What’s this about?

“What, if anything, do you know about Go Deep Fly High?”

I asked this question in my recent survey to my facebook followers – and the answers are unsurprisingly diverse.

______________________________________

This is the question I keep asking myself.

To be honest, I was secretly hoping to find some answers in the survey. What I read in the answers was ‘nothing’, ‘not much really’, ‘something about inspiration’, ‘wonderful coaching’, ‘your heart’s project’…

The entrepreneurs and marketeers in and around me tell me to narrow my message down and ‘niche it out’ — be clear and be concise. 

I won’t do any of that in this post, I will be authentic and open and chatty – which is what my heart project is fundamentally about. Heart open and true to self.

Go Deep Fly High is my practice.

The expression of my purpose.

It’s my first book, and all the books after it.
It’s my personal development workshops that I design and run.
It’s hours and hours of individual coaching and processing with beautiful souls who want to see clearer and live fuller.
It is a yoga programme for adults, and one for kids… maybe also one for elders.
It’s a spiritual practice… with incense sticks, yoga mats, meditation, crystals, chanting and all the woowoo stuff that feels like home.
It’s a book club on those books I read and quote because they make so much sense to me.
It’s a bottomless repetition of those inspirational quotes and poems that have been going around for centuries
It’s a beautiful trauma recovery retreat space for all of us who need a raw out to heal and breathe for a bit. Just breathe again.
It’s a community of people coming together and having conversations that matter.
It’s storytelling; a growth environment and a curiosity-fed celebration of humour and learning.
It’s a travel agency that encourages those who want to be encouraged to climb that mountain, or take that midweek, mid-afternoon nap.
It’s a vegan lunch place and a garden café.
It’s a nature reserve bustling with butterflies and bees and wildflowers.
And it is an activist organisation doing its share on keeping fellow humans and all other species and plants safe and sound.

Go Deep Fly High is work in progress.

Connect to your core, live your purpose.

Who is it for? 

Oh ‘find your niche’ they keep saying, the marketeers and entrepreneur mentors, the experienced and the professionals. Be specific. Be clear. Be focussed.
And then be loud about it.

I’ve been working on defining ‘my niche’ for the past six years, believe it or not.
Who is my niche? Who do I work with?

I work with

The dreamers caged in the rational rut.

The idealists burned out in corporate suits.

The travellers stuck in one place.

The regular person living the regular life, with an inkling that regular isn’t quite enough.

Those of us for whom ‘everything is ok’ but somehow not really.

The mothers drowning in maternal bliss and exhaustion. 

The unmarried wives and the childless mothers who never imagined coming home to an empty house at the age of 42.

The lost, who want to be found. 

The busy, wanting time. 

The stressed, wanting calm. 

The leader, wanting to be heard.

The follower, wanting to stand in authenticity. 

The hurt, wanting to heal.

The passionate whose fire is burning low.

The creative, craving expression.

The pacifist, who wants to stand up for themselves without hurting others. 

The heartbroken, wanting to let go of what not longer is. 

The disillusioned, who wants to fathom the courage to start over. 

My niche could be any of these as I am all of these, apart from the enchanted exhausted mother. My story fits into all these descriptions in one way or the other, which makes me compassionate and passionate about us all. 

I work with ‘wanters’ like myself, people who want, yearn, dream, desire, and who are excited about taking steps towards their want, and who are willing to navigate the rough and wild seas and side roads of the unplannable journeys ahead with curiosity and open-hearts.

Hearts at peace.

That was my, what they called, stake in my leadership bootcamp back in 2013. After 10 months training and going inward, with 4 weeks of in-person retreats, my stake, relating to my life purpose (yes, we work on those in my field of practice) boiled down to:
“Hearts at peace. Hearts at peace can’t fathom hurting themselves, each other or the home planet and its fellow inhabitants.”

So who am I and what makes me Go Deep and Fly High? 

I’m the regular and privileged 40-something who believes in steering the sails of her life’s ship herself, and whose ship has not found that home harbour yet.
I’ve learned that sailing is a doddle and a dream on smooth weather days, and that it is close to a battle of surrender and courage when the seas are stormy and harsh.

