25 Lessons Life taught me


The past year (2016) I reviewed and looked back on my life. The purpose of the process was to set free, heal and gratefully capture the lessons that life had taught me thus far. In order to, simplify and clear the way to move forward in a more authentic and present state.

Below is a list of the 25 lessons and healing questions I’ve learned from life: (If one of them draws your attention you can click on it to read more about the specific learning.)

  1. We all experience the same event differently based on our role in the situation and our expectations of it.

How can I simplify my life and business by releasing unnecessary expectations?

  1. Moments of transition can be traumatic AND meaningful.

What area of my life or business needs to transition into the light so that it can grow?

  1. By avoiding certain emotions I’m not allowing myself / my company to blossom.

How can I allow myself to feel the different emotions that accompany life and/or the start of a new business?

  1. By loving and trusting others and myself I create a safe space to be vulnerable.

How can I give myself (and others) the necessary love and trust in order to feel safe?

  1. When I become curious about life, new learnings open up.

What will I learn about my work or life if I become ‘passionately curious’ about it?

  1. Life is one big learning curve.

How can I bring laughter and lightness into this moment?

  1. My brain needs play time to recharge.

How can I play more?

  1. It is just a sandwich don’t let it define who you are. You are so much more than a sandwich.

How do I allow the sandwiches of life to define me?

  1. We make the best choice we can given the circumstances and information available to us at that stage.

How can I be kinder and let go of the regret for the decisions I made in the past?

  1. Genuine friendships are the jewellery of life – it endures the tests of time but needs to be treasured and worn close to the heart.

How did I treasure my friendships today?

  1. Be grateful for everything.

How can I be and feel more grateful for the struggles in my life?

  1. Being part of a team gives one a sense of belonging.

How can the way I interact with others translate into meaningful, real-life connections?

  1. Surprising events (pleasant or unpleasant) awaken us and allow room for something new to happen.

How am I standing in my own way?

  1. Make time to mourn what is lost and grow in the ambiguity of life.

How can I learn to live with the ambiguity and questions of life?

  1. I’m already a swan as I am now.

How can I love and accept all of me as I am now?

  1. Real feedback allows me to break up and open to love and growth.

How can I allow real feedback to transform me?

  1. Dark moments can turn into soulful moments if we open ourselves for growth.

How can I stay with the uncomfortable unknowing a little longer?

  1. Focus on the space and allow it to open up space within you.

How can I start to see space as just as important part of the bigger picture and not as an area that still needs to be filled?

  1. You can decide if financial stress is going to rob you of you.

How can I not allow my financial stress to overwhelm me in a way that I can’t be present to myself and those I love?

  1. When I’m genuinely committed to me. I’m also genuinely committed to you. My commitment to my vision is imbedded in my deep desire to serve others.

How committed am I to me and my vision?

  1. The space between the cup (current reality) and the quart (my vision) creates emotional tension as well as creative tension. When you use the tension wisely it can be a source of energy.

How can I discover my way between the cup and the quart?

  1. We cannot reach our goals on our own. We need support from people who care about us and share in our vision. We also need a professional network to derive new business from.

How am I tapping into and building my  network?

  1. I commit to live myself in an authentic way of being.

How committed am I to truly live (in line with my truth)?

  1. The space of sufficiency creates space for possibilities to open up.

How are my behaviour shaping a culture that does not determine our value by what we have but the life we live (wherein I believe that who I am is enough)?

  1. We develop skills not to escape life but to learn how to engage with life.

How can I embody the skills I learn in order to connect in a more meaningful way with others and life?

10 Reasons for coaching

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Last week I was filled with deep gratitude when I completed my Professional Coach Training and certified as an Integral Coach. It has been an amazing two-year journey of learning and re-discovering. Looking back I know that it was the best investment I could have made in/for myself. I was reminded again (as I often am with coaching clients) of the value of making time for personal development.

The past week I reflected on the following question:

Why do we enrol in personal development workshops or coaching processes?

