Category

Transformational thoughts

Honoring the Call of Closure

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

Honoring the Call of Closure

A pilgrimage to the heart of the lonely gap that exists between
NO LONGER … and … NOT YET.

If you find yourself reading this post, then you probably already know me and my work and want to know what I have been up to, or someone has suggested you come and read it. Don’t curse them when you see the length – they have their reason and must love you enough to give you this nudge along your path. If you want the shortened Haiku (5-7-5) version so you can get the gist and move on with your day – here goes:

Pause and honor life

Connect to the sacred pulse

Embrace threads of love

This blog is a bit (well um, a lot) longer than normal, so grab a cuppa’ or a tall glass of something delicious to drink, and come walk with me for a wee while.

We are off to a remote island…on a pilgrimage. Not an island holiday – but a deep immersion to challenge life head-on, and to be curious about what I might find there. Scary as hell, but exciting as heck.

I would like to mention right up front that this feels like a deeply personal sharing. I feel called to document and attempt to do justice to the mammoth journey I have recently immersed in. While I tackle everything I embark on in life with mindful awareness, (along with a massive dose of salt and humor), this one has been exceptionally profound. Trust your gut whether to read on or not…

I guess it’s the layered convergence of a few things: the location I journeyed to for my pilgrimage, what I came to do and why, and the timing of it. I’m not simply referring to July 2020, stuck with the rest of the world before, during and after the ‘easing up” of restrictions, but more so from a personal juncture in my life and all the threads that were weaving together at this time. Or more accurately the threads that were “un-raveling and un-weaving simultaneously” at 52 years old.

 

There are two forms of courage in this world. One that demands we jump into action with our armor on. The other demands that we strip ourselves bare-naked and surrender. Bravery is a curious thing. Jeff Brown

#The Quiet Beckons

Are you perhaps there right now and also needing to stop a while to sit with the un-weavings in your life?

These moments in time are what many traditions call ‘initiations’. A time to walk through the doorway of personal transformation. A new chapter. To re-evaluate. Reset. To go into the cave no matter what you find there. Many loosely refer to this a time of retreat (but some folk think that a retreat is simply a time of rest in a lovely setting – that is a holiday). When these particular times beckon us, we have to go directly INTO the fire in order to be transformed. There is no walking around it. No pussyfooting or side-stepping. Perhaps for a while, you can ignore or pause it. But not indefinitely, as the rumble and rattle of the call will inch deeper and deeper into your cells, relentlessly. If repeatedly put off, then life will figure a way to throw you down in your own tracks in order to get your attention. It could be in the way of illness, death, divorce, financial ruin, being retrenched, or global scale disasters – hello virus. A lot of the time it just feels overwhelmingly scary, inappropriately timed and miraculously something else will just win the battle for priority. For now!

Lack of money, time-poor, kids’ demands, partner’s needs, work obligations and our inner voice protesting that we cannot possibly indulge in and follow the call to ”take time out”. I have often looked on enviously at those who live more within the tradition of wise cultures, where ceremony and ritual is embedded into their lives and they follow the rhythm of nature, seasons and sun, moon cycles every day. I have tried, somewhat unsuccessfully I might add, to create that for myself over the years. To carve out time to immerse in things that matter to me. To live closer to the rhythm of life. To create a little “altar” of things that matter to me when I travel. To wake up with the sun in my room and sleep early. But I have also spent five years of summers in a row, never getting the quieter rest time of winter, which can play havoc with circadian cycles. Sometimes I try and follow daily rhythm because it’s the only thing I know how to do. At other times I have been led into that journey of remembering by someone else on my path – be it partner, friend or teacher.

Altar#My Travelling Altar

I know this for sure, we are all here to evolve, expand, learn and transform. The flip side means that it also requires the polar opposite to close out, let go, contract and move on. We need both these sides of the spectrum to fully embrace and live our highest life.

I heeded the call.

I embarked on a solo pilgrimage to a minute, remote island called Iona. It’s really a wee rock at just 1.5 miles by 3 miles where only residents are allowed cars. You can’t even walk all the circumference of the island, as it is so wild, craggy and difficult in places. With only 120 or so permanent residents who brave life all year round, this swells massively to about 175 000 pilgrims and visitors annually (not in Covid times of course). Some visit for just a few hours between ferry crossings from Mull, just time enough to walk the ancient path from pier to the Abbey that dominates the landscape – to taste the wild isle and stand awestruck in front of the carved Celtic crosses or visit King’s graves. Perhaps be lucky enough to grab the famous cream tea at the Argyll Hotel, or stare at the Sound of Iona scanning for dolphins and seals from the St Columba’s garden tables, munching an organic salad and local “hogget” burger. Nowadays you can even rent a lovely bike. Ha-ha – be warned – they have no gears and you have to backpedal to break, but you get the hang of it pretty fast and it’s a total delight to wheel past the shore and explore the island.

 

But for these day-trippers it’s more of a fleeting visit to tick off the bucket list. It may plant the seed to promise to return … one day. But it in no ways allows you to soak up the healing energy here. One of my favorite times of day is when the last ferry has backed off the pier and you can feel the island exhale and settle into its silent womb again. Everyone you see from then on has the privilege of staying put for the night.

#Carved Crosses Loom in the LandscapeCarved crosses loom

A warm envelope of quiet love and immense possibility descends.
Such is the lure of this sacred isle. A wee isle with monumental power. Within the wild elementals of this ancient Celtic land with deep Christian roots, it is said that the “veil between the two worlds is very thin”. Meaning you always feel more closely connected to the spiritual world here. It feels more accessible no matter how disconnected you are when you arrive. If you have never heard of Iona, I lovingly laugh and mean no disrespect when I say it’s the “ass-end of nowhere”, whereas in actual fact it feels like the center of the universe to those of us who venture here. You usually feel “called” to visit to be honest, as you don’t just happen upon this island one day. Getting here is somewhat of a mammoth pilgrimage all in itself. Part of the shedding process of the external skin.

 

When the ancient mystery of Iona has beckoned, the journey starts the moment you make the decision to answer that call. The energy starts weaving from that point on. But when you first set physical eyes upon it from the pier at Fionnphort on the Ross of Mull – it’s easy to feel a bit let down and disappointed. SO SMALL? That’s it? This is what I traveled all this way for? Mmm – don’t be so easily fooled by appearances.

 

When you have rested your weary head under these stars, it’s impossible to leave as the
same person that arrived. Ever!

 

So I have penned this blog for heartfelt personal reasons, as a way to capture some essence of this recent experience for myself. Firstly to inform myself by writing it down, which creates another layer of processing it all and living it again. And secondly, if by reading it, you too happen to be inspired to embark on a similar kind of pilgrimage or retreat process one day, or this becomes your beckoning call to Iona– then how lovely will that be for both of us?

 

To put my experience bluntly – I feel like a snake that has shed a few skins.

