Posts tagged 2018
20 lessons I learned in 2018 (and what this means for 2019)

As a follow on from my End Of Year Review and as part of my overall end of year reflections I began concocting a ‘lessons I learned’ post after feeling inspired by reading similar posts by others. It ended up as a list of 20 which felt like the right place to stop.

I love the simple clarity of some of these lessons contrasted with the depth and complexity of others - a complexity that goes so much deeper than the words on the page.

Many of these lessons I am already well on the road to putting into action, others will take a little longer as the acknowledgement and the implications land within my soul.

This list is not conclusive but all felt significant for me and I feel offers something of a beautiful indicator as to where my life has journeyed over the last 12 months and areas of focus and intention for the next 12 ongoing.

I’d love to hear from you… what are your top lessons of 2018 …and where are you headed for 2019?

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20 lessons I learned in 2018

  1. ‘Home’ is an internal place not an external one.

  2. The importance of creating clear boundaries and expectations in relationships -both personal and business.

  3. Love will find me when I’m ready and willing to ask for it and let it in.

  4. Travel does not have to be expensive, complicated or a luxury.

  5. I have a desire to live a location independent lifestyle.

  6. I do want kids after all (this one is huge for me)

  7. How much of my precious energy I drain through investing too much in people or situations that aren't in alignment with me.

  8. Difficult conversations will never get easier if expectations and boundaries are not first created, and even then they still require courage to be had.

  9. Stories are powerful - both in terms of how we connect as humans and the (often negative) stories we tell ourselves- rewrite that script!

  10. A calling to take the next step on my writing journey and publish a book.

  11. I can choose to be the 'victim' or the 'owner' of literally any situation I find myself in.

  12. Having continuously rebelled against the idea of ‘structure’ and ‘planning’ since having the freedom of working for myself, I realise I absolutely need them in order to succeed. (note: I ordered a planner for next year and I will commit to using it!)

  13. I currently hold a very negative ‘money story’ which is holding me back from financial abundance (massive reality check!)

  14. What I perceive and beat myself up as being as my big old shame stories no one else even notices or cares about, they’ve got their own stuff to deal with.

  15. Making 'bliss balls' are my no. 1 procrastination distraction tactic!

  16. It's totally ok to be picky, and actually the more specific you are about your desires the more you give ‘the universe’ to work with to co-create with you.

  17. If I'm not mindful, my default mode is to fall into being a 'rescuer' and that does not serve either me or them.

  18. My new favourite green smoothie recipe is: 1 banana, 2 packed cups of spinach and the juice of 1 lime (try it!)

  19. To get to experience the amazingness of life we also have to be willing to embrace the messy bits. We cannot ‘numb’ selectively and there is beauty in the pain.

  20. The pleasure gained from sipping tea from a very big mug cannot be underestimated!

So what does this look like for the months ahead?

Intuitively, I’m feeling that 2019 looks set to embody a more transient lifestyle, an exploration of love (of myself and others), of creating a ‘structure’ that works for me and consciously creating expectations and agreements.

I am curious to see how this sense of awareness evolves!


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2018 end of year review

My end of year review is an ‘emotional space creator’, a calling in what has come and gone, what I have created and what I have left behind, what has fired me up and broken me down what has shifted and evolved with me.

I first captured it's essence on a small piece of paper then burned it in the solstice fire to make make way for 2019.

This blog was originally captured as an audio note. If you would like to listen to the full, unfiltered version you can do so below (it’s 20 minutes long). It embodies the energy of the moment, and of the original essence of my reflection. That said, this written post itself contains minimal editing from the original.


My end of year review comes form an emotional place. Not a place of fact and figures as I have seen in so many other entrepreneurs reviews. This is the place that feels most true for me right now. The facts and figures whilst important and rewire my acknowledgement, don't hold most meaning for me in tis moment.

There were two big driving forces that were most meaningful for me this year, both were in my personal life but that created powerful ripples in all areas of my life and business.

My relationship.

My house move.

First, I met my love in January after seven years of being on my own. Last New Year I put the message that I was open and ready for love out in the universe and later in January itself I met him.

