I did something I am not proud of.

I used to keep a folder on my laptop desktop. It was full of free e-books and pdf-guides I’d downloaded from websites. The e-books and pdfs were called things like “How to grow your business in 7 easy steps!” and “Your free guide to an overnight six-figure income from working 2 hours a day on a beach in Bali!”

I deleted that desktop folder.

I realised I would never read any of it.

Some of the free stuff you get from websites is not always that great, which is why it’s important to me that when I do have something for free on my website for people to listen to/read, I do my best to make sure it’s well worth their while.

Businesses—whether huge empires or small start-ups—want to talk to people. And one of the best ways to do that is through email. After all, nearly everyone has their head in their computer or phone, right? And so they give away free resources and whatnot in exchange for your email address. They email you essentially, to talk directly to the people who are interested in what they have to say or what they offer. That in itself is not a terrible thing.

What is terrible—at least in my book—is when businesses then begin to bombard you left, right and centre, with emails telling you how you must work with them or how you must buy their product or how you need to follow their advice, because otherwise…..your life will drastically implode or worse.

I do not like this.

I actually don’t like being directly sold to eat all, especially in such a sales-y way. It really pisses me off. If I want to buy something, whether it’s a pair of shoes in a shop, a new line of vegan sausages or some kind of business guidance, I don’t need to receive eleventy billion emails telling me why I should.

I write my weekly emails because I like writing. I always have, even since being a kid, and people seem to like what I write. It’s a great exchange that feels good on both sides. I sometimes let people know that I have coaching spaces available, or a group course coming up, but other than that, I just simply write about life and being human and figuring things out – with honest examples from my own life and the things I learn along the way.

Which is why I’ve surprised myself recently.

Because I’ve been giving away a cool little mp3 on my website in exchange for people’s email addresses. And then I’ve been emailing them every few days. Nothing too sales-y, actually—I kept a shred of decency—but definitely with the intention of selling what I do.

It didn’t feel good. At all. It didn’t feel like me. It felt cringey and awkward and the opposite of what I value in people and companies.

I’d been sucked in. To the business coaching world of something called “email marketing funnels”. I started to believe the growth of my business depended on this kind of marketing. I’d read somewhere that it is the only way to do business. And yet I know there’s never just one way of doing anything, in business and in life.

And email marketing funnels? This kind of thing is SO not me. In fact, when I was drafting the emails in a Word document, I actually saved it as ‘marketing Notfunnel’ which pretty much said it all. I should have known right there to delete that document and forget about the emails. But I didn’t. I pressed on and pressed ‘GO’ and the emails started firing away to the people who signed up for the free mp3.

Until now. The automated emails have gone.

I woke up this morning and thought, “What the fuck is going on, Goodchild? Who are you?” and promptly deleted them all.

The brilliant people who I am grateful to write to each week—as well as the brilliant people I am grateful to coach each day, are bright and intelligent and wise human beings.

They don’t need to be sold to.

They don’t need their inbox to be clogged up with wanky emails full of weird sales shit.

I’d lost myself for a week or so there. I’d chosen to value the growth of my business more than what I actually value, which is integrity and being real and kind and honest and up-front and human.

I’ve always, always, always believed in treating people the way I want to be treated and I stand by that, and yet for a hot-minute, I didn’t.

And so here I am with my integrity back intact, being real and kind and honest and up-front and human (and with the biggest vulnerability hangover from even sharing this).

I made a mistake.

I wandered off the path for a week or so.

I took my eyes off my own page and started looking at what everyone else was doing.

But I’m back.

It’s business as usual again, which actually, doesn’t feel like business at all.

It’s just me: writing. And the people I email: just reading.

A simple, lovely exchange.

And jeeez, that feels good.

Lesson learned: If it deep down doesn’t feel like me, then don’t do it.

By | 2017-03-21T20:46:20+00:00 21 March 2017|

You can totally do this.

You have an idea.

A dream.

A goal.

And when you think about it, you feel a heady connection of excitement and nerves and “Oh! Wouldn’t it be brilliant if!” and joy! All the joy! All the butterflies! All the woohoos! All the running around your house whooping like a deranged monkey in just your pants! All the waheys! All the glee! All the enthusiasm! All the exhilaration!

And then you talk yourself out of it. Ugh.

You pull the handbrake.

You get scared.

You start making excuses.

You hesitate.

You think you can’t do it.

You believe there’s no way it’s actually going to be possible…..

Well.

I’m writing this today to tell you that you can do it.

Your idea/dream/goal is possible.

It can happen.

Know why? Because I’m surrounded by people who also had an idea, a dream, a goal.

That they made happen.

Like my friend Kate, who, despite having a really rough time of it recently, created and launched a brand spanking new copywriting course for small businesses.

Or Carly, who combined two dreams together. The first to renovate a house and the second to live in the sun. When her marriage broke down and they sold their marital home, she used her share of the equity plus some additional savings and bought some land with a house, terraces and the most amazing views, in Catalonia. And just look at the house and the terraces and the views! Oh my!

Or my client, ‘K’ who has always dreamt of owning a camper van due to her love of tiny spaces, and her realisation—as she approached a ‘special’ age—that what really makes a life fully lived is experiences and not things. And so…… she bought herself a camper van. She’s now busily planning a trip to Skye at Easter to see the fairy pools and amazing mountains. 

