “If you went left down the fork to Newlands, that might be much quicker,” because we were going right at the fork. We planned that I would go with her to Constantia, where her lunch meeting was (also now 45 min late) she would throw me out, and I would put myself into an Uber taxi and do the last little leg on my own to the airport. So as I call up the Uber app, agreeing it’s much better to jump ship in the middle of the road at the traffic circle, my phone’s bleeps back “insufficient funds.” Huh? What do you mean insufficient funds? I only have one account logged with Uber, I don’t have cash with me, that account has money in it, it has to work – I press confirm again. Uber bleeps again, insufficient funds. I look at Sarah with a feeling of annoyance and simultaneous shame creeping over my face – bouncing between is this a system fault vs. what IF there is no money in that account?

Regardless, somehow, right now, I can’t book myself an Uber! I feel 12. I’m now questioning if there’s a problem with that bank account and my head is racing 5 million times ahead of me…

If it’s saying insufficient funds, is there a problem with my card or has it been fraudulently hacked and money phished, or have we been working so hard this past week that I haven’t been cognizant of my spending? Surely not! Because you see now, if I’m too late for the plane it means I’m going to have to rebook a flight and then it means I don’t have enough money in this account. What the Hell’s going on? What am I going to do? And all sorts of old shameful patterning came flooding into my psyche.

Have you ever been in the dire situation when you go to pay for groceries, or you can’t put in electricity, or you go online to pay something, and you realize there isn’t quite enough money in your account? The account always screams back at you “insufficient funds” or something bounces and you know it’s going to cost you another 150 in fees for that bounced debit order? I’ve worked so flipping hard on my financial slice of life to be in a very different place now, but that old patterning just came and hit me as my solar plexus tightened up and my breath constricted, eyes watery.

Oh God, what if I’m stuck at the ticket sales trying to get on a later flight and I have no funds…

Sarah called up an Uber on her app and threw me out at the circle. Ok, maybe she really did stop the car and let me get out as I hurriedly snapped a screenshot of the confirmed Uber – I needed the right number plates, so I didn’t get into some unsuspecting driver’s car and bellow, “airport now.” But the right number plates driven by Excellency pulled up, and while throwing suitcases into the car, I said, “You don’t understand. This is a bit of an emergency for me. How fast can you legally get me to Cape Town International?”

He said 25, maps said 33, I suggested 20. We made it in 21!

In my head, because I never cut it that fine and it’s irrelevant to me usually, I somehow thought that the gates closed just 30 minutes before take off. I also figure that while I’m in the Uber I can somehow get onto my bank account and just check what is going on because I am sure there’s money in that card or I can move money around etc. etc. – but of course the laptop is in the boot, and my phone and passwords are not all connected and I cannot for the life of me access my bank online.

So there is nothing to do but try and not bite my nails and hand it over! It’s all up to the Gods actually – I started doing my own little form of a clearing prayer, seeing a beautiful light traveling out in front of me, moving effortlessly through the traffic, going to the check-in, security and plane and saying to myself, “it’s all going to be ok, and I really think I’m going to get on this plane, but let’s see how the cards fall today”. I’ve always learned in life that if you don’t get on a plane or catch that taxi or you don’t nab that last train, there’s a much bigger reason why. And I also know not to question that too much. Yet my head, my ego, every sense of me wanted to be on that plane to arrive in Johannesburg at 4.35. Excellency is driving at the speed of legal light, and I realize I might have a chance…. 21 minutes it is!

I run through departures to where I “know” Kulula’s check-in is situated, only to find I have run past it. Has it moved? Damn, I hate it when “more haste, less speed” proves to be true.

And so started my interaction with Alroy. It is definitely the first time I have run straight AT the check-in counters under those barriers that guide the queue. I just flew under them with bags in tow – big eyes looking at me from check-in staff. They sensed I was serious! Alroy soon tells me I can perhaps, probably, maybe definitely get on the plane, but my bag might not. Who cares? I start running to pay for the overweight baggage like it’s now a game of The Amazing Race…”Kate, wait, come back you need the slip” …I did the whole reverse trip even faster when running to pay for over-weight baggage, only to receive a clapping ovation from the staff as I got back to the check-in lightning speed. Perhaps I should enter the TV show race next year? Of course, with a little prayer, as she slipped the same gold card in the machine, I was quite incredulous when it just happened to work. So much for insufficient funds. Part of me expected to see the DECLINED line on the card machine.

Miraculously when I charge back to Alroy, he says, “Ok, I have made a plan, and now you just have to take your bag to the FRAGILE check-in.” I understand COLLECT your bag at fragile – assuming he means that it will come OFF the plane and be at the side of the conveyor belt in JHB. Those Gods are smiling again ….

“No,” he says, as my bag doesn’t disappear down the magical rabbit hole.

