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Transformational Journeys

A poem: Thunder Rain

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Thunder Rain

Rain cleansing broken hearts as light appears

Water healing pain buried not forgotten

Flowing through the lives

Of everyone deep in sorrow

Tumbling words in a gush of water

 

Fumbling “I’m sorry” in a muddy pool

Wind curling around feathered leaves

Thunder beings crashing through the panes

Beckoning ‘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

 

 

by Kate Emmerson

 

 

 

 

 

Kate Emmerson

10 ways you’re unconsciously self-sabotaging 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 1, but NO-ONE talks about it and I don’t know why? 

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

 

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 up front 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, 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.

 

PART 2 – CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE

  1. PLAYING THE BLAME GAME
    Most sellers sabotage the process and fall headlong into typical victim mentality by thinking that everything and everyone else is at fault in this process. It makes great conversation to play the blame game! Blaming the housing market/ location/  high mortgage rates/ recent increase in crime/ country’s current junk status/ awful neighbors/ commuter traffic into the local work hub/ local elections etc. You will find ways to blame every aspect of the market for the lack of a sale and extended “days on market” or non-interest of your property, especially blaming your realtor – or your mother-in-law! We like to blame them for everything! You are way more in control than you think, and sometimes it’s about having the hardest thing- Courageous Conversations!

 

  1. INFORMATION UPLOAD
    As the seller, along with your realtor, make sure you are never left with a mouthful of teeth when potential buyers ask you about the neighborhood, the shopping outlets, local school, who runs the local council, etc. Do your homework to also fully understand what properties are listing and selling for in your immediate neighborhood. You want to be seen to know your home and your ‘hood. And to be open and willing to share that information. Any upcoming changes to the neighborhood should be top of mind – such as building mall outlets, new schools planned, current crime in the area, better access roads being built, shifts in zoning homes as businesses etc.

 

  1. SALES SAVVY
    Are you honestly any good at sales – especially selling something you love? Even when you are 100% at peace with, and excited by this sale and move, you may not be the savvy salesperson you think you are. So yes, while it is absolutely possible to sell your own home nowadays, especially with online property sites (unless your specific county prevents this by law), it still does not mean that you should be the one doing it. A neutral, professional, home selling expert will always assist you in getting the sale price as high as possible, assess the right buyers, market the house appropriately, and handle all the dreaded paperwork on your behalf. Be sure to choose the right realtor for you. I always suggest you get a trusted recommendation or find someone who excels at closing deals in your neighborhood. A simple drive around a 5-kilometer radius to see the “Sold” boards will give you this insight. Getting the right person on your team will ultimately put more money in your pocket at the end of the day. Know your real strengths, play to those and outsource the rest to get the best outcome! Realtors with the right designations, qualifications, passion and experience are professionals who help you navigate this complicated territory and tap into the right buyers. Speed and ease are what we are after, remember?

 

  1. BUYER CENTRIC
    Even though you are obviously the owner and seller and you feel it’s all about you, when it comes to selling, this concept alone will totally sabotage and derail the process. From now on, you need to become “buyer-centric” and put yourself in THEIR shoes. The moment potential buyer’s pull up at the front curb, they need to be instantly impressed with the look and feel and be able to see themselves living in this space the moment they walk through the door. You want their positive feelings and initial experience of the space; from the moment they set eyes on it, to positively influence the economics and dynamics of this purchase. You want your potential buyer to be “blown away” and put in that OTP (Offer To Purchase). Remember you only need ONE buyer, and you don’t want to mess up that opportunity when it arises, as when you have done all the work Kate suggests, it WILL happen fast!

 

PART 3 – SHOWTIME – READY, STEADY, GO!

  1. CUTTING CORNERS?
    Cutting corners will sabotage the sale. Don’t be lazy and ‘half-a$$ed’ when it comes to show days or viewing appointments. Rather be super vigilant to get SHOW DAY ready. After thoroughly assessing the property and its current condition, it’s crucial to complete property maintenance, sprucing, fixing, cleaning, clearing, and de-cluttering. Keep your home in tip-top shape – should your buyer happen to drive past, see the ‘For Sale’ sign and want to pop in NOW, you can swing open the door and invite them in. Follow the international property trends and utilize a home stager to showcase and highlight all the positive attributes if need be. A little time and money spent in the right way will have exponential results!