It was an intensely beautiful relationship at first but slowly the cracks began to show. I realised then that I hadn't created strong boundaries and I hadn't called in what was truly important to me deep down. I wasn't living in full alignment with who I needed to be. Whilst there was a still a lot of deep love there on both sides, there were insurmountable cracks that were exacerbated by dramas unfolding in his world and frustrations that I felt were being repressed and not addressed.

I look back and smile now as I understand relationships are always our mirror.

What was I not addressing?

So from some time September though to November we took a careful and steady decision to create some physical space which ultimately have the conversation that would end it all.

It was incredibly painful at times, as I struggled to let go of the desire for him being 'the one'. Yet, it has taught me a lot about what it is I truly need in a relationship, not just what I think I want, and also where I am willing to compromise and where I am not.

Another big driving force this year for me has been my house move.

I have lived in the same house, on and off over the last 28 years (aside from university and short stints with partners) but I had always gravitated back to the family home. It was my rock. On some levels it served me powerfully, but on other levels it really held me back and I knew it. But I felt caught in the spiral. It was a comfort zone that I struggled to break away from.

The decision was made for me. In late September the house was sold. The family home, the place that I had called home for almost 28 years no matter where I was in the world, no longer existed.

That created all kinds of shifts within me energetically. It also coincided with the difficult conversations within my relationship. It was the beginning of the end at that point. A very powerful time.

These things have challenged me in so many ways, they pushed me into discomfort when I have needed to gown but haven't felt ready. In amongst this turbulence, I noticed so much space open up with in me. Space for new ideas to be born. .

So what else has this year brought to light...

It has shown a powerful evolution in my coaching business, it has shown me moving away from nutrition into the realms of vulnerability and authenticity at a level of depth and clarity I hadn't previously explored.

It has seen me 'create' more... more crafts, products, workshops, services. Creation is incredibly important to me, BUT I also notice that sometimes when I create it can be an act of procrastination from not taking action on following through of those creations.

It is a comfort zone to create, but to follow through is a whole different ball game and that is the part I have often neglected and overlooked. I have all too easily jumped ship to another 'shiny idea'. I have launched ideas into the world but then allowed them to dissolve a fizzle out without continually pulling in energy to lift them off the grown in the way they deserve to be. That is an acknowledgement on my part, an acknowledgement that needs to change next year.

I launched my bevisible.me website, as a hybrid of design work and coaching. This is something I really feel will springboard next year... and I am really enjoying the combination of design and coaching.

Drawing out stories, storytelling is an incredibly powerfully space that I want to explore much more deeply next year. We all have incredible powerful stories within us, stories that can draw our people into our world. If we can find away to express who we really are though our stories, through out life and our words... it is magic.

This is where I feel as though I am going more and more. Using my voice to help people share their voice.

That is the work that is calling me.

I believe that this understanding has needed the space of my relationship coming and going and the turbulence of energy from my house move to really bring this to the forefront of my life.

This year I also created the I AM group. A private facebook group to show up is the fullness of who we are.

I found myself using the phrase I AM to explore my own territory, to explore the expansiveness of who I was, who I was leaving behind and who I was becoming, with a sense of curiosity and without judgement. It is so easy to judge ourselves and hold expectation, but when I can let that fall away and sit with the pure curiosity of 'who I am', life shifts in exciting new ways.

I also created the I AM postcards just before Christmas, as a way to explore intention setting for the coming year, as a way if honouring how we really are.

Back in October I had a wonderful conversation with a fellow coach. I shared my frustrations of where I was holding myself back, where I was struggling to give myself permission to step into the life that was waiting fo me.

He asked me a simple question: "what would life look like for you you if you gave yourself permission?"

My immediate unfiltered answer was; "I would get to experience ALL of me."

Even as I said those words I could feel the power within then. In that moment I realised that to become the best version of ourselves we need to be willing to experience ALL of ourselves, that includes the messy bits and it includes the tough conversation, it includes the bits we want to repress and deny. It's only through being willing to be with these parts of ourselves that we get to experience outsides in all of our truly glory.

