Time to Respair…

Thanks to Lexicographer Susie Dent, I’ve just discovered the word “respair”, which the Oxford English Dictionary describes as “the return of hope after a period of despair”

How gorgeously apt: For a new year after the strange sequences of the last 2 years… And for me, still in the grip of anxiety, yet optimistic that I now have good periods, sometimes whole days, when the coil inside me unwinds… And then calmness and clarity soften my thoughts and emotions.

Over the quiet days of Christmas and New Year, after so, so, long, I finally started to really relax and even had the luxury of boredom…

But then January wore on and the calls of duty and guilt started to spike into my brain. “I have RESPONSIBILITIES, things I MUST do, my absence is impacting negatively on others”, the script in my head screamed… Then my brain would freeze… And I would turn to the wall to cry, scream and rant. And then Cortisol (the stress hormone) was in my blood stream, and I was back in an animal fight or flight feeling, the coil of anxiety quickly wound tightly, again…

The truth is, that I have a short emotional fuse at the moment and things that may have simply irritated me just a wee while ago, now bundle up into a huge ball of stress in my psyche. I’m also experiencing Rhinitis, which means I have constant headaches and exhaustion… oh blah, blah, flipping blah…

But this is NOT a pity post. I’m proud that after my third such meltdown this week, I said to myself: “Stop this! This isn’t a resourceful state to be in. If you stop now, the Cortisol will dissipate more quickly from your system and you can manage this in hours, rather than days.” Then I stopped crying, wiped the tears off my face, sniffed the snot away and thought about what I needed to do next.

But the ‘Stop it Now’ thought came after a session with my life coach, who got me to re-evaluate some of my most negative current thought patterns. And I had a week where I finally made progress and appointments and appraisals for MYSELF and for my health. Not for my work or other people, but for my own SELF CARE. Care that I am now prioritising, because in order to ‘do’ and to give, I need to ‘be’ and receive.

It irritates me in one sense that as a coach, I had to go to another coach to get positive, inciteful questions that gave me the insights which made a massive difference to my healing. This included making the decision about needing to take more time ‘off’, which quite frankly, I was bricking… But it is what it is and so I decided that the responsibility was ultimately for myself. For this I have wanted support and I have certainly found coaching to be far more effective than counselling during this time. So it has to be said that my appreciation for this process is far greater than my irritation.

But also, my life isn’t ALL about anxiety – there are so many things to celebrate… I lay on my sanitised mat in a yoga class, relaxing every part of my body and releasing my mind. I finally remembered to meditate. Last night I cooked the most delicious meal for myself and relished every single bite of it. A friend called me in the week, because she was “worried” about me. I got some intriguing news that put a smile on my face. Watching TV, I often nestled into my boyfriend’s shoulder and every now and again he squeezed my hand… And life happens to other people and I get to worry about and / or support them, too.

Then, as the bountiful icing on the beautiful cupcake of life, I got a gorgeous word dropped into my consciousness and it chimed a truth to me…

So it’s time to respair my body and soul, by a myriad of methods. This includes giving myself the gift of time and not hiding away from anything that may trigger me, but instead to choose acceptance and consider the alternatives. And to think about how to strike the right balance in my life, instead of falling off the scales.

And maybe, you and I both, will feel ‘confelicity’, (another archaic word lost to our everyday ways) – which means the ‘joy in another person’s happiness’???

PS: For more about Susie Dent and her talent for words, follow this link to a recent article in The Guardian newspaper…

2021 Out, 2022 In…

Another year in this life has been lived…

A year of love, tears, trials and triumphs.
With Covid still here, hovering, attacking, omnipresent…
And anxiety alighted, to tell me that there is danger, physically and mentally… but of what, I’m still not sure…
And yet there was also, so often, laughter, enlightenment, chatter, family, friends, sunshine, sweetness and serenity.

