The Necessity of Nooh Noohs

Life is a serious business, but it doesn’t have to be completely serious!  As a coach I’m now choosing to look at the lighter side of life and to ensure that I put in to life what I want to get out of it – love, laughter and learning…

20130106-PMB-SOS2-022.NEF
A blue ‘Nooh Nooh’
for a baby boy

One day I was shopping for Christmas presents and it occurred to me that I wanted to buy a gift for someone whose name I didn’t know and whose face I had never seen…

My friend was pregnant with a much longed for and cherished baby.  I was so happy for her and so excited to meet the little entity I had nicknamed ‘Boo’.  So as I was out shopping for gifts, it came to me that I wanted Boo to have a ‘Nooh Nooh’.  Now this may not be a word that you will find in the dictionary, but on some level I’m guessing you will be familiar with the concept: it’s baby speak for a comforter, or a soother – in this case something soft for my forthcoming friend to snuggle with in his sleep, as a reminder that he would always be safe and loved…

Now, Nooh Noohs manifest in many forms.  There are the obviously childlike blankies and teddy bears that people (of all ages may) have in their lives – to cuddle with and lose themselves in – for sweet, instinctual comfort.  Sometimes Nooh Noohs come in food form – chocolate is an occasional one of mine; and sometimes they are comforting custom and practice – the little routines that demarcate and sweeten our lives, that we may not even notice we indulge in.

A personal favourite of mine is a jumper.  It has a story, since I bought it in a sale, and being about 5 sizes too big, I immediately recognised its latent potential to become the perfect Nooh Nooh – in that at different times it is a coverall, or a kind of unofficial dressing gown, which I throw on over whatever I’m wearing and then it suddenly swathes me in pink, fluffy, and all-encompassing glory.  The pattern is hard to describe – think of a cross between the dark patches of a cow and pink poached eggs and you’ll get some idea of its ugly magnificence.  Yet I feel safe and comfortable in it, it keeps me warm, and when I don’t want to have to think about what to wear – it is there – ready and waiting to Nooh Nooh me to perfection.

IMG_0294.JPG
My ‘hideously brilliant’ jumper (apologies if you have the same model and feel differently about it!)

It’s usually a secret obsession that particular Nooh Nooh, yet I am very proud of the fact that the only time I wore it on a public occasion, I was told that it was ‘brilliantly hideous’.  I suppose it is stylistically, but then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so of course it is ravishingly attractive to me…

Whatever form they may take, Nooh Noohs don’t live in the realms of time, so your experience of them can be short and sweet or else deliciously long and drawn out.  One my own personal favourites is the hug – it’s a gorgeous shortcut of connection, that, without words, says so much: Including ‘I’m happy to see you’, ‘good bye beloved’, ‘thank you’, ‘I care’, ‘I want you close’ and whatever minute complexity is going in that unguarded, non-verbal moment of contact.

I grew up in a world that definitely had love in it, but not so much of the physical kind – with hugging and cuddling.  I seemed to belong to a family and lived through an era where once you ‘grew out of it’, hugging became a rare act, bestowed briefly on those relatives you loved, but rarely saw.

When I started on my personal development journey around about a decade ago – the constant greeting hugs were, at first, a bit of a culture shock, but then quickly became one of my favourite features of that world.  Again it goes to that shortcut mentality – that you share an openness and trust – because you have hugged through and transcended physical boundaries.

Now, outside of that world too, my observation is that ‘nowadays’ it seems to be more common currency.  Public Displays of Affection (PDAs), it seems, are most definitely on the up.  Physiologically this is all good for us – such ‘Nooh Nooh’ demonstrations can induce endorphins, lower the blood pressure and evoke an unconscious sense of bonding, security and comfort.

For many of us, animals are most definitely Nooh Noohs.  I have three cats and they are all a constant source of cuddles, contentment and uncomplicated company – I simply adore having them around.

And sometimes too, Nooh Noohs are people – those we seek out because they make us laugh, feel special, and lift our spirits. And the other side to this is that you can also be a Nooh Nooh to someone.  As someone who derives the greatest joy in supporting and making a difference to others, I’m fortunate – I know that I’m that Nooh Nooh for many people in my life – in both a personal and professional way– and that, for me, is always a source of great contentment.

For the Nooh Nooh to be all encompassing requires you to surrender and trust to the experience, so you can allow it to be completely comforting and comfortable.  This can sometimes make you feel vulnerable.  And sometimes this aspect is the shadow side to the denomination of Nooh Nooh-ness – where it is felt that your vulnerability has been misunderstood, rejected, ignored or violated…  This is why Nooh Noohs are so often a secret act of self cherishing love.

If you are a Nooh Nooh, then you have to be careful not to give too much of your supporting self away. Constantly giving can be draining, so you should always redress the balance and see your Nooh Nooh-ism in balance: To receive is replenishing – and giving and receiving therefore work best when they are in balance.  The good news is that we do not always have to give and receive from the same source and so, when we seek out and have enough Nooh Nooh-someness in our different worlds, then we have the fulsome resources to support us in our supporting, and giving back.

This then, is the nature of the Nooh Nooh and it is blissful.  I am therefore consciously raising its’ status to an elevated one – and I invite you to do the same – to recognise the Nooh Noohs all around you, in every way, shape or form and to seek them out, and then simultaneously exonerate / celebrate them.

So there are many gorgeously good reasons to have such physical manifestations of comfort and joy in your life and this is why I claim that you should consciously crave and seek them out.  They are the gift that keeps on giving and the wonderful thing, once you seek the Nooh Noohs in your life, is that you will, continually, find them…

Back then to my opening story of the unborn baby Boo.  His Nooh Nooh from me was waiting for him when he was born and now we have met, he is, most definitely my very own Nooh Nooh too.  This time karma has conspired in a tight and loving cycle.

And life moves on, so I might just remind him of the Nooh Nooh when he grows into a man, or I might just keep that thought – as a smug, smiling secret memory, all to myself.  Somehow, I know that gift has made a positive contribution to his world and the great thing about a Nooh Nooh – whether you are aware of it or not – is the way it makes you feel.