So then he reflected back that maybe instead of my signature line "I help people become the best version of themselves", maybe instead I rewrite this to become "I help people experience all of themselves'. It immediately felt aligned. I had been able to connect the dots that that been there all along.

It was the precursor to creating the I AM group. It was the precursor to my realisation that I a story teller, but more than that I create space for other people to tell their stories and truly own them. That's what I want to do more and more of next year.

As I sit here now, I reflect on what else I need to acknowledge this year, what has had less obvious impact on me but is important to acknowledge nonetheless.

One key things is my Wholeplus food business. I joined forces at the very beginning of this with a local gym owner who also has a commercial kitchen. The relationship going forwards with the business has an incredible amount of potential. But progress has been very slow, with nothing really moving forwards and other priorities taking over time and time again.

At times I found this incredibly frustrating, but now I see that maybe that's exactly what needed to be. Maybe the energy there had to slow down and be put on hold so I had the energy to inject into me, my growth, the I AM movement, the evolution of my design work, and also my relationship- because whilst my relationship ultimately broke down it was at first an incredible rich and nourishing part of my life with many lessons to be learned.

Next year is a time for growing into the message that has become clear this year.

Now that my message has become clear, my food business also has some space to grow.

I big realisation this year is the I want to become more transient and not fixed to any single location. I have slowly shifted my work, and ultimately my relationship to allow for that transition.

I tested this idea of 'live-work-travel' at the end of this year in Salobrena, Spain and it was a magical experience.

As I let go of the old and allow things to transform into how they can best serve me, I look ahead to committing to myself. Not just creating but committing those creations into action. I also look to building a community because I know deep down this is not just about me. Our stories and our ownership of our lives is a community effort, coming together to express, to share, to acknowledge, to voice our journeys in the presence of others in a safe intimate space is powerful.

So I am holding space for that community. I am committing to my own journey, I am continuing to weave my web as a storyteller, designer and coach, These are the threads that I am pulling together out of everything that has come over the last 12 months and that I am weaving into the tapestry of 2019.

So this is my end of year review. Much longer than I anticipated when I began my reflection process.

Now, I reflect back to you...

What has the year held for you?

What is the essence of what this year was about?

What are the truths that stirred your soul and create the biggest shifts?

What were the biggest teaching points?

What has 2018 meant for you overall?

Once you have a sense of all of these things, how will you bring all of that together as an intention for 2019? If you were to get super clear on that feeling, what does that look life when articulated into words. What is your intention for the year ahead and how will you honour that transition?

Wishing you a wonderful 2019.

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Bean & Beat Burger with Portabello Buns

I actually first made this recipe many months ago... 2nd November 2016 to be exact (I can tell by my camera data!) and it's been sitting in my recipe archive folder waiting to be released to the world- amongst countless other recipes. Crazy, really how they all pile up! 

One of my missions this year is to get back into a regular blog posting schedule. To think when I began this blog in 2011 I was posting around three times a week- sometimes more, and that was when I still had my full time career as an architect. So there is really no excuse! ;-) 

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I was reminded of this recipe a recently, as I was coming down from a week-long juice fast and I wanted to make a meal, to celebrate with my boyfriend, the return to normal food. I wanted it to be reasonably light, made mostly with veggies and no wheat or refined ingredients (though there was a little oil on the mushrooms caps). The result was this epic burger platter! (ok it was a little larger than I'd anticipated) ;-)

Portabello mushroom caps make amazing burger buns if you want to avoid bread, and you can really use any veggie burger mix inside. In the iphone photo above is the recipe featured below, but in the other 'pro shots' taken in 2016 I used this vegan meatball mix formed into burger patties instead of balls (both would freeze well too so you can make extra).

Then simply layer the burger up with avocado, hummus, relish, chutney, salad leaves, sprouts as tall as you like!

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Recipe: Bean & Beat Burger with Portabello Buns

Serves two (makes approx 4 medium burgers)

Ingredients:

  • 1 can black beans - drained and mashed with a fork

  • 1/2 small beetroot

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1 onion

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa or rice

  • 1 cup gram flour (other flours would probably work)

  • 1/2 cup ground walnut (or other ground nuts)

  • 1 tbs soy sauce

  • 2 heaped tbs chopped herbs (I used parsley and rosemary as I had them to hand)

  • 4 large portabello mushroom caps.