 

  1. STUCK IN YOUR WAYS?
    A current buyer’s market could mean cash buyers are a very attractive prospect – you have to be ready and agile in your response and be willing move as soon as possible as there will be no delay in waiting for bank bonds /mortgages to be approved. Be prepared to move out of your house sooner than expected to help facilitate this sale (and enjoy some occupational rent if your country allows). It is common for sellers who have honestly and truly done the closure work, to get buyers bidding against each other for a property – all wanting to move in ‘yesterday”. When you read more about what Kate’s clients experience when working through her process, “SHIFT YOUR HOME,” speed is a typical result. If you are too stuck in your own timelines, you might lose out! Be flexible and prepared to move swiftly along.

 

  1. MAKE IT A ‘NO-BRAINER’
    Are you showcasing it appropriately? Highlight the best features of your home with high-definition professional photographs and professionally edited videos to walk buyers through this space in virtual reality. One of the current trends is also to use drone footage to show off the neighborhood from above to enjoy that all-important bird’s eye view, as that dramatically influences buyer’s decisions. Buyers can see the property in relation to everything else around it, proximity to or distance from schools, retail, health facilities, motorways, etc.

 

I hope this has given you food for thought as you embark on this journey of selling your home? The bottom line is that YOU, as the home seller, need to take full responsibility, shift your energy, and be honestly ready to sell your home from the inside out. Your heart, mind, and soul all need to align to the look and feel of the property to get the outcome you want. To sell your home with grace, speed and ease at the highest price possible. Kerching! To move on, feeling proud and with closure.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this article. Comment below or drop me a line directly on kate@kate-emmerson.com!

Kate is known as the Quick Shift Deva – South Africa’s foremost clutter expert, life coach, best selling author and international speaker. She bounces into homes, offices and hearts to help clients to sort out their clutter and their lives, freeing them to move on to LIVE LIGHT, LIVE LARGE. Much like a combination of Clean House and House Doctor, she will both physically and emotionally help YOU and YOUR HOME get showday ready

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

Love, life and little lice on Lesvos

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

Of all the things one expects to see in Greece after the sparkling sea and white washed buildings with royal blue shutters, I think that ranked next highest is the plethora of kitty cats you just know in your heart that you will stumbled upon, fall over, give fright too, gaze upon and most definitely capture on your camera as they go about their lazy days. Maybe some sheep, goats, fish and seagulls too, but ALWAYS cats, always lurking close by food, wine, laughter and sunshine. You cannot get away from it. If you don’t like cats, don’t come to Greece – simple. Or bring your allergy pills with your dose of compassion.

 

From a tender age, all of double-figured ten in fact; I was the proud “slave” to a very special lilac point Siamese. Although a few years prior, Dixie had crept into our family by eating leaves outside the back kitchen door to capture my Nan’s attention – but now, this oriental beauty was truly mine. Or I was his to be honest. A birthday present I had begged for, longed for and dreamt about. The name Azure Dee had been tossed into the summer breeze of possible names by my Nan – a painter and artist at heart. She never said something was blue – it was cornflower blue, periwinkle blue, or Azure – just like the Aegean Sea where I am right now. Azure Dee sounded exotic and stage like and I loved it. You had to say it just right too: Aaaayzouer Dee, with a whimsical lilt to your voice.

 

So cats have been capturing my big kitty heart for a few decades now. Most cats in Greek are street cats – a mixture of wise, a tad shaggy and shabby, and full of love, life and the odd little lice (maybe fleas). On this idyllic island of Lesvos, and more particularly in Skala Eresos (where we host our writing retreats and catch a bronze tan) there are some very special cat and dog carers in the community and vets who donate of their time to spay, neuter and care for them. What I discovered on this, my second visit is that most cats are not as “streetish” as I thought, and they seem to adopt specific restaurants as their home, their hangout, and their spot to be. They might not all have names, but they have fresh fish in their tummy.