One of the main reasons is to learn new skills. So, why do we need more skills?

Below is a list of ten reasons that came to mind.

We develop new skills to build our capacity to:

  • stay in the discomfort instead of running away from it.
  • meet the challenges that life gives us and turn it into opportunities for growth.
  • have the courage to step into the uncertainty even though we are afraid.
  • lean more into who we are and have been all along.
  • trust and love ourselves more.
  • change in order for new possibilities to unfold.
  • serve others in a compassionate way
  • deepen our relationships with others (at home and at work).
  • connect in a meaningful way with life.
  • not escape life but to learn how to engage with life.

Learning: We develop skills not to escape life but to learn how to engage with life.

Healing question: How can I embody the skills I learn in order to connect in a more meaningful way with others and life?

Money, body and soul

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When it comes to money matters things aren’t always simple. Thinking or talking about money evokes different thoughts, feelings, and even bodily sensations. Pride, anger, jealousy, anxiety, shame and sadness are among the emotions that frequently occur, accompanied with a shortness of breath, tightening of the chest and jaw. What is it about money, a neutral medium of exchange that was created by humans to make the sharing of our services simpler, that it creates such an emotional and physical response?

A few years ago I was the Deputy Director of Student Fees and Debtors at a University. Hearing the stories of a diverse range of students and parents about why they can’t settle their student account made me aware of the complexities around money. There was always a very personal story behind the request for funding. A story that is born out of a culture that values money more than human life, relationships and the soul. As I heard their stories it touched me on a physical and emotional level. The reason being that a certain aspect of their stories resonated with parts of my story about money. A common theme started to emerge that I could not quite grasp at that stage but only recently understood after listening to the insightful audiobook Unleashing the Soul of Money by Lynne Twist.

In her book Lynne states that money issues are not as personal as we think. ‘We’ve all been wounded in our relationship with money. They are entangled in the lies we live about money.’ She continues to explain that the source of our suffering is embedded in following three unconscious unexamined lies or myths:

  1. There is not enough. We tend to think there is not enough time, money, food, sex, vacation, work, etc. Later we allow these thoughts to come into our soul. We then start to think that ‘I’m not enough’. This type of thinking implies that someone is going to be left out. We start to fear scarcity. Which in turn justifies our actions of only taking care of us and constantly trying to accumulate more.
  2. More is better. We have an unending quest for more. We want more cars, money, bigger houses, more clothes, education, etc. The result is that we accumulate more of what we don’t really need. It is difficult to not fall into this trap as research suggests that the Media bombards us with approximately 30 000 messages a day telling us, you need more and are not enough. More has become a way of life.
  3. That is just the way it is. This type of thinking that ‘there is not enough’ and ‘more is better’ leads to the third lie that this is just the way life is and we stop questioning the myths and start to believe it.

As I listened to these myths about money I could see how the fear of scarcity is at the root of creating a world where people don’t have enough. I realised that I do have a choice how I want to think about money and the meaning I want to assign it. I can change my relationship with money from ‘not having enough’ to sufficiency by changing the conversation I have about money with others and myself.

Life does not always give us what we want but it does give us exactly what we need to learn and grow. Lynne Twist calls it the principle of sufficiency and explains it as such:

When you let go of trying to get more of what you don’t really need. It frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what you have. You start to pay attention to what you already have. When you make a difference with what you have, it expands.

 In my coaching sessions I  became aware that when people speak from a place of ‘being enough’ and tapping into their inner riches, they become more calm, content and their body opens up. The space of sufficiency creates space for possibilities to open up.

I would like to invite you to tap into your tapestry of experiences and relationships, become aware of what you already have. Let go of the unnecessary accumulation of more. Look at the areas where you have abundance in your life, where there is an overflow. Start to explore how sharing some of the things you don’t really need can create a place where there is enough for us all. A new culture that values sufficiency not abundance. A culture that does not determine our value by what we have but the life we live. Wherein we believe that who we are is enough.