All Posts by Sharon

musical hearts - freeing up lockdown blues

The Lockdown Blues

Lockdown 2 is upon us!

Hang on in there again, but while you do, take the weight off, the frustration out and bring the light in and free up your lockdown blues!

The sighs were palpable when a new lockdown was announced last week...


The last lockdown had an air of camaraderie as we applauded the health professionals and the kids painted their rainbows from behind closed doors. We were the other side of Christmas and the hope of a summer and a decline in cases was enough to keep us motivated. 


I imagine that there will continue to be solidarity during lockdown 2, but maybe the lap blankets will feel a little heavier and the loneliness that little bit more suffocating as we pine for our ‘normal’ Christmas festivities that have created the rhythm of our yearly cycles since we were born. The hope of being able to control the rise of cases before Christmas is getting everybody singing from the same hymn sheet.

blue music background to depict freeing the lockdown blues

Yes, the lockdown blues could definitely become the genre of music that defines these times, but we don’t need to be dominated by this particular 12 bar repetitive structure. We are able to break free of the sultry dominant seventh blues notes and lighten the way by changing our rhythm!

  • The lockdown blues has a trance like rhythm - Rather than searching for entertaining distractions, balance things by being in the present moment and check in with your day to day routines and movements. Can you lighten the way you move around the house, be more gentle with how you place things, organize space and prepare your meals or your own self-care activities? Movement of the body helps the mind to feel more in harmony and supports you to manage anxiety.

  • The lockdown blues is a simple repetitive call and response type theme. Rather than circulating the ‘bad news’ the worries, the overwhelming and disheartening stories that we hear on the news and social media, can we observe from presence and communicate with others on our devices with optimism and love so that we inspire a more loving connection between us? A beautiful thought even  though we cannot connect physically. 
  • The lockdown blues has a particular scale that expresses raw emotional weight. Rather than focusing on the fear, overwhelm, anxiety and loneliness, Can we lighten that weight? Can we perhaps let go of the ideals and expectations that we impose, not only on one another, but also on society and the way we’ve ‘always’ done things? Relationships, work and family can all be under extreme pressure so breaking free of ‘shoulds’ for example can be very liberating.

Freeing-up the lockdown blues means being responsive to change. It means saying yes to what isn’t ‘normal’ and stepping into a new rhythm as a pioneer of commitment and courage. It means being humble enough to know that you’re not in control of everything and feeling the liberation of surrendering to what is playing out whilst keeping connection with yourself. 

Freeing up the lockdown blues means freeing-up yourself from the so called 'normal' that we think is the only way and realizing that there is something deeper within you that can never be locked down. Understanding that there is a source of energy that has nothing to do with ideals such as Christmas, which is continuously communicating when we are still, present and open to the rhythm and song that is offered. 

What do we take as normal?

  • Normal is drinking alcohol and overeating processed foods, excess sugar, and caffeine rich drinks.
  • Normal is stressing about all the presents, extra food, party bookings and chaotic social life that occurs this time of year.
  • Normal is allowing the bullying and manipulation of family members who are supposed to be the people we love.
  • Normal is repetitive bell chiming effects in monotonous and meaningless songs that invade our ears and minds in every supermarket, shop, TV and radio show keeping us from any possibility of self-awareness or balance.

Is this the only 'normal' we really want?

lockdown Christmas

You may think I’m being a killjoy, but I’ll let you into a secret...

I love Christmas. I love the Christmas lunch that I share with my gorgeous family and I know that I probably won’t be doing that this year as I live in another country. 

But I also want to be free from the expectations, the attachment to that particular day or time of year. Instead I'm emphasizing the love I have in my heart for them and for others at any time of year. 


Love cannot be bound up or locked down inside one family - it can be concentrated or emphasized on certain people who you have a purpose to be with, but it doesn’t mean your love is contained to those people. 
Your love is the observation and not the judgement, it's the all encompassing expression of who you are in a present moment that is constantly changing..

 


Let’s change the rhythm of the lockdown blues and get celebrating! 

  • Free-up the rhythm - walk your walk with the sassy gorgeousness of your whole being in presence.
  • Free-up the response - hear the call of your heart and trust it.
  • Free-up the emotional weight - use your voice to bring you back to your body and out of your headspace - use your voice to feel the vibrations of love that are embedded in every cell of your whole body instrument!

Want to know how to change your rhythm and free-up lockdown blues? 

I am helping big-hearted 'Lockdowners' to be joyfully resilient so they can come out the other side, having danced in the face of adversity, with vitality and vigour

Book a free 'Liberation call' now!

Sharon is a transformational expression coach. Her work focuses on supporting the process of letting go of the blocks that hold back authentic expression and using the voice as a way to balance body, mind, spirit and soul. She works with business owners to help their visibility online and volunteers with young adults to develop confidence

 

 

Coaching for transformational changes

What is the True Voice of a Soulful Business?

What is the true voice of a soulful business?

What is a soulful business?

What makes a voice true?

And....

How do they come together to create a soulful expression that feels purposeful and that you feel passionate about?

Girl with butterflies in her hands - transformational coaching

Running your own business is freeing, fulfilling and bloody hard work but it’s worth every moment. It’s part of your expression and evolves as you evolve. It reflects your values and is the propeller of purpose.

But - this is only the case if it feels authentic to you, because;

your true voice = your authentic self = your soul!

What is a soulful business then? It's a business that not only fills you with joy and defines your purpose, it also attracts the right clients to you because they feel the truth and power of that energy and they trust your true voice and resonate with it!

If you feel like you're struggling uphill with a yoke around your neck pulling a cart full of dead wood, it may mean that you're missing that soulful element - I empathise, it's what made me so close to giving it all up...

I felt a great excitement when I decided to start my own business.

I was working a 40 hour week job as a HR consultant and director of a business development and support company at that time. That job taught me loads and gave me the experience and confidence I needed to do what I do today, but I did feel like a fish out of water and quite unfulfilled. 

I wanted to use my creativity and contribute in a way that meant something to me and really served others. I needed purpose and my soul was pounding at the walls of my heart to get me to listen.

Sharon Wright

A creative dream...

I’ve always been creative. The first time I sat at a piano I was 6 years old and I already knew how to plonk out a melody. I loved to sing too and by the age of 20 I was teaching others and soon began to write songs, poems and tour with bands. 