 

I even met three German-Greek cats – I kid you not they are bilingual ones at Gabi’s and Iannis restaurant. I will venture into spelling them as Langhaaken, Bloemenfloeken and ….mmm the third name escapes me so I better pay them a visit. Then I discovered second year around, that one of my favourites, a black cat, sparkling green eyes, ONE white whisker and a penchant for sleeping on my backpack, I found was actually loved at the delightful Gorgona. When asking “Omar Sharif” their names, he just smiled his naughty smile and said, “names, ag, ask me if I love them. YES. Ask me if I feed them. YES. Even in winter I come down from the village to feed them”. So green eyes doesn’t need a name perhaps. Then my favourite cat I was really missing, as after full a week here I had still not seen it yet, thinking perhaps the winter has claimed his life– only to get a big squeaky hello when daring to venture into Blue Sardine to get my fix of …well you know, sardines. I feel happy to NOT be a vegetarian anymore. Perhaps one day my body will demand it of me again, as it has twice in my life before, but for now, I happily devour freshly caught fish, sustaining the local fishermen and restaurants and adding some fat to those thin bellies of kitties in Lesvos.

 

Do you stop often and long enough to watch?
Watch the world, absorb your surroundings, reflect and see life through the eyes of others, or chat to mewing kitty cats? Or are you too busy running around, scrambling after your life and chasing your goals, or more aptly chasing your tail? What if you were to stop doing what you have always done, and find a new way? For that you need to be brave, willing and supported as you dare to exponentially shift your life. In 2016 I came to the Greek island for one month, and declared 2 months for 2017. And here I am, living that commitment and bringing a group of writers here with me. We have 14 confirmed to join us. Next year I will be running other retreats for healing and weaving your purposeful life too!

 

HOW CAN I BE OF SERVICE TO YOU RIGHT NOW?

As a professional coach, mastermind facilitator, speaker and author I am hell-bent on following my passion and always upping the ante. Daring to be bigger and bolder by letting go of that which no longer serves and being willing to stretch my self-imposed boundaries.

One of the ways I have personally exponentially shifted my life is through the concept of MASTERMINDS. I see they are becoming the “in” thing this year, and I am happy to say I am ahead of the pack. I started facilitating and participating in Mastermind groups way back in 2010, so have many successful groups under my belt, which means people have shifted their lives!

I am offering two immediate options to tap into my support and energy to exponentially SHIFT YOUR LIFE

#1: MASTERMIND
We are starting a new group (for entrepreneurs /decision makers in your business) for you folk who are already doing really well and feel in charge of your life in most ways and who are ready to RAMP IT UP exponentially and create and reach some big targets and life style changes by the end of the year. This first group has a once off special price of 5 months charged at just 3 months. This will not be on offer again and is my way of enticing you into VIRTUAL mastermind- as we meet from anywhere in the world using video conferencing facilities. 80% of my work is now online!

Drop me an email for the application – kate@kate-emmerson.com

 

#2: 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 15 other brains, hearts and souls for 6 hours, FACE TO FACE in JHB on the 5th August. (Cape Town will be by demand). 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)

Book NOW for JHB -5th August
10 am – 4 pm
Lunch Included
Venue: The “parks” area near Hyde Park
Max 16 people – with smaller breakaway groups!

CLICK HERE TO BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW

 

 

THE SASSY SYNCHRONISTIC STUFF OF SIMPLY SHOWING UP

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

THE SASSY SYNCHRONISTIC STUFF OF SIMPLY SHOWING UP
#Minimalist meanderings

Recently in the quaint country of Romania for some work, I experienced some (well SEVERAL) sassy synchronistic stuff unfold as I allowed the special energy of this beautiful city take over for a while. I was staying in a flash 5 star hotel as a guest of my host in the country (Sassy #1 – having been delightfully upgraded from an already wonderful 4 star hotel as upon checking in they were renovating that back part of the hotel and a band had extended their stay, so they had no room at that Inn and so they “moved me” to the ooh la la Radisson on the front) Ooh I love that I believe in unexpected delights!

Sassy #2 – there were strelitzias basking on the new concierge’s desk at check in. Hello South Africa. The Radisson was also directly opposite the main concert hall near the old walled city, and 2 days later I discovered there was a special concert on THAT evening. How?

