The Balancing Act

The Balancing Act

 

I’ve heard people say that they are doing THIS for their children.

I’ve heard people say that they’ve made massive sacrifices to their life for their dream.

I’ve heard people say it’s all hard graft to get the money and the life they really want.

 

There’s something about these statements that make me feel very uncomfortable. Maybe I’ve got a lot to learn (I definitely have a lot to learn) and maybe I’m going to have some difficult decisions to make along the way. But I don’t think The Dream has to be that hard.

 

The Dream can be anything. It can be a complete change of life or it can quite simply being able to find time to learn a new hobby or skill and make time for yourself each week.

 

I’m going to look at this from a few different perspectives

 

Sacrifice

 

This is where my argument falls down a bit because I have made a few sacrifices:

 

  • I have attended weekend training courses and missed out on family time
  • I have spent my evenings developing Nicola Hughes the business, missing out on…err TV!!
  • I have spent my birthday money on branding and other bits of cash on the business

 

I don’t really see any of that as a major sacrifice apart from the fact that I missed the children but we all had a fabulous time, we just weren’t together. 4 days, 2 weekends is fine in my book. It might not be okay in your book but that’s fine because it’s your dream and you set the rules.

 

I’m not afraid to bust a gut to train for a 10k. I’m happy to sacrifice eating horrendously gorgeous food to watch my waist line for a bit. I’m happy to sacrifice. BUT, I’m not going to disappear from my children’s life to tap tap at my laptop and say I’m doing this for them!

 

What’s hard?

 

None of it really. When I read Entrepreneurial Revolution by Daniel Priestley he said that lots of people living their dream never retire because they love what they do, it isn’t work. Some nights I’ve gone to bed really late because I’ve been ‘working’ on new material and I’ve been so buzzed up and happy, impressed with myself, energised, and excited because it’s not hard work it’s The Dream coming nearer and nearer. And I love it. I might have to make decisions that feel difficult and have barriers I have to overcome and work out how the heck Mailchimp works but it’s just small parts of the overall Dream.

 

Balance

 

This bit is hard for me. It is so important for me to have balance in my life, and I harp on about this a lot. I cannot be a full time anything. I need balance. I need to spend quality time with my children, I need to do something just for me, I need family time, TV time, chocolate time, days out, days in, cooking, organising…. The list goes on. So I cannot and will not commit full time to anything in particular The Dream because I need balance.

 

If you have not noticed it is December. December is synonymous with trees, decoration, mince pies, Christmas cards, presents, advent calendar and preparing cool advent task things to keep up with all the other amazing mums, Christmas parties, jumpers, craft fair, visits to several Santa’s…. Not really much room for planning The Dream.

 

It hit me one Sunday evening. I had a list of thigs I had to do and I realised I had not prepared the advent activities I wanted to do for my pickles.  I did it so fast that I gave myself stomach ache and I didn’t enjoy it at all.

 

I had to think.

 

I thought about all the Christmas tasks I wanted to do and enjoy with the children or with my hubby. And as I was thinking about it I was wondering how fast I could get them done so I could then get the lap top out and write some content for The Dream that’s when it struck me.

 

I will NOT say I’m doing this for the kids if it means missing out on watching them put up the Christmas tree.

I will NOT make massive sacrifices if it involves the kids missing out on me being part of a whole season of life

If The Dream becomes all about graft and hard work then it’s not what it was meant to be and it needs to stop.

 

My children don’t actually care about The Dream, they want to be loved by a happy healthy mummy and daddy. And we are happy and healthy when we have balance in our lives.

 

I did consider giving The Dream up over the Christmas period because I felt such a strong pull to enjoy every Christmas moment with the children and make memories. They are 1 and 3. They will never be 1 and 3 again. Next year they will be 2 and 4, then 3 and 5. I never get this time back ever again. But I’m driven and excited and can’t stop The Dream from existing it calls me and I cannot shut it up.

 

So a memo to you both,

 

Hello December, meet The Dream!

