5 things I should’ve shared at the Women in Business Pizza and Prosecco evening…

On Wednesday 10 August 2022 my good friend Lorraine Acheson called me and asked if I’d be ok to give a talk at the Women in Business (WIBNI) Pizza and Prosecco evening for new WIBNI members the next evening. Lorraine just happens to be WIBNI Managing Director and the speaker they had lined up for the evening had to cancel at short notice.

Lorraine knows I’m very relaxed about public speaking and to make it even easier for me, she said she would interview me. I told her I didn’t think I was a very good ‘woman in business’ as I don’t make lots of money. Like most working in the wellbeing arena I’m in it for the love and the passion not the money – but Lorraine said it was my journey that would inspire others. So I said ok, and then I didn’t think about it.

All Wednesday and even when I arrived at the lovely venue I refused to worry or plan what I was going to say. I believe in sharing from the heart and being in the moment – you know it is my actual job to be in the moment 🙂  When I arrived at the event I met an old friend and spent the first hour catching up with her and eating pizza!

And then I was on stage… the interview went well and it was a great night. The audience of brilliant women – who I got to meet lots of personally in the facilitated networking after my talk, were wonderful – so many interesting jobs and business… everyone was very kind about ‘my speech’. But I knew I should have said more and been more honest and articulate about my journey.  I wished I had actually taken some time to prepare and think more about what I was going to say. Practising mindfulness doesn’t mean we can’t have time to plan!

So I’ve had that time now and I’m sharing the 5 points I should have said last night…

Lorraine asked me to share about my journey and I said how I felt it was all down to luck! How many co-incidences happened, how I just ‘put myself out there’ and people picked up on me. How I got the time right as when I left my full-time job in January 2014 suddenly awareness of mindfulness had hit Northern Ireland after a long time of people thinking it was a cult! I shared how I got asked to to TED talk and be on UTV.  I encouraged the audience members to follow suit, to not live in fear and take risks for their dream (although with a backup plan of an alternative job – which I had too!).

  1. Qualifications in my field

But there are a couple of other things I had to support ‘my big leap’ into self-employment. I quoted that much heard line ‘leap and the net will appear’ and I do believe that, but to support this mythical net I had years of study and a Masters degree in Mindfulness behind me. I wasn’t just leaping in the hopes I knew what to do… I also had a job to go back to if it didn’t work out, I took a career break.

2. Experience

I also had an established client base having taught part-time for a number of years and I had what was then an innovative plan for a fulltime mindfulness teacher: offering public 8-week and 6-week courses plus workshops and corporate training.

3. A network of supportive friends

So as well as luck I had experience, training, clients and some planning! I’m also a natural networker in that I like people and I connected well with many of my students who then offered me some work in their workplace or recommended my classes to friends and family. Listening and befriending others is something I do naturally and actually it’s helpful for business too. It’s also been helpful for life in general, community and friends are really what life is about.

4. Steadfastness, consistency and constancy

A big thing that I also recommend to anyone starting a business is consistency. That is another of my main reasons for success or at least longevity in this field. Of course, I am extremely dedicated and passionate about mindfulness, self-compassion and wellbeing but I’m also consistent….

I taught in Namaste Yoga Centre on the Ormeau Road EVERY week, even during the summer from 2008 till the 2020 pandemic struck and then I took the class online. I offered a monthly self-compassion workshop EVERY month from 2015 and continued online via the zoom and now still offer in person every two months.  I consistently and regularly offered 8-week courses and retreats – until I had my baby in 2021.  I think that constancy, that regularity and familiarity is also a secret of success. I’ve chosen to adapt my offering now to suit my life with a young baby, but I’ve had years of being there and I’m still here, still around and enjoying teaching. So consequently a lot of people know me and I have a good reputation as a reliable teacher.  I’ve also taught many others to become teachers too…

5. Courage

And finally ‘courage’. Courage is necessary for everyone and anyone wanting to succeed in starting and maintaining a business.  There’s no doubt it takes courage to ‘put yourself out there’, to not be too worried about what other people think, or how you look. If your business is going to interact with the public, there will be people who love and like you, and there will be people who don’t. It’s not possible to please all the people all the time and if you can accept that, life is easier and much less anxiety filled. Learn to listen more to that excitement and drive and not that doubting hater!