I had been gifted a three-hour private walking and driving tour of the city earlier by my hosts, and we happened to go inside the concert hall to view it’s historical magnificence when we stumbled across some deeply inspirational choral practice whilst looking up at the domed ceilings with awe. Sassy #3 – My amazing tour guide mentioned there was a very special concert on that evening – nudge nudge wink wink.

Sassy #4 – we then landed up in front of the “palace” that was built under Communist rule, now the seat of government. My host proclaimed, that although being Romanian she had never yet been inside or had the tour, and that sadly you need to submit your passport at least 24 hours before in order to get inside. We were marveling at it from the parking lot. Then she gets a twinkle in her eye and says- shall we try and get in? She made a phone call to a friend who works inside, and even though he WASN’T working that particular day he said – go to the entrance and they will allow you to visit today! My host and guide both decided I was their lucky charm, making everything so easy and effortless.

I started feeling a bit lousy in the afternoon after returning from the tour, and had taken myself off to bed for an afternoon nap, contemplating the concert that night. 35 minutes before the start of the concert, I knew I would regret not trying to get a ticket, so I dragged myself out of bed again, splashed my face and added a dash of lipstick, walked across to the “late sales” booth at the side, and stood in a long queue.

Mmmm bed seemed very appealing again. Waiting, slowly.

I saw a very well dressed elderly gentleman standing near the queue for the 15 minutes I was there and kept wondering what he was doing? He wasn’t talking to anyone, but kept trying to motion to them. I kinda felt sorry for him. As I got to the front of the kiosk, they told me they only accepted CASH> >>>aaaargh I only had my card.
Cash machine here? No!
Tickets were 75 leu and I had only 40 leu cash on me. Damn. Maybe the other Hotel across the road could convert my foreign money, as I knew my own hotel didn’t do that. In Romania what is weird is that all the hotels only work in Euro’s, as it’s now part of the EU, yet all the local shops and establishment still use Romanian Leu, the original, local currency. It’s a tad confusing.

That Hotel also had no local money for me and the banks had closed ten minutes ago.

Eventually after 10 minutes – with the show now starting in ten minutes, I found a cash machine, realizing it would dispense in local currency. DUH! Now, a little weird travel lesson from South Africa. We are considered a slightly “dodgy” country, you know because we look and sound just like Nigeria where most of the money laundering in the world happens. Every time I leave SA I spend about an hour on the phone calling my two banks and getting all my business and credit cards cleared for the countries of my travel, otherwise any foreign transactions might be deemed fraudulent transactions. And even after doing that time-consuming clearance, they can still decline transactions when I’m overseas. So I have multiple cards with multiple options so as not to get caught out.

It took me three cards to be able to draw cash from THIS Romanian machine!

Right – dash back, sweating and huffing to the queue, now with less than 5 minutes till show time. Old man still there. Sassy #5 – He shows me a ticket and says “you for one?” He seems to “imply” he has a ticket (in very broken English and of course I am 200% fluent in Romanian) so I go to the kiosk lady and get her to verify the ticket is indeed valid as there was no date on it (that’s how their special season tickets work apparently) and he says he wants only 60 leu for it. B for bargain, as the tickets were  originally 75 leu.

“COME” he urges, “we late”.

As we are walking and running up the stairs he manages to convey to me that his wife is home and ill and this is her season ticket – pretty good communication hey? We walk into this uppermost concert room and I gasp. OMG – vast, bold, exquisite and ornate. Everyone dressed to the nines and I am transported to ancient Eastern European grandeur.

Sassy #6 – He proceeds to walk to the FRONT ROW. I am front and centre and can hear the musicians breathe as they are warming up. In and out, deep and crisp and even. And the faint squeak the violin string makes before the haunting sound is emitted across the air. I can reach out and touch the conductor as he sashays to the front and lifts his baton!

I can see him twitch and sweat beads form on his brow.

Front row tickets for simply BEING in a city on a night and being willing to show up. I am in awe of the magic of life.

Too often we try and PRE control and PRE book. I believe there is a place for that, but I do love the magic of being in the moment and letting life unfold! FRONT ROW SEATS UNFOLDS! Sassy #7 -The next morning as I head outside to my taxi back to the airport to leave for Greece to run a writing retreat, I see the music conductor sitting in the hotel lobby. Already half way through the revolving door, I make a split second decision to do the full 360 degree circle and get out where I started. I walked up to him, apologized for interrupting his Sunday morning with his female companion, shook his hand and said how marvelous it was that I had enjoyed the privilege of being in the front row the night before. “I remember you, madam, thank you” he said, smiling and eyes twinkling.