This previous spinster of the parish, now gained significant others – a partner and his family, as we weaved our way through new chaos and connection.
In this year there have been holidays and hell; confusion and clarity… all of life’s mixed bag and more…

And now 2022 is coming to an end, whilst another awaits…
So… for 2022 I have no demands or resolutions, but I WILL ask questions…
How should I be? How can I help me, to help you, to the greater good?

As we meet another year, I wish you faith, fearlessness and fun;
that all your positive plans come to fruition;
that you listen, to what ever your speaking soul tells you.


December is here, but I’m not ‘there’

Well, December is here…

I’ve been compiling lists and making arrangements.

Suddenly, Christmas music is blaring out of my radio.

But I’m not ‘there’ yet – the music flows pass me, hitting some other random target.

It feels like a faux, forced party of excess and expectation is suddenly being shoved at me.

Since like last weeks snow, I’m melted.

Feeling wilted and tired, but still Noel is near…

And then I hear a snug song, that somehow chimes to the rhythm of my hesitant heart.

And I smile, softly inside.

And I feel festive, in my own, weird way.

And then I’m ‘there’…

And ‘December will be magic again’…

Sparked by the unique inspiration of the wonderful ~Kate Bush~

Acceptance in the Time of Corona

I’ve chosen to acquiesce to much of what is going on in my world right now. I can’t control COVID, but there are so many other things that I can control and one of those is active acceptance.

The concept of Acceptance, if you think about it, could easily be a contradiction wrapped up in a word. As an action, it could be wimpy, waspish or even lazy, but then again, it could be the sweetest and smartest thing you could ever do for yourself.

So often when I work with my clients I find that they are fighting and resisting a situation. This be painful, as it clogs the head and heart with fighting thoughts and warring emotions. It also uses up precious time and negative energy.

I’ve been through it all too, of course… I remember one particularly protracted period where an issue – unmanaged and ignored because of its difficulty, had subsequently spiralled out of silly control.

It had been gnawing away at my consciousness and going round and round my beleaguered brain in ever decreasing circles, filling my thoughts, playing with my emotions and sapping my strength…

I had taken all the right pragmatic steps. But sometimes people and fate don’t coerce with your good intentions. Even the fact that I established some controls and attempted to move it all to a resolution, did not prevent me from being angry and dispirited. The same evil thoughts kept circling and spiralling in my head, again and again. My inner victim surfaced and it asked how it could be that I could be misunderstood and treated this way… by other individuals, by my own doing, by fate and by the Universe? It felt… so painful and so unfair…

I consciously chose not to wallow in my mental mire, nor let it lead and define me, but it was stuck subconsciously, not letting me go… So I had to seek solutions and alternatives. And at times like these, I love to replace the busy complex twistings of gut and thought, with sweet simplicity instead… I love to walk, to blow the cobwebs away – to literally move myself through whatever it is that I am working on or through.

So, at that time, I took me a walk, taking a deliberate route of change, of calm and balm. And whilst I walked, an alternative to all this mental mayhem floated into my mind… And that was – ‘acceptance’… And my walk turned into a prayer, an incantation of softly whispered words to fill my mind with a gorgeous and easy alternative – that of acceptance. So as I walked and thought, I sought and prayed for acceptance instead…

Instead of the circles and cycles of whiplash thought, instead of the bitterness and bile of argument and incrimination, I chose the silence of sweet acceptance instead…

At any time, such acceptance is a hymn, an invocation, a whispered alternative to anger. It fills my head with positive movement and upward momentum instead of the roundels of recrimination. It’s the opposite of negativity, it is synchronous and quiet; such acceptance moves me forward – instead of stalling and circling and sticking in my brain. It breaks the negative repetitiveness and consternation, and best of all, it is a simplistic swop.