 

I think I look the same, sound the same, walk the same, laugh the same and eat and drink just as much as ever, but I FEEL different. The old adage of “pull yourself towards yourself lass” rings in my ears and my heart. That was the point after all. I have not been on some massive diet, makeover or had a new photoshoot. Quite the opposite to be honest as it’s been a deep-dive journey into the cave of CLOSURE. Wild, windswept hair, zero make-up most days, crying, laughing, dancing, singing to recently shawn sheep and mostly sitting, staring at the splendid views and …being. Finding a spot to plonk down and do what I came to do. The inner work. Usually clad with about 5 layers of clothes on for all sorts of rapidly changing weather. A vest, gym top, jacket, gilet-puffer and a supposedly waterproof outer later. (Yes mum, it isn’t quite doing its job and I’m often a cold, wet mess). The next minute I’ll be stripped down to my vest only, and then it’s all piled back on again in a flash. Plenty of workouts in that process, at least ten times day!

 

I had one directive – do the inner work in rain, gales or shine. A three-week gap. I needed to get away with myself, to be by myself, to fall in love with myself again. There was a much deeper purpose to this specific retreat.

I had found myself in the challenging place of NO LONGER …but…NOT YET!

 

My watchful #AngelOwl 

What do you say when someone asks you what you “do”, and you no longer love most of what once brought you deep joy, satisfaction and energy? When you feel that even as the words come out your mouth it’s confusing because there are so many facets to what you do? I was watching and witnessing words come out my mouth that simply didn’t resonate with me anymore. Over the years, my business has at different times been very niched, then morphed and generalized, only to be re-niched and rebranded again, then generalized ad Infinitum. I understand that the natural expansion and contraction of business emulates nature. And here I was at the point of needing to contract once again.

 

 

 

Consciously contract.
The bigger the expansion, the bigger the contraction, right?

I was starting to feel increasingly confused by myself; too fragmented, disjointed and discombobulated. Honestly, a bit bored of my work, myself and a little disinterested in life. It’s a real killer for me to confess that. I was all over the place both literally and figuratively and just way too busy. But busy with what exactly? There were immense pockets of joy and delight too – don’t get me wrong. It was just that whenever I “hovered” over my life and looked in from the outside, I knew that it was NOT what I wanted to be feeling, doing or living into anymore. Something was shifting but I hadn’t caught up with myself yet.

 

I truly believe that just because you ONCE loved doing something, loved your work/career/business, loved a home, or your country, loved another person, etc., that it doesn’t mean you still do love it. Or even if you do still love it now, it doesn’t automatically mean that you always will feel the same way in the future. Yet we want to hold onto that idea for some reason.

Never letting go.

Fear of moving on.

Hold on tight now.

 

That realization that you once DID love it in past tense doesn’t make it wrong that you no longer do love it. Or that it was a waste of time or a bad decision.
What if it simply means you no longer love what you once did? Just because you are brilliant at something doesn’t mean you still love to do it. What if that “thing” has just run its course, had its time, done its job and now it’s an opportunity to move on. Can it hold the space of both – you used to love it and simply no longer do. Except it never feels that simple as we have to dismantle it all somehow. Piece by piece.

 

It’s time to embrace the gap that exists after “no longer?” And the only way we finally reach the
gap is to honor the parts that are no longer.

 

But that’s quite difficult to explain to other folk. Even more so at this specific time in our collective, worldwide experience of the pandemic. Such horrid pain, brutal economic crisis, people’s lives falling apart or lives ending in greater numbers right now. Where the current feeling and directive is that we should be bloody grateful for any work we have and do what we can to keep it, right?

 

Definitely NOT a time to be choosing, re-evaluating, assessing life and not working as much. It’s the time to HOLD ON and sit tight. Or what if this is THE PERFECT TIME because of it?

 

More so than ever I feel we are being called to live into our truth, our dreams, our yearnings and what makes our hearts sing. To do what we can to pursue our passions and find a way to need less stuff along the way. You got that lesson from Covid right? How much of the nonsense we consume and buy has not much meaning after all –and in fact family, health, connection, and heart stuff is what really matters? Can we finally need less stuff, but choose to experience life more?

 

I appreciate that right now many folk are up against the wall trying to make ends meet, or fight for their lives. Do more, earn more, feed families, and handle heartache of separation and losing jobs.

We are holding on, digging deep, and sitting tight. Panicking. Feeling deep pain and loss.

But I often choose to go against the grain – or let’s rather say that it chooses me. As much as I feel I too should be “panicking” or anxious about what is next, what is my work going to look like, where in the world is next, will a partner come along, will I ever afford to buy a home in a Euro-based economy after South Africa and how am I going to survive if I am walking away from so much I have done for the past 17 years. Those are real fears to face head-on. But still, this nagging idea of just taking time to do the work would not leave me alone.

#Prayer

After being in lockdown for four months (and dealing with testing positive for Covid where I got off lightly to be honest, with just a few days of symptoms) it was time to follow this call as soon as the opportunity arose. So although I had been on forced pause along with the rest of the world, I needed a more intentional pause. I just needed to go into the cave and immerse.

I am acutely aware that the idea of taking time off might seem very self-indulgent to you – but to me it was actually a matter of sanity. Because doing this retreat and pilgrimage was not the easy option! The easy option would have been to stay hunkered down with my mum, eat delicious food and quaff vino, kick back into gear and start a new project, coaching clients, launch the next online mentorship and get cracking with booking people on our retreats for 2021. I can manufacture energy and enthusiasm to get back up, get busy and soldier on the same as always. To keep at it, be productive and out there. That’s the easier, more common choice. It always has been for me. So that left me in a quandary as over the past few years it has left me feeling flatter and flatter every time. My nickname has been KickassKate for many years – but I no longer felt like kicking my own ass into gear, or anyone else’s for that matter.

Where does that leave me, or you?

I wanted to feel the JOY and energy and be IN LOVE with all of my life again. To feel the sparkle in my eyes burst out of my body – when the truth was that was NOT how I was feeling. I was wading through sludge. A personal bog like the peaty ones here on the island. The words that were coming to me more and more, in sleep and wake, were simply …

I’m DONE!

 

KickassKate  – NOT. Kate was tired and burnt out. No more to give to clients – what used to be my soothing balm (aka work) was just not soothing for me anymore. Dammit. I knew in my soul that I was no longer in love with all I had created, but I wanted to find a way to honor it all and take with me the parts and aspects that I DO still love.

I didn’t want to throw the proverbial baby out with the murky bathwater.

That’s why most folk don’t do it. In fact, for about three years on and off I hadn’t been doing it. I’d been tinkering with it – but not immersing. I had been feeling it, needing it, yearning for it, but not quite yet doing it all. I activated some aspects of contracting (vs. expanding) and saying NO – like selling off one part of my business to a beautiful client who is loving it all into better existence again. Or by deciding not to re-certify with an international organization to deliver their material. A tough one, as I love the organization and it had afforded me some incredible experiences around the world by running high-end retreats for their forums, or doing 5-star events with them. I was also “contracting” by not taking on as many coaching clients and referring them out to trusted colleagues. But it didn’t feel drastic enough and I didn’t love enough of the elements I was still choosing to keep in my busy work bundle. And there was the other stuff going on for me too… that’s life!

