First and foremost I have experience being a woman – 49 years worth of experience, apart from that androgynous year in 1985 when I thought purple eyeshadow, drainpipe jeans and bowties had fashion potential.
I’m also a qualified Life and Leadership coach with an Advanced Diploma in Personal Leadership and Executive Coaching, and a member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council.
Like most women I know, I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs. I’ve travelled, I’ve strived to get to the top of my career, I’ve juggled that with parenting, I’ve faced the Hunger Games of 21st century dating after my marriage ended, I’ve single parented, double buggied, triple jobbed and lost my mother, marriage and reason in the space of 12 months.
I wrote about my time sandwiched between the care of three small children, and my beautiful mum who was rendered brain damaged and paralysed after a stroke in the best selling book The Sandwich Years.
What I have learned is that we are not defined by what happens to us, but by how we respond. It’s not our stress or suffering that is unique, it’s how we move forward.
I first discovered the value of coaching 13 years ago. I had spent 15 years building a career in the non-profit sector and loved what I did. However, shocked by my own decision to step back from that career that had until then defined me, when I had my first child, I was recommended coaching to help me figure out how to navigate a wilderness I had never thought I would need to orient myself in. It transformed my life. It gave me the place and space to figure out what I could do, and how I could combine my love of creative work with my love of raising a family. It gave me the insight and confidence to build a new career as a writer. My new career path didn’t happen overnight, and it wasn’t easy. That’s not the point. Coaching allowed me to find my new direction when I stepped off the traditional path.
The second time I used coaching was when my marriage ended and I faced an uncertain future. Again, it didn’t make my situation any easier, or take away the pain of the past, but it made my future clearer and helped me redesign a life I loved.
As a journalist, for the last few years I have researched, talked to, and written about women from all walks of life, and have realised there is a special and potentially scary time we all face – Midlife. I am writing my second book about redefining middle age, because while we have opportunities and potential that no other generation of women before us have had, we also face a very confusing and challenging time.
We have the answers inside of us. We just have to invest in the time to find them.
That’s what I will do as your coach. Your time with me will be a safe space where you get to focus just on you. We will find and celebrate your strengths, we will explore and explain what works for you, and we will find and focus on your needs and answers to those needs.
Coaching is an investment in you. Not you as a mother, daughter, wife, partner, sister, friend, colleague, career person. You. Just (but never ‘just’) you.