Or my other friend Laura, who gradually quit her job as an editor, retrained in something completely different and is now the proud (and awesome) owner of her own running coaching business.

And then there’s my partner, Kristin, who designs websites in-between helping me run around after our awesome son. The first website she designed was mine, five years ago (there have been many iterations since). Starting out, she had no knowledge of HTML or code or any other fancy-schmancy website-creating skills and yet she had bags of enthusiasm, a willingness to learn and an acceptance that she would make mistakes. Despite having zero social media presence or doing little marketing, she has a waiting list as long as my arm. 

Or how about my former client, ‘L’ who, despite not fully believing in her brilliant talent and creativity, recently applied for an MA in children’s book illustration at Anglia Ruskin University. And was accepted.

Rachel, Kiera and Paula, 3 incredibly kind and thoughtful people in my private Facebook group all ran races, despite at one point believing that running that kind of distance was an absolute impossibility.

My big-hearted friend Josie, who has just been cast in a really interesting play. A play that began as a simple idea between a group of friends who wanted to use their different nationalities as a way to open doors and start conversations between other people who might have preconceptions about that culture.

My client, ‘C’ who, during a visualisation exercise at my workshop in Manchester last year, saw a scene from her future life in such full colour and animation, that she could even describe the smallest details. Fast forward 6 months, and through a small stroke of chance and a huge dose of taking action, she applied for, and landed, an amazing role at a wellness retreat. A wellness retreat that has a website with a photo on the homepage that is the exact same scene she saw in her future life vision at my workshop, just months before. Spooky.

Then there’s my friend Nicole, who, tired of listening to podcasts talking about the same old stuff, decided to start her own. Real Talk Radio has had over 950,000 downloads and she’s interviewed all kinds of people who dive into the truth of what’s really going on in their lives. One of those people was me. While we’re on Nicole, last year she also walked 460 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Despite having an all-out fear of sleeping in the wild, hiking alone, pooing in the woods and being eaten by bears.

Or how about my friend Emma and her husband, Chris, who decided enough was enough with their busy London lives and careers, and so packed everything up, put their belongings in storage and took a year off to visit Florence, Venice, Rome, Goa, Bali, Paris, Skiathos, Santorini, Nice, Tuscany, Scotland, London, Sienna, Menton, Antibes, Portofino and Monaco! While travelling, Chris painted and Emma taught and practised yoga. You can check out Chris’s beautiful and awe-inspiring art here and more about Emma and her thoughtful musings about life and yoga here.

My client, James, passionate about running and concerned about the stigma around male mental health, was recently accepted by UK Athletics as a Mental Health Ambassador. As well as promoting the benefits of running for emotional health, James also hopes to provide a totally safe and judgement free environment where men can exercise and talk (if they wish) and be supported.

And then there’s J.K Rowling, of course—someone I do not know in person (but I would like to)—who in her own words, “Was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless”—and yet took a chance on 3 chapters of a book she’d written about a boy called Harry Potter, sending them to numerous publishers. For a meagre $4,000, Bloomsbury eventually bought the rights to Harry Potter. And the rest, is well, history. Harry Potter went on to become the most successful book and movie series of all time.

Still think your idea, dream or goal is impossible?

Think again.

 

p.s. If you’ve got all the ideas and intentions in the world, and yet when it comes down to it, you just can’t get out of your own way to get started, this is for you. Part of my upcoming course will teach you how to break down your big idea into small, daily actionable steps that will actually get you to your goal easily and faster (and minus the overwhelm). I’ll also teach you some simple, easy habit tools—that effortlessly slot into your life—that will keep you moving with momentum. Book your space here.

By | 2017-03-07T16:39:07+00:00 7 March 2017|

Pick.

I was talking to one of my awesome clients the other day. He’s unhappy in his marriage. He’s considering leaving.

He’s in a lot of pain right now. He is suffering. He says things to me like, “If I do leave, I don’t want to hurt her, Liz. I feel like the worst human being in the world.”

I tell him that I don’t think he is the worse person in the world, far from it, but that I also understand why he feels that way. And I agree with him, that it’s very possible that there will be hurt. A lot of it—his actions and decisions will create pain. For her. And also for him. Maybe even other people. But that the huge responsibility weighing on his shoulders for the pain he may cause will be her pain—something that only she can take responsibiity for—because it belongs to her and his pain will belong to him.

He considers staying. To ease the pain. To not be the guy who left his wife, his marriage—there’s a lot of shame there. We go back and forth a lot in our sessions. I give him the time and space he needs to work through it all.

And yet I also remind him that there comes a time when we may have to pick our pain.

The pain of staying in a love-less marriage and pretending everything is a-ok….when it’s not. Or the pain of leaving—which will bring with it massive uncertainty and loss.

Right now, he cannot pick his pain. Both seem too heavy, too visceral, too unthinkable, too destructive.

And that’s ok. It is not my role to push him or orchestrate decisions on his behalf. It’s my role to sit with him—and his deep, deep pain—and ask the questions that will help him find his own answers.