 

MY LIFE WAS COLLIDING…

  1. I desperately needed to re-look my business and work passion
  2. It was time to embrace no longer being part of a “we” and facing life in a new country as an “I” – a real rift in identity.
  3. I was bidding farewell to the Rainbow Nation country that gifted me a beautiful home since the age of 3.

#Double Rainbow Prayer

In other words, I needed to shed a few different skins all at once. A somewhat daunting triangle.

My PURPOSE for returning to this sacred isle of Iona on pilgrimage was to close out and honor this complex triangle.  To disentangle and disconnect from these three aspects of life.  To find a way to say goodbye to and appreciate what was no longer, so I can finally sit in that GAP that exits before what comes next. That place we often gloss over.

We don’t really get taught how to dismantle and deconstruct our life, do we? 

So I came to Iona exactly one month ago today, with bravery and daftness in my wee heart, resigned to sitting on my butt no matter where I found myself on the island and DOING THE WORK.

 

THE PRACTICAL SIDE:

I couldn’t believe my “luck”.

Back in the UK Midlands where my Mum lives, I noticed a three-week GAP where I could take off from work without any obligations. Whoa – no obligations – what’s that? No mentorships, boot camps, coaching clients that could go on momentary pause, a new writer’s contract was all signed and sealed and thanks to Covid, no upcoming retreats to dash off to host in a far off land. The hardest part of the decision was not so much around post-Covid safety of travel to be honest – as things were easing up and opening again. The challenge was the reality of “taking time off.”Just because the gap shows itself, doesn’t mean I usually take it. I normally fill it with work, of course! You too?

It was challenging to decide to ignore emails and daring to tell/ask/beg my business partner I needed and wanted three weeks offline. We had no writing challenges, no Feedback Fridays – nobody really needed me for ANYTHING! Bliss.

As an entrepreneur, all my life, one of the hardest ideas is to take sufficient time off. Over the last five years or so, I have learned to work fewer weekends and take a bit of a break either side of big work projects, perhaps a few days here and there. But to be honest over the past 17 years, I could never go more than 3 days without looking at my computer, phone, mail or FB. And when you do what you love it’s also much easier to be ON all the time.

You can bet the fears still rushed right at me in all forms:
Is it really, really safe to travel so soon?
I’m eating into my money fast at the poor ZAR currency conversion.
Who the hell am I to do this?
What if someone needs me? (Oh please need me)
What will others think blab la bla?
Will mum be ok on her own – I can’t just pop back if I leave

But I started dreaming about this wee island every night and it started weaving its spell again from the moment I gave it a glance in the realm of possibility. It had been 17 years since I last set foot upon Iona!

I had no idea if or when we would really be able to travel from UK to Scotland, but I started making tentative plans. The UK and Scottish Government announced new measures, and I had to heed both restrictions. Fast forward a few weeks and I was on a train, masked up and double sanitizer on hand.

It was all a bit surreal. Only two other people on the train platform. Only 4 in the carriage to Glasgow. The first stop was a legally operating hotel in Oban, then the ferry to Mull, and next a bus across Mull where I was the ONLY passenger. I got to natter all the way to the driver. From 3 meters away of course. The poor lad had spent four months driving his bus back and forth twice every day for a 70 minute trip with no passengers: just parcels, shopping, wool and supplies for the house-bound locals. Talk about a driving meditation with no cars and just a few sheep and highland cattle to look out for on the single lane track. Suddenly having a real person to carry was such a novelty – so much so that he forgot to open the hold for my suitcase when we arrived in Fionnphort and was about to turn around and drive merrily off. Hey, wait up there Steve.

#Surreal Travel

And then there is the final Calmac ferry before you can set foot on Iona.

The power of showing up somewhere always amazes me. The initial cottage I had secured for 6 weeks had fallen through a few days before traveling. Covid measures meant they needed it back to isolate guests. I was planning 3 weeks of intense retreat and an extra 3 weeks to start writing again. So my wonderful friend, DF, back from when I worked on the island 18 years ago in the summer of 2002, kindly helped secure me a new spot. But for 2 weeks only. I knew I had to let go of all plans, anticipated outcomes and just BE THERE to allow the magic of Iona to find me – I hoped. My life motto, and specifically living location free for almost 4.5 years, is that you can’t know everything before you go.

 

I am now in my third accommodation and have been here for a month today!

 

 

THE PROCESS TO FREEDOM – WHAT I DID

  1. Set time aside and had a crystal clear intention.
  2. Told my patient business partner I was going offline and to please NOT bug me for work for three weeks (we had one wee emergency that took all of three minutes, and even did an interview as it was pure fun and delight)
  3. Told my current coaching clients I was taking three weeks off. Eeek.
  4. Just disappeared off FB. No big song and dance announcing what I was up to. I just did it and went offline. Biggest relief of all.
  5. Stayed OFF email, Facebook and ALL other Social Media platforms for three weeks.
  6. Reached out to friends and family as and when needed. I wasn’t doing a full silent retreat so was happy to interact a bit when needed. Just not with clients or work.
  7. My phone lived on airplane mode 90% of the time.
  8. Interacted with locals when I felt drawn to – fascinating people live here!
  9. 90% of the time, I was however on my own, in silence.
  10. Every day I slept, walked, swam, ate, napped and read as I felt like.
  11. I never felt compelled to listen to any music, audiobooks or such like. Just nature, wind, waves and me.
  12. Devoured 10 books that I found in the cottage – good rollicking Scottish romances, moving memoirs, deeply powerful Shamanic books – all sorts to immerse in when I needed a break to let my process stew.
  13.  8-10 hours daily I DID MY PROCESS. And it continued in my sleep. Letting it all seep slowly into my soul.

 

Mostly, I reveled and rejoiced in the depths of NOT doing anything or needing to BE anywhere at any given time. No one needed anything from me. That’s pure bliss. My modus operandi was to do what I wanted when I wanted. For the first three days I also made things a bit more intense for myself. Ha – of course we have to push a bit to get results.

On the day I arrived, I shared dinner and some vino to reconnect with my friend and her partner. Armed with delicious Italian pasta and lamb ragu in my tummy, the next morning I started a rigorous 3-day water fast to kick start my body and soul. That means ONLY WATER mixed with a bit of lemon, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup (for the blood-brain barrier). I’m pretty used to some shorter fasting so it wasn’t tooooo much of a shock to my system. I was a determined little beast on a mission. After my initial water fast, I kept up intermittent fasting for about 16 hours every day to help support the inner work I was doing. And ate what I felt like for the rest of the time. No booze for the first 10 days to up the ante.

I went swimming EVERY DAY. No matter the weather! 