“Do you know where fragile and oversized bags is? You have to take it there now.”I hear the word SPRINT because of course, FRAGILE is at the farthest end of this terminal.

He says, speaking faster than me now, as I sense he is in for the long haul with me. “You go check it in, then I’ll meet you back at security and escort you through to the gate.”

Great stuff, because escort = faster.

But first, it’s a case of ‘run rabbit, run rabbit, run run run’! A song my Nan used to sing to me, is playing in stereo in my ears. You can see me, can’t you? Silver hair and silver handbag strung over my shoulder, heavy red suitcase on wheels for check-in, PLUS my hand luggage and we are flying through the terminal… I was like a little mountain goat and cheetah all in one. Really, the whole terminal should have been clapping and parting like the red sea. I also remember the inspirational talk given by Marie Forleo, titled everything is figureoutable – detailing her airport dash to save her marriage.

Oh shit – as I get back to security, Alroy isn’t even there yet. I thought he knew by now how fast this butt of mine can move. I look frantically back over to Kulula check-in, and he sees me, waves frantically and comes hurtling towards me! But now I realize the next hiccup – the security queue. Nope, this is me being escorted remember; so we sidetrack off to another little gate, he tells me to jump the queue at the X-ray machines as he goes and verifies my boarding pass. I apologetically say to the folk in the line, “I’m so sorry, he’s asking me to push in.”

As I’m puffing and removing my laptop, I suddenly remember what is IN my hand luggage. All the beautiful duty-free gifts that I bought at Athens airport – a full liter of Cretan olive oil, olives, rich creams, and shower gel – aka LIQUIDS. LIQUIDS! I had intended to shrink wrap them and send them as excess paid luggage, but well, here I was, going through security. BREATHE. I see the nose of my purple bag tortoise its’ head out the X-ray machine, then stop, and reverse, come out again, and reverse and I think…

It’s over.

Either they are going to confiscate all my delicious liquid goodies, or it’s going to take another 5 minutes I don’t have, for them to check my bag. My heart sinks. Alroy, already through the staff security, is waiting for me as if he’s ready to receive the baton in a relay race. He knows he’s going to be running with me! He’s poised and waiting…

On the 3rd sighting, my bag comes out, and no one stops me as I throw my laptop back in the suitcase and we hurtle off down the ramp. Of course the gate – I don’t even know the number as I am just following him, is at the very FAR end of the departures. He says, “Yoh, I can’t believe how fast you run.” He’s half my age! Maybe even younger! And fit! Not an ounce of fat oozing out of his tight Kulula uniform!

Understand this. I’m a walker – both in name and passion. I’m a Yogi, and I’m a swimmer. I am NOT a runner. Once in my life, I trained for, and did the Spar 10km race just for the hell of a goal to attempt running, and while I loved it, I later injured my back quite severely. But today, I ran like a little silver crested Cheetah. Well, I probably looked more like a huffing, puffing, baby elephant, but I ran through that airport on FIRE I tell ya, on fire! I probably ran the length of Cape Town airport about three times in the space of 12 minutes. As we get down to the gate, he says, “oh look, there’s been a delay. They haven’t even started boarding yet”. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, so I just wheezed, trying to catch my breath.

While my heart is relieved, my asthmatic chest is really not happy and I have sweated as much as in a Bikram class, – not just little beads of sweat to match my elegant outfit – hell no – a tsunami of menopausal sweat mixed with crazy, running woman sweat. Sorry to the lovely lady who sat next to me on the flight!

And he is about to leave me there, his crazy, woman package delivered, he says, “there you go, you have made your flight – but maybe I can get you to the front of the queue.” You know where the ones with babies and in wheelchairs are? I gave him that Bambi eyed look – I think my sheer tenacity spoke to his heart, and God knows what he told the gate staff, but I was the second one on the plane. I slept solidly for two hours and as the plane doors open the lady next to me says she has a long time to wait for her next plane, and so she is happy to let me out of my window seat. I smile at her and say ” I can just climb over you, then you don’t have to move” and with that, I hopped onto my seat and gazelle-like jumped over her. Her reply ‘it’s nice to be so agile”. Indeed it is.

My big red suitcase was first off the line at OR Tambo and all was right in my world again as I go up to the departure level for my usual meeting pick up, and as I walk out, Mr. luscious lips pulls up. The rest is censored….

My point dear reader – I handed it over to the Gods, the staff and all powers that be, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I gave it horns to ensure I was not ever left thinking- “I wonder if I could have made that flight?” I could have, and I darn well did! And of course, that bank card and account were just 100% dandy! Just a regular day in my life! I think I will go back to attempting to live up to LIVE LIGHT LIVE LARGE again.

I would love to hear YOUR story of that near miss! A plane, train or ferry. Drop me a comment below or on kate@kate-emmerson.com – yes that does come STRAIGHT to me!

Back to LIVE LIGHT, LIVE LARGE!

