If you didn’t care what people said, what would you do differently?

I remember the first time this thought popped into my head: my stomach clenched with anxiety. I imagine this is a common reaction amongst us people pleasers or, as I prefer to call myself, recovering people pleaser.

shutterstock_63866632Just the idea of deliberately doing something that might displease somebody scared the hell out of me. In those days, the thought of rocking the boat felt threatening.

But here’s the thing, many of us reach a point when the status quo is no longer an option because we finally know we

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Do you have any idea what impact a kind gesture might have?

hI have a lot to give!

The house my husband and I had lived in for 22 years had finally been sold. At last I could move on from my 37-year marriage. I had already chosen a flat. Everything was going well.

Then my

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Musings on the March of Time

My friend and colleague Riana Avis shares with us her reflections on ageing.

I am very fortunate. I have several friends in their sixties and beyond; older than me by ten to fifteen years. Last year, my dad who is 80, got married for the third time. How lovely it is to see him happy as Larry. Both my grandmothers lived well into their eighties.

My heart sings when I hear of an older person still working at age 100, like Jim Clements who still works two days a week at the company he joined as a temp 34 years ago.

Personally, I have set my sights to ninety plus and

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Questions I would have liked to have been asked

I’ve recently had the privilege of being interviewed by Woman’s Hour, The Daily Mail and The Telegraph.

It is impossible, in the brief time, to cover more than the absolute minimum. But it left me wishing we’d had more time and print space to examine the things that, in my opinion, are really important: how did I get from feeling as if I were invisible in my marriage to today, where, now well into my sixties, I’m continually attracting loving and supportive relationships, and working as the Life Enhancing Coach which is deeply rewarding.

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A new model for ageing

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

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What does it mean to retire?

When I turned 60 I had to face the fact that I was heading towards retirement, something I had never even considered.  I probably was in denial and only came out of it because of a message from the HR department.  I had been in my job for the last 8 years.  I really enjoyed the work and I was well paid.  Also, I had a really good relationship with my colleagues – all of which I knew I would lose once I actually retired.  The HR message served to put the whole issue right in front of my face.  I had nowhere to hide.

I was really feeling unsettled about the whole idea – losing my colleagues, losing my purpose, losing my routine.  Also, there was the question of structure.  I imagined

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How to Transform Your Relationships

I was brought up to always be friendly, agreeable, charming and cheerful. My parents believed that my very survival depended on people liking me and being a people pleaser was, clearly, the way to be accepted, acceptable and liked.

I grew up, got married and over the years I developed a variety of friendships of varying degrees of superficiality.

I worked as hard as I could at all these relationships. One of the approaches I had developed was to avoid conflict at all cost. I actually believed that conflict signified the end of a relationship, that if I ever told someone how I really felt, they would walk away and I’d be alone – forever. This “walking away” might be physical or psychological.

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