And as I walked along that day, my prayer went something like this: “I accept this day; I accept the trees and the bluebells; I accept my life and what has led me to this point; I accept that I am here and now; I accept my situation; I accept my parents; I accept my decisions; I accept other’s reactions; I accept that things will change; I accept that soon this will all be unimportant; I accept the best; I accept the sunshine; I accept the opportunities to grow and to learn; I accept that I am skilled and amazing at many things; I accept that I am also a work in progress in others; I accept my work; I accept my companions; I accept the journey; I accept the blue sky; I accept myself; I accept the others. I accept

These words were blessings to me, they lifted the weight of this strange issue off my shoulders and let the thoughts fly out of my head, instead of running raggèd around it.

And as a technique it is so simple to replicate. If you are finding something difficult or unfair or just not going your way – really commit to the concept of the sweet simple acceptance of everything. Then walk, appreciate, think; accept. It is something you can do alone, or with a trusted companion. The walking somehow gives it a fantastic forward momentum.

But if taking a walk isn’t possible, then get a pen and paper and get all out on there. Decide that you are simply going to accept and find every aspect that could have led to or have influenced the situation you want to turn, until all the words have run out…

The walk of acceptance is a simple and elegant solution to being stuck in a negative spiral. So it’s time to share it. What do you say? Walk from A to B and try it out… And… Accept it!

Yours consciously… Sandra

Sandra Peachey – Coach, Author and Walking Work in Progress

PS: “Just to let you know that your book {Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life} has arrived… As a take on Tom Cruise in Jerry Mcquire – ‘you had me at page 1’. Well done. You are an amazing writer, this book should be a film and I have only read 2 letters” ~ Beverley Jones.

For the magical month of May only, the Kindle edition of Peachey Letters is reduced to just £1.99/$2.99. So grab it on Amazon now by clicking here

Love in the Time of Corona

‘Love in the Time of Corona’ is a self-promised set of missives to a world which seems to have been turned on its’ very axis. This titular tilting will inform my musings on the global pandemic called COVID-1D, AKA novel Coronavirus, with all its’ complications and implications.

The concept came to me, as all my best ideas do – fully formed, in a flash. I’ve been feeling the keen need to reach out and touch. After mulling over what way, shape or form this touch should take, I woke up this morning with the title. I have to admit though that the original credit for that must go to novelist and Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s tale of unrequited love – ‘Love in the Time of Cholera.’

7 years ago I started a blog of ‘Love Letters to Life’ – charting my musings and maunderings on how, if you look for it, you can find love in everything… So from Marquez’s concept of unrequited love to mine of all-encompassing love… Now ‘Love’ and ‘Corona’ are about to go hand in hand, as I explore the phenomena caused and created by this curious condition.  With these posts I want to go beyond coping with Corona and to learn from it, instead.

Yet ironically, I may just have been heard to say that I’m sick of the illness known as Corona. Never before have I felt so beleaguered by news, views and possible abuse of one seemingly simple subject.

For a while there, I thought it would all blow over or somehow past me. I’ve survived Swine Flu and SARS unscathed, after all…

But over the last few days the scale of the situation that this condition has caused, has dawned on me. So rather than be overwhelmed, negative or to stick my head in the sand, I have decided to do something about it…

I admit that my something is selfish. I want to cope with COVID-19, to rationalise it, and to understand how it impacts on me and the world I occupy. And in doing so, I want to reach out to you and maybe make a connection or a difference. Thank you for being here – I won’t judge the outcome, if you will spend some more time with me on the same page.

So let’s go!

The Matrix of Us

I believe that we are all somehow connected… That every single one of us is inextricably linked. I don’t know each and every one of you out there, but we are from the same deep roots in this planet we inhabit, whatever hue we are…

I know that with so many of us that we do this differently. And so often we define ourselves by our differences. And despite what I’m hippy happily writing, I’m as guilty as anyone of creating schisms with criticisms and crooning my complaints.

That is until I stop and think. Think about how I’m connected to and not divided from the world.

Look – I’m not saying that I spend my time gaily thinking about everything I have in common with, well, everyone, but that in the grand scheme of things (barring despots and demons) I have more things in common with you, than different to you.