With Lightness,

Kate

Processing Vs Stuck emotions – do you have the right tools?

By | Coaching Tips 'n Tools, Insights to help you #quickshift, Transformational Journeys | No Comments

Hello – this morning I made a quick video of my three favorite “GO TO” tools I use for processing emotions Vs. getting stuck this side of them, letting them trip me up and wreak havoc. I only ever coach clients on processes or tools that I personally use for myself as well! Ones that quite literally change my life!

We all have things we do when our back is against the wall – either by default or design. I know my less productive habits might be to drink too much coffee, get too busy, a few too many glasses of wine – but I also have essential healthy self-care practices and tools I use with clients. Tools that can quite literally perform miracles and astounding shifts.

What do YOU resort to when you need to address “issues,” challenging emotions and just generally make sense of all the  STUFF that is in your face begging for attention. In this video below, I share my 3 personal favorite tools. My tried and tested ones! Do you have healthy ways to get unstuck, process emotions and move through them?

Are you being called right now to face some sticky stuff in life? Do you need to dedicate some quiet time to get away from the hustle and bustle so that you can finally process your emotions through the medium of writing? Well, we are going on a retreat –  you may want to act fast and get on our WRITE YOUR STORY retreat, taking place in the beautiful area of Tulbach, on the most glorious farm. We are going to write, write, heal, rest, eat, play, walk, write, write and write. Definitely SOME wine along with healthy juices, foraging in the veggie garden and luxuriating for 5 nights in the most beautiful guesthouse!  Sarah and I will be sharing all things writing-related, and I will also be facilitating the other 2 techniques I talk about in this video on the retreat….designed to help you heal and shift your life.

These are just some of the reasons why YOU might want to write – whether for yourself or to be published. Writing is cathartic, healing and a powerful way to PROCESS EMOTIONS.

To find some meaning in your own life
You feel you have a compelling story to share
You are an authority in your field
You want credibility
To entertain people
To leave a legacy
You have no idea, just a calling
You are not sure you even want to write a book
You want to set the record straight
You enjoy a challenge
You find writing therapeutic
You just feel the need to tell your story
Discover what happened by looking back at your past
Re-witness the most critical times in your life
Work with or through guilt, fear, shame, anger
Preserve your family’s history
Improve your ability to communicate with others
Learn how to forgive yourself
Confess something
Record your life for your children
You have a cause
Write a speech for your own party
To ensure that your children and grandchildren know who you are
To inspire others to overcome a difficulty
To share a few tales your family love
To share an incredible life adventure
To shine a light on a problem or cause
To entertain readers with exciting/ dramatic/amusing episodes from your life
To teach a valuable lesson about your business, culture, religion, life
To capture a slice of history
To better understand yourself

PERHAPS IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO PROCESS YOUR LIFE THROUGH WRITING IN A SAFE, STRUCTURED  & HEALING SPACE

I wish you a day filled with understanding who you are and how you process YOUR emotions so that you can get on with living your amazing life.

With Lightness,
Kate

How dare I write?

By | Insights to help you #quickshift, Transformational Journeys, Transformational thoughts, Uncategorized | No Comments

How dare I write?

Simply, because I have to and I want to.

Not because any form of Journalism or English Lit featured as my university majors (good job that is not a requirement for writing or getting published) as they did NOT – try Industrial Psychology and Human Geography as my weird combo.

I write because I LOVE to write. Even when I feel I am dragging stuff out of me, I love to write. It gives me a sense of purpose and place.

Sometimes it feels as though it’s the very air I breathe – necessary to my survival. It has felt that way since I was 14 in my “dear diary” era. Writing then about the boys I saw on the bus who smiled at me, the kitty that purred for a cuddle, the revolting man m@sturbating in the car on my walking route to school, the top 40 playlists and what party is coming up this weekend… Oh to be 14 and in love again?

It’s a way of finally taking the thoughts that swirl relentlessly around my mind, demanding time and attention and that have the desire to seduce or destroy me and finally letting them settle through me. Gently settle. By giving them a small space in the world, space from which I can survey them at last – perhaps to shut them up, ignore or befriend them, sometimes even laugh at them – and then I am able to move on to the next step in life. It all makes sense again.

At other times it’s out of self-created guilt. If I have the gumption to utter the words “I AM A WRITER”, then best I lean into that. I know it’s essentially a verb in feeling. Well theoretically ‘writer’ is a noun of course, but for me daring to be a writer has to be a verb. Which means I am only a writer when I am writing. I cannot call myself a writer and be a thinker. Or a cogitator. Or a procrastinator hoping to write. That’s a lie, it’s deceitful. So I am a writer when I am writing. Simple. A writer because of my writing or even in spite of my writing. In my personal view of the world, I became an author when I was published. That can never be taken away from me. Author is more of a noun for me – but writer, mmm, that demands attention, discipline, love, care, time, BUMTIME as we call it on our writing mentorships. It requires the continuous clumsy clickety-clack of the keyboard or the scratch of my pen scrawling morning pages. A verb that means “get to it Kate” -otherwise I am not a writer.