And the true test of a Nooh Nooh is that you feel good.

So create and cherish these marvellous manifestations of comfort and joy in your life. Acknowledge them, seek them out, and fully embrace being a Nooh Nooh too.

Time to climb back into my jumper then…

Yours lovingly
Sandra

Sandra Peachey
Author, Coach and Erstwhile Nooh Nooh

You can Contact Me by clicking here…

I’m also variously known as:

* The award winning Author of Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life and Co-Author of The F-FactorYou can buy them both at Amazon by clicking on the highlighted titles / hyperlinks above, and at all good book sites around the globe.
* The Director of LifeWork Consultancy & Coachingfind out more here…
* As an International Book Awards Finalist – 2015, Women’s Issues Category
* The Winner of a Women Inspiring Women Award – 2013
* As being shortlisted for Women’s Coach in the APCTC Awards – 2014, as well as being nominated in 2012 & 2013
* Also as being Nominated for a Networking Mummies National Recognition Award – 2015…

Coaching, Comedy and Cushions

Life is a serious business.  The world keeps turning with global, national and personal events adding to an internalised sense of doom. But enough! It’s time to start healing and move forward.

So I’m choosing to look at the lighter side of life, – to give me the energy to make the changes needed in me, then my world and the world beyond that.  To do this I have to start with what is on the inside first, and it could be that maybe, just maybe, I’ve been taking myself a little too seriously lately… This newest blog then is written with a deliberately light touch – in order to learn, laugh and most definitely have some FUN!

fun

Well in case you didn’t know, as well as being a coach, I’m a writer.  I’m a story teller and a creator. I pull words out of the ether, whirl them magically around in my mind, and then set my fingers to typing them, so to string them into sensitive, soulful sentences – straight onto the page and in straight lines too…

And before my luscious prose wafts you deliciously away, floating off on my wonderfully wanton words; I would like to share, that just occasionally, I’ve been known to disappear up my own author-ly arse…  Yes, pardon the poetic playfulness, but I’m literally in a funny mood (I’m thinking the ‘ha ha’ kind, but it could be ‘peculiar’ – you decide)…

My funny bone has been tickled by the fictions that I create – both consciously and unconsciously – so I’m pondering on the stories that I tell – about my chosen specialist subject – me.

I know a lot about me you see – I’ve spent a lot of lavish time contemplating me and getting to know me better.  And much as I know myself; so I often I don’t like myself – or my life.  As a result I started the conscious journey to change things up.  More like stir things up – it’s not so much that the difficulties go away, more that I just deal with them differently!  But I realise now that so much of what I am feeling is a fiction.  So as a story teller I’ve now decided to make it a funny fiction…

This is partly the fault of my Life Coach, Liz Ivory – whose cushioned couch I was sitting on recently.  Now as a coach myself, I have to walk the talk and go and get coached.  Yes – in order to dispense my divine wisdom and to help others learn about / get what they want from life – I’ve got to go through the same process too.  And believe me I do. Again and again…

As well as being a writer, I’m also a bit of an entertainer.  I’m creative all-rounder in fact, and one of the best forms of entertainment, as far as I can see – is being me.  And you may think, that as a coach I’m one of those smug, got together, thinks she ‘knows it all’s; when in fact I do all this navel gazing ‘nonsense’ first and foremost – for me. Myself. And I.  Because when it comes to life, it seems that I need to keep on learning about and laughing at its’ lessons.

Since I am constantly learning and re-learning, the temptation is to berate myself for not getting things right on either the first, third or 45th attempt; but, as Liz points out – you can’t expect to have just one bath and then be clean for life…

So when I’m not gazing at my navel in the bath of life, I’m watching my life.  And it’s both fascinating and absorbing, being my own spectator.   I mean, whose life could possibly be more interesting than mineMy thoughts, my progress, my problems all knitted together into the stringy, scratchy scarf of a selfish soap opera.  And then the latest episode ends by crashing into that old familiar theme tune…

Now, after stumbling through the latest life episodes, I get to sit it out and recount the omnibus highlights by bending the ear of the lovely Liz. And it all makes my coaching sessions so interesting… Well, interesting, for me any how – as I get to talk about me; recounting the latest serialised stories of me.

As the star (and editor in chief) of these particular dramas, I realise that what pulls us in to such good old fashioned soap operas is the story line.  We get hooked by the creative manipulations of a team of writers creating plot lines purposefully designed to inexorably hold our attention. But none of these professional plotters could possibly compete with the story lines that teem and throng through my own heated head.  I’m the biggest and the best story teller of all.

In the TV of my mind I’ve been watching the story of my life, and weaving the plots of my path into the addictive dirge of a soap opera.  And in doing so I’ve been interpreting conversations and machinations into a relentless weepie.  But it’s time to press pause and reinterpret all this – I don’t even enjoy soap operas – so why the hell am I being one?!  Yup – cliché alertit’s time to re-write the story

So back on the coach’s cushioned couch I get some commentary from Liz on the latest life episodes I’ve regaled her with and then we work together on what to do next.  Two coaches, one couch, and the end result that she comes up with is that I should have more fun.  Fun she says. Fun? Fun!

Why fun? For a start it’s an antidote to the serious, serialised soap operas that I have running on repeated loop in my spectator brain, (just like that Plus One Freeview Channel tucked away at number 538 on the Guide).  And fun is such a puny, insignificant little word if you count up its letters, but it’s packed with big significance – as it frees you from feeling sorry for yourself and gives you a break from the darkly plotted serialisations that can run on repeat in your brain.

But fun – really??? “Nope – not sure I can do that”, my serially repeating brain says. “I have neither the time, energy nor inclination for it”.

But Liz will not leave it there.  Not only should I have more fun, but being a writer I should write about it.  In fact Liz has a whole huge heap of ideas she has decided need writing / righting by me…

She has so many ideas in fact, that my first thought was to go home – pack my laptop and a toothbrush, then return to that same spot in the corner of Liz’s lounge for maybe the next 5 years, churning out the various projects she has dreamt up for me.  So now it’s not a soap opera that I’m writing, but a Sit Com, then a funny fairy story for little kids, next a book for teenagers, and not least a novel to take care of the adult audience. That will take me to next Tuesday then… And she tells me that I’m the creative one..!