When I began my business, I wrote blogs and enjoyed the design and content creation. I was in my element with all of the creative tasks I had. But when it came to knowing what I was really offering, who I was supporting and what purpose my business had, I was lost - I did everything the wrong way around.

 

And that’s when things got difficult, over complicated, overwhelming and messy.
a mule under the yoke depicting the struggling in life

As well as juggling a full time job with building my own website, setting myself up on social media platforms and training to be a transformational coach, which was my chosen online business, I was raising two teenage daughters and had the responsibility of being the breadwinner due to my husband having been made redundant - Now that’s what I call my yoke! 

But, the reason I called it a yoke is because I couldn’t see the purpose. I couldn’t see the symphony behind the chaos. I had blocked out my connection to soul because I was trying to create things on my terms and for my own gratification.

Soul doesn't work like that...
Sacred Female

You have to listen to connect with soul. You have to be still to hear, still to connect and still to receive. 

I wasn’t allowing any space for that. I was time bound and chained. Everything was about getting things done and being driven to finish some imaginary goal line which would be this successful business and me being able to break free of that yoke.

Where was the purpose?

What I learned

It’s no mystery to me why things weren’t working out the way I’d planned, because behind that plan was a Dr. Evil and mini-me sitting in my head creating intricate strategies for self-entertainment and fulfillment.   

My passion for coaching and the whole reason that I wanted the business in the first place (remember that interaction and wanting to serve others?) had faded and been replaced with a race to a 6 figure finish line and escaping a 9-5. I wasn’t even really motivated by money! Had I sold my soul to some diabolic craving for success? 

I knew I had to reconnect and start again. The choice was there - that simple choice red pill - blue pill...

I chose to be real - I chose to wake up - I chose to reconnect to me.

 

What is a soulful business?  Well it's the business that is another soulful expression of your life. 

I now help other women to come back to their true selves so that they can claim their soulful business and feel passionate about it

A final note. Escaping is never a good plan. There are too many guards, the fence is often difficult to clamber over and the other side is fraught with problems - you’ll still be in hiding and be on the run for your whole life. If you find yourself in a situation that feels inhibitive, stop - go within - reconnect to you - await the voice of your own soul and make love with every movement and every expression. That is the true voice that will always, always be the  successful alchemy of your reality - that is where abundance lies.

a metal fence keeping you from freedom

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ariel view of market place by Pexels from Pixabay

Living From Your Own Business in 5 Easy Steps

Living from your own business would be a dream come true! 

Not only would it be a fulfilling and enriching experience that creates purpose in your own life, it would give you the freedom to express your creativity into something that contributes to society

But, you also need to live from it… 

The transition into actually earning a living from your own business can be overwhelming, time consuming, scary and risky. 

Here we look at 5 steps that can help you to approach this change positively and confidently so that you can meet the challenge, hit the ground running and perpetuate a continual flow moving forward.
black puppy

Step 1 - Absolute Faith

Self-doubt is the seed of failure

Living from your own business allows you to be free to do what you're passionate about and to manage your time and your space your way - 

However - 

Does it feel risky to leave the safety of a full time job?

Confidence and absolute faith are difficult to summon when you are beginning something new. We all lack confidence the first time we put skis on or sit on a horse and it takes time to master your fear, but worrying  about success or failure, is the worst way you can begin your venture. 

A good way to address self-doubt is to be observant and self-aware without being critical or judgmental of yourself. It’s normal to lack confidence but doubting yourself is giving your power away rather than claiming who you are and what you can contribute.

Be aware of the expectations and conditions you have and focus your attention and energy into moving forward without attachment to them. Embrace the possibility of success and realise that failure is non existent because you can always just get up, dust yourself down and go again. 

Should I give up my job to start my own business?
woman walking towards crossroads - choice


We live in uncertain times. Redundancy is becoming more widespread, people are changing jobs more frequently. It feels a bit wobbly underneath our feet right now but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Is any job really safe right now?

A warm fire on a cold night is hard to walk away from, but eventually you need to get up and do something. You don’t evolve from comfort, rather you evolve from adapting to new environments, to navigating new challenges and learning from new relationships.  

Losing a job can always open the door of opportunity and be a catalyst for change and allow you to focus all of your energy on your business. 

However, if you aren’t in that position, the decision to leave your 9-5 job and go full time with your own business is a very personal one. 

Can I afford it?

You may be feeling exhausted and unfulfilled in your 9-5 job and eager to do something new, but starting a business with a yoke of financial burden and responsibility is stressful so make sure you have the financial stability to be able to leave your job. A business requires all your focus and energy and can take some time to blossom so you’ll need to go into it with a healthy mindset and a relaxed body. 

A budget planner can be useful. You can use it to be clear on your monthly outgoings and how much you need to sell each month to survive. You may prefer to stay in your job while you start your business or look for part-time work until you feel more secure.

Step 2 - Question Time

a curious orangutang

What is your big idea and why do you want to do it?

You want to be living from your own business so you need to be clear on what you want to do and why... 

You probably already have a business idea and it may be determined by the skills and experience you have acquired. Whether you’re selling a product or service, there is a reason why it’s that particular product and service and an energetic investment or alignment to it. 

Knowing why you want to do what you do is a great exercise and I recommend that you meditate and really observe what comes up for you. Looking at how your business contributes to society can help you to see the bigger purpose and how your core values and strengths support that purpose. This gives you energy and confidence and gets you rolling!

What passions, skills and experience do you have in life and how might they come together in your business offer?

Your skills and experience are going to define what you do, how you do it and why you offer what you do.

Your passion is what lights you up, what you’re interested in and enjoy doing and this is also a very important consideration in the above question. 

You may decide to combine your skills in a way that offers something unique and also provides valuable strategies and services for your clients. For example;  

I’m passionate about people, self-development, singing, writing and holistic wellness. I studied naturopathy, music, transformational coaching and have been a vocal coach for over 25 years. I am a free-lance copywriter, and I’ve worked as a HR manager and consultant, as well as director of a business consultancy and back office support company.  

How does this all come together?

My skills, experience and passions are combined in a unique way to support women to discover their authentic voice and how it is expressed in their business to develop presentation skills and strategic content creation that is creative and compelling. 

