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  1. Glorious Cracks

    Do not Google this title

    The ancient Japanese developed the art of Kintsugi (golden joinery) which is the repair of broken or cracked pottery items with liquid gold. This has an unusual effect, as the very scars which had rendered the item ugly or useless become the most attractive thing about the reconditioned piece. The mended scar becomes the star!

    The idea of Kintsugi seems to be closely related to another Japanese philosophy - Wabi-sabi- which celebrates the flaws and imperfections in something or someone.

    So, what about our own glorious cracks? The stuff we never seem to improve on or get right, the bad habits or hapless lack of skill that trips us up time after time and makes us feel less than adequate?

    The thing is, nobody would really like us if they though we were perfect. We’d seem untouchable, unrelatable, unassailable and boring maybe. Deep down we realise that, in order to perpetuate the myth of perfection, we’d be constantly uptight in our efforts to project the mirage of our best selves, living our best life. And we all know that’s bollocks, don’t we? Because apparent perfection can cleverly conceal the fragile ego of someone who feels they are not worthy of appreciation of who they truly are. You know, that normal human being that looks like a sack of spuds as a default setting, farts like a skunk and licks the dinner plate when no one’s looking (no - just me then?)

    There is so much more mileage as a human to revealing our frailties and imperfections. There is so much more to like about someone who skids in sideways with their arse on fire, bits falling off them left, right and centre - because they bring energy, honesty, fun and relatability. There is, in my opinion, far more grace and honesty in being yourself than trying to fool yourself or be something you simply are not.

    I think the biggest thing of all is this; it is in working to repair ourselves or help others that we become resilient and also understand ourselves better through conversations and relationships. Rejoice in each others’ cracks! (as it very much were) because those cracks are where the light gets in and the love spills out. Our cracks, when we choose to reveal them) shout out “there’s room for you to help me here.”

    And I don’t mind that at all.

  2. Blog - Imperfection is SexyRamblings Number 2.

    The tendency to perfectionism seems to be such a common trait in people that come to me for coaching. It disguises itself as something good, but if you let it dominate the way you operate, it steals your time, energy and sense of humour. Not fun, not productive and certainly not sexy.

    I reckon the solution to allowing yourself to deliver “adequately imperfect” boils down to trust and faith. The old “am I good enough?” question. Well, yes you are. You have all of you to give. You know which bits of you work best. Which bits are brilliant. Don’t worry about the shitty bits; let someone help you with those. Back yourself up, have faith, trust yourself.   And remember - imperfection is far more badass and appealing than perfection (honestly? No one cares how much you’ve polished it. Have a word with yourself...)

    If you are a leader or manager, then trust others to do the same once you have lead the way. Make sure you communicate (don’t just send!! Listen twice as much) Allow others to shine for you... and for themselves, in their own way and work with that. The results can be astonishing. Trust and faith.

    Refrain from over-engineering; it’s boring and predictable and the results are impinged by the limits of your own imagination. Being imperfect allows us to live humbly and reminds us that there is always something bigger in charge of proceedings.

    Allow the universe to deliver something spectacular, but remember to give it a little help by knowing how you want to feel about the outcome and have a rough (but not too specific) idea about what you want. Go about your work with enthusiasm and curiosity, do the work (not overwork) and allow others to add what they have to give. Then, press the “fuck it, that’ll do” button and relax about the outcome. Fine tune once the results are in and repeat as necessary.

    You’re going to have far more time and energy to enjoy being sexy.

    Ps I’ve just read this back and it’s a bit preachy. Soz. But hopefully useful, nonetheless. Stay safe x

  3. Blog - Sowing SeedsRamblings Number 1.

    Disclaimer; I will attempt to get through this without any mention of Lord Voldemort or Covid19 from here on in. But if I appear to, soz.

    Also, my musings are intended as “for your perusal” rather than preachy “life hacks” which can get boring and usually state the bleedin’ obvious.

    Any road up as like....

    Thank God the weather is nice. I have managed to get a teeny weeny little greenhouse from Aldi and have some vegetable seeds to plant up, largely because it returns a little bit of control to me. I feel like I am doing something productive and nurturing. Indeed, I’m fancying myself as Barbara Goode (showing my age now, Google will serve the under 50’s) I’m taking out the plants in the garden which were hogging too much space for too little return, and I plan to firstly get a grip of the ground elder, then put up some wigwams for dwarf french beans and broad beans.

    I have seed potatoes and carrots, and I’ve already got some salad leaves on the go - you can get these splendid little seed mats which is basically 2-ply tissue impregnated with seeds (yeah, I know what you’re thinking but think it through - what happens if the seeds germinate in your nooks and crannies?)

    And then there’s radishes. They are an absolute synch to grow, so if I bung some seeds in now, they will be up and at it in 4 weeks (apparently).

    I helped my mates Spencer and Martin at @trans2performance put on a Resilience Masterclass back in November. I remember talking about planting trees, figuratively speaking. I had heard a story that the avenue towards the Palace of Versailles was lined with oak trees so that, in such case that the Notre Dame ever burned down, these might be felled to help rebuild it. Now, I’m not sure that this has been the case, but I love the notion. We can plant and nurture “trees” ourselves for our own lives, can’t we? (relationships, skill sets, feeding our curiosity, learning to trust our gut, looking after our bodies, making our homes work for us, paying things forward in general). In case of catastrophe, where is our sanity going to come from? Where are our resources? Furthermore, is there such a thing as a bog roll tree?

    And - what better time to start than now? Now most of us suddenly have some space and time to do a life inventory. This might be a pen and paper job, or maybe go for a walk and use the dictaphone on the mobile to capture any brilliant ideas that fall out of your head as you stomp along.

    But seeds of ideas are living in your head right now, waiting to fall on fertile ground - and if we give ourselves the space to FEEL then trust what we discover, amazing things can grow from what looks like a catastrophe. We need to read the ground, appreciate the conditions and have realistic expectations that some seedlings will be lost to slugs. But slugs feed birds and birds are good for the garden. Furthermore, the more we learn how to use the “trees” we have grown from seed along the way, the more faith we develop in our own ability, not only to adapt and survive, but to flourish. It’s exciting just how resourceful humans can be.

  4. Blog - The Serpent and EveWhat a brilliant notion. If I had been Eve, and depending on my mood and level of boredom at another day in Paradise, I'd have been all over that serpent like a rash.

    Maybe it represented opportunity, excitement, curiosity, tested her courage versus her resolve to remain obedient. Adam had been chasing her round Eden for too long and frankly, maybe she just fancied an apple and found the idea of wearing an enigmatically quim-shaped fig leaf appealing.

    Now to the point. What is the purpose of being put on the planet if not to discover it for yourself? The nature of things, how it is, how to love, how to fuck it up then put it right, how to forgive. To learn self-reliance but also to rock and roll in time with everybody else. To give. To be in tune, yet then be inspired to go sing your own.

    Every girl needs a serpent, as a joyful reminder that she may choose a life for herself.