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3 Steps to Abundance

What does Abundance mean to you? 

Abundance

To me, abundance is not just from material wealth, but from learning to be content with what you have. Because I’ve met people who are rich but are not living an abundant life. They might be suffering from depression or anxiety or unhappiness. And then I’ve met other people who are materially poor, but have great emotional wealth. They are full of joy and trust and love.  All of which got me thinking about abundance. 

As I’ve mentioned before, when our airport was closed to tourists, I lost all the money in my bank account. I knew I couldn’t pay the gardeners any more, so I asked them to stop coming. I left some of my bills unpaid until I could afford to pay them. Thankfully, I had great coping techniques so I felt very peaceful and even happy during the pandemic.

But the weird thing was, even when we had tourists coming back and I had money in my account again, I was still scared to spend it! Why was that? Because my mind had gone into a scarcity mindset. 

What’s the difference between a Scarcity Mindset and an Abundant one?

With a scarcity mindset we believe there is not enough of something to go round. We don’t dare spend money, and yet at the same time, we might have the fear of missing out. 

Abundance on the other hand is a reassurance that there is enough to go round for all of us. Have you met people who are experts at something and perhaps even teach it to you, but deep down you know they don’t want you to succeed? It’s because they feel threatened by you. They don’t have an abundance mindset… 

Abundance can also be about time. When I had younger children, I used to constantly rush around and always be late for school, for church, for the cinema, or to meet friends. I never had enough time! Yet, now I have two businesses and I have plenty of time! I wonder on earth what I did with my time before!

The truth is we all have the same amount of time. And we do have enough of it to get everything done. Some of us just have unrealistic ideas about how long things take. The trick is to schedule more time than you think you need for a task and leave a buffer before the next one. And to remember that tomorrow is another day so there is plenty of time. That’s an abundance mindset. 

So how do you get an Abundance Mindset?

Step 1

Practise Gratitude. It might sound like a cliché, but gratitude really is the answer to so many things. Tony Robbins says ”When you are grateful, fear disappears and abundance appears.”

Step 2

Visualize abundance. We cannot receive what we don’t ask for. So ask away. Ask for respect in personal relationships. Yes, you can Ask for a pay rise. Ask for the changes you need in your life. And visualize them. Imagine yourself in the position you want to be in. From there your intuition will teach you what needs to happen to get you there. 

Step 3

Let go of attachment to a very specific outcome. When we have expectations, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. Whereas if we remain open, we allow anything to happen and we accept the outcome.  It may be even better than what we imagined.  The thought leader Bryant H. McGill agrees: “Abundance is the process of letting go; that which is empty can receive.” 

A combination of these steps, where you are grateful in advance for whatever will come your way is a powerful way to create abundance!

If you’d like to see how I can help you have more abundance in your life, I would be happy to get on a call with you. You can schedule a conversation with me here.  Or you can email me any questions you might have at seaorchardretreat@gmail.com and I will answer within 24 hours. To find out more about how I can help you with coaching see Sea Orchard Retreat

 

 

 

Know Your Purpose

Know Your PurposeHow well do you know your purpose? Are you in control of your journey? Or are you reacting to every little thing that happens?

 

“Life is happening for us, not to us” as Tony Robbins has said. All the things that happen in our lives contribute to us becoming the best version of ourselves.

 

The problem is that many of us tend to remember our pain more than the joys. This negativity bias means that we actually feel the negatives stronger than the positives.

 

We may be in so much pain that we focus on the negatives and we don’t even register the positives. In some cases someone’s ears may cease to work when they are being complimented!

 

The reason for this tendency can be found in prehistory. Our ancestors who were more aware of danger were more likely to survive. Those living in blissful denial were more likely to be eaten by a lion!

 

Now that most of us are not being chased by predators, this thinking can instead lead to depression. Which is obviously not very helpful!

 

But the good news is our pain also gives us our purpose. Viktor Frankl, holocaust survivor and author of ”Man’s Search for Meaning” talked about finding meaning and purpose in our pain.