What skills have you acquired, what jobs have you done and what are you naturally good at that can be combined into your unique offer, add value and help you to feel passionate about your business? That’s what will position you as the expert in your particular business niche.

Step 3 - A Reality Check

virtual reality

You may feel a bit more confident about what your business will look like, the value that you offer your clients and the skills, strengths, values and experience that you can bring, but is it something that people need? Will they want to part with their money to work with you?

Living from your own business means attracting clients who want to work with you. There’s no business without clients! 

Research is a great way to find out if you’re on the right track. You can find out how many people are Googling the product or the service that you’re offering by checking out the trends (Google Trend is a good first step in this direction). If it’s a popular market place such as accounting and bookkeeping, it’s obviously something that people will always need, but it may be a harder job to stand out in the crowd (we’ll get to that part in the next step) If it is genealogy you’re into, it may be a smaller marketplace but easier to get noticed.

  • Be clear on which market you serve (finance, convenience living, wellness, business support, relationships etc.
  • Then define your niche within that market place (relationship counselling for recently divorced single mothers for example)
  • Then define your unique angle within that niche (hormone balancing bespoke organic and biodynamic essential oils for premenopausal women)
one yellow tulip - stand out in the crowd

Your business model will also be a factor to consider.

It's harder to get noticed online so you need to be very specific with your messaging in order to stand out from the crowd.

Ask people for help!

It’s important to understand what problem you are solving for people.

Write a post on your favourite social media platform and ask people who may be interested in your particular product or service if they would be open to a 15 minute chat with you. Then you can craft some questions that will help you to be clear on what their issues are and what solutions they are looking for. This will help you to define how your particular programme or product may solve that issue or support them going forward and give you valuable insight into what your client needs.

Step 4 - Know your client

Now that you're clearer on who your ideal client is and what they struggle with, it’s time to define your ideal client in a way that will really help you to nurture a relationship with them so that you can offer a valuable solution and make that all important sale! 

So, who is your ideal client?

I may seem a bit of a silly exercise, but I can assure you that being specific is the best way to create a foundation from which all of your content will be based on. 

Many business coaches talk about creating an avatar, however, when I think of that word I remember creating an avatar on my Wii game and although it was very amusing, I tend to think of avatars as not being real.

Your client is real.

Imagine the life of a real person and create this person as though they really exist (because they do)

  • Give them a name and address to make them real for you.
  • Remember that your client must be willing and able to work with you so what is their financial position and where do they work?
  • If you’re in the relationship market, their marital status and levels of intimacy may be important.

I’m not going to list everything that makes up a person's life, but pay attention to detail and think about geographics, demographics, psychographics and any graphics that may be relevant in your line of business i.e. if you’re in IT, technographics may be important.

This person will not be the only type of client your business exists for, but it helps you to know how to communicate your products and services to one person. The ideal client is the bulls-eye on a target, but as long as your arrow hits the board, you’re in business!

Finally Step 5 - Expression & Attention

hobby - art waiting to happen - it needs you!

How well you communicate to the person described in the last step will be the difference between making a living from your own business and just having a hobby. 

As I mentioned before, to stand out online you need index interruptus - (made up from the latin equivalent of stop scrolling!

You won’t obtain index interruptus if you market yourself as a life coach. Nobody really knows what a life coach can help them with and the words that coaches use, such as imposter syndrome and limiting beliefs, generally tend to confuse and turn potential clients off.

If you are a coach with a background in finance, you may call yourself a wealth coach and decide to help start-ups to increase their profit margin. That is more defined, but who is the customer, what language does he or she use and how can you get in front of them? This is why the research step is so valuable. Your background in finance was filled with jargon, but your client may just want to hear how he or she can afford a new member of staff.

If your business is selling pretty hand-designed silk scarves, you may consider that to be an easy sell, but if I look on Google for silk scarves, I may not find you. 

As a 50+ woman who is a little insecure about my neck line getting a bit wrinkly, I may find you if you've written a blog about the insecurities that 50+ women have and how we need to embrace and love our bodies in all stages of life. Of course, you have a call to action in that blog which gives the answer to a woman’s neckline concerns - how to look beautiful and elegant as well as enjoying the silky sensation of a unique hand painted scarf!

Be the Heart-Full Voice of Your Business

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live concert

Don’t Throw The Voice To The Lions!

Roman Amphitheatre

I shall never forget my audition for 'The Voice.' That awful moment when the judges asked me to step forward from a line of 10 professional singers and sing my chosen song. I can only liken it to facing lions in a Roman circus,  and believe me, I’m no gladiator nor am I a martyr!

I cannot tell a tale of courage and triumph. Just one of the shaky knees, hands, voice and eventually hyperventilation and a completely blank mind, that resulted in frustration and  shame.

The lions would win after all!

This is a picture of my Daughter Clara singing at college (BIMM)who did get through to the knock-out round of The Voice - I will always be in awe of her courage!

Clara Hurtado

You'll be pleased to know that I escaped with my life but not with my dignity. The thing is, I already knew I could sing well, so what on earth allowed so much self-doubt to enter my body and literally asphyxiate me?

This event happened about 12 years ago when I decided to be brave and audition for a place on The Voice (back then on the BBC).

Wondering why I put myself through it has been quite a journey in itself.  I was a bit in awe of the people who do get on these shows - their courage and talent is amazing. This blog is not criticising the show or the contestants, but....

What led me to do it?

Was it a need to test myself, to get validation and recognition or was it a long standing dream that I would sing on a big stage in front of millions of people and be adored?  I think perhaps it may have been a bit of all of the above. Humiliation never crossed my mind when I was filling out the form to apply.

The competition spurred by this type of TV talent show such as The Voice or the X-Factor may be fun, but can they actually harm our psyche with regards to the relationship we have with our own voices, and with ourselves?

It's great to listen to talented singers, just as it is great to watch an experienced carpenter or be taught by a dedicated teacher. Learned skills and natural talents can inspire us, but we tend to compare, and that is not healthy.
Anyone can learn to sing just like anyone can learn to play tennis, but not everyone will go to Wimbledon. We can still enjoy the game without comparing. Your own voice is expressed in a unique way that cannot ever be measured against another because your voice is more than a skill, it is the expression of who you are and the first step to loving that expression is to stop comparing it! 

Back to my story..