You might think Scotland sounds drab, cold and dreary – but oh my – the color of the water up here. The astounding beauty that is the Hebridean islands. A photographer’s delight! Think intense azure blue and liquid aqua with the shimmering Iona light that bounces through it. The sound of Iona can look like sheets of silver glass, punctuated with a dolphin fin or a sailboat, or it can rage wild and thrash on the rocks, hiding the pure white sand or the craggy rocks at high tide.

But by swimming, I really just mean that I got wet in the freezing Atlantic or the Sound of Iona. Wim Hof and his cold-water therapy principles inspired me, but deep inside I am really the gal that grew up swimming in the warm Indian Ocean with the Benguela current. Toasty warm. The mild Mediterranean is my other favorite swim spot thanks to our annual Greek writing retreats. When I lived in Cape Town, I never did quite cotton on to swimming, as it was mind-numbingly cold for me. I’m just not a cold-water salmon kind of gal.

On day one, my version of swimming involved running in, plunging my body in the water, squealing and shrieking loudly and running out gasping. Probably wet for less than 3 seconds, to be honest. I thought – come on you sissy – this is a great cleansing practice. A ritual. Why don’t we try to double it every day till you get to ten minutes? Are you mad? Because now I am talking to myself out loud. Shivering. Come on – we can use the power of the water to enhance what we are trying to do here with our spirit Kate. Aaaargh ok dammit, you win, you damn voice in my head.

So the game was on, and the next day I ran in and while gasping ridiculously, I counted to 10 seconds. FAST. Day 3 – 30 seconds later made me feel like I had just run a 5 km race. The next day 4 was a big jump to 2 minutes. Then 5, 8, and 10 minutes day-by-day. In just one week I reached my 10-minute hurdle. Now I’m up to 15 minutes. It’s just about the BREATHING (ok, I still mean gasping) and counting, breath by breath. The body is incredibly resilient and adaptable. I am not in the running for any frozen lake swimming or artic jaunts, but I feel so invigorated by it. Like a little personal challenge. We won this one.

On day 4, I was looking into the mirror after thawing out in the warm shower, and SAW myself looking back at me for the first time in a very long time! Rather than simply looking in the mirror while usually putting on some mascara, moisturizer or lipstick, I was suddenly aware of ME. I truly saw ME in the reflection. I peered deeply into my own eyes (sounds so cliché) and said hello to myself at last. I had been missing for a while. Missing from myself. Missing from life.

 

 

 

 

 

 


#Daily Swimming 

It was like a little jolt of reality and I felt I was back IN my body again.

I went back and looked at the Wim Hof shower challenge where they ask you to get up to 1 minute in a cold shower by the end of a MONTH. Pah – what a lark. I was officially a hard-core cold-water swimmer compared to that standard. And again when I say swim, this is not what I do in Greece when swimming 400 meters to my “rock”. Here I just dunk my body in the shallows and wallow there, head out, gasping and trying to calm my breath while staring at the view, going tingly numb. Mad huh?

I also have to confess that I swim in the nick – again purely for practical reasons. It’s not one of my fantasies playing out in any way – it’s purely because I don’t want to trudge back to my wee cottage with a dripping costume. That feels too much of a stretch in the cold, rainy, misty and wild 12-degree weather in summer. I know my limits – so I am basking in the idea of being a Scottish seal for a while, cavorting in the shallow water when no one is around :)

But for the most part, I was really living by the rhythm of my body’s needs. Or collecting beautiful rock and stones :)

I also walked and hiked every day – no matter the weather! Usually 6 kinds of weather on one day! My body just got outside and did it. I did my work as I walked. Glorious long meanders on the pathways hugging the shore. Sometimes a quick chat with a local, or a wave from afar. I walked the land from the North End (always my favorite) to the pebbled beaches of St Columba’s bay with its beautiful meditational Labyrinth (annual upkeep done with love by my same friend) as a reward after the trek. It is in this bay that you might catch a lucky glimpse of the Iona Marble or green Serpentine. I found myself watching sheep graze the “machair” golf course or merrily much on seaweed gazing out over the Atlantic en route to Port Ban, or heading up to the highest point, Dun-I.

 

#St Columba’s Bay – the pebbled beach to search for Iona Marble

Purple hues, electric greens and mesmerizing blues alongside dramatic greys. An artist’s dream palette. Spellbinding sunsets and days upon day of grey. Except that grey here is charcoal, black, white and silver – misty and wild. Not the soul-killing city-grey. Electrically alive grey!

 

Walking shifts the body and moves the soul. Padam Padam! Swimming cleanses the body and refreshes your mind – Great combo! There were so few people on the island as it was just starting to re-open post lockdown that I felt truly grateful to be here at this time.

 

Layered on top of the above practical aspects was the inner work. The real reason I was here after all. I was definitely not on “holiday” trying to escape post-lockdown with mum. So although I was in the most ridiculously splendid scenery possible, I was here to do my “close –out” work and heed the call for my personal pilgrimage. I had a crystal clear intention to plunge deep into my HEART.

 

H: Honour

E: Engage

A: Acknowledge

R: Recapitulate

T: Transform

 

I think of life unfolding in chapters and books. It felt like I needed to close out a few open chapters in a few different books.

In the Nagual tradition (check out Carlos Castaneda’s books) they talk about a process known as “Recapitulation”. I understand this to be a profound spiritual practice to retrieve all of your energy from the past – to help you live in this moment as a warrior of light. To be “at the ready” for whatever comes your way. To not be stuck in the past. Living lighter I guess.

You might understand this as a process commonly known as “cutting the ties that bind”. It is quite simply about finding all the aspects of yourself, your spirit, your energy, your memories that you may have left floating around the world and do some work at many levels to gather that energy back to yourself. In practical terms, this means being present, clear, at peace and un-hooked. It doesn’t mean you wish things hadn’t happened, but more that you are no longer controlled by them. You find a way to release that which is not yours and no longer serves you and wrap up all the good stuff in your heart. Very liberating. It is a long-standing practice in my life and one way I have been able to live a little lighter on the planet.

Everything we do, eat, touch, smell, experience, get hurt by, affected by, every place we visit, everything we love or hate – leaves a footprint. Stays connected to us. Some of that is good for us and some of it weighs us down. If you have ever read my CLEAR YOUR CLUTTER book, it’s all about releasing the sticky energetic connection from a place, person or object. Removing the dirt, the dross and the debris and then truly loving what you choose to keep in your home and life.

My aim was to actively look back at the last 17 years since becoming a professional life coach in the UK. That was the last time I visited Iona, so it was a full circle for me! In 2003 I went from Iona to chef in Provence, France for 3 months (yes even as a non-qualified chef!) and that summer job financed my coaching studies. I qualified as a Master Life Coach – and was one of the first Life Coaches in South Africa. I have had the most beautiful, BUSY career and business and now, in 2020, I wanted to do a massive honoring of that time.

 

Closure is about looking back with reflection, honor, openness and curiosity. Being willing to go deep into the cave, but not necessarily falling into a hole that is too hard to get out. It felt like a deeply profound way to cherish it all. It felt necessary yet somewhat daunting. But I was determined and resolute in my heart.