So we laughed, me and Liz.  We laughed a lot in that room with the cushions.  And the laughter freed my thoughts.  Suddenly the story changed and I remembered that I had forgotten – that actually, ‘I’m already having fun thank you very much Liz – I’ll have my fee back now – clever clogs coach’. And I had proof of the fact – ‘nerr and yaboo sucks to you’!

I get my mobile phone out and show Liz a picture.  It’s of me and a beautiful two year old boy.  His name is Isaac and he is the son of one of my closest friends.  For all sorts of reasons (therein could be many more blogs) I’m happily besotted with him.  His mum – Vickie, had bought him over to spend the day and it had somehow ended up in my garden, with a football that I had just bought, along with various other aunt-erly treats…

Now normally football would be far from my unsporting, sedentary thoughts; but Isaac has this gorgeous way of completely changing the game for me – yuh huh – pun completely intended…  So the football got kicked about and somehow I became the goal and every time Isaac scored, we celebrated.  In fact the only way, as I saw it, to do such triumphal / continual victory justice, was to roll over onto my back, pedal my legs frantically in the air and yell ‘goal!!!’

I’m delighted to say that Isaac agreed with me, and he imitated me, and we laughed – a lot.  Then we did it again.  And again.  Then he clambered into my lap and we did it together.  “Again” he said.  So we two rolled over and kicked up.  I could feel the physical effort pulling at my stomach muscles, but I didn’t care.  Who needs to do crunches to get abs of steel, when you have your own mini motivator, effortlessly turning your sloth into smiles?

And there on my phone, as I showed Liz, was a picture to prove it.  She could see easily, that my footballing nemesis and me were laughing, shining and flushed with the fun of it all…

And now I think on it, it’s not the only time recently that I’ve had fun / laughed / giggled and guffawed. This includes the brilliantly random conversation I had with my friends Nicola and Richard, who were recounting that one asked the other to scratch her back, and it came out as ‘will you brush my beef please?’…   Well… before we knew it we were coming up with more and more similar sayings, each one sounding more and more like the missing dialogue from a Carry On film – until the point someone came out with ‘dust my duck’ and then the dam broke – we just lost it to the point that all I could do was cry with laughter and stamp my feet with happy hysteria!

Ah – but I’d missed out those episodes of light relief in the sinister serialisation of the story. I’d simply forgotten that life is made up of both soap operas and sit coms.  And look – here is pictorial evidence of me joking around and having fun – yet again!

Fun 1 crop
There I go, just a few days ago: Having good old fashioned, un-self- conscious fun – again!

Ah – so that plot line was there all the time, ‘playing out’ in every way, so now – it’s time for the story I’m telling myself – to change

Now I’m sorry Liz, but see you – I’m stubborn – you know how much I like to do things on my own terms; so much as I’ve decided to buy into this new comical box set and re-write the serial, I have to do it – like Frank said – my way, and write a Blog Com instead of a Sit Com – so there.  And off the ‘soap’ box I will climb…

And there you have it – I’m re-writing my life and it’s a divine comedy… Yup – I’m disappearing up that author-ly arse again…

Laugh? I did it by wrote.

Boom!

With love, laughter and a cushion.
  from Sandie xx
Sandra Peachey
Transient Goddess, Coach and Story Teller

You can Contact Me by clicking here…

I’m also variously known as:

* The award winning Author of Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life and Co-Author of The F-FactorYou can buy them both at Amazon by clicking on the highlighted titles / hyperlinks above, and at all good book sites around the globe.
* The Director of LifeWork Consultancy & Coachingfind out more here…
* As an International Book Awards Finalist – 2015, Women’s Issues Category
* The Winner of a Women Inspiring Women Award – 2013
* As being shortlisted for Women’s Coach in the APCTC Awards – 2014, as well as being nominated in 2012 & 2013
* Also as being Nominated for a Networking Mummies National Recognition Award – 2015…

The Gorgeousness of Grace

graceSo I’m the Transient Goddess – a divine feminine being, beset by having mortal attributes – not least a feeling lately that I’ve been a bad girl – one who is spitting and snarling at life, rather than sailing gracefully through it…

The weather coerces to my mortal mood… There’s a sense of oppression. The grey skies are threatening rain, but not giving it up.  A ‘close’ heavy feeling weighs the air down, as if brewing for a fight, but deciding to sulk instead…

Whilst I welcome sunshine, this has merely been heat and cloud fuming constantly above my head – promising retribution and relief in the form of storm, but never then delivering…

And on and on…  The heat fracturing my nights and slicing into my purring dreams; inducing sweaty sleeplessness with wild, whirring thoughts.

Exhausted, I’ve been waiting for the dark clouds above my head and the wispy ones inside it, to dissipate. And although I can incline to the divine, I cannot control the weather and so have had to wait for the storm to start.  Internally the clouds were slight and so I could blow them away with reason, but then they would return – to obfuscate and implicate, so to slyly play hide and seek with the sun.

All this in my favourite summer season and my favoured months of the year – June, the anniversary of my birth – blessed by the gorgeous zenith of summer, with the sweetest days and longest nights; then flowing sinuously into July.

It’s a good time for me – I have lots of work, with income that gives me some sense of security and freedom.  I’ve passed through a difficult time in my life, weighed down with health issues and hormones and I’ve come out of the other side smiling and ready to move into new moon phases in my long loved life.

I’m setting out on new adventures, and this requires zest, organisation and energy; but somehow these are all lacking and all the work and all the relentless heat is sapping my strength. Everything seems to be taking too long to work through.  It doesn’t sit well with natural impatience…

I want to conserve my energy, quell / heal my emotions and keep myself to myself, (except with those I love and trust) and yet, there are skirmishes across the border of my ordered existence.  There are people who have the temerity to cross swords with me…  [Irony alert]Don’t you know who I am?!