 

Monday 9 January at 6 pm EST I will be offering my first Magnetic Mindset training in my Facebook Group. The subject is Know Your Purpose. If you want to get to know your purpose better you can come to the training by joining Called to Courage helping women create the confidence to live their purpose.

To find out what other trainings are available, please contact me at seaorchardretreat@gmail.com.

 

How Survive the Holidays in Peace

If you would like to know how to survive the holidays in peace, you’ve come to the right place!

Every year we start off with good intentions about the holidays, but we seem to get stressed in spite of them. Whether it’s a guest who stays longer than we had invited them for, or rivalry in the kitchen, there is always something!

In our house, there are so many great cooks who want to be in charge! I suppose that’s the small price I pay for having taught all 4 of my children to be excellent cooks. Add to that the fact that some of us eat meat and some of us are vegetarian and it can get quite busy!

I know that our family is not the only one that has these stresses around the holidays. In some families there are ongoing resentments for years or even decades, that mean that members only see each other once a year. Nobody wants to talk about the elephant in the room. But they can all sense its presence. And that’s way too much pressure for everyone to get along.

What usually happens in your family? Can you get through the season without a single argument? Or without someone getting too stressed? I hope so, but I fear that in many families the answer is no.

That’s why this year I have made a crib sheet called “10 Steps to Survive the Holidays in Peace.” If you would like me to send it to you, drop a line in the comments.

And if you would like to find out more about coaching with me contact me here.

You can book yourself a gifted coaching session here.

Never Give in!

Never Give in!

“Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty.”  These are the famous words of Sir Winston Churchill in a speech he made at Harrow School in 1941. He continued, “Never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

Sometimes when I watch videos like this, or go to see a live piano performance, I think about giving in to my inner hyper-achiever. That’s the voice that tells me if I can’t perform at that level, there is no point even trying. But that’s simply not true.

The truth is I can actually play Rondo a Cappriccio. The difference is that when I play it, it sounds much more like a meditative lullaby instead of a ‘Rage over a Lost Penny.’

I did record a video of myself playing part of the piece, but perhaps luckily for you, my Air Drop is not working today. My intention had been to show the impact of practising the same line 50 times. The “before” video is 42 seconds long and the “after” recording is 22 seconds. So I managed to shave off 20 seconds, which was a great achievement for me! But to put this into perspective, in the recording I am sending you, the section only takes around 7 seconds!!

Even professional level performers started with zero knowledge of music and no inherent skills at the piano. They had to learn from scratch, like we all do at everything. They put in the hours of practice every day for years to get to where they wanted to get to. But we don’t have to be the best in order to enjoy doing something. Or in order for others to appreciate our talents.

In fact, recently we went to a concert where a lady played all 24 Etudes by Liszt. She is apparently the only person in the world currently playing all of them in one concert. That’s certainly very impressive! However, it was so far above everyone’s heads that we couldn’t enjoy it. Half the audience left. I would probably have left too if my husband and I had not been invited by the sponsors. And if I had not by chance met the performer in the restroom. I felt sorry for her that people were leaving when she had worked so hard for many years to achieve that level of playing.

So when our saboteurs attack us with doubts such as “you’re not good enough”, or “you should not even bother trying” we can ignore them. Although they are trying to protect us from pain, they are working as our enemy. Let’s agree to never give in to their negativity, because if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing for the joy of it.

If you would like any help with persistence, let’s get on a call. You can book yourself an appointment here.

 

 

 

 

 

Why my Cat Does Yoga

Why my cat does YogaOk I’m not going to pretend anyone asked me why my cat does Yoga. But cats are really great at self care. They seem to be happiest when they spend all day licking themselves and stretching. As humans we also need to make a habit of Self Care.

Have you ever been on a self development course, undergone some counseling or coaching, and experienced great results, only to find yourself back to square one after 6 months? This is called regression and it is very common. So how do you get around it?

Self care is to our emotions what food is to the body or fuel is to a vehicle. We need to keep filling up the tank.

The trick is to develop good habits and practice them daily. Last week, I talked about 5 things you can do to get out of or avoid depression. If you remember, I mentioned walking, listening to something funny or inspirational, eating foods that promote happiness, dancing and contacting friends.

