Happy New Year! What's been, what's ahead and a poem by Rumi


Happy New (Gregorian) Year!  I hope you've had a restful and fun break.  I've recorded a short Rumi poem above and a reflection of what's been and what's ahead below.  Thank you for reading 💜   

What's been...

Since 2019 it's definitely been a rollercoaster both personally and globally.  The troubles globally continue and deserve a separate post for my thoughts around this, and of course we're interconnected, there is always an impact felt in whatever capacity for each human being when we are aware of what's happening around the world and we can't not be aware.  One of the teachings in yoga is that we aren't truly free until all of us are free.  This is something to consider during these times when so many innocent people are suffering.

Personally, I'm going back a little as the past few years have been particularly impactful and ran alongside global events.  It started for us here with the fires in August 2019.  We ended up near the middle of the mega fires.  For the next few months we were ready to evacuate at any moment, our nervous systems were on alert, the smoke and heat was suffocating most of the time and our lungs felt heavy and congested. 

The community here was amazing, they all formed 'pods' and supported each other with such dedication.  It opened my eyes and made me realise this is how it will be, when the fire service say they don't have the resources to get to you with so many other fires going on, it was a case of leaving or defending.  The community here saved many homes, most had experienced fires before but nothing quite like this!  We stayed and were very lucky that time not to lose our home or in some peoples cases their lives.  

We'd also just found our new rescue dog of 18 months on Gumtree!  She came home with us a month before the fires kicked off, it was a drought with a lot of very hungry monitor lizards fighting for food.  Daisy (the rescue pup) loved it here with us but had a few incidents in getting used to the bush. 

She was sadly attacked by a large monitor lizard in one incident, we nursed her back over the next few months and then she ate poison that had been put out by neighbouring homes trying to fight the mouse plague and almost died.  We finally got pet insurance, there's a multitude of incidents that can occur out here!  She's now a very healthy and happy member of the family with a big smile (literally - I think it's the Labrador genes) and a very friendly, loving (and stubborn) nature.

We got through the fires 🔥 and I danced naked on the deck and sang in gratitude when the first big rains came in January, it was such a huge relief.  

I managed to get out to New Zealand in February 2020 to celebrate and meet up with one of my closest dearest friends for her 80th, she is Maori (living in London) and a writer.  My friend wanted to revisit the places she grew up in on the North Island and take myself, one of her oldest friends and her son along for the ride.  It was a magical trip and an honour to visit and meet her relatives and see the history there. 

I loved every minute of NZ, the cooler weather and wild elegance of the land, the oceans and people.  I came back refreshed, the cool water soothing the raging drought and fires my body had felt. 

A few weeks later Covid happened and the first of many lockdowns.... and well, we all know what happened there!

I quickly shifted all my classes and coaching online, and developed and ran my group program Embody Voice Confidence in September 2020 for the first time.  Even though I'd been using Zoom for many years doing private coaching and further training for myself, I'd not taken much of my work online, especially for yoga, it's a different connection in person.  I now appreciate the benefits of both and my work is hybrid and I'm sure will mostly always be.

Meanwhile back in the UK my mum had started to act strangely, she told my Dad that Prince Harry was going to marry her so she'd have to get a divorce, she was becoming more and more unwell, my sister and I suspected UTI problems or Dementia but it took about a year before she was officially diagnosed with FT Dementia, 2020 wasn't an easy time to be in and out of hospitals and that's what ended up happening.  She was in her early 70's and my dad almost 80 was understandably struggling to cope. 

That was a whole other journey and I couldn't have felt more helpless being in Australia unable to get out.  I was on the phone every day often late at night to fit the timezones for when Mum was up and speak to hospitals, doctors, social workers etc.  I eventually managed to get to the UK twice in 2022.  I'm so grateful for that time and for having cultivated a trusting relationship with my mum, all the healing we'd done over the years was paying off and the love and respect we'd developed was well worth it.