So the smile has been wiped off my figurative face as I’ve reacted to – as I see it – being stalked, the victim of road rage, the object of disagreements, and being verbally attacked… Which means that I’ve been tripping on, rather than skipping over, the road of life.

Apparently, so the Law of Attraction states, we manifest these things into our existence: That as we emit an energy, so we attract equal energy back…

But this is a counter-intuitive enmity for me – I thought I’d been smiling, carefully guarding my walls and playing nice, so why has all this been coming at me..?

Firstly I recognise that I am tired and not feeling in the best of health – it means that I don’t have such a deep well of cool sanity to cushion me.  Defensiveness and self-pity can flare up easily, so I have to be aware of that and so I have chosen to slow down and give my brain and body a rest.

Without the fundamental well spring of conscious self-care – all the daily acts of meditation and heart felt consciousness have not spared me from periods of falling into fear, anger and attack mode; as my boundaries have been breached and my wishes – stated and silent – seemingly violated.  Then tears have spilled, words been vomited and thoughts run ragged, racing after relentless emotions…

And I could bore you with the intimate details of each incident, but I shan’t.  Fundamentally I’ve decided to let go of any issue of rights and wrongs and decide that there aren’t any. I want too, to make sense of what is going on and show myself and whoever is reading this, that there is absolutely no need to be either an aggressor or a victim; and instead every reason to learn from, rather just react to whatever is going on – in and around us.

First of all I want to say – choose not to be an aggressor.  And you may well say, ‘Who, me? Doesn’t apply’… And without judgement – if these words prick at you in any sense, then you’ll know… that time you went against someone’s wishes, blared that horn, crossed a line… None of us are perfect, but let’s start with being more aware of the words and actions that we put out there, along with their cause and effect.

If you find that someone is coming at you, then I say – do not respond in kind.  Breath deep – wait a moment, then a minute and then more minutes, hours, or however long it takes to let the adrenaline subside and your reason kick in.  And I mean ‘real’ reason here – the sense that provides sane, well-formed and chosen thoughts – not the bullets of angry reason that can create all sorts of factoids that backs up your sense of victimhood / right / etc., etc.

This single act of waiting and choosing is certainly one of the most powerfully successful ones I deploy if I feel an emotional reaction to a situation.  When I don’t do it, and go into react mode, the consequences are nearly always disastrous.  I have to remind myself instead that this strategy is not a weak act of retreat, but rather a strong tactical advantage – choosing slow, permanent resolution rather than quick, unsatisfactory retribution.

Sometimes we are in genuine or perceived danger and it may be that we have to take steps to safeguard ourselves and retreat to safety.  Do thatDon’t attack.  Move on and away.

Have some compassion for the other party.  Yes – you heard me correctly – have some compassion for whatever it is that they are going through.  An incident or a lifetime of behaviours and happenings has led them to this contradictory point where they are clashing with you.

Now decide that someone else’s bad day / life does not have to be yours and choose to let it go.  Talk it through with someone, write yourself a note, have a chunk of chocolate or whatever it takes – do this gently and consciously, so you can start to move on.

Know that you have responsibility for whatever is going on. Maybe you caused / manifested and maybe you didn’t – but you can now decide how to handle it and that includes asking for and giving unconditional forgiveness, so you can start to wash your psyche clean.

In terms of how to handle such situations, my go to attribute at times like this is grace.  I choose to let it percolate my conscious dealings – especially in tricky situations, disagreements or separations…

It’s a beautiful quality and has various permutations, so let me look to the wonders of Google and the Oxford English Dictionary to elucidate:

Meaning 1 – Smoothness and elegance of movement:
The smoothness of slowing down and being sweetly elegant in my dealings. It’s definitely what I aspire to… 

Meaning 2 – Courteous good will:
This takes good will and the willingness to be considerate of yourself and those around you, to a whole new, delicious level.  ‘Courteous’ good will is a sweet blend of the considerate and deliberate.

This is further elucidated by the dictionary as ‘An attractively polite manner of behaving’.  Yes, we’ve all met ugly politeness – but how about a heartfelt decision to behave ‘attractively’? I’ll embrace that.

Meaning 3 – (In Christian belief) the free and unmerited favour of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings:
Regardless of religious belief, there have been times when I felt more sinned against than sinner, but I have been a sinner; so yes, I will allow for the beauty of blessings and choose to count them, in order to see the light and to free both my ego and me.

Meaning 4: A divinely given talent or blessing:
Grace is definitely becoming my favoured super power – something I have the capacity for and can nurture to fabulous infinity. 

Meaning 5 – The condition or fact of being favoured by someone:
How about forgetting rights and wrongs and seeing both sides of a possibly angry equation, instead?  Favour the fact that you choose to rise above ego, and decide that the best outcome is the one that produces the greatest universal good: not that either side wins or loses. This is a real act of grace.

Meaning 6 – A period officially allowed for payment / compliance, especially granted as a special favour:
So instead of acting in the angry moment, take stock, and give yourself a period of grace – in order to move on – allowing resolution, not destruction.

And all of these layers of meaning grow into the utter gorgeousness of grace – sweet, strong and beautiful in its simplicity.  When grace becomes implicit and complicit in our feelings and dealings, it can become a bountiful byword for our behaviour.

So finally – by manifestation, magic and weather vane – the storm broke today…  Lightening flashed and illuminated, then thunder growled its’ refreshing release of rain.  The heat dissipated and the rain lavished down in sweet, fat droplets – feeding the soil / soul and washing the streets clean. This rain is both a blessing and a benediction.  It’s a sign that it’s time to let go of any lingering darkness – my world is ready for a graceful new start.  The air and sky have cleared and now the air is filled with rampant birdsong – chorusing in a new sweet phase of delicious days and boundless possibilities ahead…

In best cliché speak, it’s time to let the clouds fly by and for the sun to shine through again.  Yes – it really is most definitely time to favour grace…

Suddenly I see the enmity I’ve been experiencing as a message.  It is clearly time for my walls to be knocked down, and to ignore all borders and invisible boundaries.  In doing so I can travel freely, with out swords and skirmishes. 