And then, ah, then, there are “Morning Pages”- my true delight. A nudge from my soul for four decades that was given a name thanks to “The Artist’s Way”. Morning pages are a way to purge my insides on paper, a way to love life in letters and words, sentences and jumbled ideas, a way to process emotions I daren’t even utter out loud to the world or myself. A way to gently wake up in the sleepy space of possibility. A way to capture that fleeting moment between worlds when the thinking brain has not yet given in to caffeine, chores or stress. When the world is quieter and calmer. When my emotions dare to be more vulnerable and tumble onto the page. Most times NEVER to be read again. They simply have to come out…

And then I write because I love what it potentially facilitates – sometimes even a beacon of light to clients and readers around the world. Perhaps a flicker of hope as they read some of my personal stories, tap into my “expertise”, ideas or my writing style that is akin to “kick with compassion”. There is nothing quite so lovely or gratifying as someone out there letting me know my words and writing, books or blogs has truly changed their life.
Is busy changing their life.
Opening their eyes.
Helping their hearts.
Healing their souls.
That somehow they got the courage, gumption, skill, and know-how to DO something differently. Clear the clutter, live their values, leave that job, travel the world, ask for more, live with less, say no, say yes, speak their truth and shine their light. THEIR LIGHT! Be more of who they wish to be. What a real privilege that is!

And sometimes I write because I am mad. Or happy. Or pissed off at the world. Sometimes I even believe I can be a little poetic and romantic, a tad funny and mostly kickass. But I never write because I am a brilliant or even great writer. I would never claim that position. I write simply because I write.

I also write as a form of personal legacy. I leave a little bit of me, the real me, behind in this world. For women like me who chose to never bear children, words I pen in a book can live beyond me and that brings me joy and a sense of (false) longevity.

Recently I found myself writing less. Thinking more. Cogitating and ruminating my life and my choices more. Potentially dangerous. I can get too melancholy that way as it stays inside and doesn’t get processed through me and out the other side. Too passive. Too dark and dingy a hue of blue. Not enough light shining inside. So, a few months ago upon landing in Greece, I recommitted to the VERB of writing DAILY morning pages.
Not the “when I feel like it” kind.
The wake-up, get up, make my bed, brew coffee, start writing before the coffee has intravenously-filled-my-blood kind. the only kind.The ritual kind. The raw kind. The vomit insides out on the pages kind. The kind kind. There is a sense of rhythm in that when there is no other rhythm in this time of not knowing. It gives me an anchor.

 

And THAT is essentially why I write – to have a small anchor in the world.

So tell me, why do YOU write?

DREAM TO DRAFT MENTORSHIP:

If you would like some structure, skill, and discipline to finally write your book, then why not join our DREAM TO DRAFT mentorship. Done ONLINE from anywhere in the world we will take you by the hand and walk that path with you. Facilitated by Sarah Bullen and myself  (with input from many industry professionals)  – Sarah is an international writing coach, author and book agent, and myself,  international speaker, multi-published author and all round ass-kicker. Our simple aim is to get you to the first step – YOUR DRAFT DONE! Then you are on your way to being able to publish or self-publish your book.

Ask for more info here       or …….. click here to read more about the mentorship, reviews, costs etc. we start on the 1st August 2018! We have 5 places left. You will be asked to fill out an application form.

Confessions of a location free maverick – it’s over!

By | Insights to help you #quickshift, Transformational Journeys, Transformational thoughts | No Comments

Confessions of a location free maverick – it’s over! How the Pretend Cat and the Pet Rock are changing the landscape of my life. I find it deeply ironic and bizarre how I can go from travelling the world with ridiculously minimal belongings (even minimal for miss LIVE LIGHT, LIVE LARGE over here) and living mostly out of a suitcase for the past 2.5 years … to buying Tupperware, water containers, dishcloths, coffee plunger, bins and gasp of all gasps, kitty food – because I suddenly find myself with a “pretend” cat and a huge pet rock! Neither of which will fit in my suitcase, which can mean only one thing – a little home again.

Chances are you might have some insight into my motto, my life work and how I have been gallivanting around the world to speak, run writing retreats, masterminds and work with the YPO? And laze on beaches of course! Yet with this lifestyle comes the highest of global highs and the lowest of lonely lows.

Every decision we make has consequences on all sides. There is really no such thing as a decision that doesn’t have pro’s and con’s. That’s delusional. It’s just about choosing the ones that you most prefer, that bring you more joy and meaning, isn’t it? It’s not that any decision is better than any other one. And decisions are never usually forever are they? We get to choose and re-decide further down the line, whether about how we think or what we own, to what we do in the world and where we live.

