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nature: bein' awesome (no filter)

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In Maori, whenua means land and placenta, iwi means kinfolk and bone. I have always loved these dual-meanings, they are such visceral abstractions of how we are inextricably linked to what shapes us.
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As an immigrant, it has taken me decades to understand that my home is not a physical place: my sense of belonging is inside of me.
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For years I felt the suffering of being lost, the sense that there was no place that I fit. This homesickness and longing: it was really for me. I wanted to feel at home in my body, my life, in myself.
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After years of being adrift and unsettled, the cosmic joke is that having found an anchor within myself, I was able to chose the physical place to put down roots, where I want to return to again and again. And I choose to stay in England because this is where I feel filled up, this is where I am most nourished intellectually, emotionally, physically, spiritually.
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This is where I can breathe out, this is where I feel most myself. This is where I bloom.

#freeupmyinsta #bloom
inspiration comes from the poetry of Mary Oliver and long reads in the weekend papers, the smell of eucalyptus, the memory of standing on a roof staring at Turkish stars and knowing my grief couldn’t last, whole mornings spent in cafe’s with good friends, laughing until your belly aches, the smell of ginger cake baking, the leaps of faith, feeling my heart breaking, feeling unbreakable, Yo Yo Ma and his mighty cello, night swimming, the smell of freshly cut grass, the crunch of dropped leaves and horse chestnuts ‘tree testicles’ underfoot. Inspiration comes from an open fire and fresh hot tea, a fresh journal, the stories of courageous women, reading in bed while it rains and the furs wash their trousers, long wanders through fields with Bodhi and Mr P dreaming and planning the house renovation, the first coffee of the day, that Mum died so young and we just never know, rage and sadness, the unexpected question, the possibility of God, the possibility of aliens. The colours everywhere: the utter privilege of being human and alive.