And so it is, sweetly – that I’m a bad girl gone good…

Yours, gracefully / graciously (of course)
   from Sandra
Sandra Peachey
Transient Goddess, Coach and Author

You can Contact Me by clicking here…

I’m also variously known as:

* The award winning Author of Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life and Co-Author of The F-Factor.  You can buy them both at Amazon by clicking on the highlighted titles / hyperlinks above, and at all good book sites around the globe.
* The Director of LifeWork Consultancy & Coaching – find out more here…
* As an International Book Awards Finalist – 2015, Women’s Issues Category
* The Winner of a Women Inspiring Women Award – 2013
* As being shortlisted for Women’s Coach in the APCTC Awards – 2014, as well as being nominated in 2012 & 2013
* Also as being Nominated for a Networking Mummies National Recognition Award – 2015…

Europe: To Leave, Loathe or Love?

Love loathe

On the morning of Friday 24 June 2016, I was awakened by my clock radio, announcing in self consciously stentorian tones that “Britain has voted to leave the European Union.”

Normally slow to rouse to daylight consciousness, that announcement certainly woke me up quick smart. “No” I yelled at the radio. “No, no, no!!!”

I had thought that it would be a close run thing, but that we would remain.  Yet the electorate had chosen otherwise…

It was a shock to the system.  Not what I had chosen.  An unwanted and unwarranted change forced upon me.

I felt many things… Fear, anger, grieving, and guilt… I never spoke out publically about my own views that Britain should remain in the EU.  In amongst all my friends and acquaintances, only one person close to me was openly choosing to Leave. I wished now that I had tried to persuade them otherwise and that I had spoken out on social media and swayed may be one vote – or a thousand.  But I decided not to get involved.  I knew my mind was made up, I assumed I knew the outcome… so I stayed out of it.  But now it is done, I’m moved to write in order to make sense of it all.

My own choice to remain comes partly from a Quixotic, confused lineage and life loved…

My mother was Scottish.  She had ancestors from the Shetland isles and all across that land. She had English and Irish ancestors thrown in for good measure too and lived most of her life in England; yet if you asked her about nationality – she most definitely set herself apart with her born identity.  It was her father had decided that he, his wife and 18 year old daughter should leave Scotland though and she always felt that this was a change that was forced on her.

My father was born in the fens of Cambridgeshire.  His surname came from the Norman invaders of this island and his father’s family had farmed the land for countless generations.  He was always solidly anchored to the ground.  His mother however, came from a travellers family, with a diverse background, including Welsh and Romany affinities and this strand has given myself and several of my relatives, very itchy travelling feet…

And so my genetic smoothie means that I am a mild mongrel, but most definitely a British one.

I grew up and played with children whose parents had bought them to these British shores to live, learn and earn. I had Indian, Italian, Irish, Scottish and Jamaican neighbours and regardless of genetics, as the children of diverse origin – we played the same games that all children play.  We laughed in gardens, we imagined in parks, we sat sedately in sheds, creating clubs and secret societies that we all belonged to.

My parents were involved in an ideological movement called Moral Re-Armament (now morphed into Seeds of Change), so from babyhood I was wheeled off to conference centres around the country to meet people from all over the world.  As a teenager I spent my summers volunteering in their kitchens, feeding armies of people from all over the globe who wanted to change the world for good.  I met so many nationalities from so many corners of the earth. I had room mates from Germany one week, South Africa the next, then Canada and so on and etc…

We talked over dinner and wandered around ornate gardens and in doing so I heard so many stories which showed me that where people really come together in positive, united purpose, then a life, family or community could change for the better.

I’ve worked for multi-national corporations and had to manage global intricacies and misunderstandings many times over. I’ve been yelled at by American managers, berated by Portuguese compatriots and huffed at by Indian colleagues because of unseen and newly chartered cultural differences – on both sides.  I’ve negotiated with and canvassed French, Spanish, Polish, Canadian offices and officials – and more besides, over and again.  And at times all this was irritating, but mainly it was fascinating.

My global idealism has meant that over the years I’ve had friends of many nationalities. Two of my very closest friends are Indian in origin. Several of my other friends, who come from European countries, said that it was rare that they had British compadres – that the opportunities to bond and create cross national friendships just didn’t happen.  I was always jarred by that thought.  I have always welcomed the windows that are opened into my knowledge by having a diverse circle around me.  It makes me more open, it gives me perspective and so I embrace it.

I don’t always understand where my friends are coming from, but still I get to enjoy the discussions which investigate and celebrate our differences.

I have always believed in diversity and the wealth of expanded knowledge and points of view that goes with it.  I do not always enjoy being challenged, but I allow myself to be and so I consider all points of view, whilst still having my own very strong ones. I strongly believe in community and coming together – together is most definitely stronger in my book.  I believe in inclusivity for all and yet I believe in individuality and creativity too.  The sort of success I enjoy is built on mutual support, love and team work.

I will, innately trust most people, but I will also remove that trust suddenly and sharply if I feel I’m being attacked or threatened in any way, including verbally.

And when it comes back to who I am, here and now, I can’t give you a simple definition, so I’ll present you with a list instead:
* I’m a citizen of the world – and I couldn’t give a toss if that sounds like a cliché.
* I’m European and always will be. That’s regardless of any political technicalities.
* I live in the United Kingdom.  The united part of that is important.  That may change…
* I’m British. On my passport and in many – but not all, forms of belief and behaviour.
* I’m English. Born here, live here. It informs who I am, but is not the whole picture.
* I’m Scottish.  Less than 50% as it happens, but it is part of who I am too.
One day, if Scotland separates from the UK, it may be that I could choose, having a Scottish parent – to have Scottish nationality. It’s a strange thought. It’s also a consideration…

And some of the items on this list are bureaucratic labels and some are choices…

But enough now of all my woolly liberalising!