 

It was about RETRIEVING myself back to myself, finding all the parts of me that felt scattered, hurt, tired, depleted and heartbroken. I wanted to find a way to stop feeling so thin, torn apart, burnt out, irritated and with nothing to give anyone anymore. I had gotten to the point where I was feeling anxious and stressed about anything I was doing for work – suffering from performance anxiety, often depressed, tearful or downright sobbing, wanting to shut it all down and run away. I also wanted to go searching for and honoring the delights, the magic, and the incredible opportunities that have crossed my path. I guess it’s a bit like when an actor receives a lifetime award and everyone acknowledges what he or she has accomplished, only I came to do that for myself.

 

Because the truth is that I had started really questioning my ability, my self-worth, my passion. So it was time to stop, gather and sit IN IT and face it all head-on.

 

Even as I write this down, I know I am not doing full justice to my experience. I’m not sure words can convey the depth of my exploration – deep into my heart and recesses of my mind. Waking, sleeping, walking, swimming, resting, dreaming, walking over and over and over again with it all brimming and swirling through me. I would sit for hours in one spot staring at the ocean and just do “the process”.

I worked quite systematically in some ways through each year, from 2003 all the way up to 2020, gathering back all the threads of energy, pulling back my strength, increasing my vitality and expanding my heart. At the end of each cycle, I did some powerful writing processes to capture the essence of that time. I also re-looked areas of work over and above each year, to redo them and relook. I didn’t want to miss anything out.

 

Many years ago I created an “online course called Close Out Strong” which supports you to honor the year gone by in order to move in the New Year feeling lighter – well imagine that process times 17!

 

At the end of 12 days, I had brought myself up to present time. I had walked back and revisited every single:

Home and office de-cluttered
Clients coached
Retreats hosted
Mastermind facilitated
Workshops or trainings delivered
Online courses written and run
Interviews given and articles penned
Stood back on the stages of every talk I ever shared
Re-connected with each of my books written and movie I starred in
Every partner I had shared life with, but more emphasis on my recent relationship
Every home I have lived in
Every country visited

…and every single experience I could find for the past 17 years.

The highs and the lows!

Layer after layer after layer.

#layers of colour with grey

Stripping away the ‘krap’, the gunge, the lack, and the ego. Relishing in the delights. Pulling my energy back to me. Releasing what wasn’t mine back to where it came from. Release. Put the final full stop on that chapter. Close the book.

This process is hard, it’s deep and it requires courage. Are you being called to do it at this time in your life? Could you give it to yourself – the permission, space, the time, and let yourself do the work?

 

From day 4 onwards I started to feel awareness rise like sap in my veins. I felt inspiration, vitality and sparkle flood back through my cells.

 

If I can convey anything at all to you – it is the tangibility of the energy that I feel now. I am able to say with my head held high and my heart ticking strong, that I am so deeply in awe of what I have created, done, experienced and explored in my business and life. Because I hadn’t been feeling like that – I was feeling useless, bored, questioning what I had accomplished, wondering if I had made any real difference in the world, wondering what I had contributed. I had no real energy, no spark, no sustainable vitality and I had to muster up motivation rather than feel inspired. Whilst I wasn’t exactly ill, I felt like my spirit had become weary and heavy. Other than some aches and pain, old injuries, the coming and going of depression and menopause thrown into the mix, I was still reasonably healthy, resilient and strong. But not being ill is definitely not the same thing as being truly healthy, vitally alive, awake and in love with it all.

I felt zinging and pulsating again – I could hear differently. I had more energy again and was getting better sleep. I felt proud, alive, awake, accomplished, in awe. I also got the closure I was desperately seeking.

From work, my ex-life-partner, and South Africa.

My gigantic triangle.

 

EMBRACE THE GAP

On day 12, I released that my closure initial process was done. Now that the closure felt complete – I took myself off for a glass of crisp Sauvignon Blanc and a sandwich in the glorious sun, to watch the ferry boat come and go.

I was now facing the unknown of the gap.

The sitting

Waiting

Wondering

Exploring

Following threads as they appear

Still reading, swimming, walking, sleeping, eating, and do them over and over again.

Trying desperately not to fill the gap too soon. To not push forward. To not start mind mapping the future – as that is such an exciting process to engage with. It’s one I have helped 1000’s of clients do. But the trick was to wait. To be. To still NOT do.

 

I had glimpses of the elements of my work I still love. Writing. Retreats. Then a wee flicker of possibility somehow found its way into my heart – a tiny glimmering thread I am now following both literally and metaphorically. But not forcing or controlling it. Just being delighted by its welcome presence more than anything. My friend simply mentioned a local woman who does something extraordinary. The moment she mentioned it, my whole being resonated when the words came out of her mouth. I didn’t even know exactly what it was that this local did. I just loved the “sound” of it. My heart sat up and paid attention and I felt a little smitten by the idea of it. Weird? I had been seeking something creative to fall in love with – a hobby of sorts. It’s been all work and travel for so many years and I have wanted something to DO with my hands. Something to bring me to life again. I always feel envious of people with hobbies. Creative pursuits.

 

Sorry to leave you in the lurch here– but there is no more to say about it on this blog – we have been at this one long enough today. Are you really still here? I just know that something is unfolding inside me on the island that feels juicy and full of life. I’ll write about it next time – when I know more.

But for now, I embrace the GAP.
This space of being complete, closed out, full of awe and proud of it all.

Happy and content with the NO LONGER, but not yet knowing what will come in the NOT YET.

Not sure where “home” or nest will be.

Not sure what all the facets of work will look like. Being an author and running retreats are still sticking like glitter glue

Not sure who is going to come bounding into my life and heart

Sit here and be still, be patient Kate.

Just do what needs to be done for now. Today.

Stop trying to shift gears too soon.

Don’t start too many things as default from the old.

Don’t gloss over the gap.

 

“It is a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately filling up space.
Pema Chodron”

 

REACH OUT

I wish you well on your chosen journey! I’d honestly LOVE to hear from you as I emerge slowly back into the world again – pop a comment or drop me a mail. It might take me longer to reply as the connection is a bit dodgy on the island, and I am not spending much time “working”. Are you in this phase of needing to get closure and embrace the gap? It’s really hard, isn’t it? I do hope that if you stayed reading with me till the end, that you have taken away something from my experience that can support your journey. It was just really important for me to pen it.

You could also go and check out “THE STRATEGIC POWER OF DISCONNECTING”. It was written a while ago, and I’ll update it again soon, but it might help you along your path right now?

 

ABOUT KATE
As you gather from this post, Kate is busy re-jigging her life as she embraces the gap. She is an international, location free author who leads immersive and experiential retreats in her favorite power spots – ludicrously idyllic locations around the world. She has become intrigued by the notion of regularly taking time out to restore and rejuvenate the spirits and find that sense of joie de vivre. She still loves helping you to understand the power of slowing down and saying hello to yourself and your dreams! And it seems that being an author and running retreats are the pieces that will stick going forward.