I know you are in competition with each other for my attention but I love you both. I will not choose between the two of you. You will have to learn to get on with each other.  I will enjoy every Christmas moment and if The Dream would like to join us and inspire us while we are having fun then you are most welcome. But if you come and try and laden me with guilt then I shut the door on you because my family time is precious.

December, if I’m planning my next move or writing a blog feel free to sing Christmas songs while I work or feed me lovely mince pies to give me energy but do not come with your guilt trying to steal me away from something that is mine, that I own that I’m proud of.  Because I need this time.

December you are my seasonal joy. The Dream you are my inspiration. So let the party begin. X x

 

What’s Your Dream?

 

When you were reading this did something resonate with you? The desire to have balance, the pull between the children and something else, wondering how they can all work together.

 

I have a really awesome way of helping you get a birds’ eye perspective of your life and pin pointing which bit is out of balance.

 

That sounds pretty good right?

 

If you email me at contact@nicolahughes.co.uk  we can arrange a FREE coaching session and I will help you work it out.

 

Meanwhile, I’m sooooo curious to know what Your Dream is.  Nothing is too bonkers or too mundane for me. Come and visit me at www.fb.com/nicolahughescoaching and tell me what Your Dream is.

 

You know your friends? I reckon they have Dreams too, it’s just you never get to talk about it because you’re so busy with work or the kids. Please pass this onto them, it might be the life line they need to get them started.

 

Thanks for reading

 

Love  Nicola x x

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Jolt When you Step Back into Work

The JoltWhen you Step into work

In my Blog “Return to work – No you can’t.” https://nicolahughescoaching.wordpress.com/2015/11/15/return-to-work-no-you-cant/

I describe stepping into work like stepping onto an elevator. It doesn’t stop, it keeps moving just like your job has while you’ve been away. And when you have stepped on you got a jolt as you readjust.

The jolt onto an elevator is small.

You might not even notice it.

This Blog is about my Jolt as I step back into work.

IT IS NOT A SMALL JOLT!!

It’s a great big ruddy jolt that’s left me shouting, “Who took my life, I’ll have it back now please!!”

Ok, I’ll stop being a drama queen.

But here is a little context. I am writing this after day two at work. I work two days a week. I have two children. The childcare is a mix of grandma, childminder and preschool. We had a horrible double dose of chicken pox the week before and some family issues that wiped me out.

And hello work.

I loved being at work. I talked to adults without interruption from small people, I made a cuppa when I wanted and drank it before it went cold, I only had to feed myself at lunch time and no one followed me to the toilet and shouted, “Don’t make a loud noise mummy!” (The biggest pickle says this when we are in public toilets and he’s referring to the hand dryer that he’s scared to death of BUT he always says it when I’m sat on the public toilet and not when I’m washing my hands which in my mind would be a much more appropriate time to make his request! Ruddy kids!)

I still feel a little wobbly about the actual job I am doing and I wonder if I can remember how to do it. Plus the system has dramatically changed and I know I’m going to get frustrated with that. But I have an inner peace and good support at work and I know it will be fine.

What could possibly go wrong?

I thought the jolt I would experience was stepping through the office door. No, that was fun. The jolt was stepping in my front door when I got back. I had been gone all day. I didn’t know what had gone on, who needed what. It felt like trying to jump onto a very fast moving train. In truth it probably looked like any usual evening in the Hughes residence. But I didn’t know what to do?

I felt surplus – no one needed me

I felt guilty – I didn’t know what my children needed

I felt jealous – Someone else knew what they wanted

I felt trapped – I didn’t know how to make it right or at least workable.

I felt hungry – I didn’t know when I was going to eat my tea

I did what any self-respecting woman on a mission to be more fulfilled would do.

I planned my escape!!

I thought I’d get a new job and work 12 hours straight so I could avoid all of this. I thought I could change my childcare arrangements, I could quit my job and eat beans on toast for life.

Then, (a few days later)

I realised that I hadn’t given much thought to anyone else. So I asked and I kept asking.

I strongly but kindly said I wasn’t okay with some things. I set boundaries.

I offered possibilities. I was flexible.

We stated the obvious. We all need feeding.

We allocated jobs.

We renegotiated.

We said we would keep trying.

I enter Week 2 of work much happier.