I have to deal with the facts as they are:  I’m a grown up. I live in a democracy.  A majority of voters have voted to leave the European Union.  Whilst I felt that I had no choice about this change, I DO actually have a choice here – to bemoan and berate and beat my chest, or to accept what has happened, and make my peace with it.

I’m not a politician or an economic forecaster and I don’t know how this will all pan out.  But it is happening. It will be moved on, worked through and worked out.  It will have pros and it will have cons.  My feeling discombobulated or shouting and pouting it will not change anything.  I’ve weathered the fear of change before and I’m still standing, so I will again.

I’ve decided that I can be sad for a while and then let it go and choose to move on with what ever comes. It won’t necessarily be a smooth journey from here on in, but I’m going to suck it up and accept it, anyway – whilst in all honesty – most probably having a quiet moan about it…

I won’t let it affect how I behave or treat other people. That some are apparently perpetrating acts of racism and hatred on the back of this vote is an outrage.  I choose to believe that this is a mere minority, out to get media coverage, incite others and using this only as an excuse to profligate their vile acts of violence. There are such people in every corner of the world. The referendum result has not caused or allowed this, it is simply the warped choice of some who choose to act in hatred and bile.

I choose to influence what and who I can in my own sphere and let the bureaucrats and politicians in the system work out the paper bound aspects of my existence.  Somehow, out of all this rank confusion, they will.  They have to.

Ultimately I will take responsibility.  I live in this country.  I vote. I’m part of the system.  I know that I have actively been seeking change in my life for some time now and sometimes that has been painful, joyful or interesting… So change has come, not in the way I envisaged, but I am responsible for the result, regardless. My response is a choice. If I take that stance I am strong – not victimised and not looking at my fellow man and judging him because he doesn’t see things my way.

The world is changing and I can fight that or I can work with it.  Many people I know are seeing this as a new opportunity and embracing a new wave, whether they voted to Leave or Remain.  I respect that positivism and I see it as a way forward – a way to reassess and reinvent.

I don’t want to lose friendships and relationships with people and countries I love because we are no longer connected by the stars on the EU flag, so that choice is made.  This just means that I will continue with my individual connections and collaborations, which is more important to me, any way.

For the time being I’m deliberately avoiding all the post election hoo-ha, ranters and haters, and siding with those who provide considered, quiet counsel.  I can choose that too.  I am having my say now and I trust that this touches you too, if you are reading this, where ever and who ever you are and where so ever you are from.

A couple of days ago, my French friend Claire texted me: “I’m packing my bags” she said.
“They won’t let you back in” I replied, “you’ve been away too long.”  It was a small smile, but an important one – what ever is going on in the world, we get to choose irony, laughter and friendship too…

So I’ve chosen again and I know I will have to keep doing so.  This choice is not a one off act of reaction. One blog isn’t going to change me or the world.  But it will certainly support my stance and remind me of the true nature of being English / Scottish / European and (you’ve guessed it), most importantly of all, of being myself.

With love, laughter and learning,
   from Sandra
Sandra Peachey
European Mongrel, Transient Goddess, Coach and Author

You can Contact Me by clicking here…

I’m also variously known as:

* The award winning Author of Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life and Co-Author of The F-Factor.  You can buy them both at Amazon by clicking on the highlighted titles / hyperlinks above, and at all good book sites around the globe.
* The Director of LifeWork Consultancy & Coaching – find out more here…
* As an International Book Awards Finalist – 2015, Women’s Issues Category
* The Winner of a Women Inspiring Women Award – 2013
* As being shortlisted for Women’s Coach in the APCTC Awards – 2014, as well as being nominated in 2012 & 2013
* Also as being Nominated for a Networking Mummies National Recognition Award – 2015…

 

 

 

Birthday Girl Blog: Life Lessons & Blessings

Birthday GirlIt’s my birthday today.

It’s another year since I emerged from the womb to the outside world.

As a life so far it has been both ordinary and extraordinary.
Happy and sad.
Full of laughter and sadness.
There have been triumphs and there have been tears.

I’ve lived alone and in crowds.
I’ve read, loved and sweated.
I’ve laboured and slept.
My heart has beat and I have breathed many, many times over.

I have inhabited the maelstrom of thought and feeling – keeping me blocked and shocked. Then I have flown above it too – arching and changing its direction to rainbow roundness. I did this for me, selfishly, then as it turns out selflessly.
For I realised it would be the greatest gift I could give.

I have shared my words and harboured my secrets.
I have been sweet and I have been evil.
I have helpful and I have been obstructive.
Yes, I have been both friend and foe.

Sometimes I have learnt and sometimes forgotten who I am and what the world is. But today I remember that what I have learnt are these few things and I want to share them with you:
* Celebrate what you have and give gratitude.
* Spend time with people who really know and love you. And I mean really
* Ask for, receive and give support. Keep asking and keep giving.
* Have a sense of love and purpose, not a sense of duty.
* Moan, if you must – let it out, and then move on. Don’t harbour the moths of hate, anger or regret.
* Sometimes you have to wait for the answer, and sometimes it hits you like a thunderbolt.  But there will be an answer.
* Have trust and faith, but don’t invoke them lazily and in isolation – use them to spur you on to inspired action to move you deliciously forward.
* If it’s not working – mend it or change it.
When life seems unfair, or you are physically and mentally unwell, take stock and then good care of yourself.
* Take and give responsibility from a universal perspective, not your own – do not blame.
* Always forgive – starting with yourself first and then radiate it outwards. Forgiveness is your divine gift and super power.
* Remember that your ego is not you, therefore don’t involve it in your life.
* You can choose – even when you feel you can’t.  Instead choose what you would choose and then, magically, you have chosen…
* Trust your intuition – it is up made of components of pragmatism and magic that you could never really conceive or get to the bottom of; yet in its purest, clearest personification, it will always show you the way, if not the how.

I’m climbing down from the pulpit now to indulge my senses, rest, celebrate and spend time with people I love.

Happy Birthday.  Happy Day.  Happy Life – today and tomorrow and on every non-birthday day…

With love, laughter and learning.