#seaweed munching sheep

 

12 pairs of Gloves – maybe my minimalist self won this round

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

To risk or not to Risk – could I cope with 12 pairs of gloves?

The quandary: There’s a question on many female’s hearts and minds this week as the 29th looms ahead about whether to really pop THE question. It might also be on everyone’s hearts and minds wondering if they might be the recipient of said question. It has been amusing listening to the radio in the UK this week as people phone in with stories- one guy decided to go on a lad’s weekend to avoid being with his girlfriend. Enough said I reckon he’s stating his case in advance.

Never before has this been an honest reality for me… and while I am fiercely modern, I also love a little tradition thrown into the mix. On Leap Year, it IS tradition for women to pop THE question – and nowadays I think it means a great day for anyone to pop the question, regardless of what relationship you are in – straight, gay, I don’t give a damn.

Have you been wearing knee-pads this week practicing?

It was on my radar (was being the emphasis here), and now the only radar for me is the one in the plane’s cockpit. You know how some folk fly on their birthday or Christmas day to AVOID that supposed day of celebration?

Well, suffice it to say that I intentionally chose the 29th February as the day to fly south again- just easier on my heart. Should I have gotten a single discount? That would be good advertising for airlines, I reckon!

Ok, give me a collective hug and we can move on to talk about these gloves! My Minimalist Self is feeling let off the hook. If you have no idea what I mean – check this out below … and bets of luck navigating the 29th February! If you know you need to take time out and get away from all the STUFF going on – be sure to grab my free series on The Strategic Power of Disconnecting ….maybe I will see you on a quiet, healing, contemplative retreat as you make changes in your life this year. I will keep you posted when you sign up for that info.

 LEAP DAY CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS
by Vigdis Hocken

Women Propose to Their Men

According to an old Irish legend, or possibly history, St Brigid struck a deal with St Patrick to allow women to propose to men – and not just the other way around – every four years.

This is believed to have been introduced to balance the traditional roles of men and women in a similar way to how leap day balances the calendar.

12 Pairs of Gloves

In some places, leap day has been known as “Bachelors’ Day” for the same reason. A man was expected to pay a penalty, such as a gown or money, if he refused a marriage proposal from a woman on Leap Day.

In many European countries, especially in the upper classes of society, tradition dictates that any man who refuses a woman’s proposal on February 29 has to buy her 12 pairs of gloves. The intention is that the woman can wear the gloves to hide the embarrassment of not having an engagement ring. During the middle ages there were laws governing this tradition.

Leap Day Babies World Record

People born on February 29 are all invited to join The Honor Society of Leap Year Day Babies.When do Leap Day Babies Celebrate Their Birthdays?

According to the Guinness Book of Records, there are Leap Day World Record Holders both of a family producing three consecutive generations born on February 29 and of the number of children born on February 29 in the same family.

Unlucky in Love

In Scotland, it used to be considered unlucky for someone to be born on leap day, just as Friday 13th is considered an unlucky day by many. Greeks consider it unlucky for couples to marry during a leap year, and especially on Leap Day.

St Oswald’s Day

Leap day is also St Oswald’s Day, named after the archbishop of York who died on February 29, 992. His memorial is celebrated on February 29 during leap years and on February 28 during common years.

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

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

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 :) )

 

Give them a mouthful so they are stuck with a mouth full of teeth

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

I feel compelled to share an experience that got me thinking about how well do we all really listen to each other. Whether in business or socially, it seems that the quality of your and my attention and intention can deeply impact the resultant experience that we have.

How do YOU listen to other people?
How do I listen to you?
How do you listen to YOURSELF?
Are you losing customers without even knowing it?

The scenario that happened:

  1. SMS from current life insurance company offering an interesting option of “X”
  2. I respond saying I am potentially interested in “X”
  3. Conversation quickly diverts to “Y”
  4. I respond – I am not interested in “Y” right now.
  5. Can we set up a meeting he says?
  6. Now, I am precious about my time and about wasting it or anyone else’s, so I respond – I am only prepared to meet if in fact “X” is truly possible within my portfolio – please do not try and up-sell me a policy as I am not in the market for “Y”.
  7. Get loads of run-around by said broker. Yes, bells went off and yet I did not listen to MYSELF. I was also genuinely interested in “X” as a scenario to explore.
  8. Agreed to meet – then he was late, and I was only spoken AT, not even TO about option…..you guessed it, “Y”. After tolerating this for nine looooong minutes, I exasperatedly asked – yes but what about option ‘X”, the very reason for us meeting?
  9. To which I got a fumbled -no no no you are not eligible for “X” Kate!

Mmmm lies, deceit and false advertising. One sure way to pi$s me off!

My comment to him – yes Mr, but that was the agreement and terms to us meeting i.e. that “X” was in fact plausible for me given my personal current context. You promised to look into that and having this meeting implied it was true. You have wasted both our time and lost me 100% as a potential customer.

The fact that I am not divulging him or his company is just being plain decent, as I was mad!

The solution:

I then gave him a very straightforward mouthful – I looked at the broker and told him flat:” You have totally disregarded my request, here is your “Y” option folder back and your business card. In reality “Y” could have interested me, had you genuinely bothered to take me seriously and LISTENED to my needs about “X”. You are merely using manipulation to make sales.

You totally lost me as a potential client.
I got up, paid for my coffee and left him sitting with a mouthful of teeth.
I also reminded myself of how I could have listened to my intuition better and wasted an hour of my life!

Learn to listen to yourself.
Learn to listen to your customers.
Learn to listen to what the universe is telling you via your higher self.

With love,

Kate

What are YOU sincerely proud of today?

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

Do you breathe your very essence and power into your life every day?

Or do you tend to play small and tone it all down?

Why is it that we are still sometimes too shy to share the great things in our life? All that stuff we are taught when little about keeping your light under a bushel and not blowing your own trumpet…..I think that ultimately we do ourselves an injustice. So, today I am challenging you to actually stand up and be proud of who you are and what you are achieving in your life, no matter how small or big it appears externally. I have been sharing my secrets lately about radical shifts, tough times etc, so what about sharing some of the groovy stuff I am experiencing too?

Are you able to acknowledge something awesome in your life today that you are so proud of it could burst out of you if you let the world to see? It can be something small that is just for your own self-esteem – knowing that you got through today, or being proud that you are sticking to your exercise routine. Or that you actually remembered to call your friend on a day you know mattered to them. It could be an outcome at work that leaves you feeling proud and puffing out your tailfeathers – perhaps something a colleague did in passing this morning that reminded you how awesome you are?

Or maybe it’s a real biggie that you have been feeling shy to share with others – will they be jealous, not be happy for you or do you battle to take the credit? Close your eyes for a moment and let yourself feel the energy of being truly proud of yourself. Not in an overly egotistical way, but more of in an “I am prepared to acknowledge this because it makes me feel honestly great” kind of way.

 

PRACTICAL CHALLENGE RIGHT NOW!
Find something that you are willing to acknowledge and tell 5 people today.