Here I will give you 5 very simple practices that will help you feel good about yourself. They won’t take much time, but they will make a difference if you make a habit of them.

  1. Physical – You can soothe yourself physically by pulling the tension out of your arms. With one hand gently squeeze all the way from the shoulder and armpit down to the tips of the fingers. Do this a few times, then switch arms. You can do the same with your legs. Push the tension from the tops of your thighs down to your ankles.
  2. Visual – Go outside if you can and take a good look at the trees and bushes. Notice the different shapes of the trunks, branches and leaves. See how they all have their own version of green. Stand at the bottom of a tall tree and look up to see it stretching up towards the sky.
  3. Auditory – Listen to the recorded sound of rain falling or some gentle instrumental music. Try shutting your eyes so that you can completely focus on what you can hear.
  4. Gustatory – When you eat, do so mindfully. Take a mouthful of one thing in isolation. Chew slowly and be aware of its temperature, texture and most importantly taste. Keep doing this for as long as you can.
  5. Olfactory – Use a fragrant moisturiser, perfume or Eau de Toilette. Inhale its fragrance and notice how it makes you feel.

If you do each of these 5 practices once, you might feel good for a moment. However, when you make a habit of doing them for at least a minute every day, the chances are you will notice that your general wellbeing is improving little by little. This is how we make small changes that make a big difference.

 

 

 

Funk the Funk in 5

Funk the funk in 5 – no it’s not a typo.

Funk the Funk in 5

If you look up the definition of funk it says it is both a noun and a verb. The noun is a state of depression. Whereas the verb is to avoid or get out of something.  Besides, I didn’t want to offend anyone with the other word I could have used.

Have you ever been in a depressive “funk?” How did you get yourself out of it? If you would like to know my 5 top tips for getting out of a funk read on.

  1. Start by going for a long walk. Five minutes probably won’t be enough, but fifty minutes will help a lot. The gentle movement will increase blood flow to your body and brain and lift your mood. Let your thoughts focus on the nature around you, as this will also help restore your mental wellbeing.
  2. Listen to an uplifting or funny message on a podcast, TED Talk or YouTube video for at least 5 minutes. Hearing another person talk about how they overcame adversity can inspire you. Listening to comedy will trigger endorphins and help you feel better.
  3. Make yourself a smoothie made of these 5 things: Berries, bananas, oats, coffee and dark chocolate. If you prefer something savoury, have a meal of these 5: fatty fish, lentils, green vegetables, sweet potatoes, and nuts.
  4. Dance to happy music for at least 5 minutes. Dancing releases endorphins so that we feel happy. You could go further and dance to 5 happy songs.
  5. Get in touch with 5 friends. Often when people feel depressed the tendency is to hibernate. But this only makes things worse. Just having contact with other people is good for our mental and even physical health. You don’t need to be at your best to send a simple WhatsApp message. Most people will be happy to hear from you and will send you a message back.

 

There are other things you can do to funk a funk, but I promised I’d keep it to 5. The point is, we can alter our moods. We have a choice to stay in the funk or get ourselves out of it. Negativity and staying in a dark mood are habits. We always have the choice to replace our bad habits with good ones. So what if you got into the habit of doing these 5 things daily, to prevent getting into a funk in the first place?

That Question

Has anyone asked you that question yet?

That Question

“Are you ready for Christmas?” I have two daughters with birthdays in November. So there is no way I’m going to even think about Christmas until after their birthdays. When someone asks me at the start of November, if I’m ready for Christmas, I hold my breath and give them a certain look.

What does being ready for Christmas even mean? Is there a universal list that I’m supposed to tick off the tasks to get ready? If I don’t have everything on that list, does it no longer count as Christmas? Like the time when I bought an artificial Christmas tree because I looked in 6 stores and they had all run out of real trees already. (Living in the Caribbean we have real trees imported from Canada, but you have to order one in March!) More than one member of my family was horrified that I had “RUINED” Christmas.