Pain is part of life. I wish it wasn’t. But it is. I have experinced extreme pain and trauma in my life. Not just once. But many times over. And each time, I think, “This will be the last time. I’ve had my fair share now, right?” But of course, life doesn’t work like that.

There will always be emotional pain: in every decision, in every choice, in every experience.

And it’s our pain to pick. Whether it’s the life-changing, soul-shifting, big, deep pain that comes with death and divorce and redundancies and disasters. Or the quick, sharp, OW! pain that comes with daily life.

I choose the pain of exercising daily over the pain of not working out and feeling tired and mopey for the rest of the day.

I choose the pain of learning German—even though honestly? I don’t really enjoy it—over the pain of not being able to keep up with my incredible bilingual kid.

I once chose the pain of 70-hour weeks for years while I trained as a coach, worked full-time and started my own business from the ground up, over the pain of staying in the corporate world and spending the rest of my life counting down the years, months and days to my retirement.

I chose the pain of running ultra-marathons and other equally challenging stuff over the pain of sitting on my sofa and giving in to the belief that I cannot do hard things.

I choose the pain of being coached by these two brilliant women—who regularly challenge and encourage me to up my game (and call me out on my shit)—over the pain of numbing out and living my life at 50%.

I choose the pain of getting out of my own way and really living my life—with all the hard stuff and the discomfort and the shit mixed in with all the joy and fulfilment and fun—over switching off and sleep-walking on a treadmill that slowly and half-heartedly transports me through my days on this wild and wonderful planet.

How about you? Which pain are you picking?

Over and out.

Liz xo

p.s: The thoughtful, welcoming and hands-down brilliant people in my private Facebook group (which is my most favourite place on the Internet right now) are starting a 30-day challenge from today. 30 days of…..meditation, healthier eating, exercise, learning something new, de-cluttering, letting go….. Do you want to join in too? Head on over here, let’s do this!

p.p.s: I’ve got three client spaces available for one-to-one coaching in March. If you don’t know why you’re spinning your wheels at work, rolling your eyes at the whole wide world, or wanting to bang your head against the nearest wall—I can help you. (There’s a lot of big-hearted, no-nonsense guidance included. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.) Book yourself in for a free introductory call here via SkypeThis session will give you a taste of what coaching is like with me and help us make sure we’re a good fit. Here, we can also discuss which coaching package and payment plan is best for you.

p.p.s: If you’re not actually interested in potentially working with me, and you just fancy a free coaching session, please, please, please don’t book a call with me, it’s bad juju and makes me stabby.

By | 2017-03-01T09:43:56+00:00 1 March 2017|

You have permission to fuck up.

5 years ago, when I was training as a coach, part of the very drawn out accreditation process involved submitting taped recordings of ‘practice’ client sessions for assessment.

I failed the assessment.

I was nervous, bumbly and new to coaching and the recorded sessions highlighted that. I didn’t think through the questions I asked and I raced through the session, desperate to get it over so I could stop the recording. I’ve never been one for performing under pressure, although, weirdly, I love public speaking. Also: during the recordings, one practice client—very sweetly but not all that helpfully—kept interrupting our session by saying things like, “You are such an amazing coach, Liz!”  and “You’ve helped me soooooooo much!” and then he’d wink at me and give me the thumbs up, and I would silently mouth back to him that he didn’t need to say that and to just carry on as normal and then he would silently mouth back, “What?” and wave me away with his hands in a “Listen, I got this, I’m helping you!” kind of way and would give me the thumbs up again and by this point, my hands were really sweating and I’d forgotten what I’d even asked him and really? The whole session and recording was a fucking shit show.

I remember the email that came through from the accreditation guy:

“Great in parts, Liz. But it’s a no. We need you to submit another recording.”

Bollocks.

Stab in the chest moment. I am not good enough moment.

This is life.

We mess stuff up.
We don’t pass the test.
We say stupid shit we don’t mean….that we later regret.
We don’t get the job.
We miss the payment.
We forget our lines.
We drop the ball.

We are human. We will fail.

And yet despite this: I don’t ever want to fail at anything, do you? I don’t ever want to look stupid or have people say, “I told you so.” I don’t ever want something to not work out. I don’t ever want to have to admit that I was wrong. I don’t ever want to be scared.

I want everything I do in life to unfold perfectly, just the way I imagined. I wanted to submit the perfect recording for my assessment and it to be the most perfect recorded session ever and to breeze through the accreditation process and be the perfect A* trainee coach. Ha!

Life’s not like that though.

I fail at something most days. I mess up, I make mistakes, I mis-judge. I flip at my partner over a situation I completely read the wrong way. I spend hours and hours writing an article, absolutely certain it’ll be a hit, and….it isn’t. I sit down to meditate, and 3 minutes in, my mind is racing and I fidget constantly and can’t wait for my 10 minutes to be up. I go all out in the swimming pool, my lungs bursting, my arms burning, and yet I don’t swim the 400 metres in the time I set myself.  I go for dinner with my German-speaking friends and spend minutes composing a grammatically-correct reply in my head, only to open my mouth and realise the conversation has moved on. I send an email pitching an exciting idea or collaboration or coaching project, and I receive a “Thanks, but no thanks.” Or worse, I hear nothing.