I have been living with the consequence of choosing to have no home for the recent past. It’s a feeling of deliriousness combined with displacement. Sometimes it is truly a joyful experience, easy to broadcast on Instagram pics, carefully curated into an authentic feed, or a hopefully motivational post and pics of exotic food whilst lounging by the sea. New spaces, places and delights at every corner. Yet it’s not ALL wild, laugh-inducing adventures and Pollyanna playtime.

It’s also the polar opposite – sometimes a scary, wide open world knowing no one, needing to constantly be wondering where the next pit stop is, can I convert enough ZAR into USD to survive a northern currency, where will my work call me to (from Lagos, to Dubai to San Francisco), other people’s reactions to being “homeless” when I say I am #locationfree. Yes, but where is your home, Kate?

I have personally found that whilst my senses are constantly being awoken and titivated, it’s simultaneously a tad grueling on my body and takes me longer to adjust to new surroundings to feel totally integrated. I have stayed in the best of 5* hotels, to revolting homes I housesat (that really should have been a three week, massively paid declutter job). I do find it easy to feel at home in someone else’s space, but have become way more susceptible to the energy of the house and how it impacts me. So it has been in short, the past 2.5 years have been a profoundly intriguing, enlightening time.

Being a #locationfree maverick naturally takes some toll on my committed relationship with ENP and yet also provides us both with space to really miss each other. Even when I do make Lesvos, the world renowned Lesbian pilgrimage island, (where the 10th muse and lyrical poetess Sappho was born), my destination of choice. He doesnt batt an eyelid- and that tells you everything about him! Friends delight in my pics, tales and gifts, but also beg to know when I’m coming “home” – I remind them I don’t call SA ‘HOME’ anymore. You know how when you speak to people in the UK (yes Mum, that’s you!) and they bleat on about the weather? Well, pretty much every time I speak to a dear friend they cannot help themselves but ask, “so when are you in SA again”? I have done my best to implore them to not say when are you coming “home”. Or even when are you BACK. Those words imply it will suck me back into its clutches, and SA honestly is no longer home. It’s a beautiful and complex place that for many decades was my home, where I still work and see ENP and my friends. I have awesome clients there and … it is simply no longer my home! I am being called north again, and have been for the past 4 years, ever since I first traveled to the USA. So, I typically say I am simply where I am right now and thank God for the likes of Skype, Whatsapp and Zoom.

At the start of this process of packing up my home in JHB, I always knew I would be location free for a year at least; then after a year had flown by I had no desire for it to be any different; my travel trajectory was as delicious and busy for the year ahead, so I just kept at it. Living with 90% of my belongings with me, three boxes in storage and traveling to places MOSTLY in summer or the shoulder spring and autumn to obliterate the need for huge bulky clothes.

But towards the end of last year, even though I am in a beautiful, committed relationship to a man who just adores and trusts me to live my life with no betrayal to us, and vice versa, I found myself feeling somewhat lonely (whilst meeting new people everyday), restless (whilst constantly moving), bored (even though I see and experience more in day that some do in a year) and just a tad unsettled (yet this was my very own choosing wasn’t it?)

The irony of this insight is never lost on me.

Enter a pretend cat and bit pet rock!

It is not about needing to be in ONE PLACE forever; I am not that type. I have gypsy energy in my very DNA, and love traveling just so much. But after not having anywhere other than my heart and body to call “home” for 2.5 years, I was starting to inch towards the idea of a little space I could “claim” as my own. ENP is unraveling his life in SA too, and these global swallows need a new nest/s.

I remember the day I was housesitting the most GLORIOUS home right on the San Francisco bay, in Pointe Richmond and having this feeling of being so blessed by the beautiful home I find myself in whilst I travel, but I suddenly had this overwhelming longing to have a space for me. A space where I might be able to leave a costume and a pen, maybe even my art. A space I could imprint myself on. It was a little bit of a surprise. It also took the natural transition of my 50th Birthday in April this year to shift me into this next phase. I needed to close out some big commitments before I had the space for this phase.

So the logical heartwarming place for my first little space in the northern hemisphere was Greece. I am even toying with the idea of buying a home, but am rather just putting my feelers out this year. Getting to understand the lay of the land. What is it like to have another little base and how does that impact my life and me again? And others around me? And so, in the gorgeous, remote and truly authentic Greek village called Skala Eressos that I have been visiting for the past 3 years (with writers on our retreats), a space where I have built a community and with one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Greece, I found myself negotiating a contract for a light airy apartment for a year. A year!

 

Confession #1: It IS totally glorious to say I have a place I can call home EVEN though I will also “rent” it out to visitors, friends and colleagues. I have the coolest pet rock (see below) – my nan used to paint rocks so this is highly divine for me – but yikes, it’s a biggun, and will never fit into a case, so I guess I am destined to stay a while. See pic of beautiful rock complete with my name! It all came about when I asked my landlady if she had any door stoppers, a huge grin erupted on her face and she said she had a rock half painted, and she would complete it for me. All my favourite colours, the coolest of flamingos and my names emblazoned across it, lest I forget where I am.

