5 Lessons from a silent retreat. Confessions of a cell phone smuggler…

When I told my friends I was going on a silent retreat for 7 days they said things like ‘wow, how great, you’ll love it, wish I could do that!’ Most looked at me admiringly, while some (like my family) looked puzzled. Perhaps they worried they might lose me to a cult, or ashram.

Truth is, a large part of me was dreading it, even though I’d be in the beautiful Coromandel. Read more

9 Reasons why mindfulness makes you a better leader

Mindfulness is a well-developed, evidence-based process for accessing and developing your greatest asset as a leader – you!

But despite a plethora of research supporting mindfulness programmes, many businesses still can’t see the relevance. We know big companies like Google and Twitter invest in mindfulness, but isn’t that just nice to have soft stuff for companies who can afford it?

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Will practising mindfulness dumb me down at work?

A colleague told me about a lawyer friend of hers who broke out in a cold sweat when she took her kids to an amusement park. Instead of being able to relax and enjoy a fun family day out, all she saw was risk and panicked!

This doesn’t surprise me (been there done that). When my sons were little, one disappeared at a regatta. I immediately lost the plot imagining all kinds of horrible outcomes. Minutes later (after what felt like an eternity) I found him safe hiding behind a parked car.

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What happens when I stop meditating? Confessions of an imperfect meditator…

I have a confession. I don’t meditate every day! While I’m passionate about teaching mindfulness and meditation, my own practice is less than perfect (is there such a thing?).

There’s a lot written about the benefits of mediation, but not much about what happens when you stop, or temporarily fall off the wagon.

This blog, is for the many people who try to meditate regularly, who stop, try again, stop – ad infinitum (you know who you are). I want you to know you’re normal. Meditation is hard. It might just be the hardest thing in the world. Read more

Ok I get it! Mindfulness is good for you! But what’s it got to do with work?

Despite a plethora of research supporting mindfulness programmes, many businesses don’t see the relevance to the workplace. Cool big companies like Google and Twitter have mindfulness programmes, but there’s an attitude that they’re businesses with plenty of money to throw around on staff wellness, while mindfulness is non-essential to the bottom line.

In my opinion, as a past Career Management Consultant, most businesses are wrong.

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“But the reality is…” Could your thinking be holding you back?

Woody Allen once said ‘what if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet!’. I love how he makes life feel a little less serious. We could all do with a dose of that. Life’s hard enough without making it harder for ourselves.

“We make stuff up. Instead of using our genius minds well, to decide where we want to go and how we’ll get there, we tend to use it to limit ourselves.”

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“Are we there yet?” How being busy fools you into missing your life.

One client (let’s call her Jane) described constantly rushing to get somewhere else, while constantly feeling frustrated with wading through what’s happening now. She’d made ‘being busy’ into an art form, was understandably stressed and unaware of missing out on her life.

This relentless busy-ness left Jane feeling dissatisfied with everything. When I suggested a mindfulness practice, she said it was her worst nightmare; she’d rather be locked in a windowless white room, beating her head against the wall, than to sit alone with her own thoughts. But that’s another story. Read more

Are you wearing a Busy Badge of Honour? How mindfulness helps.

You could be, without even knowing it. Unsure? Try removing the words ‘I’m busy’ from your vocabulary for the next 2 weeks. It’s harder than you think.

Nowadays, being busy carries a certain social prestige and it’s practically expected in the workplace. ‘I’m busy’ is the go-to response for ‘how are you?’. Try saying ‘I’m relaxed and everything’s under control’ and you risk being labelled as lazy, disengaged, or given more work to do. Read more

Got a difficult decision to make?

Often clients come to me because they are stuck on a decision. They’ve struggled for some time and it’s doing their head in. They tell me they’ve exhausted all angles, made countless lists of pros and cons, and still find themselves awake at 3am ruminating. Sound familiar?

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Do you need to put your big girl (person) pants on?

Ever found yourself torn between wanting to do something and at the same time holding yourself back? Yesterday I launched my business FaceBook page. It was a major event for me. I’d been telling myself I ‘should’ do it for years, but I kept holding myself back. I’d been procrastinating on all the reasons why I was not ready to launch.

I told myself – the image is wrong, I’ve got nothing to say, it would be better to have a professional do it, I’ll make a mess of it and people will notice, the tagline isn’t quite right – on and on it went…

So yesterday I put my big girl pants on and pressed the live button. And guess what? I didn’t break Facebook! The world did not end and today I’m feeling – dare I say it – a tiny bit smug. The ‘likes’ started dwindling in and all of a sudden I felt exhilarated and brave – “Yes I did it!” Read more

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