So what is your Jolt? Are you living it right now? Or are you waiting and dreading and guessing what it will be?

Whatever it is and however you are feeling if you need help I know I can help you.

You don’t need to dread it. Just imagine how much easier it will be to have someone who understands walking along side you through it.

And if you’re living the jolt right now and can’t see a way out. There will be.

Whatever the situation you are in, if you can’t see the wood for the trees and want some help getting out or to find a new perspective get in touch with me at Contact@nicolahughes.co.uk and we can arrange a

FREE introductory Coaching Session for you.

When you have done that get on Facebook and like my page www.fb.com/nicolahughescoaching so you can keep up to date with my musings and information.

Lots of love to you

Nicola x

All Self Care Advice is Crap!

Daily Quotes

 

Apart from this, this is golden!

 

Seriously it’s gonna take a lot more than a hot bath and a walk to fix my monumental mess.

 

Do you feel you’re heading down a slippery slope but feel helpless to stop yourself?

 

Are you usually pretty resilient but this time somethings got the better of you?

 

Do you get a bit sick of self-help advice because whoever writes it must be a hermit who doesn’t have two kids a dog and a tonne of responsibility?

 

Keep reading because I am on your side.

 

It’s not that you don’t think a bit of mindfulness would be wonderful it’s just not possible and I know you aren’t making excuses, your life is a total balancing act and you’ve got a wobble on.

 

Even though you know a hot bath would be nice or 15 minutes to read a magazine would be luxury and a pub lunch alone with your partner is essential for harmony. The reality is the bath always has kids in it. There are no magazines because what’s the point of buying one, and a pub lunch!! Are you kidding? No baby sitter.

 

What are we exhausted, yet supposedly empowered women meant to do?

 

Self-care advice suggests you say NO

 

I’ve looked at my diary and tried to say no to things. I can’t delay the biggest pickles start at pre-school. I can’t cancel the smallest pickles birthday party. Could possibly cancel friends coming over for lunch but I don’t want to so I buy a massive lasagne and deal with the guilt of not providing a nourishing home cooked meal instead.

 

Self-care advice suggests look after yourself

 

I go to bed early but get woken up several times and wonder if I should just give up sleep altogether. I take vitamins. Have a good moan and a cry. Try to eat healthy but that involves more preparation. So spend time wondering whether I should eat healthily and use up energy preparing healthy food or buy pizza and feel rested but bloated and skint. Hubby intervenes and buys fish and chips and says fish oil is good. Good call hubby!

 

Self-care advice suggests yoga

 

Err no! I can’t do a keep fit class or go to anything else either. Nothing against them but I am rarely free from the pickles or I’m at work.

 

Then I had a revelation that helped me much more than any self-care advice ever has!

 

The Comfort Zone

 

I learnt about comfort zones, stretch zones and panic zones. The tasks in comfort zones feel safe, it’s easy and familiar. In the stretch zone it’s a challenge, you might feel a little panic, a few butterflies and some stress. And tasks in the panic zone you probably shouldn’t be doing because you feel extreme panic and stress just thinking of it.

 

As a passionate life coach I’d usually be talking about getting out of your comfort zone and developing yourself but not today.

 

Not when you are tired.

 

I realised that most of my day operated in the stretch zone. Even putting a load of washing in the machine was like the rat run trying to avoid being grabbed by small hands and moaned at.

 

I’m not sure about you but I can’t avoid my stretch zone, it’s good to have stretches and in theory when you’ve done it a few times it graduates to the comfort zone.

 

This is not true for the tasks that involve my little pickles, they are so unpredictable (and gorgeous) that they always add this unknown entity to life. I wouldn’t be without it but I have to admit I like to know what’s going on so I find it a stretch and I think it always will be.

 

It would be really easy to feel inadequate because I can’t handle the stretch of these simple parenting tasks. But that’s who I am.

 

My advice…I hope you don’t think its crap!

 

Nicola’s Self-care suggests: know your comfy place.

It might be that staying on the sofa all evening once the kids have gone to bed is your only comfort zone event of the day.

 

Or an hour to check your virtual world makes you feel safe.