 

Confession #2: Having a kitty on my bed again makes me deeply joyful. When my beautiful landlady said yes I could claim her little apartment as mine, she said I was an angel for her, but the truth is she is an angel for me. Letting me love her kitty, bringing me oregano bouquets, painting me my very own pet rock as a doorstop so I don’t wake the whole village when I sneak out to write my morning pages on the verandah, lending me a bike, fixing stuff I ask to be fixed and just being delightful – along with FANTASTIC English.

 

Confession #3: I am startlingly amused by just how insanely fast I wanted to buy “STUFF” Not a lot of stuff, for sure, but it is still amusing. And I want my Nan’s hand-made patchwork quilt here on my bed – NEXT TRIP! Unless you are coming to visit and will bring it with? And how Mum gifted me the most exquisite handmade, olive wood TAVLI – Backgammon set! Oh, the joys of a little place for STUFF!

 

Confession #4: I am plotting my return here – my coming BACK HOME. I have already started inviting friends here, seeing as I never pulled it off for my 50th  earlier this year– 51 seems just as fabulous a time to gather on an island! Perhaps I can also entice my Mum to visit a second time with the pretend promise to eat more meals at home to stretch the budget.

 

Confession #5: I fell off my bike and swore like a trooper – because my sundress was hitched around my thighs and I got stuck as I hurled myself towards the pavement. It was a “boy” bike with a big crossbar and so as my huge, white sun hat flew off my head when going down the hill, I panicked and tried to slam on breaks to run after my hat before it picked up pace across the fields, never to be seen again. I just couldn’t extrapolate my legs and dress in time and got caught up in a heap. Tears welled, words flowed and I cannot tell you the relief after I had embarrassing walked my bike home with a bleeding toe and bruised ego, grease filled legs and finally turned the corner and saw “My home”.

 

Confession #6: Kitty food is now on my shopping list again. And I have a pet brush. Everyone laughed at me when I said I wanted one, but I found it in the Euro shop, and this kitty just LOVES being fussed over! Every now and then it feels like a betrayal to my beloved Stripey, but Nikos is my “pretend cat”. He is not really mine; I know that – just that we get to love each other furiously when I am here. When I told Ms. S that I was letting Nikos, the #gingersnap cat sleep on my bed, she nearly fell off her own feet. You are crazy Kate Emmerson. And yes I am, but when I walked home last night after devouring the most delicious “orange pie” oozing with syrup and a creamy cappuccino to wash it down, my heart did a little skip when I saw Nikos waiting for me at the end of the road – a bit out of his usual comfort zone. My Greek is shocking, so I speak to him in English, (other than a strong reprimand of OCHE when he wants to get agro) and we ambled off down the road side-by–side, ready for a little cuddle.

 

Confession #7: Yes. I miss you, ENP. Every day! But you are in Russia at the world cup with all your Argentinian lads, doing what you love to do, and that makes me happy! Enough said we will entwine again in a few weeks when in the same country again.

 

Confession #8: I deeply love that my office of choice, Gialos on the platea,  has exceptionally kind owners, friendly kitties and the most heavenly view on the planet! Along with great coffee, conversation and a way to observe this little village and all its folk – from Drug dealer, to prostitute to writers, foreigners who return year after year after and the  locals getting ready for thier work day. A great place for writers to simply sit and observe…

With love from me, to you, from Skala Eressos and my new “home” –  for now x

(And yes, I will be IN South Africa for August and September for work :) )

 

WHAT IS YOUR INNER YEARNING WHISPERING – or yelling?

By | Food for thought, Insights to help you #quickshift, Transformational Journeys | No Comments

Hello, Hola and Kalimera

If you have somehow found yourself reading this post then I have a challenge for you! Please, could you stop right now, and just breathe a little slower – yes, right now – and tap into your heart space, and quietly, slowly, mindfully do that for three breaths – right now. Before you read further….THREE LONG, SLOW, DEEP, HEARTFELT BREATHS!

Does that feel a little different now? A little more expansive perhaps – more possibility, extra length? So many things when we just STOP and listen huh?

Were you able to notice where there was tension sitting in your body, holding you hostage? Perhaps stopping you from inhaling full life force at this moment? If you are honest for a second, how many times a day do you find yourself riddled with some version of tension, anxiety or guilt? The kind that tickles your solar plexus and knots up your entire throat – maybe constricts your breathing or leaves you feeling huddled over and constricted in yoru creativity?