When I reflect back on the growth that occurred during these years, I'd say qualities like resilience, patience, self-awareness, courage and empathy were strengthened out of necessity, some 'shadow' stuff came to the surface to be dealt with and I looked at a lot of fears in the face and moved through stuff that had been stuck for years, expanded my capacity to hold greater responsibility and found another shift happening in my vocation and work life. 

I'd started mentoring many years ago mainly through people asking me to.  It evolved into coaching, although I'd say my approach is still very much mentoring.  It was a natural progression especially as I'd never wanted to run a yoga teacher training school or larger scale studio, it never felt like the right path for me to take and I still stand by that.  The voice work had always been a part of my yoga and the acting and performing world had never left. 

I also did a play in 2020, live theatre during Covid had been decimated so that was a treat to do! I ran another round of Embody Voice Confidence in 2022 and I designed and built my own studio space (when I say build this was wholly down to my partner and our very generous builder neighbour and his family - thank you!) having this space has been a long held dream and I'm truly grateful for it.

Fast forward to 2023 and I found myself running a month long public speaking program, created because I was asked by an organisation to do something similar to my voice confidence program but for the workplace.  It was so much fun, I loved being specific and detailed about using our voice in business and developed a lot of new material and continued working with one of the founders one to one following the program.  More of that to come this year.  All the info for that new offering is on this page

2023 also gifted me a wonderful trip to Byron in April with Suzanne Sterling, she's been my voice, ritual and sacred leadership mentor since 2015 and still is (we did an amazing ritual for release and protection only last week).  In Byron we shared an apartment, hung out, sang on stage together with the fabulous Carmella Baynie, who also does wonderful voice work.  We stayed with my kind and generous close friends up there, we talked and swam and laughed, oh we laughed and danced, it was a wonderful experience.  It finished with a full day ritual, 25 women at Carmella's studio in North Sydney. 

I drove back after that final night and turned into the road I lived on, at the start of the road, there were lots of owls swooping in front of the car and flying in front of me as though leading me, they sat on the posts along the dirt road all the way home to the gate of my home and then they left, I'd never seen so many owls before in my life.  Eleven days later my mum died. 

As soon as the funeral was booked I left for the UK.  It was a very close time with family, cousins, aunties and uncles, my sister and dad and a couple of long lost school friends who were still the same, we connected back instantly.  The Eulogy poem I wrote is on this blog.

There was more last year, just before I left for the UK, we had a family member stay for 6 or 7 months to heal and recover.  I also had an autoimmune diagnosis that I'm receiving treatment for and we ended the year in November with Covid which gave me laryngitis so I lost my voice (of all things...) it's now healed and back to normal after resting. 

All of this to say that 2024 will definitely be bringing in some welcome changes.  I'm so grateful for all of the practices and learning I've been doing for 30+ years it's supported me greatly in challenging times, healing self practices and development will continue to hold a high priority in the years to come.  

The other thing I'm grateful for?  Support, without asking for, being able to receive and investing in great support over these years I'm sure my direction would have swayed and my purpose frayed.  This ranges from my partner, great friends and clients to more professional support.  

Tanya Geisler has been my regular coach since 2018, the day Aretha Franklin died to be exact, so she's been on this whole journey.  I'd heard a lot about Tanya, she's been a leadership coach for many many years and was well known and respected in the industry (and tbh you DO have to be discerning when looking for a coach or any professional support, integrity, experience, alignment, resonance, empathy, social justice awareness, values and specialisation to what I needed were all some of the qualities I was looking for. 

Tanya met all of these and so much more that I didn't even realise I needed in a coach, she lit a fire with a half hour session that started in the dark and ended in the light, literally and metaphorically (it was 5.30am in Australia, I was sat outside on a rock with my laptop, in the pitch black - pre my own studio, not wanting to wake my partner up!) by the end of the session the sun had risen and she could finally see me properly, although honestly she saw me from the moment I got on that call and I've been coaching with her ever since. 