I was doing it all, life, the right way with a good dose of revolt and resistance all along. I grew up in a nice family with its family stories, I went through classic schooling with satisfactory success and way too many questions and frustrations. I studied communications for management in Paris for lack of finding anything that sounded right to me at the age of 19. I was lucky enough to be able to interlace my life’s obligatory conditioned steps with sabbaticals and travels every now and then, which instantly became my actual and most rewarding studies.

And I finally, to everyone’s relief, got a proper job in 2002. I also got the car. The mortgages. The apartment. I got the big fridge to hold enough food to feed the family I was going to have.

The family never came, it just didn’t happen and those are other stories; then I went vegan and no longer needed the fridge at all. 

I no longer really needed any of it because I realised I was living the right life and doing the right things – alone – feeling unfulfilled. And utterly bored.

The good job had given me as much as it could; a tag in society, safety, something to do, income, learnings, friends, some successes, lots of experience and a burnout.

And then came my turning point

I got a rather painful professional asskick… and mid-air, with an instinct of soul survival of which I still don’t quite know where it came from, I decided to fly instead of fall. 

I hired a coach, I became a coach, I learned to be a yogi and a massage therapist and a group facilitator, I became a growth junkie. I met weird and amazing healers on my journeys through lessons and countries, and I got to meet: me. 

I am Laura.

I am passionate about living this life as we know it, to keep expanding our horizons in self awareness and relationship, and building on all the personal development strides we do: CLIMB THAT MOUNTAIN and make dreams come true.

It will always be a practice of surrender and courage, of leaning in and letting go – and I now know that it is a path we must each walk ourselves, but we needn’t walk alone. 

I join people on parts of their journey, and I bring with me a bag of stories, skills, delight and devotion.

Go Deep Fly High.

We are here for a split second, let’s live out loud and drop dead alive when we do.

It’s loneliness and depression season, too.

T’is the season to be holly jolly, t’is the season to be hygge and comfy, t’is the season to cuddle up and be grateful, t’is the season for togetherness, t’is the season for family and friends… and because t’is that season in our day and age, t’is also the season in which our chronic stress and fatigue and overwhelm seem to get an extra load, and t’turns into the season of more busy than ever for so many of us. And while what I am about to write is no news, it may suggest even more weight to stress levels.

Friends, I’m asking for us to take time to take time to check up on each other – for in the midst of the hustle and bustle of glühwine, present-buying, house cleaning, project finishing, trip planning and grocery shopping, I am asking for us to STOP and make some house calls, too.


Two facebook posts that reflected my current state of emotions prompted me to write this.

One reminded me today that it is the season of depression and suicide, too.

It's depression and suicide season. Please be sure to check on people.

It’s depression and suicide season. Please be sure to check on people.

A quick wiki search to remind us on SAD: Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also called winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, and seasonal depression, is a mood disorder subset in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year exhibit depressive symptoms at the same time each year, most commonly in the winter.”

This post came me to on a particularly gloomy day, so it hit a nerve.

Yes, it is Winter, it is dark and cold where I am, it is Christmas with all the above-mentioned stressors and exciters and more… and it is also Sunday as I write. A beautiful day to retreat and cocoon, to spend time with family; a sacred day for many of us, when we get to focus on the people closest to us.

The flip side of Sunday is one I personally know well; the Sunday blues, which can be harshest for those of us who live alone. Even with a life and a phone-list full of people who love us and care for us, on family-cocooning days, those people who love us will be with their family, busy and cocooning. And as supportive as loving whatsapp messages are intended, they don’t replace actual presence or hugs.

And then there was this post on elephant journal, an online journal I follow… and it made me cry.

All I Want for Christmas is my Someone.

sometimes she wondered if there'd ever be anyone who would step in because they didn't want her to keep doing it all on her own.

sometimes she wondered if there’d ever be anyone who would step in because they didn’t want her to keep doing it all on her own.

“It’s those qualities and aspects of life that I’ve never experienced, and that always seem to remain just out of reach, that would truly make my heart sing. What I want is to feel the deliciousness of having someone have my back, someone to be that partner for me, someone I know I don’t even need to call in order for them to be there in the moments I need them the most.”

Yes, these could be my words.