Coronavirus is making this argument easy for me, because it is something that connects such a vast percentage of the population – the world over. We’ve all got its’ presence in our lives in common. It is affecting so much of our time, concentration and energy. We’ve experienced a range of extremes including anxiety, cancellations and revelations whilst we face a world which seems very different to what it was even a short month ago.

We all have Corona in common, so let’s remember that. Let’s remember that we are connected by it. That so many of us will be experiencing it or its influence in our lives, and the lives of those around us.

So how about a set of commitments as to how Coronavirus is going to be for me and for you?

Now is the time to:

• stand together – to acknowledge what we have in common and work from there.
• look out for each other – loved ones and strangers. Together we really are stronger.
• be honest about what we are feeling and experiencing – don’t self-isolate in your head.
• think about your role – without judgement or guilting – is it to watch or step up to the plate?

So I’ve started my list of commitments. They will grow and change and flex as the world does the same.

As for you, dear reader:

• Maybe to do this, you just need to do this for you.
• Maybe it’s your destiny to reach out.
• Maybe it’s your time to lead, distract, laugh or change.

And as for me, please help me to commit to keep my word, to keep sharing my words with you.

And that was my first blog on ‘Love in the time of Corona’…

With love to you, whatever you do.
From Sandra – author, blogger and blonde

How to be a Good Egg at Easter

Egg with heart
It’s Good Friday today, this year of 2017.

I woke up slowly, dreaming the day ahead…

Now there are things to celebrate and things to plan for. Then there are things to fret about and things to be scared of.  So to counteract them I try to smash the uncertainty – by making arrangements, tying down time and filling my thinking hours.

But still there is the unknown of the next few moments, days and years to be anxious about…

And I am anxious… The anxiety sits in my body like a tightly wound coil, right where my solar plexus used to be.  My heart was used to resting there; but now sits in the centre of the coil, constricted and beating its’ bloody rhythm, alone in the darkness…

In the everyday transactions of life I can forget the grip of this anxiety, and the hold it has – there at the centre of me, temporarily.  But always it usurps and rewinds…

But in between, there’s the doing of life.  Already I have cooked my celebration breakfast; I’ve meditated; I’ve spoken with a coaching client and had a business meeting.  Now I’m writing a blog and it isn’t even 11.00 am yet…

And I laugh at my perception that so often I’m lazy; but this anxiety drives me – it jangles through my senses, urging me on; keeping me awake and busy.  It drives me to impose structure and exert control, because fundamentally I feel that the powers that created this current craziness, can also stop it – but they are elsewhere, outside of me.

So I’m still again and thinking my thoughts.
‘Be still enough for long enough’, so it is said and the answers will come to you.
Or… instead a thousand answers may come back to flagellate and torture you…

But in the stillness I reflect on my day so far.  It’s Good Friday – a sacred day in the Christian calendar, when the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death are commemorated.  In my own life Good Friday is sacred too – my father died on this day, 31 years ago.

He didn’t have an easy death.  It was messy and ghastly.  He had a fatal mental breakdown and his mind and body conspired to give up on life.

That sudden remembrance scares me.  How long can I take this pain and this continued tight torture? Is this me now, writhing in my own anxious death throes?

No… I’m not ready to give up on life.

Instead my stubbornness to have things only the way I want them is keeping me locked within this coil of hellish anxiety.

I cannot change the fact of my father’s death, but I can evolve beyond it. I can heal it and I can choose the hope of new beginnings; because as well as death, Easter is also about resurrection – a new start and an ascension to greater things.

As a coach I was taught to distrust the concept of ‘hope’.  A hope that things will work out suggests that there is also a strong chance that they will not… This is in the sense of wanting something to be the case, rather than believing it to be so.   As a coach, lack of certainty is certainly not what I want to be giving to my clients.

But for me the fascination of language is the history and variety of the nuances of interpretation, and how these embellish my interpretation of the world; so I dig deeper into my psyche and vocabulary – then see that in history, hope is also a feeling of trust.