I personally find that, just like you, I have to constantly manage my energy, my attention, my stress and my emotions. I often feel a bit like a rollercoaster let loose on life, drinking in the wonderful highs and falling headlong into the lows that can bite hard. I just got off the phone with a friend / client who has been summoned to the deathbed of another dear friend- and again it hits me hard in the chest – tomorrow is not promised to any of us, is it? So are YOU listening to the yearnings in your heart?

I am currently here on one of my favourite islands in the Aegean, Lesvos, in my happy place…. and yet STILL I can go to the place of inner stress, what if’s, is IT enough, what about my next book, will I manage to sell off a piece of my business etc etc. I can drop into and go deep into the hole of stress and anxiety  a few times an hour if I am not being vigilant and mindful. 100% awake all the time.  Do you recognize that in your own life perhaps? When a knot engages in your tummy and if you are resting you feel you ‘should’ be working, if you are working you feel you ‘should’ be doing yoga or the kid’s homework.  If doing housework thinking you ‘should’ be making sales calls or buying sexy underwear to please you know who and so on and so on …yes I do that often too! AAAAARGH  it’s never-ending. Then I sometimes also manage to get to the place of beautiful quiet inner calm, energy and deep peace that can erupt into belly laughter at any minute – you know what I mean right? Oh that it lasts just a moment longer please, please, please.

POP! Another thought takes over and it’s so annoying as it’s the opposite of what I teach dammit! Does that happen to you? Mostly I get these up and downs when I feel like I am not listening to an inner yearning ….  you know that one when your lower belly wakes you up at 3 am under the pretence of “I have no idea what this anxiety is” feeling – but honestly knowing all too well what you are really yearning for? What your soul aches for, desires and spiritually “lusts” after?

My question for you today is a simple one – what are YOU yearning for in your life? Right there- yup, that answer that already fizzled up in your throat before the nanosecond you pushed it away in shame, or non-deserving or ‘isn’t the right time” kicked into gear as your analytical response. It might be a quiet inner nudge you can ignore for now or it could be a disruptive loud nag that is getting more and more insistent recently. If you were to STOP and try to listen to it, what does it BEG you to do? What path does it beckon you along? What direction does it point to next?

We know what we yearn for as it flows through our very veins, but we just cannot believe it, or dare to listen to its’ call – well not this month, or this year for heaven’s sake Kate! Perhaps your honest yearning is to shift into a new job, to get married, to gift yourself financial freedom or to visit that far off foreign country you dream about? To start a business, attend a mastermind, have a child or run a special race you have your eye on? What are you honestly yearning for right now? I dare you to answer. I am yearning for a newer, fresher, lighter version of me and what I offer, more time off alongside even deeper work. Retreats that are all about honesty and vulnerability, sharing and showing up. Masterminds that change lives. Our lives! VIP one on ones in exotic locations for conversations that matter and set us on the right path. I yearn for less “clutter”, less busy-ness, less playing small. Bigger stakes, less stress.

Is it perhaps your time to also STOP being so darn busy or to start being more deliberate each day?

Is it something, a somewhere, a someone or a combination of all?

My request to you is that you find the time to give yourself over to what really matters to you. Whether it’s gardening, pottery, knitting or swimming – then you need to find a way to carve out time as soon as possible to IMMERSE in this calling.

Tomorrow is not promised to any of us…what is inside your soul that yearns to be released this year?

Is it painting something colourful and wild to express your feelings or, to flip houses or play bitcoin, decorate a home or like me and the way my life unfolded, do you perhaps yearn to write a book? Ah, a book! What potentially simultaneous bliss and torture. The joy of penning ideas and feelings, stories and conversations into black and white, then the topsy-turvy pursuit of a publisher or the decision to go it alone….the ups and down at every turn. But then, one day, a single reader may tell you how much your book changed their life forever, and you may smile deep within at the acknowledgement.

Writing a book changed my life first and foremost and I know subsequently it has changed thousands upon thousands of reader’s lives – and THAT gives me a real deep sense of fullfilment. To know that something I wrote had life beyond the confines of my body and brain. I breathed life into a simple idea that changed my life irrevocably. So many of the writers that join us on our retreats are wanting to immerse in their love of writing or even to explore if they do love it  – perhaps to record a slice of their life, or tell a tale for the legacy of their family, to make sense of a period of time they experienced, to share some learnings, to expand their brand or to give life to some characters that talk to them in dead of night, desperate to become a novel in the making.

But it all starts with a little yearning, then a gentle nudge, then a harder tug that simply won’t let go.

I wrote my first book because I felt it was something important for me to do for my business, my legacy and my brand.  A way to put down all my passionate ideas about clearing your life of all forms of clutter, and a way to reach more people. It was also a way to validate my work by getting published by Metz Press. I didn’t know it even mattered until the moment I knew it and acknowledged the yearning; but once I acknowledged it,then it became non-negotiable. I had been writing since I was 13 after all, but only finally published my first book when I was 45 years old.

Is your book on your radar as your yearning?