  • a little olive oil.

Method:

Finely chop the beetroot garlic and onion (I used a food processor for a quick blitz) and then saute for a few minutes in a medium sauce pan until softening. Meanwhile gather all remaining ingredients (other than mushrooms/oil) and then add to the pan. Turn off the heat and stir through in the pan until well mixed and the mix holds together.

Form burger patties with your hands and place on a lined baking sheet. I didn't oil them but you could if desired. Bake at 180 for approx 30 mins ensuring they don't burn.

Meanwhile, wash and pat dry the mushroom caps. Chop the stalk out (you could do this in advance and add to the burger mix to void waste). Lightly brush will oil on both sides then sprinkle with salt and paper.

Once the burgers have been baking for 15-20 mins. Place the mushrooms under a hot grill for approx 5 mins on each side until quite 'sweaty' looking.

Prepare any other toppings and a side salad. (For the 'coleslaw' style salad in the top photo I just used slightly water down hummus to coat)

Assemble the burgers in any way you wish! Enjoy immediately.

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Vegan 'salmon' cream cheese bagels

I saw this recipe on my friend Lisa's nutrition focussed Instagram account recently (well actually quite a few weeks ago now as it's taken me a little while to publish this post!)

Vegan salmon cream cheese bagels

It looked delicious and I was intrigued as to how she'd made it. When she said it was simply marinaded carrot ribbons I was hooked and invited her to share the recipe here on my blog. It's just the kind of quirky recipe creation I love :-)

You can keep it simple by using pre-made ingredients as suggested below. Or go all the way and make your own 'cashew cheese' or try a savoury version this cheese style spread I made using yoghurt and coconut flour. The bagels could also be homemade and gluten-free if needed. Or simply use lettuce cups for a light bite.

Now, take it away Lisa!

Recipe: vegan 'salmon' cream cheese bagels

Makes 2 bagels

Ingredients:

  • Bagels – I bought classic bagels from The Natural Bagel company (found in Sainsbury's) – worth checking labels to ensure no milk these had soya only.
  • Cream cheese – Again I went for convenience and bought the vegan original cream cheese from Sainsbury's free from range.  It’s a coconut base and a lot of my clients really like it as a dairy-free alternative. (There are also lots of recipes on-line for homemade cashew cheese or similar)
  • Salad – one of my staples is a bag of mixed watercress, rocket and spinach as these bitter greens are AMAZING for your digestion.

For the ‘Smoked salmon’

  • Liquid smoke (available on Ebay/Amazon and probably other places) quantity is personal preference but I put a good dessert spoonful in.
  • Carrots – I used two wide carrots.  Peeled the skin first and discard and then keep peeling.  I found a wide head peeler works best.  Peel the carrot so that it forms long ribbons.
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt
  • Some recipes add apple cider vinegar and/or tamari but I like to keep it as simple as possible!

Method:

‘Peel’ the carrots into long ribbons into a bowl. Add a twist or two of the salt. Add the liquid smoke. Mix everything together (see note below for marinading).

Transfer to a foil-lined baking tray – you need to be able to fully cover the carrot mix with the foil and seal it.

Bake in the oven 200˚C for about 20mins. Remove from oven and allow to cool.  

Lisa's note: when I made these I couldn’t wait and basically toasted the bagels, slapped the cream cheese on and put the carrot on and garnished with the salad – and they tasted amazing.   I left the remainder of the carrot with my vegan pal and she reported that left overnight and chilled the flavours were even better!

Vegan salmon cream cheese bagels
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Want to know more about Lisa?

Lisa is 'The Nutritional Realist and has a holistic method of working, looking at every aspect of you and how it impacts your goal. Ultimately it's all about you. She’s the resource to enable you to get to your health goals and stay there! She’ll coach you to throw the pebble that will create positive ripples throughout your life.

Find more about Lisa and her work via her website, her Facebook page or on Instagram.


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