Over the years, my daughters became vegetarian, so as well as a turkey, we had to have a meat free version for them. We got to the point where we had to have no fewer than 10 vegetable dishes. All of them were accompanied with the exclamation, “We have to have that at Christmas!” Similarly with the gifts, I have made a rod for my own back by giving everyone too many presents. Is that really what Christmas is about?

Or is Christmas a season that we can celebrate with joy, regardless of the exact details? It is not our birthday after all! Can we encompass in this season of holidays, the fact that we are all celebrating different things? The tourists at our rental property come to celebrate Hanukkah, perhaps partly to avoid that question of “Are you ready for Christmas?”

I know in the States the expression “Happy Holidays” has been used for many decades. But those of us who are not American,  and don’t live in the States, can still learn from our American friends. Certainly when I lived in the UK two decades ago it was unheard of to wish anyone “Happy Holidays.”

I’ve only ever been to a real American Thanksgiving Dinner once. And it was a large party, not a family dinner. But I have hosted them before, much to the surprise of my invited guests! I’ve no idea if I cooked the “correct” dishes, because everyone I spoke to had their own family traditions. My family obviously has no tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving for me to turn to. But what a wonderful way to be consciously thankful and positive. So I don’t mind admitting to this piece of cultural appropriation.

Next time someone asks me that question, I will ask them to define ready, because as far as I’m concerned “ready” is in our attitudes, not our to do lists. How do you know when you are ready for Christmas or the holiday you celebrate?

If you are interested in learning more about 1:1 or 1:2 coaching please see Orchard Coaching & Retreats.

You can book your free session here.

Or you can email Fiona at seaorchardretreat@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

Overcoming Overwhelm!

Overcoming Overwhelm

This coming Friday,  I will host my group coaching workshop called Overcoming Overwhelm. It is the last in a series of 6 workshops.

Overwhelm strikes when you have too much work to do, you have personal issues and significant life events happen all at the same time. It feels like there is too much to deal with and you don’t know which situation to look at first. You don’t know which way to turn. It’s hard to focus on the bigger picture. Instead your brain thinks about all the details of the many different situations. And it feels like you are drowning.

When my sister and mother died within 5 weeks of each other, strangely I wasn’t overwhelmed. I arranged the funerals, emptied the house, with my other sister. It was clear what I should do and in what order. So I got on with it.

Then when I lost all the money in my account because our airport was closed to tourists, I was worried, but not overwhelmed. We were waiting for our airport to reopen.  Suddenly American Airlines announced they were cancelling all their flights regardless.  At that point I definitely felt desperate, but not exactly overwhelmed.

In the meantime, I was doing a refurbishment of my sisters’ flat in London, emptying my parents’ house, trying to rescue our tourism business and setting up a coaching business.

Overwhelm struck when I became aware that the London flat needed a lot more radical work done than the initial refurbishment.

The worst moment for me was on a particular day when I messaged my tenant at 6 am and over the next few hours she sent me 40 messages back, including several videos of things that needed fixing, after she had already moved in.

How do you typically deal with this sort of situation?  Maybe you take one day at a time and work through it. Perhaps you pray about it. You might talk to someone. Having someone listen to you definitely helps, whether that is your partner, a good friend or colleague, a coach or God!

But there is more we can do to overcome overwhelm and stay calm.

Nowadays, I help my clients with coping strategies using the 5 senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell and even taste. My methods also include Guided Meditation, visualisation, breathing and body movement.

These techniques help you to take a step back and put things in perspective.

Working on our self love, setting boundaries, boosting our confidence, and speaking our truth as well as practising gratitude and self soothing methods all help us to overcome overwhelm.

So I invite you to join us on Friday for the Overcoming Overwhelm workshop. I am going to share with you a very simple but useful tool. And it’s going to be fun!

To enrol in this Group Coaching, please fill this very short Enrolment Form https://forms.gle/huFJbb6rjbJh67bD8. After you have registered you will receive the link to the calls.

 

Speaking Your Truth

Speaking Your TruthYesterday, we had my Speaking Your Truth workshop, which was the 4th in a series.

The first question I asked was “Why is speaking your truth important?” The answer came back loud and clear that if you don’t speak your truth, your life will be out of balance. This will only lead to problems, and even illness.