 

Or eating a big piece of chocolate restores all the wrong in a day.

 

When I realised I needed to do these things instead of get my sorry butt to Pilates (a stretch zone for me – no pun intended). It was like I gave myself a huge permission, like a get out of PE letter from my mum!

 

Instead I looked at how I got comfort and where I felt safe.

 

If I’m not stressed and life is balanced then I’ll stretch myself some more because I’ve got a lot of things I want to achieve and sitting on the sofa isn’t going to get me very far.

 

But I really need to recognise those times and seasons and so do you.

Give yourself a get out of PE note and do what you need to do to recover from this season, because it is only a season.

All will be restored soon and you can carry on with your mission.

If you know your life needs some adjustment or you feel out of balance contact me as I’d love to offer you a free session to see if coaching is the right fit for you.

Email me at contact@nicolahughes.co.uk

And join me on www.facebook.com/nicolahughescoaching

Lots of warmth to you, Nicola x x

Also featured on www.lorifitzgerald.co.uk

My Deepest Fear Is…

My Deepest Fear Revealed

My deepest fear is..

Are you someone that does things on time or leaves them to the last minute?

When you got homework as a child did you do it on the way home or on the way to class the following week?

Will you do an all-nighter before a deadline or are you tucked up in bed feeling satisfied and accomplished?

I get it done. I am a doer. It was done last week.

I frequently say, “There are no flies on me.”

I’m sure if we read some psychology reports we would discover the reason behind those of us that get things done now and those of us that leave it to the last minute. I’m sure we are both as equally messed up.

I have spent the last few weeks glued to my lap top (my new lap top by the way for my new business!) Any blog, any ideas get written up and time spent on them. I’m getting things in order, I’m researching, I am on it.

So why oh why then am I leaving one particular aspect to the last minute? Why am I putting it off and doing everything else first.

We all procrastinate right? I hate hoovering but when I do get the hoover out I’m always interested in what I am procrastinating or dreading doing more than the hoovering.

This is a bit different and I guess there’s an emotional edge to this I need to uncover. But before I tell you about me, what about you?

What is it you are not doing?

Are people telling you, you are good at something in particular but you keep putting it off or making excuses?

What is it you really want to do but aren’t? Maybe a new hobby, learning to run, starting a business.

It’s probably time to think about why you are putting it off and what the route cause is.

Have you read my first Blog – Do It Afraid. Great, read it again.

It’s time to sort ourselves out.

Stop limiting ourselves and get on doing the very thing we could be absolutely brilliant at if only we’d give ourselves half a chance.

When I was in my twenty somethings I spent 3 years in the USA training to be a Mime Artist under the two most gifted artists I have ever met. Their performances radiated through my being like nothing I’ve ever seen or probably will ever see again.

It was powerful.

When I started this particular blog I didn’t know what the answer was, I genuinely hoped that as I wrote to you honestly I would uncover something.

And there it is.

They were powerful.

Can I be that powerful?

I am reminded of this amazing quote that you might have heard if you’ve watched the film Coach Carter.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Marianne Williamson.

I’ll tell you now what I’m meant to be doing. I’m meant to be choreographing a mime that I can perform to a group of ladies in a workshop I am running. I can run workshops standing on my head, I do it as part of my day job. But for some reason this FEAR has infiltrated into the workshop and as it stands I have a few exercises and nothing else. At the moment the workshop would be ok.

It needs to be brilliant.

I need to be brilliant

And you need to be brilliant.

It is in us we are holding it hostage because the potential we have in us overwhelms us.

Some of you are pftting me right now because you think you have no power.

Of course you do. Why on earth would you have no power? Prove your lack of power!

There is a lightbulb inside you waiting to be turned on.

Your job is to find the switch and turn it on.

How are you going to do that?

Email me at contact@nicolahughes.co.uk and claim your free life coaching session

Then keep connected with me at www.facebook.com/nicolahughescoaching and I’ll keep sharing my journey.

Lots of love to you as you figure it out.

Nicola x x

PS. The next day I sat down and wrote the workshop and mime in about an hour. I even practiced the mime. Sometimes we just need to acknowledge our stuff, give it a courtesy nod and then shift it out of the way. If I did it so can you!