I don’t like failing. And yet I know I always will in some way or another. I can’t escape it, because I choose to live my life in a way that leaves me wide open to failure. I refuse to sit on the sidelines of my life, not saying or doing or going for things simply because I don’t want to fuck up.

I spend a lot of time listening and talking to people about their lives, and one thing I hear over and over again is that they’re scared of failing….except they don’t quite come right out and say that they are scared of failing. Instead, they tell me about how stuck they are in their lives and how near-impossible it is for them to change and do things. I hear their very-convincing excuses and reasons and stories about how they’ve tried before, how they can’t do XYZ because the kids are still so little, or they don’t have the money or the confidence or the time or the motivation or the fitness or the talent or the discipline or the skills. And yet…..all I hear is their fear.

Their fear of failing. Of fucking up.

We want everything to be easy in life, don’t we? We want everyone to like us. We want to feel comfortable. We want everything we turn our hand to to be a guaranteed success. We don’t want to have to really try at things. We don’t want to rock the boat or feel unsafe. We are addicted to comfort and absolute certainty and yet there is ZERO certainty.

We choose to tiptoe around our lives like new-parents stealthily creeping around their sleeping newborn, shhhh don’t wake the failure.

I want to live in a world where people do fail. Where people are a-ok with failing.

Why? Because staying stuck and not doing the things you want to, is far, far fucking worse than failing will ever be.

If you’re not failing at things, you’re probably not fully living. Maybe you’re just skirting around the edges of your life and dipping your toe in now and then.

This is a rally call to be ok with failing!

Let’s invite failure in for the ride.

Let’s give ourselves permission to fuck things up.

Are you with me?

By | 2017-02-18T12:03:04+00:00 18 February 2017|

How to stop eating and drinking so much shit.

The singer, Kelly Clarkson, once gazed wistfully into the distance, and uttered these profound words of wisdom:

“When I die, I want to die with a cookie in my belly.”

Throw in a few guzzles of booze, and you have a recipe for both a rocking and rolling party, am I right? After all, who wants to die with a belly full of steamed kale gently tossed in the whispered, glittery air of angel breath and topped with cold pressed carrot juice?

Knock knock!

Who’s there?

NO ONE.

A final meal should consist of thick, chocolate cake and warm, caramel bourbon—in that order.

That said, right now, you’re not dead. You’re very much alive. (Don’t believe me? Give those fingers and toes a little wiggle. I’ll wait.)

Simply stated, you have your whole vibrant, explosive, and love-filled life ahead of you. And sometimes? A belly full of steamed kale and a glass of lemon water—minus the gin, you rascal—might actually be the very best thing for you and your future (even though that 4-cheese, fully loaded oven pizza is seductively telling you to come hither from the freezer).

Look, we all know how to feel better in our bodies and stay slightly more sober: Eat less shit, set down the glass of wine, do more exercise, see more sunlight.

It’s simple. It’s science.

SO WHY IS IT SO HARD?! (Because trust me, I know it’s a challenge.)

I’ve developed a 2-month coaching programme via Skype, that’ll help you understand why your wants and your actions haven’t quite lined up yet. I’ll help you understand your relationship with food and drink.

I’m not a weight loss coach—I’m far from it, in fact. I don’t believe we need to be a size 10 to feel good in our bodies. I also can’t promise you’ll start glowing like Gwyneth Paltrow or suddenly have the desire to eat spirulina balls, but I pinky swear not to recommend yet another fucking juice cleanse or an exercise program that will make you cry actual tears from boredom (and squats).

What I help best with is your emotional weight. I help quiet those nagging voices that tell you to eat the biscuit, and not eat the biscuit, and what it says (or doesn’t say) about you if and when you eat that damn biscuit. I help you feel good about feeling good.

The sessions go deep and they’re real, up front and totally no-nonsense. There’s no magic 10 step plan or 30 day detox to follow. This is also not some New Year! New you! load of horseshit. This is long-term work that delivers long lasting results.

We all know the right path to being a content and healthy person is to do all the things we already know we need to do. I’ll help you understand why you’re not doing the things you already know you need to do.

I’ll also introduce you to a new, less crazy way of thinking that’ll help you to stop uncontrollably bouncing—ping pong ball style—between ALL THE KALE & TEA and ALL THE PIZZA & BEER. I’ll help you normalise your relationship with food and booze, and find that easy, natural balance.

Let’s do this. Book yourself in here.  You’ll know if I am the right person to help you because you’ll have a little inkling, a knowing feeling, something you can’t can’t quite put your finger on, that’s nudging you forward.

And hey, if you’re not certain, click here and let’s talk. This session will give you a taste of what coaching is like with me and help us make sure we’re a good fit. (If you’re not actually interested in potentially working with me, and you just fancy a free coaching session, please, please, please don’t book a call, it’s bad juju.)

To feeling good about feeling good.

 

 

By | 2017-02-01T19:28:21+00:00 1 February 2017|

I am dying. You are too, by the way.

I spent last weekend training in existential coaching—learning more about how to help answer the profound and often confusing questions so many of us have about life: Why am I here? What does it all mean? Life is so short, what’s the point in striving? How can I live a more fulfilling, purposeful life? What should I have for dinner? Big stuff, you know.
 