S xx

From: Sandra – Transient Goddess, Coach and Author

You can Contact Me by clicking here…

I’m also variously known as:

* The award winning Author of Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life and Co-Author of The F-Factor.  You can buy them both at Amazon by clicking on the highlighted titles / hyperlinks above, and at all good book sites around the globe.
* The Director of LifeWork Consultancy & Coaching – find out more here…
* As an International Book Awards Finalist – 2015, Women’s Issues Category
* The Winner of a Women Inspiring Women Award – 2013
* As being shortlisted for Women’s Coach in the APCTC Awards – 2014, as well as being nominated in 2012 & 2013
* Also as being Nominated for a Networking Mummies National Recognition Award – 2015…

A Write Update & Upcoming Events

Author Update BannerHaving last penned an author’s update at Christmas, it definitely feels like time to regale my readers with the newest chapters in my author-ly world…

So I’ll start with a reminiscence – when I signed into Facebook this morning, it reminded me that 12 months ago, I’d just received an email tell me that my first book Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life was honoured as finalist in the International Book Awards.  It was a message that I had completely ignored, until my publisher got in touch to congratulate me – bless…

And whilst I have been working on new projects since that book was published (more of that later…), I’m delighted to say that Peachey Letters still has a life of its own.  In fact the book and I are staging a ‘comeback tour’, which kicks off with a Meet the Author event next month.

It’s all happening on Tuesday the 7th of June at The Amethyst Centre in Coventry and will be a relaxed lunch time event, where I will first be interviewed by the Centre’s proprietor – Chris Ramsbottom-Pampling, and then we will throw the floor open to audience questions, whilst simultaneously tucking into a buffet lunch (strawberries and cream have been promised, which for me, makes it worth the £10.00 ticket price alone!).

Together we’ll be exploring the writing process and the therapeutic properties of letter writing, as well as diving deeper into the book for more insights, so I really look forward to you joining us and to finding out more about the Amethyst Holistic centre too.  You can get your tickets by clicking on this link…

As for my other author-ly projects: In February – the fourth anniversary of my Peachey Letters Blog, I set myself a new challenge – to write and publish a new post every day for a month. Of course I had to pick a bloomin’ leap year so that February had an extra day, but then again, I did meet the challenge😉

What came out was not only ‘Peachey Letters’, offering coach-ly insights into life and learning, but also a lot of fiction posts.  In fact I was trying out material for my very first novel. Set in the ‘magical realism’ genre, under the working title of ‘Seraph on an Island’, it goes on the life journey of an ordinary woman, who has the extraordinary gift of flying, or then again, maybe imagines that she has…

Set in the 1970s, it is a tale both gritty and fantastical, contrasting a difficult life with flights of fantasy, leaving you wondering if what the heroine experiences, is really real.  If you are intrigued by the premise, please check out the fiction posts on my blog and let me know what you think, this link will take you there direct.

My non-fiction ‘Peachey Letters’ posts have evolved and transmuted in a new persona and style – which has a new identity to go with it.  My new ‘Transient Goddess’ posts, track the life and learning of someone who is both flawed and perfect, laughing, analysing and finding her way forward.  That’ll be me, referring to myself here in the third person, but in my writing – most definitely in the first!

When I’m not bashing away at my laptop, I’m out and about supporting my coaching and corporate clients.  Currently I’m working with a charity called Circles Network – who provide a range of support programmes for vulnerable children and adults.  It’s a fascinating organisation, which lists person centred support, advocacy and equine assisted learning amongst its range of support services.

I’m therefore delighted to invite you to their summer fund raising ball, being held on Saturday 25th June at Coombe Abbey Hotel near Coventry.  This means that you get the opportunity to support an excellent cause, whilst wining, dining and dancing the night away in gorgeous surroundings, all for the price of £50.  If you would like to know more and buy your tickets, then check out the details here.

Well, that concludes the latest chapters in the writing life of a Transient Goddess – thank you for being on this page with me.  If you are curious about my coaching work and what a difference it will make to your life or business, or want to know more about my writing, then please do get in touch – you can contact me here…

With warm regards
      Sandra
Sandra Peachey

LifeWork Consultancy & Coaching
Email: sandra@sandrapeachey.co.uk

* Author of Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life and Co-Author of The F-Factor
* Winner of a Women Inspiring Women Award 2013
* Shortlisted for Women’s Coach in the APCTC Awards 2014, nominated in 2012 & 2013
* Nominated for a Networking Mummies National Recognition Award 2015
* International Book Awards Finalist 2015, Women’s Issues Category

Life In the Blonde Lane

Under my new guise as ‘The Transient Goddess’, I’m looking at life in my own happily skewed way… I’m a professional and practical person who had worked for many years in senior Human Resources roles, before deciding to direct a life time of learning into the new direction of being a Life and Business Coach.  It’s a marvellous match and something I was clearly born to do… And this for me, is partly because I don’t quite have it all sorted, in every moment.  In fact I can be quite scatty, and am definitely ditzy – and, as it turns out, I was born a blonde.  I define blonde by being fair of hair and complexion, as well as (for me) daftly delightful… Well that is when I’m being kind to myself, which often, as it goes – I’m not.  So my Transient Goddess blogs are written to work out this ditzy dichotomy and to keep my learning constantly fresh.  And as it happens – today’s post actually happened today

Goddess 2

LIFE IN THE BLONDE LANE

In real time writing mode – it’s Bank Holiday Monday in the UK (a National Holiday) and because of that I’ve just come through a misadventure which I will now recount for you…

I had arranged to go on an organised walk somewhere near Stratford today and although I usually rush ‘hell for leather’ because I am late; for a change I had given myself lots of lovely time to get there, park up, find the walking group etc., instead.

However, I get close to my destination and realise that I am stuck in traffic which is queuing to get INTO my destination…

After watching all my spare time tick away until 15 minutes after the start time of the walk, I give up and drive towards Stratford. Yes – I know it’s the home of Shakespeare and a tourist mecca, and I drive there knowing it will be Bank Holiday crazy, but hey – I’m out of the house now and wanna make something of it.