In the interests of speaking my truth let me tell you about the week I’ve had. On Monday, I coached a very dynamic young lady, who was an inspiration to me! It is truly a joy when I meet someone who is doing so well in life at such a young age. My old self might have felt a tinge of envy since I was held back by old fashioned ideas of women not working. But now I feel so happy for younger women’s success. Maybe it’s my age, but everyone seems so young these days!

The next day, Tuesday, I was interviewed on Radio Cayman about coaching. It was about a half an hour interview, which was amazing! Then the guest after me was late arriving, so I got the chance to coach the presenter live on air! What a cool opportunity! Never have I been so grateful for traffic!

On Wednesday, a funny thing happened. I hosted a Group Coaching for trainee attorneys. I had only invited a very small group as this was a pilot program. We had discussed the topics in advance, and they had agreed to the subjects I had suggested. Almost as soon as we started, it became apparent that they had no need for that workshop! At the end, I went through the other topics, asking if they would benefit from them, and they replied they were doing really well in those areas as well. I was super impressed with how well they had balanced their lives, considering the pressures of their profession.

In the past I would have probably drowned in shame and humiliation! Because I think I would have seen this as a complete failure. But thankfully, the participants were really lovely, polite and kind. They said the workshop would have been helpful to them when they started their “Articles” or traineeship. And since this pilot was designed as a research project, it was useful for me to find out the situation in advance of promoting the program.

On Thursday I had a slight fever so I slowed down. I had a lovely walk in the park with my son, and I took some time to do some dancing. I tried a new piece on the piano, which I discovered was not that hard. It was a Mazurka by Chopin. At the moment I am only playing Chopin!!  I think this must be something like artists going through a “blue” period!

Friday is the day of my regular Group Coaching. As I mentioned above, this was the 4th session and it was on Speaking Your Truth. We had previously covered Self Love, Setting Strong Boundaries and Boosting Your Confidence. But this is the one that was the most challenging for me. Because I still have some work to do in this area. It was powerful! I had my own breakthrough right there on the call. And of course the participants were having their own Aha! moments.  And when I see that happening, it is what makes it all worthwhile.

 

Boost Your Confidence

Boost Your Confidence

Do you want to boost your confidence? This is the story of how I grew mine. I did a series of challenges that took me increasingly out of my comfort zone.

In the early months of this summer, I did a weekly challenge on Facebook Live, that I called Cowardly to Courageous. Each week I undertook a challenge that was slightly scary for me. Even though the challenges may not have seemed scary to other people, the point was that they were out of my comfort zone. They ranged from jumping from a rock into the sea through having acupuncture, to getting a tattoo of the word Courage on my arm.

The interesting thing about confidence is that we don’t need it before we take action. In fact, it is in the taking of action that we gain confidence. A wonderful result of taking action and gaining confidence in one particular area is that it gives you confidence to do other daunting tasks. So after each challenge I took, I stood taller and felt braver to do the next one.

After that, I did a FB Live challenge for 5 weeks, which I called The Joy of Creation. The goal here was to create something without worrying about it being perfect. Each week I did a different creative art, such as dancing, writing, singing, acting and visual art. People commented on the Lives with their prompts. As soon as I saw a prompt, I had to incorporate it into what I was doing. The one I had the most fun with was the Improv acting with a friend.

After the summer, my challenge was to reach out to people and offer them coaching. I worked through a list in alphabetical order. Meaning I started with Attorneys in Atlanta, Barristas in Brooklyn, Chiropractors in Chicago and so on.  This only lasted a week, as not a single person acknowledged my random message! I gave myself permission to stop and do something else.

Here’s what’s significant though. While nobody was interested in finding out more about a gift of coaching from a random stranger, the project was not a fail. The goal of growing my confidence was a great success. Before the challenges I was reluctant to strike up a conversation with someone I didn’t know. After that, I felt much more able to speak to people, regardless of what they do or where they live. So that’s a win!

As I have said before and will say again, it’s all about taking those small steps and reaching further out of your comfort zone each time. That’s how I have been growing my confidence. I would encourage you to do the same if you asked me how to boost your confidence.

 

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