The truth is, most people don’t want to find or know the answers. Most people would rather drown it all out with TV and scrolling through shit on social media and conversations about the weather and what Kim Kardashian wore or didn’t wear and moaning about what everyone else is doing and how the world is a bad place, all from the comfort of their sofa. And then they wonder why their lives feel kind of empty and boring, or why they’re drinking at least a half bottle of wine every night or stuffing their face with food they intelligently know is bad for their body or why they keep on turning up each day to a job that provides them with nothing much, other than a wad of money to buy, buy, buy things they don’t even need.

They do all of these things, of course, to feel full and content—a momentary reprieve from the awareness, deep deep down, that they’re not really fully living. That they’re bumbling along, going through the motions of life; you know, with the career and the mortgage and the marriage and the holidays somewhere hot and sunny twice a year, and yet really, they’re kind of trapped on a treadmill that they’re too scared to get off. Scared, because they don’t know what will happen or what’s out there beyond the same 4 walls and routine of their life as they know it.

And we all do it, to some extent.
 
We’ve become a culture of humans who cannot switch off—conditioned to keep on going, keep on doing, more, more, more, check your phone every 5 minutes, talk, talk, talk, do, do, do, work, work, work—and if you’re not working—THEN DO SOMETHING ELSE BUT STAY BUSY, FOR FUCKS SAKE.
 
It’s exhausting, isn’t it?
 
On the course this weekend, we discussed what it actually means when someone replies, “I’m good” to our “How are you?” What is ‘good?’ What does “good” even mean? Why do we feel uncomfortable telling the truth? I mean, it’s hardly a conversation starter, is it?
 
“What have you been up to recently?”

“Oh, you know, just questioning my entire existence and pondering how I’m actually contributing to the world in a meaningful way. You?”

“……….”

 
And yet these questions about our existence and contribution and meaning are normal. And human. We all have them. To live a full, content life in all its complicated, twisted, beautiful, often cruel and joyful wildness, is to ask the questions you’re probably always avoiding asking. Questions that make you think; about what you actually want—and need—from your life on a deeper level than needing things. Questions about why you do the things that you do and what you stand for and how you’d like to be remembered.

One of my very, very first clients died recently. She must have been in her fifties. We kept in touch sporadically for years after we stopped working together. Sometimes I’d see her in the street when I was still living in London and we’d have a quick catch up about our lives and what we’d been up to. I hadn’t heard from her in a while when she emailed me about something I had written. It was this article. She wrote, “Some great ideas re the 10 minutes. I wanted to write a history of my life in case it’s needed for my funeral—sorry I hope that does not shock you—but I have accepted that my cancer is not curable and that I may have six months or I may have 5 years, it’s all a lottery at the moment.” I wrote back to her and told her that I wasn’t so much shocked as incredibly sad, and that I’d cried and cried and cried as I read her email. I remember exactly where I was stood in my kitchen, phone in hand, looking at the screen reading her words and crying, remembering the times we had sat in her living room; me a nervous young-buck coach hoping I didn’t screw up, her trying to figure out some big things in life, and now….she was dying.

I wanted to ask her what it’s like to know that you’re dying, to be so stoically planning your own funeral, to be intentionally and very consciously writing a story about your life that will be read out one day by someone to an audience of people who loved and cared for you. But I was too afraid to ask. It felt too prying, too impolite, too brash. I wish I had now. She was the kind of person who would have answered truthfully and beautifully and yet I also know that had I asked her, she would have told me what I think I already know. That knowing you’re dying is viscerally awful and terrifying and tragic and and yet it’s also beautiful and raw and kind of weirdly calming and liberating.

The reason I think I already know this is because I am dying. You are too. 

“It’s all a lottery at the moment.” It is. Whether it’s six months or five years or 50 years or just 1 day, we’re all dying. It’s a fact. It’s something we can be absolutely 100% certain about. And yet it’s this absolute certainty that brings with it such massive, crippling uncertainty, because we don’t know how long we’ve got left. And for the most of us, it’s this uncertainty about something so certain that leads us to shove our head in the sand, or the feed of our Facebook, or hours and hours of Netflix boxsets or the end of a bottle of wine. We’re tuned out. And it’s nice in a way, isn’t it? It’s comforting. Because when we’re more interested in the drama-rama of Eastenders or judging the neighbour’s weird curtains or endlessly worrying about shit that’s not even worth worrying about, we don’t have to pay any attention to what’s really going on inside. We don’t have to listen to that aching feeling in our gut that we want to do something more with our life—and the clock is ticking and ticking and ticking—but we just keep going around and around, not sure what to do or where to start.

I’m not afraid of dying. Well, that’s not totally true. I am a bit scared. But mostly I’m not. Because I know I’m living a well-lived life. I am extremely content and fulfilled. I know I’m contributing. I know I’m making a difference in the tiniest of ways but making a difference all the same, no matter how cheesy and cliche it sounds. I mostly make choices that value my emotional and physical health over stupid shit I want in the moment. I make changes and challenge myself even when I’m scared, because it’s good for me, it’s how I evolve and grow. I make an effort to stay conscious. To stay awake in a world that’s constantly screaming at me to nod off and numb out, to over-consume, to cure my not enough-mess by buying their miracle product that’ll make my life shiny and oh-so ok on the outside and perfect.