After queuing, sitting, fiddling, listening, observing and going over my lyrics a 1000 times, my name, along with about 10 other people, was called out. We all inched our way along a corridor while exchanging nervous pleasantries from beneath a rather primeval 'sizing up' of our opponents. A bit like polite gladiators. 

We all entered the arena together. The lions were released and each one of us stepped forward in turn to win the day....
The voice from your soul

I look back at this memory with a smile. It is a story of courage, humility and vulnerability. I learned a valuable lesson about my own self-acceptance and got a clear look into the dark eyes of my own fear of rejection. 

I cannot say whether I would be any different in the same situation today. Sometimes my mind throws scenarios at me where I step forward and sing clearly with my whole body and soul. In this dream, the lions cower and the crowd cheer and throw up their arms (and thumbs) littering the arena with flowers.

However, these dreams  don’t define my sense of worth anymore. They are dreams pertaining to a past of constant comparison, of feeling less, not good enough and of seeking approval, acceptance and love from others because I could not feel it within myself.

The voice cannot be compared or judged because each voice is as unique and beautiful as you are.  My voice expresses who I am. It supports other people to find the love within themselves and it is the expression of my purpose in this life. No TV show can understand that richness. It just judges a superficial image of your voice, rather like a photo of your external physique.

What relationship do you have with your voice? Are you perhaps judging it or comparing it?


We carry our values, our creativity, our essence and our purpose in our voices. If we doubt it, so will others. Our voice is a part of us, but it carries the same vibration as the rest of the parts that make up our whole expression. Falling in love with your voice will get everyone else falling in love with it.

I work with small business owners who often underestimate the power that their own true voice (physically and metaphorically) can have on the growth of their business.  Your expression attracts the clients or customers that want to work with you and buy from you because people buy from people. It just blows the whole idea of competition into the water! 

You're expression is your truth, the vibration that attracts and connects.

So never believe that you have to queue up for an audition and perform amazing vocal runs with your voice. In the same way, you needn't feel that you have to have a hundred certificates on your wall to make you worthy because you are you - a unique star that shines brightly when you focus on being yourself in your entirety, in your fullness and beautiful your power. Your voice will express all of that if you allow it to.

The voice you have is the voice of your expression - take it into the world and live your purpose fully!

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a humming bird symbolizing an anxious and sleepless night

How to Deal With an Anxious and Sleepless Night

How to deal with an Anxious & Sleepless Night

I got really anxious last night and sleep was like a hummingbird, tempting me with it's  colourful dreamscape expression, but darting out of the way every time I tried to catch it. Eek, I thought, I'm in for an anxious and sleepless night!

It was about 28 degrees outside and although I had a fan on, it's gentle droning and cool caress, usually hypnotic and beckoning me into the cradle of my sub-concious mind, was not working. My body felt itchy, my legs restless and my mind full of radio static desperately trying to find a station to tune into!

I know that the first domino that led to a chain reaction of tension culminating in this uncomfortable and frustrating  unsettlement had fallen earlier on.  It's very often something earlier in the day that triggers an anxious and sleepless night, so I followed my movements back in time.

It had been an argument, a disagreement and a reaction that felt like the kind of reaction that a toddler might have if someone were to knock over his or her building block tower. But, surely there was something deeper - the last straw? What was it?

Then it hit me.

The reason I'd had the argument was due to the fact that I'd been stressed due to some emails that I needed to get out on time.

Deadlines always cause me stress because I'm one of those people who are worried about getting it right and not making mistakes - It comes from way back in my childhood. I can't bear the thought of something being late or making a mistake. (I'm working on it!)

Lying in my bed, I felt that sinking feeling in my gut when I'm overwhelmed. The mind radio came on with it's dire messages - you were horrible - you should have said this, you should have said that - blah blah - and you think that you're evolving and becoming a better person?? It's hopeless you may as well give up!

I was  stuck in my mind and far away from being present and connected with the love that I know I am.  I felt an overwhelming feeling of sadness and it was so difficult to turn the anxiety off so I could get to sleep. 



Life can be overwhelming & anxiety is ready to pounce....

An anxious and sleepless night is often the result of being too much in your head too near to bedtime. You try to work things out by thinking and trying to work things out when your mind and body need to relax.  The thing is, you've always had to use your head to solve all of your issues (it's the way we're parented and schooled) nobody ever taught you that your kidneys provide you with energy up until around 5pm and then if you need a lot of mental energy after that time, you're most likely running on adrenaline. I don't remember any lessons at school that told us that our mind is in every cell of our body and that we can align the mind to the body so that we rest more easily.

So, when you can't work things out and it feels like you're failing, you can go the route of using your brain (not good for sleeping), or you can surrender to the body. 

It takes practice and consistency, but you can choose!



The strategies

But, I did get to sleep. Yes, a happy ending to this particular day, however, one win gives you confidence and before you know it, you trust your ability to settle. The best thing is, the more you trust, the more you surrender-  now that is garlic to the vampire of anxiety.

Want to know what helped me?

Before I speak of strategies, the first thing is awareness.  It's good to be conscious of when the first reaction begins! So presence during your day is very important - check in with your movements and your body often during the day.

I was  frustrated and irritable. I became more racy as the adrenaline invaded my body and I felt the need to have a siesta after lunch which I fought against.

The self-caring thing to do is to listen to your body and rest when you need to. This question of who is right or wrong in an argument, what needs planning or what might happen next week,  is not important, but it can get so huge in your head when it gathers momentum. Try to keep things lighter after 5pm.

I read some wise philosophy. This helps you to be aware and approach situations with wisdom. You recognise the truth in what you read which can be anything from a quote, a paragraph or a few chapters. It's lovely to go to bed with a feeling that there is more to life than your issues in the grand scheme of things.

Meditate - I meditate regularly and it's extremely affective to quiet the mind. I have to admit that in this particular instance, it wasn't as effective as it could have been - it didn't get me off to sleep, however it was a necessary step in the process. This may have been more effective with some relaxing essential oils in a diffuser or with a relaxing scented candle during the meditation.

What did work? The final tender touch that got me over the line and into the most beautiful and important part of the 24 hour cycle was my own voice.