My normal quiet car park on the edge of town has cars queuing out of it, so I decide to give up on the whole mooching round town idea; instead I attempt to make my way home and am now stuck in the Stratford traffic. And I mean STUCK. I get out of town eventually, but then have to skirt back round it again (to pick up the route home), when, inadvertently I come across a tucked away car park with no queue.  I can now avoid the traffic and go back to Plan B!

I drive in to the multi-storey space, all the while scanning for a space, until my car has climbed 7 stories.  Finally I find a space – Hallelujah! I note that an hour will cost £3.00 and I head off into town thinking I must go to the bank as I only have £8.00 in my purse.

Despite a dour weather forecast, the sun is shining and I am pleased with my decision.  So are the hordes of other people who have also descended on the town centre.  On the way to the bank I literally get pushed by the crowds into an Oxfam Charity Shop. I’m happy to go with the flow though, so have a very thorough tooth comb browse and am rewarded by finding the most gorgeous black and silver top.  I try it on and it fits like a dream. It is a mere £3.99 so I decide to buy it, along with a (soppy flick chick) DVD for £1.99.

Happy with my purchases I cross the road to get money out of my bank’s cash point. I suddenly have a slight qualm as I wonder if any money will be left in the bank’s coffers on such a busy national holiday; but no, the machine IS working and greedily sucks in my cash card.

Then I am informed by a blandly officious computer screen that I have ‘insufficient funds to make a withdrawal’ and my card is unceremoniously spat out. I try again 3 more times, decreasing the amount until at a request of a mere £10.00, I am still refused cash.

I sit down on a bench and look at the crowds around me to ponder my options. “It’s OK” I think, “I’ll get in touch with the bank”. I get out my mobile – first to make a call and then to go online.  There is, however, no phone signal and neither is there fast and functional wifi…

Starting to segue in to panic mode, I count out the change in my purse. I have £2.65. I need £3.00 to exit the car park… My brain ticks over as I ponder my options.  Decision made – I cross the road back to the Oxfam shop and explain my predicament and that I just need to return the DVD…

‘No can do’ I am told. The ‘system’ will not accept refunds for a DVD bought only 10 minutes ago. It will how ever refund any clothing items.

I take a quick, sad decision and then I hand back the beautiful, black and silver, diaphanous top, with moist eyes (due, obviously to STRESS, rather than the thwarting of my materialistic atavism…).

The kindly lady behind the till suggests that she could ‘put it by’ for a week, but I have a busy week ahead and I know I won’t be going back there in that time. I fill out the paperwork and release the garment back to the shop.  Money is handed over.

The top and I then part a sad farewell for our unfulfilled future together…

I turn and walk quickly away to the car park and pray that I have not exceeded an hour and hence the money left in my meagre purse. It is an NCP car park – but I cannot find a machine to pay my fee. Puzzled by this, I walk up 7 flights of stairs to get my car and drive the zig-zag route to the outside. All the way down I look out for instructions of how and where to pay. There are none. I now worry that I will have to pay on the way out and will hold people up if I don’t have enough cash in place because I’ve now exceeded the magical £3.00 hour…

In mild panic I then drive back up to the 7th level (because that is the only place there is a space) and then run back down to check out the payment situation. Finally I discover at the exit that you pay a cashier upon leaving… How quaint… I hare back up to the 7th level and zig-zag my car back down to the exit barrier.

I hand over my ticket and the cashier announces that the fee is £3.00 – I made it!!!

It takes me another 15 / 20 minutes to negotiate through the heavy traffic.  Finally, after all this kerfuffle, I’m away from the town and speeding along the dual carriageway which will take another 30 minutes to get me home.

At this point my brain calms down and then catches up with my situation. Now I that think about, I know that I have PLENTY of money in the bank – so WHAT is going on? I budget carefully and check my account regularly… So have I inadvertently spent it or has it been stolen??? The journey home seems to take for ever…

Finally I reach my street and park up.  I dash into the house, telephone my bank and the exact amount of money I thought I had in my account, IS in my account. I have no payments due that would eat up the amount.  Rather than having ‘insufficient funds’, it turns out that in fact I had more than sufficient monies in place, so it must have been a random banking error or just ‘one of those things’…

So… whilst I was in the midst of this maelstrom of a minor ‘adventure’, I kept chanting a favourite (self invented) mantra to myself, which was: ‘stay calm, it will all be handled’.  I repeated those words to myself and trusted that it would all be resolved.  And so it was…

And of course, now with the benefit of hindsight, it’s actually really FUNNY…

Hum… You know, may be that top and I just weren’t destined for each other and it will have another, happier life with someone else… There may be other tops in my future – just as sheer and pretty that would make me look and feel as fabulous… But, and I know it’s a big but… If any of my Stratford friends wish to stroll past Oxfam and purchase a size 12 black chiffon and silver decorated top, and then pass it back my way… I might just love them for ever… Yes – I can live with out it, but oh, it WAS lovely…

And still I’m left with the dratted DVD of ‘Love & Other Drugs’ that Oxfam would not let me return.  All I’m saying is, that it had better be GOOD, since THAT is how I will be spending what’s left of my Bank Holiday!  Well that and writing a blog of course…

So my mantra saved the day.  And I’m reminded that I am both ditzy and as it turns out, incredibly resourceful.  And last, although certainly not least – I remembered to celebrate and learn… again

“It will all be handled… Just Trust…”

Here’s to a Happy Blonde Bank Holiday…

From: Sandra – Transient Goddess, Coach and Author

You can Contact Me by clicking here…

I’m also variously known as:

* The award winning Author of Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life and Co-Author of The F-Factor.  You can buy them both at Amazon by clicking on the highlighted titles / hyperlinks above, and at all good book sites around the globe.
* The Director of LifeWork Consultancy & Coaching – find out more here…
* As an International Book Awards Finalist – 2015, Women’s Issues Category
* The Winner of a Women Inspiring Women Award – 2013
* As being shortlisted for Women’s Coach in the APCTC Awards – 2014, as well as being nominated in 2012 & 2013
* Also as being Nominated for a Networking Mummies National Recognition Award – 2015…