Fuck perfect. Perfect lives are for scared people. People who are terrified of being judged and seen as anything other than a-ok.

No-one is a-ok. Life doesn’t work like that, you know? It’s hard and challenging and full-on and overwhelming and brilliant and free and wonderful, all at the same time.
 
A line from my all-time favourite piece of poetry, ‘The Summer Day’ by Mary Oliver goes like this, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
 
The truth for most people? They can’t answer that question. They don’t know. So they just watch cat videos on YouTube instead. 

It’s a massive fucking shame.

Over and out,

Liz xo

 
p.s. If you read this and thought it was all a bit too full-on, I totally understand. Here’s a cat video to watchYou’re welcome.
 
p.s.2 If you read this and thought “Heck yes! I do want to do more with my one wild and precious life, but how?” I’ve got a 6-week group coaching course coming up soon, and I guarantee that it’ll help you figure this out. Expect to have light bulb moments, left, right and centre. Expect to get closer to knowing what’s truly possible in your life. (I’ll give you a clue: There’s A LOT that’s possible). Want in? Head over here and book your place.

Don’t um and ahhhh, and do that “Oh, I’ll wait and see” thing you always do.

That shit is tiring.

Just say YES. To the group coaching course.

And to your life.

By | 2017-01-31T17:42:44+00:00 31 January 2017|

The hands down, honest truth about why you don’t do the things you say you want—and need—to do.

If you’re the kind of person who can eat just the one biscuit without automatically ramming the rest of the packet in your mouth straight after, or you wake up bright and early every single morning and skip to the gym because YOU LOVE WORKING OUT SO MUCH, or you go after every opportunity in life with gung-ho gusto, this email probably isn’t going to be of much interest to you.

For the rest of us, I want to let you in on something:

I didn’t feel like getting up at 6.30am this morning. But I did.

I didn’t feel like exercising at 7am this morning. But I did.

I didn’t feel like being thoughtful and understanding (yet assertive) when I received that weird and unfair email last week. But I did.

I didn’t feel like politely declining the glass of wine in the restaurant when it was offered to me last Friday. But I did.

I didn’t feel like learning German for 10 minutes last night. But I did.

I didn’t feel like sitting down to meditate yesterday afternoon. But I did.

The reason why I didn’t feel like doing any of those things? Because often, what I want in the moment feels more important than what I want long-term.

What I want long-term looks like getting out of bed at 6.30am so I can exercise before work. I want to start the day feeling energised. I want to be the kind of person who values my physical health over an extra 30 minutes in bed dicking around on my phone.

What I want long-term looks like being thoughtful and understanding (yet assertive)—even when I receive weird and unfair emails. I want to be the kind of person who treats people as I would like to be treated.

What I want long-term looks like turning down the glass of wine I was offered because I’ve realised that alcohol makes me anxious and miserable. I want to be the kind of person who values my emotional health over a quick-fix.

What I want long-term looks like looks like learning German. My kid is rapidly picking up more and more words each day and I’m starting to not understand everything he’s saying. I want to be the kind of person (and parent) who chooses to learn something new for 10 minutes a day, rather than watching stupid cat videos on YouTube.

What I want long-term looks like the feeling of calm that meditation brings me. I want to be the kind of person who sees the benefit of meditating, even though I feel a right twat sitting on a cushion and generally want to pull my hair out while I’m doing it.

Huh? So if I want all of these things for my life, and I also want to be the kind of person who does all of these things, why didn’t I feel like doing any of them?

Because I felt, amongst other things (*clears throat*): Scared, nervous, uninspired, small, warm in bed, tired, worried about being different to my friends, wired, too busy, apprehensive, lazy, demotivated and bored.

In those moments, it would have been so much more easy and comfortable to let my feelings drive my decisions and actions. Seriously, if you’d held a microphone to my brain, you would have heard this:

“It’s ok to press snooze one more time on the alarm, I’m so tired, I’ll get up early tomorrow instead.”

“Oh, and I don’t need to exercise this morning anyway, it’s so cold outside, it won’t make a difference to my training overall.”

“I’ll reply with a really shitty email back. I can’t be arsed with people like that.”

“It’s only one glass of wine, Liz! It’s not going to make a difference!”

“You’re not learning German fast enough. What’s the point anyway? Oh look, a cute cat video on YouTube! I’ll watch that instead.”

“Meditation is stupid. I should just do some more work.”

As humans, we’re hard-wired from the day we’re born to respond positively to instant gratification. We feel hungry—we cry—we’re soothed by getting a bottle of milk or a boob shoved in our mouth. We pee ourselves—we feel uncomfortable—we cry—and someone comes along and changes our nappy and rubs soothing cream all over our bum while cooing at us in a sweet, soothing voice. Have you ever spent an afternoon with a toddler? They’re all, “I WANT, I WANT, GIVE ME, GIVE ME, I DON’T WANT THAT, GIVE IT TO ME NOW.” Seriously, two-year-olds are extremely annoying, right? And yet beneath their irrational behaviour, they’re just being human and they want to be gratified—RIGHT NOW. If you don’t give them what they want? They have a spectacular meltdown in aisle 12 of the supermarket, and people start backing away as you calmly try to reason with a screaming mini-child inferno (thanks for doing that, Kid).