I began with a hum (actually pronounced the word hum. I brought it from my whole body and focused in on the vibration of the sound. I did this about five times on different notes to feel the difference.  Then I put my hands over my heart and sang the ahhh vowel (as in car) gently but strongly bringing my whole body into that sound with all of the tenderness I could muster. I experimented with some other vowels and pitches and then I stopped.

All the tension had disappeared. I turned over and surrendered to sleep.

Sweet dreams 🙂


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two hands holding the sunset

Managing Anxiety When You Have to Say No

Sometimes saying no can be our biggest challenge - how do you manage anxiety?

An anxious woman

Photo by Gary Ross from Pixabay

We all get anxious at times, specially when we feel uncomfortable, out of our depth or uncertain of our ability to deal with a particular challenge, but when it becomes so huge that it causes a complete meltdown, it’s usually too late to do much about it other than survive the consequences that affect both your physical and mental health. Managing anxiety when you have to say no is not so much about finding a way to stop anxiety but rather a way of being prepared to face the inevitable discomfort that saying no can cause.

Conflict aversion

Do you really have trouble saying no or even telling someone the truth when you know that it will cause a defensive reaction?

Avoidance, escape, procrastination, ignoring the situation, and down playing your own feelings and ability are just some of the ways to get out of having to deal with conflict, but why do we fear it so much?

Let’s imagine you have a boss who asks you to work an hour later everyday. You agreed and were fine about that, but after three weeks of the same, you’re tired of getting home too late - you never have time to go to the gym. But she scares you and the organization's culture is somewhat competitive. How do you communicate this to her - would managing your anxiety in this scenario seem impossible?

As this is a work example I will add another to make it more general. You have a neighbour who you have a great relationship with but she has asked you to look after her dog while she’s on holiday.You’re not unkind, you normally love to help out, but this is the third time that you’ve looked after her dog. It’s a dog that's rather hard to control and he pulls, is rather aggressive with other dogs and you just don’t feel a bond with him that would otherwise make this a pleasure rather than a chore. 

How can you manage anxiety when you have to say no?

An opportunity for growth

These two typical examples may be different to your experience, no doubt you can relate and  sense the level of anxiety that would ensue. You may have already created a perfect escape plan with a whole backstory in your head that will mean maintaining your favour with the person. But at what cost?  

Every example such as those above make wonderful opportunities to grow as a person and to end the dark reign that anxiety imposes on your life once and for all.

Once you stand up to the dragon of anxiety, you will get a little braver each time and soon people will respect that imposing, controlling, manipulative or bullying behaviour just won’t work with you. Your relationships with others will improve.

Taking action is your choice

If this sounds like another ideal to add to the archived list that already awaits your attention, you’re not alone and that’s absolutely normal. It’s unrealistic to believe that you can suddenly start saying no assertively without feeling guilt, uncertainty, self-doubt or even panic. You identify yourself with someone who is willing to say yes, a positive, helpful and kind person and saying no feels pretty alien. So the first step is to appreciate your willingness to say yes. You are a positive person with a kind heart who will often go the extra mile. The next step is to let go of the attachment to being that kind of person. Accept yourself for a person who can say no too.

Saying yes when you feel like saying no is inauthentic, anti-evolutionary and it’s giving away your power but worse, it makes you feel bad about yourself and that keeps the game alive.

By being courageous and expressing yourself as an equal, you claim yourself and this is an empowering choice that begins with you, and, like all change you wish to see in your life, if you don’t take the steps to do it, it just ain’t gonna happen.

Tenderly Is How

Managing anxiety when you have to say no is easier when you add the tender touch. Any action you take, make it tender towards yourself.

Anxiety protects you, it makes you cautious and that can save your life, but it becomes dangerous to your health if it’s something that occurs often and results in a constant state of stress. There are a plethora of negative consequences of stress that affect your mental and physical well-being, so tenderness is the first step towards a more self-loving approach that will offset or balance this.

Here are some ways to manage anxiety when you have to say no:

  • Increasing your self-awareness through meditation is a great strategy to reconnect to a space within you that feels more harmonious and able to deal with the challenges that life presents.  The more you connect to that space the more trust you will have in your ability to manage anxiety. There are so many distractions in life and so much to take care of that mental energy is often a lot louder and more imposing than it should be. Harmony is a vital foundation of managing anxiety. 
  • Colour code your emotional state. Once you’ve become a little more self-aware of how your body communicates, you can begin to identify your emotional states by colour coding them. For example:

    BLUE - no anxiety at all (total relaxation) 

    GREEN -  slight agitation

    YELLOW - mental overload or mind gremlins sabotaging your self-esteem

    ORANGE - feeling really anxious along with the tell tale physical symptoms such as butterflies, nausea, sweaty palms, palpitations etc. 

    RED - total meltdown -  Going blank, crying, storming out of a meeting or hitting someone! 

    The colours are examples and you may feel that other colours would better depict these emotions. The emotions and consequences themselves are also very personal, but for everybody, the closer you are to blue, obviously the better. If you feel you are in yellow, you can make a conscious effort to take time out, breathe, come back to your body and assess what is happening, you are much more likely to be able to say no in a calm and assertive manner which will probably not cause the reaction you imagined, but, if it does, you´re more likely to be able to handle that reaction and respond to it in a serene and dignified way.  


  • I would like to add the importance of tenderness towards yourself. To not beat yourself up when you feel that you can’t say no. To not feel useless because you have to do something that you didn’t want to do. Just recognise what’s happened and what you are choosing this time around. You will get another opportunity and you will be that little more aware the next time.  Appreciate your efforts, dust yourself down and shake it off. Say whoops and carry on.


  • Appreciation and self-love. This step is similar to the previous one, but more related to when you do say no. It’s likely to be an anxious moment and anxiety feels horrible so all of your senses are saying turn away, escape to safety! but safety only promises temporary respite. 



All encompassing self-love - The antidote to anxiety

self-love versus anxiety

It's inspiring to see how many courageous women now stand up to bullies. The Jeffrey Epstein and Harvey Weinsteins of this world have had their day thanks to that courage. Your situation may seem small in comparison or it may be of the same ilk, it doesn’t matter because it comes from the same energy source. Whether it’s not being able to say no to your daughter leaving her dirty washing for you to collect every day or saying no to the advances of somebody you have absolutely no interest in, it causes anxiety and anxiety feels the same in everyone’s body.  


How you react to that anxiety and how long it sticks around is what changes.

