The idea that I had to make sure I did nothing that might
It’s a word most people usually associated with men. So when I suggest to a client that she’s more powerful than she imagines, the reaction is ambivalent.
That changes when I go on to describe my definition of what it means to be powerful:
To have the ability to influence, to make things happen, to make a difference.
Today I’m privileged to share with you the wisdom and the gift of a dear friend of mine, writer and performer, Yang-May Ooi. Aged 52, she’s is taking to the West End stage for the first time her personal story. Yang-May is an award-winning TEDx speaker, bestselling author and acclaimed story performer. Take a look at her website www.StoryGuru.co.uk.
Here she speaks of her background, what brought her to this point in her life and why she’s compelled to share her story.
This is what I know:
In order to keep learning and growing, we need to expand our comfort zone. Everybody knows that, right?
But then I came across this article that suggests that stepping beyond our comfort zone can not only be hard work but it can also be very uncomfortable, at least until we master whatever we wanted to learn.
The more we want something, the more we’re likely to be determined to succeed. And that’s
There was a time when I believed that, if only I had no more problems, challenges, disappointments and setbacks, then I would be happy.
It took me a long time to figure out that the only way to learn and grow, the only way to become wiser and more resilient is through problems, disappointments and setbacks.
But there’s a lot more to it. It is said that a person who never failed, never tried anything so, when life happens, how do you know you can handle it? You know because
Ever since I decided to work with senior and professional people nearing retirement – who are dreading it, I started a process of my own around my own age – 67. Although nothing in me fits any of the criteria as dictated by social norms such as appearance (I’m blessed with great genes), health and wellbeing, and the way I think and act, I was still wondering “is this it?”
Surveys into the perception
I grew up believing that telling the truth is something we tell another person. But that’s only part of the story.
In reality, the most important person we actually need to tell the truth to is – ourselves.
We lie to ourselves all the time. In my younger days my self-deceptions revolved around my self image. Every time I opened my mouth and started a sentence with “I like to think I am (honest, truthful, reliable, loving or a good friend”), that was my way of trying to look good to myself.
We tend to believe that loving somebody is a straight-forward thing to do. It is not. It is intricately complex, bound up in all kinds of values and beliefs about how love should be expressed in different situations and with different people.
However, there is one aspect of loving – apart from with children – which could be more widely applied. Those of us who read spiritual literature invariably come across the injunction that we need to love unconditionally. This is something I have always resisted, even resented.
When I finally decided to leave my marriage of 37 years I was left with a dilemma: given that we’d agreed to split everything 50-50 I had to ask myself, “where can I afford to live?”
In the year before the house we’d shared for 22 years was finally sold I had a mantra:
“I have a two bedroom flat with trees and green I can look out on, that costs £116,000 – a place where I really and truly belong – in Welwyn Garden City” – a mantra I would constantly repeat to myself.
Cooking has always been a hobby of mine but over the last few years I’ve noticed a difference in my attitude about what cooking actually means to me.
One of the non-negotiable criteria that guided the choice of my home (the one that would make my heart beat faster) when I was still house hunting was that it had to have a dining room. That’s the space where I would invite my friends and people I really like and prepare something that I hope they will enjoy.