Well, I am Bourgeois and Bohemian; a doting (and often not-so-doting), Mama of three.
I’m not one of those Mamas who pretends that motherhood is easy or that it was my lifelong dream come true. It’s not. Motherhood is a beautiful gift for which I am super grateful and there are times when it feels like the best job in the world.
But there are also times
when it feels like the toughest,
most relentless, least forgiving job
I’ve EVER had to do.
Mostly, because my three little muskateers have been my biggest teachers. And they know exactly how, through pushing my most vulnerable buttons. Over and over again. (To read my parenting blogs click here).
Ever since they were born, each of my children has, in their own unique way, held up a mirror to the true me: to my incredible strengths and awesome resilience as well as to my deep neuroses and multiple flaws. They have gifted me with a degree of compassion, empathy and unconditional love that I hadn’t realised I was worthy enough to either give or receive. And they have also been the necessary catalyst that pushed me into nurturing my levels of patience, tolerance, presence, kindness, trust and self-love.
So I am conformist and eccentric, conventional as well as wild. I am an introvert loner and an extrovert narcissist. I am pretty much vegan but love the odd slice of Brie; I vote Green, hug trees, am anti-war and drive a cargo bike, but I read Vogue, love fast cars and send my children to private school.
I am an over-educated product of the patriarchal establishment (boarding school, Westminster then Oxford University) but chose a career path defined by passion and pleasure (women’s empowerment and life coaching, wine and luxury resorts). I am a corporate hippy and a hippie corporate.
My background is bourgeois, my values are bohemian. And reflecting back, I’ve always liked to be the same but different. My heritage is eclectic: I’m part French, Spanish, Austro-Hungarian, Scottish and English, so I’ve always felt at ease - but never truly at home - in many places. This genetic wanderlust has taken me to live and work in some of the most beautiful, exotic and cosmopolitan hubs in the world including Hong Kong, Paris, Bali, Goa, Geneva, London and Cambridge. And in 2016, it reached its zenith, when my family and I spent a whole year on the road during a SE Asian travel adventure in order to ‘find’ our true selves. (To read my travel blogs, click here).
My career choices have been just as varied, including stints in fine wine, corporate events, luxury hotels, merchant banking, auctioneering, luxury goods, marketing and the energy drinks industry.
I like sitting on the fence, being a bridge between two camps,
allowing the multiple parts of me to wear multiple hats.
Because I believe that we are all multi-passionate beings that deserve equally multi-faceted lives.
Variety keeps us alive!
You could say I was addicted to achievement - success was my raison d’etre: smashing out the A grades, attending one of the UK’s leading public schools as a scholar (Westminster) and most high-profile universities (Oxford), spending a year studying at the Sorbonne in Paris at 20, winning a prestigious wine scholarship at 21, running the HK outpost of a city wine merchant at 23 (resulting in magazine features and a listing in the Who’s Who of Wine for Asia), hobnobbing with the great and the good, travelling the world in luxury, running executive conferences for corporate bankers across the Far East, setting up my own business at 25 then publishing my own book at 31! But the achievements took their toll. An eating disorder and a misaligned marriage that resulted in depression and then divorce all featured in my life before the age of 30.
I was searching for something.
And success wasn’t fulfilling me.
And at 34, when I first became a mama, the feeling only intensified. As a natural Mama Who Wanted More, I juggled kids (three in three years – I was on a roll), running a household and running my own business. Things looked great on the outside (Gina Ford kids, perfectionist mama), but on the inside, I was suffering.
and my only constant was fear:
fear of a messy house, of getting something ‘wrong’,
of putting on weight, of not having enough sleep,
of not having enough time, of letting things go,
of not being successful, of being too successful,
of showing vulnerability, of not being liked,
of receiving help, of being authentic…
Until I discovered what it
really meant to be Human,
To be strong enough to surrender.
A chance encounter lead me to undertake Jewels Wingfield’s year-long Initiation in the Sacred Feminine and another shortly after, to undertake Bethany Webster’s Healing the Mother Wound. Both of these courses and both of these women radically changed my perception of who I was. (And I couldn’t recommend them more highly. I actually think they should be compulsory for all women of any age!)
And so slowly, I started to feed
the deep craving in me for something that had
not until now felt in any way satisfied.
I welcomed all of my emotions. I allowed myself to truly feel them. I followed my intuition. I voiced my needs. I practised self-care. I surrounded myself only with people who made me feel positive. I prioritised pleasure over performance. I did things for me, not for anyone else. I stopped trying to be perfect and saw that I didn’t die when I got things wrong.
And bit by bit,
I became more confident,
more relaxed and happy.
I began to feel free...
Life so far has been a tough but exhilarating ride. And I wouldn’t change a thing. Not even the events that led to my feeling alone, desperate, overwhelmed and deeply unhappy. Because every single one of my life choices and experiences has made me grow. Just as every person who has come into my life has taught me something.
I see my journey so far as one, big, awesome learning curve. And I want to encourage others to see it in that way too. Which is why I eventually chose to become a life coach. Or rather, it chose me. So now, this passion has become my purpose: I support women to regain the courage and confidence to express themselves authentically. I enable them to create lives that are meaningful and happy.
You too, are worthy of this. You too deserve a life that feels calm, fulfilled and free.