So, every time you do say no appreciate and celebrate that decision. Don’t worry about whether it was the right thing to say (feeling right or wrong is another blog!!) You did it, you were brave and you put your own needs first. That’s the beginning of honouring yourself more and it leads to self-love.  Self-love is an antidote to anxiety and the more you focus your attention there, the more it expands.  The wonderful thing about love is that it doesn’t care who it’s directed at, or who its focus is, it just expands and encompasses everything around you the more you experience it.  

If you feel like a victim and there is a perpetrator, it's so much harder to manage anxiety when you have to say no, but when you are self-loving you don’t feel like a victim, you become empowered and the perpetrator isn’t seen as the enemy, rather you find yourself being able to step back and see the bigger picture, separating the person from their behaviour.  I bet you can deal with behaviour better than you can deal with a person - it already feels less scary!

You're not alone

Feeling confident and heard

If you are having trouble saying no and the consequences are causing you a lot of stress, please don't suffer in silence. I'm easily contactable (go to contact me at the top of this page) There is also an online course called From Anxiety to Harmony, if anxiety is causing much disharmony in your life.

However, I hope this blog was useful to begin a conscious way to manage anxiety when you have to say no. If you struggle to say no, you can download a free e-guide that comes with audio exercises that help you to reconnect more to your body and become  aware of how to manage your anxiety using your own voice. It’s called Be Brave, Be Heard & Shine Bright - please click below and I'll send you your free copy.

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Sign up to get your free eGuide & somatic voice exercises, Be Brave, Be Heard & Shine Bright!

solidarity during crisis - Gorgeous Hearts Wellness coaching

Coronavirus Wellness Coaching Support

The Covid 19 virus is threatening to change our lifestyles dramatically, at least for the next few months, it's important to focus on what we can do to support ourselves and others rather than falling prey to the far more dangerous virus, anxiety.  Coronavirus wellness coaching support is aimed at all those who are feeling overwhelmed at this time.

Coronavirus - Wellness Coaching Support

Crazy how such a tiny little invader can bring us all to the brink of insanity! This blog, however, is not focusing on information regarding the virus nor the behaviours or ideology around it - there are enough of those.  As a wellness coach I felt like sharing ways that we can support ourselves and others during this time without totally glossing over what is here to expose a way of living that is not in helping us to feel harmony.

Coronavirus wellness coaching support that reduces anxiety 

My daughters are in their 20's so I get their perspective.  They don't fear the virus for themselves because it is unlikely to affect them physically.  What they are concerned about is the financial impact of having to be off work for a couple of weeks, even if they have, or live with someone, who just has a mild cough. Statutory sick pay doesn't cover their rent let alone their bills and food.  Financial worries are probably affecting the majority right now.  Added to this is the fear of passing the virus onto the mothers, fathers and grandparents of their friends who may be more vulnerable. Businesses are anxious about how they will stay afloat as their cash flows dwindle. It's not my case, but I can really empathise with those who are worried about being exposed to the virus due to their age or health issues that could complicate matters. Yes there are many reasons right now to be anxious - however...... 

Anxiety causes more illness than the virus itself and the media is certainly giving us our daily dose to stoke that fire.  What this exposes right now is that anxiety has become a constant in our lives. It seems like humanity always has a reason to fear something. Fear is causing more havoc, separation and self-interest and it is destroying reason. 

Can we just put the breaks on fear for a moment? All it takes is a choice.  Fear is energy - we can align or choose not to align. Simple - not so easy I understand - I'm talking to myself here as much as I am sharing. It can however, be easier when we add a very special ingredient - love.

So, what's my take?

  • First and foremost you know the answer to this within you, so trust that you've got this.  You have plenty of experience of worrying and being fearful - when did it ever change anything? I don't condone burying feelings or emotions either - all this is happening for a reason so observe rather than absorb. When you focus on worry, it becomes the air you breathe, your expression and your actions and consequences. Be curious about what is happening and take responsibility for your feelings and let's collectively put a stop to the spread of the virus of anxiety.
  • Use this time wisely to prepare your body and to take care of it.  You may be young and healthy and not at risk, but true wellness does not need a coffee in the morning to help it to function, it does not feel exhausted at the end of the day nor anxious and reactive to the smallest problem or sign of discomfort. True wellness is feeling vitality and joy. It is having  the energy to take care of yourself and others. A healthy diet and getting quality sleep are important steps to maintain harmony amidst the chaos.  
  •  Appreciate yourself and focus on your strengths.This means connecting deeply to the tenderness and care that is within you rather than focusing on what's going on outside.  Granted you need to keep abreast of what's going on in the world around you, but scrolling down news feeds can be addictive and depressing. Be honest about the percentage of time that you are focusing on sensationalist information and honour the time you need to be still.  Spend some time instead contacting other people online and having conversations that are supportive and uplifting. Listen to each other and share the love.  Love is a vaccine for the anxiety virus.
  • Get some support if you feel overwhelmed. It's not a sin to feel fear or anxiety - it is a very natural reaction, but learning to respond from your wisdom is going to help immensely. I am offering very affordable coaching right now because I truly want to support others. I offer free coaching to those who have financial problems so there is no excuse to feel alone. See at the bottom of this page for more information.

Coronavirus wellness coaching support for who?

Life can sometimes get very heavy, for us as individuals, or as a collective.  Human beings always need interaction with each other, support, to be able to share, to love and to care, but when dark times are upon us, it is a necessity that is as vital as the food we eat.  Just to have somebody who will listen to you without interruptions, judgement, or projections can be the most clarifying and uplifting experience that gives you your purpose back. So, to the question 'Who needs coaching?' I would answer, everybody! 

Are you feeling a bit like Harry the alpaca? Harry knows he needs a haircut but he's not sure if that's a good idea at the moment because what's out there is a bit too much to deal with right now.  Trouble is he keeps bumping into the same wall while the stable door is wide open.   Don't be a Harry! Face the storm and let the wind blow the fringe right out of your eyes.  We will all evolve together if we just choose to stop aligning to the fear and anxiety that is controlling us. 

Life coaching for clear vision

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Don't be alone, overwhelmed and steeped in fear or anxiety. I'm here to help and I'm offering affordable or in some cases free coaching to support as many people as I can at this time. I am an experienced and qualified wellness coach and together we can invite vitality and joy back into your life.

