What is it you’re not saying?

 About a week ago I received a call from the manager of the Spanish guesthouse Jim, my ex-husband, lived in the last several years to let me know that he’d died from a heart attack.

My first reaction was disbelief.  He couldn’t be dead!  He was only 78!  I felt numb for the first few days. 

What do I wish I'd said before it's too late?

I had left my marriage of 37 years 9 years ago shortly before I turned 60 but we remained in touch over the last few years, supporting each other in different ways – that would make it 46 years.

After a while I felt able to look back and wonder if I had anything left unsaid.  Were there any loose ends?  Did I have cause for regret?

For most of our marriage and several years after I left I’d blame him for my loneliness and unhappiness, for having felt unloved and unseen and unheard and just about everything else I could think of.

One day,

Read moreWhat is it you’re not saying?

Regrets? I don’t plan to have any

There’s a signature song sang by Edith Piaff  ‘je ne regrette rien’ – ‘I regret nothing’.  What an amazing way to live!  What an amazing place to be when you reach the end of your life!

The first 6-1/2 months (I thought I’d be really precise) have been really challenging for me, and I was feeling dejected and discouraged with some ‘anxious’ mixed in – not a particularly good recipe for living!  Even with all my life experience I had trouble extricating myself.  What kept me going was the love and support from my friends, especially their belief in me when I was battling self-doubt.

This is what it's like to feel liberated from regrets

And then – not two weeks ago – everything changed:

The back pain I’d been suffering with for most of my adult life has dissipated – well, mostly.  My energy levels have climbed to a new record so that I’ve become really productive and creative where before, everything was an effort and my creativity suffered.  New opportunities started coming up that are making my eyes go ‘pop!’

Yes, it’s a relief to be on the other side but an interesting question that’s come up for me was ‘Do I regret having gone through these dark times?’  And, for me, the answer is ‘No’.  Like the saying goes, ‘fire tempers the steel’ or, to put it another way, ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ and, I’d like to add, wiser.  So, no, as Edith Piaff sang so poignantly, ‘je ne regrette rien’.

If I had lived

Read moreRegrets? I don’t plan to have any

What is happiness anyway?

Being there for somebody enhances our sense of wellbeing

One universal need people share is the desire to be happy but what exactly does that mean?

Clearly, happiness means different things to different people.  One inalienable right in the American Constitution is the pursuit of happiness; something you chase ‘out there’.  Do you even know exactly what makes you happy?  As an expression it’s a bit woolley, isn’t it?  How do you know when you’re happy?  What needs to be in place for you to be happy?

Perhaps a different word might be more useful?  Try

Read moreWhat is happiness anyway?

Quick fixes don’t work

I’ve have always been interested in personal development, reading more books than I can remember. In those days I hoped the books would help me change my life. I sometimes even did some of the exercises they said would make a difference.

There really IS another way!

When nothing changed I would beat myself up, blaming myself for the failure. I suppose what I was really hoping for was a quick-fix.

My first book, ‘Across a Crowded Room: Finding and Keeping the Love of your Life’ fell

Read moreQuick fixes don’t work

Women who make a difference

 

CHERRY DOUGLAS

Introducing – Cherry Douglas, career coach and career change guide.  Cherry’s passion is to help people find the courage to change careers so they can lead more rewarding and fulfilling lives.

Cherry, what was your profession before you decided to change careers?

 

Well, I’ve actually changed career twice in different ways.  My first job after Uni was in retail management and I realised fairly

Read moreWomen who make a difference

Retirement: How to live your best years ever!

As I was approaching my sixtieth birthday I noticed I began to feel vulnerable, scared about how people would perceive me, what labels they might use. Old age pensioner? Over the hill? Useless? Nothing to contribute? A burden to society, her community, even her family and friends?
I was paralysed with fear! The irony of it was that, even as I was experiencing those debilitating feelings, I was also working as a life coach, a role I feel passionate about, and I kept attracting new and wonderful people into my life. Even as I was struggling, trying to make sense of this new stage in my life, I was also living a life that felt fulfilled and meaningful.

Now is the time to make every moment count!

But, for a while, it was as if I were two different people living side-by-side and having

Read moreRetirement: How to live your best years ever!

Why my Mum would turn in her grave

I’m 68 years old!  There!  I’ve said it!  My Mum would turn in her grave!  Women still feel it’s wrong to tell their age or, if they do, many shave off a couple of years here and there.

Why do women do that?  I always thought, if I told people I was 80, they would fall over in awe at my stunning appearance but, if I said I was 58 or even 60, they might think “yes, that’s about right”.  And, even if they

Hey! Look at me!

did, does it matter?

Of course it does!  It matters because judgments are made just on the basis of our chronological age.  When I was nearing my last ‘big’ birthday – 60 – I felt incredibly vulnerable.  For someone who never really cared how old I am, I was really surprised by the depth of my feelings of vulnerability. My Gremlin went into over-drive and started whispering things like, “That’s it! You’re now officially over the hill!”, “You will have nothing to contribute anymore”, “You’ll be useless!”, “You’ll become invisible!” and other ‘sweet nothings’ along those lines.

It took me months to figure out that being 60 meant absolutely nothing to me, that my fears were based on external changes such as being officially declared OLD AGE PENSIONER! (in big red letters) when I started receiving my State pension, my Freedom pass.  And, oh yes!, free prescriptions, free eye test, discounted cinema and theatre tickets and other goodies. 

There are

Read moreWhy my Mum would turn in her grave

How to defeat your biggest bogeyman: fear

Fear imprisons you!

Over the last few weeks I have been facing some challenges that caused me to feel overwhelmed with fear.  I tried to control it because I knew that fear doesn’t exactly promote productivity or, what’s even more important, creativity.  But I didn’t know how to genuinely let go of the fear.  And then I remembered an experience about two decades ago when I was drowning in the fear of becoming homeless.

I was in a near state of panic when I remembered something I’d read some time ago:  Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of the book but the point he made stayed with me and it was this:

“Your fear

Read moreHow to defeat your biggest bogeyman: fear

Is trust a ‘four letter’ word?

I have recently finished coaching Melissa, a self-employed Virtual Assistant.  We started working together 4 months before.  She’d come to see me because she wanted to feel more confident, learn to trust her own judgement and stop looking to others for advice and approval.  She’d seen

"I can trust myself! Yay!"

my website and liked the idea of learning to trust yourself.

I started our work by explaining the extent to which the quality of our thoughts shaped the quality of our life, how we have a 24/7 running commentary in our heads, interpreting everything that happens to us. This means that our life can feel promising or discouraging, depending on what we tell ourselves.  I introduced her

Read moreIs trust a ‘four letter’ word?

Grow Your Confidence and Fabulous Relationships will Follow

FREE