I’m Gonna Win The Lottery….Come A Little Closer, I’ll Tell You How

Win, Win, WinI’m gonna win the Lottery – Come a little closer and I’ll tell you how.

Do you dream of winning the lottery and what you will do with the money?

Once you’ve paid off the mortgage, gone on the biggest holiday ever and bought a ridiculous amount of expensive bags, you dream of being this secret philanthropist (Took me ages to work out how to spell that and don’t even ask me to say it!). Blessing your community and friends without them knowing.

Okay, maybe the last bit’s just me.

But we all dream of life with huge amounts of money.

I love asking this question of people as I love hearing the unusual things people want to do or will do.

This weekend I bought my last lottery ticket. I didn’t win. I totally expect to win and I’m devastated when I don’t. Needless to say I’ve entered about 10 times in my whole life because it’s too traumatic!

My handsome hubby tells me that I have more chance of being bitten by a shark and dying from it, than winning the lottery! And he wonders why I hate swimming in the sea!

This aside I have full intention of winning the lottery – My Lottery!

And you can win too. You can win your lottery.

If I won the lottery (sorry I’m at it again I can’t help it I’m obsessed) I’d walk into this rich life I never lifted a finger for. Once I realised I had a dream that could become a reality I wanted that and not the lottery win. I want to build something.

You can look at all you have achieved and feel proud of yourself and your kingdom. You can do it. You will win.

I fully intend to pay off our mortgage, have dream holidays and much more.

So, tonight with your partner, or dog or whoever will believe you. Write down your lottery winning list.

Hunky hubster and I did our dream list one night.  Amongst other things, I wanted a house full of Ercol furniture and he wanted a fast car!!

Keep looking at your list and keep believing that you can do it.

Let it inspire you to shape a life for yourself that you will be proud of.

Stick with me and you’ll work out how soon enough, if you haven’t already.

Join the community of like minded women at: www.facebook.com/nicolahughescoaching and tell us what is on your Lottery List because we believe you will get it.

And to claim your free life coaching session email me at contact@nicolahughes.co.uk

Love Nicola x x

If you think this will resonate with any of your lovely friends please pass it on and send them to my FB page.

 

Do It Afraid

Do It Afraid

Have you got a dream in your heart? Do you aspire to be more than you are or be doing more than you are? You see people doing exciting things and you’re green with envy. You wonder if you will ever be good enough, earn enough or be tough enough.

Me too!

I’ve always known there was more. More in me that was bursting to come out.

Unfortunately I have perfectionist tendencies so I don’t do things unless I can do it very well. So I’ve hesitated starting my business because it doesn’t look shiny and lovely like the way I dream it to be.

Then I came across ‘Do It Afraid’.

I was at a festival and one of the stall holders was selling a heart with Do it Afraid sewn on it.

It did something to me. Like grabbed my heart and gave it a twist. It was of those moments. It moved me. Moved me to action.

I walked away with tears falling out from behind my sunglasses. I wasn’t sure what it was at this point but I knew I had to do it and I was definitely afraid.

So, I’m doing it now. What you see now in July 2015 isn’t the fullness of my dreams.

You have to start somewhere.  So let’s start together. You might not know your ‘it’ in its entirety; even if you do it’s likely to change as you refine what you do.

But start.

You have awesome desires in your heart, you have a longing for more. To be really fulfilled, fully fulfilled you can’t ignore this. You have to start.

Keep following me and I’ll share my journey and unfold my grand plan. I’ll walk with you as you achieve your heart’s desire.

I hope my first blog has inspired you. What I really love is connecting with like minded women, if I could have a cuppa and a chat with everyone I would, especially if there was cake. So get in touch with me and tell me your IT. I’d love to hear from you.

If you need help finding you IT I’d love to coach you. Email me at contact@nicolahughes.co.uk to arrange your free coaching session

And then join the community of like minded women at: www.facebook.com/nicolahughescoaching

Love Nicola x

Ps. If fear is a biggy for you check out these great quotes http://theboldlife.com/2011/08/101-quotes-fear/