And that is how I love to travel.

Do you need to start letting sassy magic unfold in YOUR life? Perhaps I can share some of my methods with you over the next few months?

Last week, I had 90 minutes to “kill” before meeting a dear friend for a mutually soulful chat and had gone early to make sure I was in the right place. So literally killing time, wondering where to go to I was just meandering along in my Russian hat. This “random” guy, bit older than me, Kevin to be precise, stop and says, “I know this is weird but I have (Sassy #8) “time to kill” before making my way to my theatre show tonight with friends and may I buy you a cup of coffee. You look really interesting”. I shrieked with laughter, looked a little shocked and amused at the same time and promptly tuned into my spirit and said yes. I KNOW some of you are reading this with many many “WTF is wrong with you Kate!!!” going round in your head.

As we sat and chatted and told each other a bit about ourselves, (and please let me re-iterate with zero weirdness or innuendos or sexual undertones whatsoever) I was telling him about my new book being released this year helping clients to get really clear on the complex emotional issues of detaching emotionally from a home before putting in on the market to sell, and to support people to sell, pack and move with ease. He just looks at me and smiles – he is about to sell his house and it’s a potentially complicated story with the house and…..Sassy #9 he ALSO works for a well-known estate agent in his town. Now – here’s the rub – I am I the process of looking for potential “brand partners” in the whole property industry, alongside “guinea pigs” to keep working with the material to give me feedback on how it all works for them. Social proof if you like. So this sassy just tickled me pink.

And then there was today catching a bus on a sad, dreary day from Rugby – saying goodbye to my mum on the side of the road just as the light was just coming u, I start chatting the the guy waiting for the bus with me, also headed to Heathrow Airport. Sitting across the aisle, we simply chat about where we are headed and why, and spend the next two hours chatting about work, life, beauty therapy, making brave bold choices in life and business and following our dreams. He landed up Sassy #10 – lugging my suitcase between the buses whilst we waited for an hour and he bought me a mug of tea and became my companion for a while on the road. We even landed up looking at his new brand logos for his business.

Yep, I speak to strangers and I let my trust in people, the world and what we are all doing here seep into my soul at every turn. It’s all to easy to shut off, shut down and shut up. How is that working for YOU?

 

Call me crazy, call me naïve, call me mad. Or worse. I call it “THE SASSY SYNCHRONISTIC STUFF OF SIMPLY SHOWING UP”. And I mean showing up with trust, openness, love, compassion and your wits about you at every turn. Let life and people surprise the hell out of you, shock you and win you over. Yes, it’s a bit of a dare!

 

WANT TO FIND YOUR OWN VERSION OF SASSY?

I am so passionate about this concept of LIVING IN THE MOMENT and being in love with your real self (as in deeply proud of who you are and how you live your life) and for me it all starts with HONESTY.

The starting point is simply to TAKE STOCK in all 8 areas of life, so that you get clear on WHERE YOU are and what is and isn’t working for you.

I have created an entire video series – FREE of charge to support you to get started. Click here to  QUICK SHIFT 1 THING using the 4  G-SPOTS of TRANSFORMATION
If I can help you do that as smartly as possible, then you will have some starting points to let yourself meander and BE. And that is good for ALL of us. My mission is to help you find your own SASSY and SHIFT!

When you sign up, you will need to confirm your e-mail address, and get stuck into the first video with pen and paper. Then I will send you 2 more videos.

These 3 live videos will cover the 4 G spots of Transformation – Grips, Gap, Grow and Guts.

TAKING STOCK in all 8 areas will help you figure in which 1 area YOU need to shift immediately.

Then further down the line you will be invited to “The Cappuccino Challenge” -another surefire way to stay HONEST with YOURSELF. Courageous acts of self-love every day for 30 days. Loved by THOUSANDS of CLIENTS that have transformed their lives permanently in just 20 minutes a day  –  Just so you know what’s in store for you as you join my “tribe” ok?

LET’S GET YOU STARTED RIGHT AWAY

With lightness,