Mmm yes 5!

My masterminders have to do that every two weeks when we meet- start off by sharing something they feel is a success! It builds self-worth and keeps the positive energy flowing especially when things feel a little rocky or tough! Yes 2017, we know what you have thrown at us!

What is something that YOU are proud of accomplishing in your life right now? See if this can stretch your comfort zone just a bit. You may feel awkward, you may feel shy, you may feel like an egotistical and arrogant person…but what if you also feel the light that shines inside you as you share that with another human. Let yourself be seen for whom you really are today……go on!

I am proud of…..!!!

I’d like to share what I am currently proud of with you:  I am so proud that I managed to stick out 3 months in the USA.
Even though it has been my dream for the past 3 years to go for an extended 3 month visit to see how much I really love it, I literally went there with NO plans, no specific work lined up in the USA, no conferences to attend or movies to appear in, Premieres to walk the red carpet at or friends birthday’s to celebrate as per every other visit thus far. Of course I always have my location free lifestyle and all my wonderful regular online courses, writers and masterminders. But that was it. Three months stretched out ahead of me – in dollars!

I went essentially to SHOW UP for my third book SHIFT YOUR HOME as I have always had a dream about collaborating in the USA. In the first two weeks I pretty much cried every day, slept ten hours, wondered what the HELL I was doing and just felt so so very alone, small and helpless. Little and pathetic! YEP! So I resorted to my own advice that I dish out and made myself do just ONE thing every day towards finding magic for my third book, and slowly it started unfurling when I got out of my own way! I started doing my yoga at a local studio in San Rafael, hung out at Starbucks to work and guzzle coffee, writing gratitudes and keeping my eye on the bigger dream.  After all, I didn’t want to waste a three-month trip.

SO after wallowing a bit in self created dross, I picked myself up with help from my support teams (my mastermind group, friends, partner and a massive release exercise!) and literally started being as cheeky as all hell and asking people for help to meet people that would be connected to the realty / real estate industry to collaborate with my new book. VOILA- I managed to collide with someone very special and soon we will be releasing the new updated version and online course!

 

SO BACK TO YOU!!
WHAT ARE YOU SINCERELY PROUD OF?
My challenge to you is that you chat to 5 (FIVE) people about what is happening in your life that you are proud of today. Yes, I mean 5!

 

And if you really want to UP THE ANTE and put an awesome full stop at the end of the year, keep reading…

WOULD YOU LIKE TO HARNESS 2017 AND CLOSE OUT STRONG?

Every year at this time, I facilitate CLOSE OUT STRONG. Done as a stunningly supported group process you get to harness the GROSS AND GROOVY, the GLEES AND THE GLITCHES from 2017 to set yourself up for a LIGHTER start to 2018.

This process ensures you take stock and take charge.
Streamline and focus on what matters so that you don’t limp over the finish line but rather END PROUD AND TALL!

For more information READ HERE
Officially starts Friday 24th November, but you can join later if you choose.

The profundity of asking a question that resonated!

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

The profundity of asking a question that resonated with you!
I posted this question on Facebook for both myself and my clients. Having just come through and out of my own inner “Irma” – the hurricane devastating the Carribean and Florida – and witnessing clients all over the world being squished, squashed, and squelched, bobbing up for some beautiful, deep breaths and breathtaking views before being swept under again – I posed this question to my tribe.

“Anyone else out there being a bit sideswiped by life at the moment? Whether your energy levels, financial, feeling disconnected, battling to get clarity on a way forward etc etc etc? And if so how are YOU best riding that uncomfortable wave? Would really love some input from you …”
UPDATE a couple hours later: so I asked this inquiry both for myself and also for many of my clients who are just in a somewhat very transitional space right now – shuffling, stuck, overwhelmed, unsure, then surges of energy and inspiration, followed by doubt, lack of confidence etc etc. Loving ALL your answers here – love my FB family around the globe!!

 

Here is the list that exploded on my timeline – deep sources of inspiration and ideas. Perhaps ONE is for you today.

Piet Filmalter Blendid.co.za …try it out – healthy as ever, taste great, and very easy for lazy/in-a-hurry type of person. And those days where you need to operate on a higher level, Provigil – if you can afford it or get a prescription for it.
Shelley Walters Sleep. Zzz
Sandy Bisschoff Trying to live in the moment and go with the flow, taking each day as it comes. I know that it’s temporary and I’ll have energy and direction again soon. Also reading Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now (for the first time!) which is helping
Marilu Meiring For me it was realizing that by doing things in my own strength, is what quickly exhausts me. I’ve always believed in God but it was a relationship I neglected. Recently I decided to start to invest and prioritized my relationship (and understanding) of God again, I stepped into a world of peace that no matter what, gives me the power to let go and trust that all things work together for good.
Kate Emmerson yes I too need to be connected to spirit – if I am unplugged that’s when all my “drama” starts. Weirdly enough JUICING gets me reconnected, followed by Yoga. It’s like a fast track queue to spirit for me
Marilu Meiring That’s fabulous  What helps me is to know that I’m truly loved by Spirit and that only good things are intended for my life. So even in waiting (or with nothing happening), it is intended for my good and that is a comforting believe to hold on to.
Fran Stephanie Fainman I did the art of living foundation happiness program, where I learned a fabulous Kriya technique and pranayama breath work, which shifts energy very quickly. Sending hugs
Justine Visser Stay in the moment, meditate and remember, it will pass♡ and I promise it does, just another shift in your ascension process
Terry Stallard Just had a “crash n burn” with health..and income…
1)Got off conveyer belt of busy-ness and false stimulants (sugar and caffeine)
2) Taking time to rest and “be still” …definitely re-connect with God
3) Changing lifestyle…healthy diet….
4) Simplifying lifestyle….living within means..keeping out of debt
5) Exploring new ways of doing business..learn, read, learn…and possibly start writing….
Fran Stephanie Fainman I did the art of living foundation happiness program, where I learned a fabulous Kriya technique and pranayama breath work, which shifts energy very quickly. Sending hugs
Justine Visser Maybe this will help;
A sense of being held back. Many of us are feeling the sensation of something holding us back, from doing what we know we should be doing. Or coming up just short no matter how hard we try. Or procrastinating even though we may have a bit more clarity on what we feel we should be doing. We have had some very creative moments, but at large we still have that feeling that we can’t really get going. We don’t seem to be able to build any momentum to actually get started on our new projects and ideas for our soul mission.
That may be because on a physical level we still need to sleep a lot to process all the changes and integrate the light. While from a soul level, something seems to hold us back and prevent us from moving forward with it. We don’t know why but we have the feeling that we are still waiting for something before we go ahead. And we are. We are being asked to work through our core wounds first and to connect with the people around us who we are meant to connect with from all over the planet. We are building ourselves a strong foundation to support us and then propel us forward when the right time comes.
The Universal energies are aligning now for the big shifts to come. All this delaying has the purpose to fully bring us into perfect inner balance. The balance between aloneness and community, between the masculine and the feminine energies within, between being and doing, between giving and receiving. We must trust that we will get the energetic push to move forward, as soon as we are ready. This is the ultimate letting go of control and letting Source work through us and guide us.
Some upcoming dates to take note of:
September 6: Full Moon,
September 21 -25, including:
September 22 – Equinox and September 23 – Cosmic Trigger, Timeline Shift
December 21 – 25, including:
December 21- Solstice and December 23 – Cosmic Trigger, Timeline Shift
Welcome to a new way of living
Come join us: https://www.facebook.com/groups/anewwayofliving/
John Addey Come for tea
Cheryl Reum So many external influences of chaos it has to have an effect. We are one with our Universe. The Slight Edge Jeff Olsen, a delightful reminder of the control of small matters sees huge results. Sleep, 8 hours is my quota. Walk minimum 5000 steps a day. Eat a little something Nice! Chuck the to do lists and complete what can be done in flow. Read” One Thing” and practice it. Gary Keller. And Smile
Craig K. Whitehead I’m with Marilu Meiring here. Throughout the recent storms of life my faith has anchored me in confidence knowing that I am not alone or going through this without guidance. I literally see Him move in my life now that I am giving it more attention and learning to take each day as it comes…resting in the knowledge that God has got this. The creator of Heaven and Earth has me under his wings and firmly in place for his will and destiny for my life. X love ya Kate
Timea Kulcsar The Flow Experience is absolutely my life saver. The community, the tools, the support, the collective energy is what lifts me up. check out my free 7 days of flow email series. There are some amazing tools in there. Lots of people have said it’s created amazing shifts and peace within them. Www.flow-experience.com/7-days-of-flow
Frances Amanda Briggs Side swipes are instant feedback signals to rest, stop, sit, listen before taking action. I tend to approach adversity with curiosity to learn and evolve. I turn to self-care for comfort and clarity. I enjoy massages, journaling, EFT, mindfulness, eating plant and raw with loads of sleep. I hibernate and usually emerge solid and centered afterwards…
Kirsten Kennedy Gratitude for every day. Release the need to drive goals and control. Trust you will get there anyhow, this is an interesting detour worth exploring. Feel the flow, smile…. aaaaand go!
Wendy Ward Kate, thank you putting this inquiry out. It is so easy to become disassociated and disconnected. These are deeply unsettling times. It is hard to BE WITH such despondency, despair and confusion, to sit with the collective grief, to witness division and hatred, to live so close to the edge of insanity. It is easier to numb the pain, distract oneself, remain in denial, etc etc.