I still believe in luck too – I can’t help it I have had a LOT of it 🙂

This is where I come back to luck again. Mindfulness practice naturally helps us with self-confidence, right thinking and the ability to stay present and not catastrophize over what might happen or brood over what has already happened. Self-compassion enables us to be kind to ourselves when we make mistakes, to be understanding when others let us down and to talk gently to ourselves when we’re faced with challenges. All of these things are invaluable. So it’s very lucky what I do for living is also what helps me to stay calm in the business of it 🙂 Calm is a superpower and I’m so grateful I have a means to generate it 🙂

So whatever business you are in or if you’re just navigating the tricky business of life – mindfulness and self-compassion are guaranteed to help and support you through.

Please contact me if you would some training in these evidence-based practices for yourself and/or your team members 🙂

#mindfulness #selfCompassion #luck 🙂

Is this old now? :)

I just want to share pics of my baby every days she’s such a wee star!

it was my birthday on Friday the 8 July and we had a lovely family holiday in Ballycastle, visiting Rathlin Island and wearing matching dresses so that was good excuse to share some pics? 🥰☀️

I’ve now turned 48 and I’m thinking this is old now… or definitely middle age… 👵🏻 I’ve probably been alive longer than I will continue to be alive though I reckon another 40 years could reasonably be on the cards (right? 🔮) I mean who knows?

Every year we are alive is a blessing or to quote one of Thay’s poems “each day you’re alive is a gem shining through containing earth and sky water and air. It takes us to breathe gently for the miracles to be displayed…” so yes maybe a bit older now but still very much alive and in awe at the wonder and blessings of each and every day. 🥰💖

There is SO much to be grateful for🙏🏽 I’m especially grateful for family and friends for making this wee trip possible🙏🏽 I’m grateful for cake, sunshine, Buddy, Beddy and Muhutin (my husgand) ❤️ I’m grateful for the kindness of strangers, boats and chippies 🙂

I hope you can reflect on all you have to be grateful for today and not worry too much about wrinkles, it’s being alive that counts not the number. “Because we are alive, everything is possible.” 🥰🥰🥰🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽🌷🌷🌷🌻🌻🌻#gratefuleveryday #stillalive #gettingolder #wiser#birthdaygirl #twinningwithmybaby

This blog first appeared as an Instagram post on my instagram feed (and on my facebook page) as it was so popular and prompted many comments I thought I’d share it hear on my website too. Your feedback is always welcome, let me know if there is anything you’d like me to blog about! Bx

Spring Chicken

My wee Beddy boo is 8 months old tomorrow and never have I seen such joy than that which comes from her, she loves to play and have fun. We’ve made a wee play pen for her and she’s wearing her hand knitted clothes from her Turkish Auntie Rabia. We all love her SO much and she is SO full of life!

Robbie Williams (he of Take That fame) has a song called ‘I love my life’. He wrote it for his daughter and in it he sings that he wants her to grow up and say ‘I love my life, I am powerful, I beautiful, I am free’.

He wishes her to grow up and lead a wonderful self-assured life where she loves herself. And who wouldn’t wish all these thing for our children, but what happens to us? We were once wee spring chickens too but somewhere along the way we get a bit older, jaded, fed up, beaten up by life?Somewhere along the way we often forget the importance of that goal of loving ourselves and loving our life. My ‘self-love’ workshop next sunday is a step towards reclaiming that loving wish for ourselves.

February is the month of love, make it the month you turn towards yourself with more kindness…

If you can’t make the workshop check out my FREE ‘loving kindness’ meditation here.

Check out the details of my self-love retreat here.

Register soon because space is limited.

We hope you’re able to join us!