Connect & Express Videos and Audios - Gorgeous Hearts

Singing Techniques for self-confidence

Are you a little shy with your voice? Is singing only for performers? Are you feeling disconnected from your body and a bit too much in your head? Read on and discover some practical ways of being more connected to your expression and to begin to use your voice with confidence and power.

Singing Techniques for Inner Connection and vitality

Singing techniques for inner connection is a practical post because you will find several videos and audios to support you to connect more deeply to your body instrument that will help you to express with confidence and power. I hope you enjoy these videos, but I will also point out that the exercises here are just a taster and the art of mastering your voice, increasing self-awareness and expressing from the whole of your body instrument with confidence and power, is a process that takes time.

I encourage you to keep a journal so that you can jot down how the exercises feel in your body. This is very important as the exercises are part of your self-care routine and are meditative in nature. If you keep checking in with your body and writing down you experience, it will lead to further awareness and connection so that you can use this for future reference when advancing. Singing in this way can manifest as feeling more vitality and joy and can be part of a self-care routine for holistic wellness. 

Singing Techniques - Videos lessons 

Self-love

These singing techniques are not to teach you to sing, to be a better performer or necessarily to acquire better vocal technique, they are specific to the Connect & Express program which supports you to connect to the energy impulsed from your soul and express from there.  Tuning into your body and choosing a quality of gentleness that your voice can express feels liberating and empowering as well as joyful. Feel how your whole body instrument vibrates to the one song of love that is the vibration of the whole universe. Surrender to this purpose as you practice the exercises and feel the deep healing that it brings.

This singing technique is called 'The Siren.' Feel how the sound can begin in your feet and the vibrations can be felt throughout the body....

'Call & Response' 

You will hear a phrase followed by a four beat bar and then a space for you to replicate the phrase. Bring your consciousness into your body and feel how your voice flows gently and evenly in your phrases. You don't need to concentrate on breath or any other singing technique, just focus on bringing your voice from your whole body and surrendering to the process. 

This is a live Call and Response exercise that is a little more difficult over a harmonic minor scale.

JOIN THE CONNECT & EXPRESS FACEBOOK GROUP FOR FREE WEEKLY VIDEOS

Gorgeous Hearts Connect & Express Facebook group invites you to join in with some great vocal connection exercises, meditations and connective rhythmic exercises. All have the specific purpose of supporting you to connect to the harmony and joy of your true, natural expression. The voice from your soul vibrates with love and allows love to flow in your expression - all you need to do is choose to connect!

Comfortable goals don't work

Comfortable Goals

Comfortable goals are boring!

Just like comfort eating, we can easily pick up the habit of comfort goaling!

Comfortable goals don't work

If you have ever woken up one late morning on January the 1st with a desire to set yourself a goal, you probably already know that after an initial spout of energy, there is a slow fizzling out period rather like the Alka Selzer sitting on your bedside table! Goals can be uncomfortable to carry through, especially if the purpose of that goal doesn't set you on fire!  A goal needs to be exciting, but it also needs to challenge you. Setting comfortable goals doesn't incite transformation...... 

Examples of comfortable goals

  • I'm going to lose weight, but I'll take my time
  • I will work on my time management tomorrow
  •  I am going to change my job this year as I'm not liking the extra responsibility and my work colleagues are driving me up the wall!
  • My goal is to meet more people - I'll start on-line

You get the drift - you want your cake and you want to eat it. Normal right? 

Of course! and you don't have to be hard on yourself and be uncomfortable to be successful. The reason all of those goals listed above are 'comfortable' is because they are avoiding commitment. Commitment needs motivation and motivation is only real if there is a clear purpose behind it that comes from an alignment to what makes us passionate and energetic.  If goals are just moving away from what isn't working, they can lack pzazz! It's important to zoom out and see the bigger picture...

The insidious 'comfort' in comfortable goals

Being comfortable often translates to not moving. Just conger up an image of comfort and you may find yourself in your slippers and watching a nice movie on the T.V or soaking in a hot bath, but when it comes to self-realization or evolving in any area of our lives, comfort just keeps you in the same patterns and does not lead to growth or expansion. If everything was comfortable, it would make life rather monotonous and dull, and that's because it is the discomfort that makes us aware and honest with regards to how we are expressing, living, working or parenting for example. Comfort keeps on saying "stick with what you know and you'll be safe."

Moving out of the comfort zone and creating the goal

Firstly let's look at moving out of your comfort zone. It's a hot day, do you jump into the swimming pool because you are too hot and the discomfort of the heat is enough to motivate the plunge into cool water, even though you know that the cold will be uncomfortable for a short period of time, or, are you just loving the idea of swimming in that blue water that looks so enticing? This is the intention that you can focus on, the reason for the goal in the first place.

Secondly observe honestly how this particular goal makes you feel.  Meh or hell yeah!

Thirdly make sure that the goal is exact - focused and clear.  I'm going to be more self-caring this year is a bit bland and general. It's better to say I'm going to stick to a) a healthier diet b) an exercise routine on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and c) I'm going to set a time of 10 pm to go to bed in the week.

Fourthly check in with your body and sense how it feels about what you are intending. Do you feel positive that this is achievable and something that can be mastered in the next 3-6 months? Do you feel anxiety and if so, where do you feel it and what is the intensity? You can then anticipate some strategies that will reduce any anxiety that will help you to be more successful.

Lastly zoom out and see the bigger picture. How does this fit in with your sense of purpose? What values are dear to you and how do they relate? How does this goal contribute to other people in your life and society as a whole - this can also give a sense of purpose that is not just individually motivated which helps you to stay on track.

Comfortable goals or exciting purpose?

Life is never really comfortable.  If you don't move, life moves you.  Everything is in motion and we can either be in harmony with the flow or move against its rhythm with all of the discomfort that this will eventually entail.  

A great way to think of a goal is to ask yourself 'What's next?' Instead of imagining goals as lineal journeys of self-development from  A to B i.e. go to the moon, plant your flag and say "I'm here," think of them as a way of continually evolving and accepting of the next challenge. Goals can constantly unfold if we are willing to observe what the next step may be and claim the opportunities that present themselves. 