For me, and your question has caused me to reflect, these things are helping:
* Being weirdly comfortable not having a frigging clue most of the time what is going on. Taking the next small step into the unknown. Trusting my intuition.
* Coming back to my body, to sensation, again and again. This is helping me get out of my head. It’s like constantly noticing when my attention is focused outward and bringing it back inwards. Being aware of the breath as much as possible throughout the day. What do the sages keep reminding us: we are who we are looking for. Coming home to myself.
* Running the BARS – amazing – helps defrag the brain! For me, it has reduced my distractability in remarkable ways.
* Grounding. Lots of this. Walking bare feet. Being in nature. Literally resting, lying down, being held by the earth. Tree Meditation so wonderful.
* Stillness and silence. Sensing this stillness and silence every time I turn my gaze inwards.
* Being open to or allowing emotion to move through me – actually feeling stuff!
* Not taking things personally (harder said than done).
* Lots of chakra work. Keeping my heart open. Prayer and meditation. Choosing to believe, at the deepest level, that I am fully supported by the Universe. Mind is Resilient.
* Avoiding alcohol and nicotine. Letting go of these old friends almost entirely – body simply can’t handle. Big shifts as a result.
* Trying to take 100% responsibility for what I am thinking and what I am creating. This is the bit I CAN do when all else in world threatens to overwhelm.
* Sweat Lodge – monthly sweat – awesome community.
* Mates like you! Holding space for each other.

Sharon Jansen August, a month where my physicality was compromised. Wake up call ‘re pace. Made a declaration out loud and to others – very liberating in the clarity it brings to do this. Repositioning for the rest of the year, opening up space, creating ease and putting self first.
Wendy Nagel Sending love to you Kate! It feels like there is a lot of shedding going on…be it old patterns to allow for new…or just being caught up in all the external noise…meditate, meditate, meditate…find the stillness inside!  It feels rough, but so worth it…the key is in the letting go
Natalie Uren Today … really feeling the effects of long-term caring for my parents. About to go to yoga
Candice Wasserfall-Somerville Life is hard right now with so many sick friend and family but we have been taking the time to enjoy the small things in life. We sit in the mornings together and enjoy the birds singing while we drink our coffee. We are making memories with concerts ( Jonny Clegg ) and holidays. We are also starting a family Happiness journal to remind us of the good things that have happened during the day/ week. A photo album is also good to capture the good times of the year. It’s great to get rid of stuff, be free and have more time as there is less to clean! Surf that wave 
Lynne Loggie Kate, I so appreciate the public question and the tremendously insightful & helpful responses. Challenged as never before, I’m holding on tightly to authentic awareness, trusting that time and flow will do what it does so well, for those who observe its brilliance. Thank you and continued blessings!
Fiona Aucamp Finding the new phase of our lives daunting. Feel like I am taking more steps back than forward. Feeling disoriented and unstable. Doubts flooding through my mind…..
Adele Green I was processing yesterday, but whatever was there is shed. Feeling fantastic.
Peter du Toit These concepts had the most profound impact on me when I first heard them and may be useful to others too in the context of your question. Enjoy
Jocelyn Broderick Feeling a bit battered physically, energetically, emotionally. So much change. Big decisions. Big shifts. Transition 
Trudie Bartholomew – Translife It is full moon … and recently the end of the Mercury Retrograde
Rivashnee Singh Hey Kate, so there….being swept away. Continuance from our personal messages of late….. Changing life stage whilst going through the whirlwind of personal, emotional, business and life transformation at the same time is all consuming. I have to say your blogs and constant snippets in various forms always refreshing.
Kate Emmerson shew this thread has certainly hit a spot with so many of you. Thanks for your responses have warmed my heart! Spread the post into your worlds so other people you think might need it too can access it from your timeline?
Ursula Barnard Jacobs Sometimes people cannot let the sun shine upon others…some might say it is jealousy…manipulation….spiritual warfare. Regardless, let your light shine. You are probably on the verge of a breakthrough
NEED SUPPORT TO SHIFT YOUR LIFE?
Do you need some support from me and if so what might you need? Just drop me a line – perhaps it’s time to join my Cappuccino Challenge to learn how to fall in love with yourself again? Just R397 for 30 days! CLICK HERE  
Or perhaps you are ready to really put yourself and your life on the line and UP THE ANTE by joining my next Mastermind group.  Exponential shifts with just 6 people in a group. By application only.  Mail me now as next group start in a few weeks!

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