It is international women’s day this week, and as a coach and training delivery expert, I have been thinking about all the amazing and inspirational women who share my ‘girl code’ (beliefs and values) and have a place in my ‘girl tribe’ and how this has impacted me and my learning experiences to date. When I work with people in a variety of ways – from leadership development, to wellbeing and resilience and parental support coaching, having an effective support system and taking stock of the influences around you is central to this.
I attended a funeral (well I should call it a celebration of life as that was what it was!) a couple of years ago of someone who I loved dearly and was taken from us too soon – my ‘Auntie’ Verity (not really an auntie but a close friend of my parents). What really struck me when we were all sharing stories of our time with her and what we loved and appreciated about her, is that we wait until people leave this world to share them. All I kept thinking was, she would have loved this and why don’t we openly show more appreciation to the ones we love or care about before they leave us?
So, this blog is dedicated to appreciating a small number of the amazing women I have the pleasure and honour of knowing, and how they have influenced my life both personally and as a coach. I also encourage you to take a moment to consider the people who have most influenced your life, who have taught you things and given you incredible life experiences and knowledge that you can bring to your own situations.
Verity had the most amazing joie de vivre, wore the most spectacular wardrobe of bold and vibrant colours and never let the fact she lost the fact she lost her husband, my lovely godfather way too soon hold her back. We didn’t see each other that often but when we did, she always showed such unbound enthusiasm for me, my family and what I was achieving in life with a vivaciousness that I loved and related too. My mum and dad always used to say – “you are so like auntie verity” and so I hold a little piece of her energy in me and try and use that to get me through the tough times, like she did.
Thank you for reminding me to be interested in others.
Alexandra, my fantastic yoga teacher has been a guiding force in my journey to who I am today. She has a gift (that quite frankly freaks me out) to be able to see inside my head and soul to set me back onto the right path and in touch with the universe. She has given me the opportunity to connect into my spiritual side, introduced me to so many interesting and like-minded people who share a passion for holistic wellbeing, and helped me to understand how meditation and mindfulness can stop overthinking in its tracks.
Thank you for holding space for me when I need it.
Julia and I have only known each other for just over 3 years but she has dedicated time to really know and understand me, and has provided me with valuable support in thinking through my challenges. She asks the most phenomenal questions at just the right moment to enable me to do my best thinking and come out with a solution that is right for me. She builds my confidence when I am low by focusing me on my strengths which is truly empowering.
Thank you for helping me believe in myself and gain clarity when I am stuck.
Wendy and I met when I decided to get fitter and took up netball again at the age of 40. We bonded over our collective discomfort at trying to keep up with our competitors who were the same age as our daughters whilst avoiding injury. We both failed, but from that a special friendship has blossomed. We have a shared passion of learning about new ways of keeping well in mind, body and spirit. We have tried ice bathing, havening, tapping, shamanic healing, kinesiology, colonic hydrotherapy, netball, running, weightlifting to name a few. Each of us being more keen on some things than others, but we have been on a journey of exploration that has been fun and enlightening!
Thank you for listening, sharing your wisdom and encouraging me to push my boundaries.
Elle and I have known each other for 30 years. She is the Patsy to my Eddie and we have a history of fun nights out from our teenage and university years emulating those characters from Absolutely Fabulous. She is the person who always makes me laugh and reminds me of a less complex time when I only had myself to worry about. She is also the mother of one of my godchildren and runs a successful creative branding agency named after her late Grandfather, Major Drew, who was an ex Colditz prisoner of war and who championed her creativity. She is a constant inspiration to me as alongside running her business and bringing up her son, she also gives a lot of time and energy to community projects, supporting new start- up businesses and other charitable initiatives.
Thank you for laughing with me and reminding me how important it is to give back to others.
Fi and I have daughters the same age and met through NCT classes 16 years ago. We both have neuro diverse children and she has been on a significant journey of discovery for how to engage and bring together the right professionals to support her son, diagnose his needs, champion his best interests, whilst continually working on herself so she can build her resilience. She has helped educate me in how neuro diverse brains are different to neuro typical, how to spot the signs of a meltdown or burnout and how to introduce strategies to support my children without taking away the ability to regulate themselves. Fi has patiently helped me to understand my son and daughter’s differences and appreciate them rather than seeing them as a barrier, therefore preserving my relationship with them.
Thank you for understanding and helping me appreciating difference.
As the quote says, ‘no woman is an island’ and we all need people around us who encourage us to be the best version of ourselves. I have enjoyed taking some time to appreciate some of my girl tribe, and what they bring, or have brought to my life. Each and every one brings something different in the way they support me and I continue to learn and grow from them as I develop myself personally and professionally. Whether you are developing your leadership skills, wanting to boost your resilience and wellbeing, or navigate your way through a life transition, your support system will be the difference between success and failure. Who do you have in yours? And when did you last tell them how much you appreciate them for what they bring to you?
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