Purpose can be elusive or really exciting especially when it transcends our individual needs and encompasses the wellbeing of others. Taking responsibility, committing to your life and expressing the best version of you has a positive impact on you and all those around you - we are all connected.

Instead of comfortable goals think of dynamic, evolutionary and life-changing goals that form part of your purpose to contribute to all. If you are healthier you are more joyful, if you are organised you help others navigate around you, if you are confident, you will inspire others for example.

Want to achieve your goals with confidence?

click below to get a free guide to setting goals that will help you to identify your goal, organise a strategy with this great tool and carry it through. 

What thwarts your expression

Your Healthy Voice & You

Your healthy voice and you looks at the health benefits of singing and how your voice can actually be healing in nature when you choose an expression that embodies the whole of you.... 

Your healthy voice and you - how can it improve your well-being holistically? 

What thwarts your expression

Singing is a very healthy activity Look at all of these health benefits:

  • Singing lowers your levels of stress and anxiety and increases your sense of joy. The release of endorphins when you sing, make you feel great! In fact singing is a natural anti-depressant.
  • Singing improves your posture and reduces muscle tension - if you practice correctly.
  • Singing improves your circulation when you breathe correctly.  It increases aerobic capacity and stamina as more oxygen reaches the brain.
  • Singing has been shown to strengthen the immune system and improve mental alertness.  The Alzheimer Society have a singing for the brain service for dementia and Alzheimer sufferers
But there's more.....

The voice expresses all of who you are and how you are living.  It can carry different aromas, some light and floral, others heavy and obnoxious.  Are we able to change that aroma? The way we live has a certain energetic quality that will definitely be part of our expression.  This is why your healthy voice and you are intrinsic to one another - your voice is you - what quality are you expressing?

The voice produces vibrations that affect us and everyone else - but what does that actually mean? Could we say that those vibrations have an effect on those around us? Would that mean that our own voice has the power to heal or to harm? This question is worth considering and maybe we would do well to be more discerning about how we use our voice.  

So, let's look at the healthy voice and you by exploring first off why we sing....

Why do we sing?

Does singing have a purpose? It seems that humanity has been singing and creating music for a very long time.  The invention of musical instruments is thought to be relatively recent (around 40,000 years ago) but music has been around longer. It is now known that 530,000 years ago, the full vocal range was available to humans due to the discovery of the hyoid, a small bone in our neck that changed shape when our voice box moved further down allowing us to speak and sing.  This means that earlier species of man, including neanderthals, had the potential to sing.


singing may have developed in monogamous species

The why of singing is something that is debatable.  It was theorized by Thomas Geissmann at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, that the development of singing had something to do with the evolution of monogamy as only monogamous species have developed the skill, however, it is also thought to have evolved with language.  Singing and music communicates different emotions and is thought to have evolved as a way to express those emotions. 

As a vocal coach, I'm always interested in the various reasons that people want to learn to sing.  From improving their confidence to controlling their voices and being able to sing professionally, there is an common thread that most people share - and that is that singing feels joyful!

But what happens to that joy?

We are judged on our abilities, our appearance, our talents etc. and the idea of being accomplished in something gives us a way of standing out and being recognised.  We live in a society that praises winners and makes fools out of so called losers.  Those born with a natural musical talent can spend their lives trying to be the best at what they do, sometimes at the expense of their own joy.  Singing competitions are on the TV every Saturday evening. It seems that there is a bottomless pit of talented people who go in search of their dream. Great for the lucky one - but many don't make it and face rejection - turned away because there is only one winner.  Of course this happens in other professions too, but the glamour surrounding the music industry seems to be taking us away from the true purpose of this beautiful expression. 

Let's consider another purpose to singing

Rather than looking at singing as an ability - as in performance, I would like to explore how it actually makes us feel. Rather than celebrating talent, let's celebrate expression and make it all about love. Rather than getting it right and controlling the voice, we could deepen our connection to our whole body instrument and use our voices to align our expression to the vibration of our soul.  You don't need talent for that!

When I was young I loved to sing to a little robbin that visited our garden. It made me feel happy and it was an expression of love towards that bird and how I lived. It seemed to just emerge from me like a bubble of joy Just like skipping in the sunshine on a spring afternoon after school or lying down and rolling in the grass - it was joyful for no particular reason. There was no control, no trying to get it right or wondering if I was a good singer. It felt freeing and it always made me feel better.

Your healthy voice and you - The joy of singing

I love to sing from my whole body and to feel the vibrations from the different parts of it.  The only way to be aware of those vibrations is to increase body awareness, to relax and surrender the muscles of your body so that you can hear the communication from areas of the body you have not been communicating with before. You do this by becoming more and more aware of the vibrations of sound within you.  You get a sense that the vibrations are communicating to the different energy centres of your body.  

Bringing a new energetic quality into your voice by re-connecting to your whole body, mind and soul is only  a choice away.  All it takes is to be consciously present and to feel the delicate nature of your breath and your voice as it vibrates within the body. That quality you feel, the essence of you is the quality that then gets expressed.  You will feel a new gentleness in your voice, but not a lack of power. If this becomes your default expression, it will change the way you use your voice, not only for singing, but when speaking to people. It will bring healing to you and to all who listen. Your expression will feel more confident and you won't be lost for words!

  • Feel your body in harmony with your voice and perceive the vibrations as you sing. The more awareness you have of the vibrations, the more joy you feel and the deeper the healing
  • Be honest about your needs.  If you want to be a successful performer or develop your ability to sing or speak, that's great. Be aware of how you can choose to express authentically without giving your power away to the competitive energy that can impose and dominate.
  • Make it all about energy first. How you use your voice and the quality that you express in, will make a huge difference to your well-being. Work on the relationship with yourself, re-connect to your body and express from there.  This will be freeing your natural voice from all the programming that is attached to expression, such as what you and other people expect, your own limiting beliefs and ideals and all that has thwarted your expression in the past. 

Enjoy the beauty of your true voice & authentic expression and reduce anxiety naturally

Connect & Express is a way of singing that is all about healing and connecting to your whole body instrument for a harmonious, soulful expression.  You will be encouraged to explore many aspects of your expression, increase awareness through specific meditative exercises that access your voice from deeper within your body. Build confidence, find the power and love of your own voice and express joyfully with musical exercises and bespoke affirming songs that support you to let go of anxiety and to access your innate wisdom.