Now having just turned 50, I have published three books, with a 4th almost complete and a 5th that’s been brewing deep inside for the past 2 years. But what about you –  if YOU are being called to simply write your story to make sense of something, or to share a passion, or to see if you have got what it takes to be published – then you have to discern if now is the time? And do you want help to accomplish that feat?

It is said that 87% of people want to write a book, and yet only 1% actually do. Whether those figures are 100% accurate or not, you know in your heart if you have been putting off this calling.

We have international writers coming to join us for a special book retreat on Lesvos – and we have just 3 spaces left. Does one have your name on it? Why not gift yourself 8 glorious nights to IMMERSE in your book?

If you want to follow your dream and fulfill the yearning to write YOUR book, be it memoir, non-fiction or novel, then we have three places left for the retreat on Lesvos, 24th june – 2nd July, which is PLENTY of time to get your life sorted, organise a visa if required and hop on over to paradise – I should have calmed myself down to a super slow mellow pace by then, ready to give you the very best of me, all of me, the highs and the lows, the honest and the vulnerable.  And my partner, Sarah Bullen will be right alongside you to share her insights, tools and techniques to write your very best book. We make quite a unique team-  listen to what others have to say on the link below! This village, this deep blue sea, this fresh healthy food, the quality of life and the souls of this community demand you to show up and be real, and to answer the yearning deep within. We will help you write your book this summer…

Apply for our writing retreat on Lesvos – Skala Eresos 

With a love for all things deep within you wanting to come out to play – follow the tug of your heart wherever it may take you!

Kate

#LIVELIGHTLIVELARGE

 

Patience OR procrastination huh?

By | Coaching Tips 'n Tools, Transformational Journeys, Transformational thoughts | No Comments

Every now and then, it is true – that sitting patiently, silently, in a centered and non -pressurized way, simply biding your time is absolutely necessary! A bit like the full moon and the special Eclipse last night.  It can only happen at the EXACT moment it is ripe to happen. Not one second before. You can read more about what this eclipse means for you from an awesome colleague, Cassandra- click here.

And at other times, you are merely conning yourself -yes, YOU ARE CONNING YOURSELF and playing small. And what is called for is a little nudge or even a tougher kickup the b*tt  to get back into action as opposed to wallowing around pretending to be patient. All that matters is that you do the right one at the right time, and don’t con yourself you are being “patient” when actually you are faffing around. “procrastinating”.

Make sense?

There is a HUGE difference between these two scenarios. I think that all too often we think we are being patient with regards to an outcome we want, or a goal we are working towards, when all we are really doing is wasting time and space by not doing anything. We can lull ourselves into the sense of false security that the time is not right, when in actual fact we are conning ourselves and letting ourselves easily off the hook.

We can get VERY good at doing that.

There is wisdom in knowing the difference between the two. Let me keep it simple as to how I see the difference…and see if you recognize where you are right now with regards to some aspect of your life.

 

How do you recognize if you are being patient?

You have a sense of order

You trust that things are right for you

It feels good on the inside

There is a sense of calm

You feel empowered that all is as it should be

You are positive about what is coming

You have taken all possible action within your power for this goal / outcome

You are excited and optimistic

You can sense the divine timing around it all

 

How do you recognize if you are just “messing about wasting time” procrastinating?

You are lethargic and tired

Your head is not focussed on your goal

You have no sense of direction….just ambling around

You have not taken all actions within your control

You expect others to be doing things

You are irritable the goal is not happening

You are blaming people or circumstances about why the goal is not being reached

You are doing things that have no real value; TV, shopping, sleeping unnecessarily

You are bored and apathetic

So, when you think about something that you say you really want and are not getting, just assess where you are at HONESTLY and if you need to actually start taking different action and get your b*tt into gear. If things are just as they should be for right now and everything is in perfect harmony then get on and enjoy the time you have on your hands by doing something else you really enjoy?

You cannot speed something up that is not ready…..so don’t even try.

HERE’S WHAT TO DO NOW IF YOU KNOW YOU ARE FAFFING ABOUT…

Mastermind groups have been THE game-changer for me over the past 7 years. If you are in JHB on the 19th  August, or Cape Town on the 27th August, why not join me for my powerful once off mastermind days?

Get the low down here: off the cuff MASTERMIND DAY snippets

LEAP ‘n LEVERAGE YOUR LIFE: ONCE-OFF MASTERMIND DAY
I will also be hosting ONCE off mastermind days – show up full tilt, with no further obligation other than fulfilling your commitments from the day. You will get input, support, be challenged and have access to 14 other brains, hearts and souls for 6 hours, FACE TO FACE. I know you will get HUGE take-home value from the day and hey, you might even be begging to join my next mastermind group. It’s as addictive as apparently, tattoos are (which is a complete assumption seeing as I don’t have any  – in case you were ever wondering)

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW