Transforming Caregiver Stress into Compassion Resilience


A Touch of Grace

Posted by on Oct 10th, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Simply witnessing the sparkling presence of my teacher and Leadership Embodiment founder, Wendy Palmer, reconnects, reinforces and re-engages my dignity and inclusivity muscles! In this video – A Touch of Grace – she shares a simple tool for centering under pressure, and speaks amongst other things about stress as potential to grow resilience,  and the power of the recovery....

read more

When Love Is The Trigger

Posted by on Feb 11th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Why do attachment-disordered children struggle so hard to accept our Love, the very stuff that would help them heal? Because love brings with it promises that were never fulfilled; promises of safety, loyalty, protection and comfort. For these children, Love is simply a trigger for the hurt, and the betrayal, and the abandonment. Love itself is the feared element. Yielding into love is risky. It opens us up to be seen, to be felt by the other. And to be known or recognised is to immediately experience the other’s power. “The other becomes the one who can give or with-hold recognition; who can see what is hidden; who can reach, conceivably even violate, the core of the self” (Jessica Benjamin).  When we offer our wounded children our hearts, we must know that, in their eyes, this is a very dangerous thing. So we must gently, fully and freely give them permission to keep pushing our love back into our hands, to keep spitting it back in our faces, over and over, until they have the deep, felt sense that we can be trusted never to snatch it away from them again. We can’t control when and how this will happen, no matter how much we care, no matter how hard we try, no matter how intensely we love. It’s for our child to choose when they are ready, on their terms, not ours (and it’s for us not to take it personally). In fact, it is only when we experience the relief that comes when we DETACH ourselves, and therefore free our child, from the incessant pressure and responsibility to ATTACH, that we free up a truly safe enough space for moments of healing to occur. We can’t determine the outcome. But we can learn to hold our child within our inclusive, compassionate presence,  without expectation. And we can trust the process, shoring up the resources we need to help us stay hopeful, stay present, and stay very, very, patient – not just with our child, but with our own precious, beautiful,...

read more

The Dance of Attachment

Posted by on Jan 27th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Parenthood is full of uncertainties, but at least there is one thing that’s guaranteed; we will get triggered, no matter how much awareness we bring to our parenting. It is inevitable that breaches will occur in the ebb and flow of the relationship…a healthy partnership dances in and out of attachment multiple times in a day. And whilst it is useful to identify the historical narrrative that drives our reactions, it is not essential. What is essential, is knowing that when our alarm system is fired, it creates a boundary, between us and our children. They sense a withdrawal, a separation and a threat, even if just for a moment. If our relationships are built on securely attached and stable foundations, these mini-disconnects may create a jolt, but do little overall harm. But when our children are overwhelmed, anxious, have experienced neglect, multiple moves or lack a sense of permanence, then “facing separation can be a vulnerability too much for our children to bear” ( Dr Gordon Neufeld, developmental psychologist). Reducing the amount of separation to a minimum is the first step in softening our children’s hyper-alert alarm response, which is often the at the root of their reactive actions. So the parent’s job is not to get swept away by the swell of emotions, but to stay focused on building the bridge to the next connection. Breaks will happen, AND we must move swiftly towards interactive repair. We can do this by having tools at the ready that help us to acknowledge and soothe our own inevitable reactivity when it arises with self-compassion, acceptance and curiosity. We can do this by practicing alternative, empowered responses to our children’s moods and behaviours, so we can shift beyond our defensive, survival reactions towards creating the safe, calm and connected atmosphere we all aspire to live in. And we can do this by keeping in mind, that when one dancer changes their steps, the dance is compelled to change,...

read more

Strength in the face of resistance

Posted by on Jan 27th, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When parents come to me for coaching, we will often explore the ‘Essential Acts of Self-Care’. Two of these are Support and Advocacy. Parents are usually deemed to be the experts in their children, and have the power and influence to make a difference in matters affecting their lives. Sadly, this is not always the experience of parents whose children have extreme behaviours, as few people understand the dynamics involved. For example, parents of a child with RAD can be held at fault for their children’s behaviour, since the child’s anger and rejection tends to be reserved for those providing the love and intimacy (the two things the child fears and needs most). These children are also skilled at Triangulation, and can make false accusations and allegations. As a result, others may only see and know the smiling, charming, loveable face of the child, leading to parents feeling isolated, unsupported and fiercely judged. Whilst most parent coaches pay only lip-service to these concepts, the Support and Advocacy practices help parents develop the embodied strength of action that is needed where ever they may meet resistance or criticism – in therapy, at school, in the park, in our own families. We explore what limits or constrains us when we meet resistance and how we can find the resilience to keep speaking up over the long-term, even when we are the lone voice. We look at how we organise ourselves around requesting and receiving practical and emotional support, so we can more readily access resources that help hold us up, and feel the relief that comes with ‘more hands at our back’, when we no longer have the strength to keep standing by ourselves. Support and Advocacy are essential acts of self-care, because they strengthen our capacity to take courageous and skillful action without so much cost to our emotional and physical...

read more

Power Without Aggression, Through Leadership Embodiment

Posted by on Jan 21st, 2015 in Leadership Embodiment, Leadership Embodiment | 0 comments

In this Fetzer Institute video, sports icons Jackie Joyner Kersee and Mia Hamm celebrate my Leadership Embodiment teacher, Wendy Palmer. It describes how Wendy’s Leadership Embodiment work is helping people break down barriers and cope with interpersonal tensions.

read more

Who do you think you are? A Leader?

Posted by on Jan 15th, 2015 in Uncategorized, women's leadership | 0 comments

It can be difficult for female solo-entrepeneurs, such as coaches, consultants or therapists who work for themselves, to  claim their right to be identified as a Leader.   I know. I’ve been there.   But leadership is not simply a status defined by a designated role. If you are choosing to step  out on your own, follow your own ideas, vision and direction, and are seeking to enrol others into that vision then yes, you are a leader If you are seeking to make a bigger contribution, leave a lasting legacy, and use your skills to improve the world, then yes, you are a leader If you have the freedom to take action and make decisions that determine the future success of your business then yes, you are a leader  If you are committed to making a difference to your clients’ lives, and ignite conversations that lead them towards new possibilities and change, then yes, you are a leader  If you take responsibility for your circumstances, your actions, your mistakes, and for the growth of the people around you, and invest in them, then yes, you are a leader And if you have the capacity to act as a role model to your colleagues, your children, your friends and community, then yes, ABSOLUTELY, you are a leader  As a woman, you have probably cast yourself in many roles, and now its time to cast yourself as a Leader. Because, the bottom line is, it is the quality of your LEADERSHIP PRESENCE that provides the secure, safe and inspirational foundation from which your clients (and others in your life) can explore new pathways and possibilities and risk deep...

read more

Are You An Embodied Performer?

Posted by on Dec 19th, 2012 in Featured Post, performing under pressure, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Embodiment is the process of giving a physical, concrete form to an abstract concept like a principle, or quality. It is the ability to allow ideas and insights to root and take shape in our bodies, so they can find outward expression in effective, tangible actions.  What does this mean for you as a performer? Embodied performers don’t just live in an abstract trance of how they would like things to be, they take the bold action necessary to advocate for themselves as artists, and for their artform. They commit to practices that cultivate the qualities of presence, confidence and ease under pressure. They have the capacity to access a powerful source for physical and emotional creative expression. An embodied performer brings focus and meaning to their practice, and they have the resilience to thrive in the face of set-backs, mistakes, judgement and criticism. Embodied performers align body, breath and movement with intention, purpose and inspiration, supporting a life that is centered in integrity and authenticity. They are courageous enough to confront what is getting in their way, and to risk leaving parts of themselves behind, in order to pursue new habits and behaviours; an embodied approach to life holds that it is possible to release  ourselves from a chain of reactivity, and stay in closer touch with intuition and wisdom. The experience of being embodied arises through somatic and mindful practices – ways of bringing awareness to, and working with, the physical body and its sensations, feelings and moods. Because no matter how much we know something in theory, when we experience stress, it’s our BODY that returns to what it knows best. Because our deepest learning is rooted at a below-conscious level, we repeat behaviours and habits that are now dysfunctional for the job at hand. New research reveals what many enlightened souls have known intuitively all along… that working with the domain of the body is a powerful way to learn, change and transform ourselves. When we re-organize ourselves physically, we also change our state of mind, and ultimately the action we are capable of taking. That’s not surprising, since our physical experience of the world provides the pattern for how we reason about the world; our mind is constantly being shaped by the things we encounter in the physical world. And that’s why it is important that we don’t just understand what we need to do, but we also train our nervous system to support the learning and development of new actions and behaviours (for example, how to remain centered and at ease when facing an audience). And its best that we learn that whilst in the presence of others, because it is when we are in relational contact with others, under their critical gaze, that our systems are most triggered. And we need to learn how we can be bigger containers to tolerate the abundance of sensations and emotions – both positive and disruptive, that we experience moment to moment, so we can work more resourcefully with them. If we leave the body as a resource out of coaching and learning, we only have half the tools to get the job done. Becoming an embodied performer can be developed and trained for, in the same way as we prepare, rehearse and practice for a performance or concert...

read more

What Is Somatic Coaching?

Posted by on Sep 19th, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Working with the body and somatic practices is, I believe, the key to my own and my clients’ transformations. Here  is a link to an excellent article recently published in Coaching Today by Master Somatic Coach Clare Myatt, who I mentioned in my last post, which does a good job of explaining the value in her personal approach to somatic coaching...

read more

Somatic Workshop for Coaches: London 21st September.

Posted by on Sep 14th, 2012 in news and events | 0 comments

Developing somatic awareness deepens the work practitioners can do with their clients. With improved self-attunement to their stress response, practitioners can monitor themselves and their clients in a moment to moment way. This enhances the relationship in the room, and provides opportunities for the client to practice new ways of being. Master Somatic Coach Clare Myatt (pictured) is running a one day workshop for coaches designed to deepen access to your somatic self – enhance your presence as a practitioner, improve your ability to connect with and assess your client’s state. Clare is a very experienced therapist, coach and workshop leader who specialises in treating trauma and addiction. From my own experience, I know that Clare has a depth of Somatic knowledge that is unsurpassed by many. She is also insightful, wise, compassionate and able to hold a very safe space for experimentation, so this is a highly recommended workshop. For more details go to

read more

Why You Need Impossible Goals

Posted by on Aug 1st, 2012 in performing under pressure | 0 comments

I have just spent a joyful afternoon with a talented singer, helping her discover, and create an IMPOSSIBLE GOAL. But we all know that goals should be SMART, right? Acheivable, measurable, and all that? Well, yes, there are some goals in life perfectly suited to that model. They are the kinds of goals that build the bridge to that next place, the place where your impossible goal is taking you. Because when it comes to excelling in performance, staying committed and motivated in the long term, and mastering your passion, only big, audacious, impossible goals will do. A goal that is powerful enough to transform you, and reshape you, into the performer you desire to be. Leadership consultant and author Tracey Goss has influenced my thinking about creating impossible futures. In her book, The Last Word On Power, she asks a simple, but potent question,“What do you choose to use your life for?”  and its a similar question I put to my clients, What do you choose to use your instrument, your voice, your talent for? And after a little reflection or a lot soul searching, they almost always discover illuminating answers that help them move into inspired and focused action. Because you need to be committed to a  goal that is bigger than THIS  practice, THIS performance, THIS feedback.  You need a big, fat, juicy,  reason why you are choosing THIS kind of life, doing what you are doing now. Take a moment to think about your current goals. Is this goal going to get you out of bed in the morning over the next ten years? Is this goal big enough, impossible enough, that it depends on your full committment to it, and you are prepared to spend a lifetime in pursuit of it because it makes life – and your music – worth playing? A goal that you don’t turn your mind to just when you get to work, or when you get home. Because it encompasses your work and your home. It encompasses who you are being, and becoming. The goal does not, in reality, have to be impossible, but it does need to be bold and worthwhile.  And this is definitely NOT about wishful thinking or pie in the sky visions.  It needs to be purposeful, powerful and relevant. And its okay not know how you will get there, or even if you ever will.  You may fail. But accepting the possibility of failure does not mean you give up pursuing it.  Acceptance is not the same as resignation or defeat. Because this new goal has significant impact, simply through the pursuit of it. Here’s the thing. When you live into this new possibility of the future, it transforms your thoughts, your actions, your responses, your choices, and their results.   You choose to live your life from this new context.  You operate differently in this  new future that you have declared is possible.   It is not the acheivement of the goal that becomes the focus, but the person you are becoming through the process of  pursuing it;  the process shapes your identity into the self, the performer,  you eventually want to be. At every defeat, at every knock-back, you simply re-organise to take action that moves you nearer towards making your possibility a reality....

read more
Powered by WordPress | Designed by Elegant Themes