Do any of these sound familiar…?

I’ve got a niggling feeling that I could be living my life more fully and be having a more powerful impact. Currently it all feels a bit…. magnolia!

I’m not particularly motivated by my current job, even though on paper it looks like I “should” be happy.

I like the organisation that I work for, but don’t feel as confident and clear as I would like about my development here.

I want to change sectors, or set up my own venture, but self-doubt and other anxieties are getting in the way.

I want to shift the dynamics in my personal relationships, but I don’t know how.

Some part of me just wants to throw it all in and head off on a big adventure for a while, or at least find time to explore other sides of myself. I hear some people do a four day work week… Who ARE these people?

I’ve been here too and I know how it feels. Using methods I have learnt from an amazing range of teachers, I’ve helped myself and other women to build lives they really want to be living.

The D.R.E.A.M.S Method

Taking inspiration from the meaning of my name, I’ve developed a framework for the three key stages of growth that I teach and the three types of methods I use across all these stages.

Three key stages of growth

Disengaging from undermining internal narratives

Revealing and Remembering our deeper vision and values

Effectively influencing others to bring about change

Three types of methods

Awareness of unhelpful habits in our mind, speech and behaviour

Moving into new ways of thinking and being

Soothing our nervous systems when fear and anxiety come up

My experience

I’ve spent 15 years doing my own transformational work to break free of limiting habits around career/life choices. I’ve learnt how to listen to my fears, guilt and self-doubt without allowing them to control me. In doing so, I’ve been able to clarify what I really do want when those voices aren’t drowning out a quieter one that whispers late at night.

I have had those moments, normally alone, where I have had to finally accept that I am not living my life. It’s been a perfectly fine life, one that I’m sure millions of women around the world, without safety, freedom and all our basics needs would be grateful to have. And I am grateful. It’s just not the life I want - sometime just not quite, others not at all.

At times this has felt like wearing clothes that don’t quite fit, or that have a slightly scratchy texture. At others, more like a gnawing feeling in my stomach. And on occasion, something has pierced through the superficial pre-occupations of my everyday mind to my heart underneath. It’s felt raw and true.

This poem by Mary Oliver did just that at some point along the way. In the words of Audre Lourde “I began to recognise a source of power within myself that comes from the knowledge that while it is most desirable not to be afraid, learning to put fear into a perspective gave me great strength.”

Teachers and guides can be found in many places - but learning to trust the one inside of you is essential.

My journey has been hugely influenced by my training for Ordination within the Triratna Buddhist Order. All the material and approaches I use with you work outside of that context.

A little example from my own life

I am really keen on getting clear about the things that we say in our heads. Fear, self-doubt, criticism, anger, all of these things will arise in our minds. If we lack awareness, or try to suppress them, they tend to maintain power over us.

I like to use creative tools - like journaling, art and role play - to become aware of and hold these thoughts, feelings and stories in a bigger container, so that we don’t act on them unconsciously.

I made this collage on a two week meditation retreat exploring love as a path to wisdom. I clearly had some anger to work with, and externalising the thoughts that were coming up in meditation in this way helped radically shift my perspective, without going on to lash out at the person I was angry with.

We can apply similar tools to thoughts and habits about work. Or anything really. You don’t need to feel you are “artistic” or “creative” to join in! It’s not about that.

The tools I draw on

You will encounter a whole bunch of things with me including: meditation, mindfulness and deep relaxation, writing/journaling, communication exercises, silence and solitude, nature-connection, art and creativity, and reflecting on the powerful words of figures like Audre Lourde, Sufi mystics and poets, and Florence & the Machine. I love a good Tarot set as a way of using images to dialogue with different parts of me.

If you’re curious and willing to experiment to find out what actually works for you, I think you’ll enjoy what I offer.

Coaching & facilitation experience

I’m an experienced workshop, course and retreat leader. Amongst other things, at the moment I co-lead a four-year study/reflective group for Buddhist women (you know who you are if you’re reading this - thank you for encouraging me to set this up) and run a weekly drop-in session for carers, alongside my full-time role as a Programme Manager for a social enterprise. I’ve been hugely privileged to be trained by stand-out teachers, including some of the team at the London Buddhist Centre.

Always engaging in my own development, I’m currently enrolled in Tara Mohr's "Playing Big Facilitator Training Programme" to help women step into their full potential.

Working in corporate and not-for-profits, I’ve led some fantastic teams with amazing women. Ensuring their work and volunteering is enabling them to achieve whatever they want for themselves is part of my DNA.

I’ve also spent plenty of time developing team and organisational strategies, drawing out collective vision and values through iterative, collaborative processes.

My own career pathway

I was the first person from my working class school to go to the University of Cambridge. I’ve worked as a Monitoring and Evaluation Manager for a women’s rights charity in India (2013, see photo), a consultant to international businesses on ethical supply chains, a frontline worker in social housing, in social media and events for Buddhist charities, and now as a Programme Manager, leading a not-for-profit’s strategy and operations to tackle fuel poverty in the UK.

At different stages, I’ve done crazy hours, been on Universal Credit as I recovered from burn out, had 18 months off work completely to explore my spiritual life and I’ve worked part-time as well.

“Career pathway” sounds like you could “follow the yellow brick road”. This has more felt like carving my way through a brambly wood at times!

Solitude, wilderness and retreats

Spending time away from the rat race has been a big part of my own process. That’s why I’ve created Journey to the Deep with a guided solo retreat at its heart. Highlights in my own life have included a five-month residential study/reflective course, hiking in New Zealand on my own for three weeks, three solitary retreats, a one month silent meditation camping retreat and, in total, I’ve been on over 30 weeks of retreats at least a week long each.

These have mostly been in a Buddhist context, so I’ve wanted to take some of the essence of being on one and integrate it into a process around work.

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