Now trust, yes, we coaches thrive on that word. Trust is a more implicit commitment to the fact that everything will be alright, not that it may be.  In an uncertain world though, the strength in trust is the fact that we don’t necessarily have to know how things will resolve, evolve or move on.  But there however, lies the anxious rub – I crave certainty, I want answers; but I’m not getting them right now.  It’s as if nearly every area of my life is on hold, waiting for someone else to pick up the phone and explain to me whatever is going to happen next.

God, it’s galling. It feels like an appalling waste of my time and emotions, whilst I sit here and listen to the muzac of my untidy mind, waiting for the questions to be answered.

But still life goes on.  Still I coach others.  Still I’m a killer in business meetings.  So on the surface it’s business as usual and I’m still working in my role as go to support.

But to underpin that, I need to have support, and despite the fact that I haven’t wanted to, I have felt that I have had to share my current stress.  It’s a vulnerability because I don’t want to be perceived as weak.  But I can’t hold it in.  And I can’t support others if I can’t take care of myself and show that I struggle too, and how, at this moment – I struggle mightily.

As a coach I know that this goes deep with me now.  It goes deep into my living history and along the family tree even beyond my birth, to the influences and influencers who have passed their trials and fears back along the trunk and branches, to me.

The patterns of history I had long tried to tame are coming back to torture me; so there needs to be a deeper level of knowledge and healing that has to take place.  I just know that as this happens, it is going to be one of the biggest evolutions of my life; a huge break through and a re-birth into things I can only currently glimpse or grasp at now – because I’m not simply ready for them.

So as it turns out - thisSo as it turns out – this hated, hurting time, is the time of my life.

I don’t want to live in the grip of this anxiety – which is fundamentally a fear of what happens next; so I am choosing to focus on the now.  And I do that despite the tightly wound coil in my chest or whatever negative stories my thoughts are telling me.

So this morning I sat in meditation and the mantra that came to me was this:
“Every moment I’m born into a universe of infinite possibilities.”
So I breathed the words in and spoke them with my soul, over and over…

In fact I’m reborn and renewed constantly, every second of the day.  And each new second brings with it a whole plethora of distinct and dreamed of possibilities.

And it’s Easter, heralding Spring – the cyclic and constant new start I see in every year I live on this barren and beautiful planet.

So I will share my anxiety and my vulnerability with whoever is listening, and that includes my cherished clients. I’ll admit to the world that I don’t have the answers yet.

But I also acknowledge that whilst this is painful now, I relish in the opportunity to grow and change in ways I can’t even begin to imagine and that in doing so, I allow the whole world to expand with me…

It is Easter after all. Time to commemorate and celebrate.

Time to die and be reborn.

Time to stop, rest, heal for a while.

Time to stop and smell the daffodils.

And so all I have to say now, is this:
A very Happy Easter and Birth Day to you.

Yours trustingly,
Sandra Peachey – Born Again Egg

currently have a special offer… You can buy the paperback of my ‘Love Letters to Life’ on Amazon for £11.99 or you can get an author signed copy on my website – for just £7.99 including P&P…

Featured on the BBC as well as local and national media (including Psychologies Magazine and The Lady), the book was also honoured as a Finalist in the 2015 International Book Awards.  

‘Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life’ takes the best posts from this blog, adds new content and wraps it all together in a sweet bookish structure.

It’s an easy yet satisfying read, which sees love in everything we do in life – from the big themes to the tiny, trivial minutiae of it too.

If you want to get in touch, you can contact me by clicking here…

My external plaudits include the following – being:
* The Director of LifeWork Consultancy & Coaching;
* The Author of Peachey Letters – Love Letters to Life and Co-Author of The F-Factor.
* A 2015 International Book Awards Finalist, in the Women’s Issues Category;
* The Winner of a Women Inspiring Women Award in 2013;
* Being shortlisted for Women’s Coach in the APCTC Awards 2014, also nominated in 2012 & 2013; and
* Being nominated for a Networking Mummies National Recognition Award in 2015.