#freeupmyinsta
Bohdi is totally in for #freeupmyinsta he’s following the ‘look up’ prompt and he can’t be-leaf his little eyes! #upandautumn
pooch walked, papers retrieved, coffee poured and a few seconds of utter gratitude that I stopped drinking over 300 Sunday’s ago. it’s been the best promise I ever made to myself ♥️ #whpmyeveryday
a morning of coffee and belly laughs with @jeaninestewart & @xantheb while Wren and Bohdi bonded = aces #funfriday
It might be that all the news coverage about predators in Hollywood is leaving you feeling re-traumatised, reflective, sad. Especially judgements about women who did not report at the time.
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Abuse, bullying, coercion and assault are about power and control and silence is an effective weapon that preserves the perpetrators. It can also be a form of self-preservation for survivors. The unwarranted shame and feelings of powerlessness can take a long time to come to terms with. Talking about it can seem impossible. Entering a legal system with tragically low results for women can take every once of strength.
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But it’s never ever - regardless of anything you said or did, or didn’t say or do - it was never your fault.
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Sending love and strength to every woman who is feeling these headlines a little deeper. Sadly, you are far far from alone ♥️
I am SO amped to share the latest episode of Courage & Spice because the fabulous hug-in-human-form @allison_sadler_ is in the house!
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We started talking about imperfection and Instagram and ended up discussing mental health, politics, being a brand and why there are so many reasons to be hopeful about our world. Super juicy!
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Just follow the link in my profile (I highly recommend listening with some early Stevie Wonder in the background). Enjoy! ♥️💪🏾💥
You do not have to be good.
Sweet Jesus there is such freedom in those words. Such relief.
I mean, really? I don’t?
I don’t have to behave, or be polite, or be quiet, or be graceful, or be just like you want me to be so that you can relax? You mean Gran was wrong all those years, and I don’t have to ‘keep myself nice’?
I spent the weekend in a circle of 10 men and women exploring our shadows. Tony read ‘Wild Geese’ to open. Its one of my favourite poems and that opening line is so powerful.
Those words unleash something.
Those words are permission.
They represent approbation to be full and emotional, to make some noise; to sweat and cry and bleed. To reclaim my wildness. To walk with my head up, fleshy hips leading. To be angry enough to fight for something. To have wants and needs and opinions. To be alive without apology.
Because if I don’t have to be good, I give myself consent.
I welcome the parts of me – the judgey and superficial, impatient, greedy and jealous parts – to my own table. I forgive my own shames and guilts and regrets. And I allow my golden shadows - those parts that I worry are too bright, too big, too powerful, that they will separate us.
If I don’t have to be good, I get to embrace all of my shadows and therefore all of me.
And then I’m so fucking free I’m dangerous.
I don’t have to be good.
Neither do you.
This changes everything.
#shadowwork
emerging from the shadow work slowly and gently: sleep, water, deep massage, much journaling. struggling to write in full sentences, trying not to understand and conclude - just letting it percolate. grateful for decades old journal keeping practice - it really comes in handy at times like this 😘 #shadowwork
I’m heading into the underworld this weekend, spending three days exploring my shadow.
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the shadow is the part of the unconscious mind made of repressed ideas, instincts, impulses, weaknesses, desires, perversions and fears. NEAT.
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I have that nervous excitement going on. I have no idea who the other 8 participants are, I don’t know (but really respect) the facilitators. My thoughts are a jumble of: what will I have to face about myself? Will they like me? Will I? How can I do this ‘right’?
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I’m also feeling such compassion for those who put their hand up to retreat with me! There is so much blind faith involved in saying yes to exploring our inner-worlds. Sometimes we just have to hold our noses and jump.
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See you on the other side 💪🏻😍
If you work in a male-dominated industry, and you’ve ever felt undermined or overlooked at work, the new episode of the Courage & Spice podcast is just for you!
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Women and BAME folks are under-represented, under-recruited and under-promoted in STEM roles (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). The reasons for this are both obvious and complex. Organisations like Equate Scotland, have a mandate to redress this balance and they are doing incredible work.
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Allison Johnstone leads Equate Scotland’s learning and development programme. Allison began her career as an engineer in the oil and gas industry and has master’s degrees in chemical engineering, environmental management and leadership.
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In our conversation, Allison speaks candidly and openly about women’s experience in the STEM workplace, whats changing and why the issues are so much bigger than our self-doubt ♥️
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Link in profile >>> #courageandspicepodcast
seriously autumn, you had me at hello.
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it’s mortgage day for us - signing a squillion bits of paper and trying not to blink too hard at the fees for all the paperwork...
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and later this afternoon, this weeks podcast episode will be available and it’s an absolute cracker for anyone who experiences self-doubt in the workplace - can’t wait to share!
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Stay warm instapals 😍
left the compound for a fabulous home cooked lunch with @dbalyoz and is there anything better than food made with love and conversations about god, truth, hurt and meaning while two fury new best friends engage in 876 laps of the house? #probablynotistherightanswer
I don't know if those of us who live in countries WITHOUT the right to bear arms, can comprehend the horror of living in the US where the gun control lobby has so much power.
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No other developed nation comes close to the rate of gun violence in America.
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Americans own an estimated 265m guns, more than one gun for every adult.
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Every nine out of 10 days on average, four or more people are shot.
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Each time I go to the States, I am shocked by the number of folks who strap on a weapon to go to the supermarket. Just WTF?!
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No citizen needs a gun. Ever. This is such an unnecessary heartbreak. Whenever an incident occurs that involves loss of life, we grieve but then we enquire and try to understand the causes so that we can prevent it from happening again. We humans are really bloody good at solving complex problems. But it takes will, advocacy, thoughtful leadership to make these changes.
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Data: Gun Violence Archive via Guardian // praying stone monk pic from earlier in the summer
whenever group coaching programmes begin, I like to imagine us gathering at a favourite cafe, shedding our coats and expectations as we sit around a big table.
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whatever you need or just prefer, is on the menu. its ok to ask for exactly what you want. You can’t be too big, too much, too unsure, too hurt, too full of self-doubt - all of you is welcome.
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I’m so excited to be working with the women who courageously put their hand up and said yes to Your Self-belief Map.
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Honestly, the marketing and selling process is not my favourite - but getting to coach with smart, brave women makes it all worthwhile ♥️♥️♥️
one from a few weeks back in beautiful Bristol - in the last 72 hours we sold our house and went to sealed bids on a dream renovation project in westbury.
And the Granny Chic house is ours!
everything is now with the lawyers so we can relax and celebrate (and get some sleep!). #bristolbound
this week has felt about 87 days long but I am so grateful for heart-sisters who send the perfect text message, and drag me out on a Thursday night (whaaaat?).
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I’m so relieved at the utter absence of arseholery in our real estate adventures (not an alpha male in sight).
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I’m so happy that there is some sweet puppy energy with us through all of it.
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And - without pilling on the fromage too much - I’m deeply grateful to this little community for hearts and messages and general all-round kindness.
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It’s so easy to feel like we are all alone, coping messily with our unmet longings and our untended needs - but these little squares offer a communal tearoom of sorts and I’m so glad you are here♥️♥️♥️
Folks, the very lovely @me_and_orla is on this weeks podcast episode and we are talking about success and self-doubt.
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It’s a prevalent myth that fame and fortune will trump any doubts, worries and fears we have - but there is no empirical evidence to support this at all.
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Sara is so open and generous about her story, I know you are going to love our chat as much as me.
Enjoy!

#courageandspicepodcast
as we navigate through the entire house sale/house buying process - in the same week Bohdi has surgery and I launch my self-belief programme 😳 - I am trying to just allow ALL the feelings.
for so many years I contained every 'dangerous' emotion and drowned it all in sarcasm and pinot noir.
I think I've cried about 18 times this week. Its ok. It passes.
#emoisthenewblack
big day for this little guy ✂️ 😳🙈🐼#sendhealingvibes