Here’s the thing though! You’re no longer a two-year-old, you’re a grown adult! And yet you still act like you need to instantly act upon every single feeling you have.

You feel sad, so you stay in bed all day instead of going out for lunch with your friend like you promised her. You feel tired so you get the bus home from work instead of running like you’d planned to. You feel bored so you face-plant a giant chocolate cake. You’re instantly gratified. You feel good. It feels like the right thing to do in the moment. You’re essentially cooing at yourself in a sweet and soothing voice. Until about 2 hours later when you get that shitty sinking feeling going on. And so how do you respond? You eat the last slice of the chocolate cake, because you feel guilty about earlier stuffing your face. “Why not”, you tell yourself, “it’s not going to make a jot of difference now.”

This merry-go-round of feeling after feeling after feeling is the root of yo-yo dieting. It’s the reason why millions of people are trapped in unhappy marriages – they’d leave, but they feel too scared to, so they instantly gratify themselves over and over by staying put. It’s the reason why gyms are half-empty by March, given up on by people who just don’t feel like exercising today.

Here’s the second thing! Constantly listening to and acting upon your feelings will rob you of doing the things you want to do.

We wait and wait and wait for the perfect job to come along—because we’re more comfortable whining about our shitty job to our friends and family than pulling our finger out and finding a career that excites and interests us—all because we feel terrified and uncertain. We gain more and more weight and hate how physically and emotionally heavy we feel in our bodies—while speed-dialing the local takeaway—because we feel lazy and too tired to make a salad. We don’t have THAT conversation with our mum, boss, friend, partner, because we feel awkward and scared of confrontation. We don’t stand up, step out, and say what we want to say because we feel small and nervous and unsure.

We all know the path to being a content and healthy person is to do all the things we already know we need to do. It’s not rocket science, you can Google healthy eating plans and workouts and download free meditation apps and read articles about how to be more confident and assertive. And yet we don’t feel like doing any of those things, so we don’t.

Over and over and over again, we value feeling relieved and comforted and gratified in the moment over our long-term emotional and physical health.

Ridiculous, isn’t it?

If you’re interested in working with me over the next few months, so that I can help you understand why what you say you want hasn’t quite lined up with what you’re actually doing (or not doing), click here and let’s talk. This free, 35-minute introductory session will give you a taste of what coaching is like with me and help us make sure we’re a good fit. (If you’re not actually interested in potentially working with me, and you just fancy a free coaching session, please, please, please don’t book a call, it’s bad juju.)

By | 2017-01-25T09:37:58+00:00 25 January 2017|

Let’s make 2017 the year we give ALL the shits.

A month or so ago, I met up with someone for a cup of coffee.

Since moving to Germany last year, my all-encompassing loneliness has been much like a drunk, washed up glam metal rockstar from 1982: out of control, sporting an aggressive mullet, and begging for attention. As a result, I’ve been making waaaaaay more of an effort to meet new people.

All in all, the person I hung out with was great. We swapped stories about life in Germany (she’s a transplant, too), belly laughed about bizarre German traditions, and talked about how hard it is living in a country where you don’t speak the language. We bonded in the way that two people bond when they’re in the same boat—and then set adrift out to sea. It was awkward and lovely and weird all the same time, as meeting new people mostly is.

As we were leaving, we talked about how we should meet up again soon, and I texted her as soon as I got home. I was buzzing from our meet-up (and the caffeine), and excited at the prospect of a quality new friend to fart around with.

A few days passed, and I didn’t hear anything back.

(Maybe she’s just busy.)

Two weeks went by with no new news.

(Maybe she’s just lost her phone.)

And now it’s been well over a month, and still nothing. Nada.

(Maybe she just doesn’t give a shit.)

The thing is: I do give a shit. About a lot.

And I’m so completely over this whole not-giving-a-shit movement. Somehow, it’s become Cool (with a capital C) to not give a shit—about anything. I worry that the message being shouted around the Internet—the thousands of articles a quick Google search just now brought up, instructing people how to give less of a shit—is being misinterpreted as being indifferent.

After all, there’s a stark and important difference between accepting that you’ll never change your mother’s ways/caring less about what she thinks of you—and simply not giving a shit about her at all anymore.

This whole not giving a shit thing is probably why Donald Trump, a man who seems to not give a shit about anything other than himself, is now in power. Because most people stopped giving a shit about their voice and their right and their responsibility to be the change, and left it to the minority of people who actually care, instead.

I worry that not giving a shit means less about proudly fighting for what you believe in, and more about coming across as composed, unphased, and tuned out. I worry that not giving a shit means less about total, whole acceptance about who you are at your core, and more about ambivalence and apathy.

It’s this ambivalence and apathy that worries me the most, actually, because it’s spreading like a raging and rampant infection. I’m seeing it everywhere: That rising tide of people who don’t care about their people, their passions, their purpose, or most importantly, their entire motherfucking life—all because it’s trendy to tamp down enthusiasm and blow it all off in the name of somehow being more by caring less.

