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Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Rose garden musings

Enjoying the rose garden in Hyde Park after meeting with Leah

Today was a great day!  I spent the morning with the wonderful Leah Cox who runs her own career/life coaching business.  She kindly gave up her time to talk to me about some of my fears and brainstorm ideas about this next phase of my working life.  

We spent a glorious morning wandering together through Hyde Park in the sunshine. As we walked through the beautiful rose gardens and along the Serpentine we talked about some of the things that have held me back in my career and issues I've had in various jobs.  We also spent lots of time exploring the question "what do I REALLY WANT to do next?".  

I had a few realisations during my discussion with Leah:

1.  Putting myself in a box: I realised I don't have to get hung up on choosing a defined career path to follow with a specific label.  For example, 'wedding planner' or 'photographer' or 'caterer', all ideas which I have considered over the years.  I could instead choose to focus on building a career around my ideal lifestyle, dream activities, favourite interests, core values and best skills.

2.  Flexibility: I could build a 'portfolio career' allowing me to try out a number of different job ideas and work on a variety of projects simultaneously to help me get closer to discovering what it is that really makes me tick. The added bonus of this is that I could combine paid temp jobs with low/unpaid projects that truly excite me to make sure I can still pay the bills while I explore my options.

3.  Income: We talked about money and Leah reminded me that money is just a commodity like anything else and that I could aim to flex my work life so that I earn more money when I need to and earn less at other times depending on my financial needs from month to month or year to year.  Leah also emphasised that I need to try and believe that it truly is possible to earn a decent (or even great!) income from working on the things I love.  I have been quite hung up on this issue so far, believing that the only way for me to earn good money is in corporate / office based jobs and that it will be extremely difficult to earn money from things I regard as fun or exciting.  I think the money issue for me is a big one so I expect this will continue to worry and confuse me as I try to figure things out.

4.  Making real change:  Leah left me with a final inspiring thought... I am not simply trying to change what I do to earn money, rather I'm working towards making a fundamental shift in how I spend my time, how I earn money and how I feel about myself and my life.  I am trying to change myself at a deep personal level.

All of the above scares and excites me in equal measure.  

I have lots of ideas for next steps and projects but I just need to take things one day at a time for now or it could all get a bit overwhelming!  


  1. I thought I should leave you a comment, since you wrote so wonderfully about our time together in the park! The money question IS a big one, and one that's at the forefront of the minds of many of the people I talk to. And yes, it IS a reality. BUT, I most certainly don't believe you have to be an employee to earn a great living. In fact, I believe that long term, self employment can bring far greater financial success than employment. But of course, that's not something we're really taught much about and we too often think the only thing we can do is remain in employment...a few weeks ago, I was paid by a new client for a few days of hiking/coaching in the Lake District. I had wanted to combine hiking and coaching for ages, finally put the offer out, and within a few weeks it was happening. You can create whatever you want! The only limit is your imagination! Big congratulations for sending your blog out into the world. For me, launching my blog was a life-changing moment and I hope it will be for you too! Here's to a future full of everything you want! Much love, Leah

    1. Thanks Leah for my first ever comment!! I'm not sure if I would have had the guts to go for it with the blog without your encouragement. Thank you so much for your support!

  2. I have no doubt you would have put your blog out there with or without me, Celia! Exciting times!