Something that requires more of us needs support, no-one I know has done anything significant alone, there's a team or support system, whether personally or professionally, whatever that might look like for different people, the last few years have definitely taught me and I'm sure many of us that no person is an island, and I believe collaboration and connection are going to be more and more essential in the years to come.  


What's ahead?

I'm very much looking forward to this year and have plans to simplify and focus on what lights me up, alongside what creates the biggest impact for the people and organisations I work with me.  I've not over planned each moment as that never works for me.  I've got some goals and plans for each quarter with flexibility built in.  I've released what is ready to go in a powerful ritual last week and called in what I'm ready to hold and I'm ready this year to fully step back in.  It starts with another round of Embody Voice Confidence, it's longer this time and has more built in 1:1 support. 

I'll be in Melbourne in April graduating from further coaching training with BYCA, honestly the thought of being a life coach would have had me saying 'no way' 10 years ago, it's been the experience of having a great coach and being asked to do this work that led me to do further training in Life Coaching and it's been an excellent in depth training and very supportive experience this past 12 months, I'm so glad I did it!). 

The following quarters are still flexible, we are planning on hosting either one or two weekend workshop/retreats this year, both collaborations, one with Lauren from Heart of the Hunter and possibly one with Suzanne Sterling in June.  Both will likely be in the Hunter Valley area.  I'd also like to do a lot more speaking and connecting this year along with some podcast recordings and starting a YouTube channel in the 2nd half of the year to share more practices, teachings, interviews and stories. 

Finally I want to devote more time to friends and experiences that uplift us all and bring this together with actions that can make a difference to the people who need it most in the world.  The world needs all of us to be present, to listen, be more courageous and compassionate with the capacity to hold the spaces in between and not burn out.  I'll be working on expanding my capacity more for this throughout 2024.  

If you want to hear more about my upcoming online program, all of the info is on this page 'Embody Voice Confidence' there's a short video on the page if you prefer to watch and listen!

As we're easing into the new year and many of you are still on holiday I've decided to extend the Early-Bird $250 off + an extra 1:1 session until Monday 22nd Jan.  

I'm excited to run this next round and if you have any questions feel free to contact me or jump on a quick call all questions are welcome.

If there's no times available email back and we'll find a time. 

There's never any sales pressure on calls they're discovery calls, sales pressure isn't my style and never will be BUT there is a limit to spaces with only 12 spaces for this round. 

I always incorporate feedback and re-assess the impact of the program with each round so truthfully I'm not sure what the next evolvement will look like yet!  All I know is that this will be the best pricing for this level of support moving forward. 

This training and experience is really a culmination and deepening of all my experience and training (almost 40yrs in acting, performing, presenting, speaking, yoga, meditation, energy work and healing, voice, working with trauma and PTSD, coaching, facilitation, teaching and writing.)

It's a unique experience that (from participant feedback) works and no it's not like 'Toastmasters', which can be great practice to build confidence for some (not all).  This is very different whilst still getting the skills and practice you'll need.

This program is really about the impact each person can have in their own life and beyond, (especially those who find it challenging to speak and connect).  

Perfectionism, people-pleasing and personal boundaries all play a part in whether we use our voice to live the life we want to live, or whether we continue to live a life we've been conditioned to live. 

We'll also look at systemic inequality and how this can impact feeling safe to use our voice and how to be discerning about when to speak up.

When we can speak up we no longer miss the opportunities to ask for what we need and we're able to contribute in ways that feel aligned and authentic. 

We then find more spaciousness and peace inside especially when managing conflict with skill and grace (most of the time...even when shaking in our boots!) and we don't miss those opportunities for more self-expression, expansion, deeper connections and trust

I'll be sharing more soon about what brought me to this work, why I'm shifting my focus and a vision for this next phase of the journey. 

I hope you'll join me 💜 


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