Caring less that most nights, for months, they come home from work and spend hours and hours dicking around on the Internet and and ordering another supreme pizza, because fuck it, they’ll start over on Monday.

Caring less that they’re in a career that was was once their dream—and now it makes them want to jab a freshly sharpened pencil into the juicy flesh of their right eyeball.

Caring less that they have absolutely no concrete idea of what actually makes them feel like themselves anymore, so they numb out to boxsets on Netflix and even more boxed wine.

Caring less that they’re consciously avoiding situations that need their attention the most. The state of their aching and empty marriage. The panic attacks that hit on the way home from work. The full-body dread that takes over every time they get up in the morning.

The bottom line? I care that my new friend hasn’t texted me back.

I wonder why she didn’t give enough of a shit to hold to her word and show some integrity. And I feel hurt, wondering whether I did something wrong. (I’m human, after all.) But I also give more of a shit about why it hurts and why I’m wondering if I did something wrong.

This blazing curiosity and intense introspection matters more to me than simply brushing it off and not giving a shit. Than tuning out. Turning off. And turning a blind eye. Because I can do something with this. I can learn and grow and evolve from this. I can totally thrive from this—all because I give the most shits of all.

I’m determined to live in a vibrant, passionate world where people give more of a shit about their lives.

So the real question then becomes: are you willing to give a shit about yours?

By | 2017-01-10T14:04:55+00:00 10 January 2017|

Towards not away.

I found a new trail this morning. I’ve never ever noticed it before, despite it branching off from a trail I run on at least 3 times a week. I don’t know why today was the day that I noticed it. Maybe because Leonard Cohen died and I was thinking about him and light and dark and life and death and everything in between. The trail caught my eye as I shot past it and so I stopped, trotted back a fewmetres and stood at the foot of it, in awe of the autumnness that appeared to have exploded there. I’m making so much more of an effort these days to be more aware. Pay more attention. Be conscious. Maybe that’s why I noticed the trail. Because I’m making a more conscious effort to be more conscious. After years of choosing to be unconscious in order to save myself from a world of pain and deep shit and family trauma.

I noticed the other day, as I lowered the iPhone in my hand—the iPhone that spewed out mesmerising information that I just HAD to read in that moment—that my kid was stood in front of me, staring at me. Inquisitively. No judgment from him. (He hasn’t learnt to judge yet. Babies don’t judge. They don’t need to, right. They’re not scared of the world yet and other humans.) So he’s staring at me and I feel a wash of shame. I wonder what it is he’s seeing from his tiny perspective. His mum with an expensive piece of plastic in her head that’s holding her attention so deeply. I wonder if he questions why he can’t hold my attention in the same way. And I feel shit. I immediately put down my phone and scoop him up and look into his eyes and tell him how much he matters. To me. To his family. And the world. I vow to myself to not pick up and lose myself in my phone when I’m around him anymore. I strive to be a conscious parent. I buy him books that teach him that’s it ok to be different and it’s ok to have feelings even though he’s a boy because boys aren’t supposed to have feelings—boys should be big and strong and must protect and take responsibility—and we talk about people, and how families can look different and that there are so many beautiful skin colours and sometimes men love women and sometimes men love men and sometimes women love women and sometimes women love women and men and vice versa and it’s all ok. I held him last night, him fresh and clean from the bath I gave him, me wild-eyed tired and worried and hopeful, and told him about a man called Donald Trump and a country called America and what I thought it all meant right now in the world. I told him that just because some people don’t agree with being different or consider other people less than because of their otherness doesn’t mean that we have to agree and follow. He looked at me, all nearly 2 years old of him, clutching his favourite tractor, and he nodded before whispering “tractor” quietly, like a tiny, solemn prayer. I will keep talking to him. I will not be quiet about this.

I am hopeful. And worried. About the world. And America. And the division we humans seem to be creating for ourselves. It comes from fear and distrust. I am absolutely sure of it. Fear and distrust of difference. Fear and distrust of otherness. Fear and distrust of uncertainty. Fear and distrust that comes from deep pain that is discharged in anger and opposition and a desire to protect and divide and pull away, instead of moving towards each other. Which is the answer, right? It HAS to be the only answer. To move towards. Instead of away. To say, “I am scared and worried” and to hear “Me too” instead of “Go away” or worse, silence. We are the change. Someone wise said that, I can’t remember who (Gandhi, perhaps). And we are the change. It’s true. It’s up to all of us. To move towards. In whatever way we can. We can punch with our hands or we can hold them out and invite people in. With our words and acceptance and inclusion, no matter how different or ‘other’ they are. Underneath skin colour and sexuality and religion and the way we choose to identify and be identified, we are all the same. I’m no different to Donald Trump, really. He’s scared and confused by life and so am I. We just deal with it in different ways. He moves away. I move towards.

I moved towards the new trail this morning and I ran down it. It felt new and scary and exciting. I will take my son there for a hike, him strapped to my back, him holding a stick and dropping it and me heaving to my knees and picking it up again 50 times over. I will show him the trail.

And I will also keep showing him the way. Towards not away. Towards not away. Towards not away. Towards not away. It’s the only way.

By | 2016-12-29T16:21:47+00:00 29 December 2016|