Sometimes we just want someone to be there without having to ask anyone to be there… because, frankly, in the moments when we really need someone we often don’t even know WHO to ask.

I also think we forget that asking for help, or sheer presence, takes a lot of energy in itself – for in the days of chronic busy and priority setting, being given lists of very understandable and totally accepted reasons as to why someone has no time to be there for you is sometimes even more painful than the initial loneliness – and not asking in the first place reduces the risk of that additional setback.

Yes, ‘fear of failure has killed more dreams than failure itself ever will‘, of course, and on stronger days we will reach out and sometimes, often, someone will show up in the moment… but on the darker days it can just be about getting through them, and being told ‘I can’t be there for you but feel hugged’ hurts more than it helps. Which shouldn’t stop us from writing it, of course, we know the intention comes from love.

What struck my nerve more than the article itself, which warmed my heart as it is always comforting to read that maybe I’m not the only one, was a comment that someone posted below which said something along the lines of ‘We need to practice more self love‘.

And this is something we keep hearing, heck, I say it! As a coach, I even make it a purpose to work with people to practice self love… yet something in that comment on that article on the day that is today enraged me. It just sounded like another one of those smug comments we get a lot when we open up to our own vulnerability.

‘Stop waiting for ‘other’ to feel complete, learn to love yourself and you’ll never be alone.’

YES! Yes to that, AND… sometimes, even those of us who have learned to bathe in self-love, all we really want is to be seen without having to show.

We all crave human connection, it is how we are built, we are social creatures who have been taught to be self-sufficient and to stand strong.

‘Be the badass, you can do it!’. YES, yes I can, and I need a hug.

Let us remember to acknowledge that human connection and touch is actually necessary for survival (one of many google finds on the topic: Eight reasons why we need human touch more than ever ).

Even the most self-loving and happy-go-lucky among us won’t survive on our own hugs alone.

 

Everybody is responsible for their own happiness and survival, for sure. And we each have our own homework to do on and for ourselves, I’ll always hold that belief.

And I know there is no way we can save everyone.

I think what I am suggesting is for us to be extra vigilant…

Just look for the unsaid in a text message. We know the people in our lives, we know what they struggle with, we know who struggles with loneliness… despite busy lives and own struggles, let’s be aware. Maybe give each other the luxury of being a priority. Maybe give each other the surprise of being there without having been reached out to.

Maybe we can make a tiny adjustment to our busy days to leave enough space and time to be there for each other, even, or especially, spontaneously.

After all, t’tis the season to be jolly and together.

Let’s be in it together!

Love xxo

My takes in text

I write.

I write and write and write.

I write my journals, I write notes, I write facebook posts, I write blogs, I write emails, I may have written a book, too… I write all the time.

And often, I keep it to myself. Because I write for myself, really. Like many of us do.

Putting a word to a thought or a feeling tends to help me gain clarity…

Also, and this is something I only discovered, or named, years into my journaling, writing is a form of honouring a moment. I write it down to keep it safe.

See, they fleet by, our moments. They come in a split second, stay a split second, and vanish just as quickly… and if we remember to take them in, then and there, before the next moment wipes the previous moment away with judgement, expectation, hopes or by just being the next moment, we are left with a memory, and maybe even a memory of what they meant to us.

So I collect them, my moments, in writing. 

Why share them?

In a nutshell: because my coach told me so 😉

More to the point, because I want to share. I have gotten so much pleasure and learning from other people sharing that I can’t help but wonder if there may be some bigger use for my two cents worth, too.

My coaching is helping me overcome the scary step, with all it’s buts and maybes and maybenots, between ‘wanting to’ and ‘actually doing’ it.

See, what I write has always been quite a personal matter. Of course, writing IS personal!

At one point, way back when ’email’ first came into our lives and I started leaving the nest, I used to send travel reports home. Until I stopped.
I got self-conscious, afraid that 1- I may hurt someone’s feelings by expressing my own, and 2- by worrying that what I wrote was not interesting enough, and stronger still, not good enough. Maybe even WRONG!

While those voices are still singing in a chorus, I am also technologically a bit ‘overwhelmed’ (as in: just thinking of how to make it work depletes my energy and mood), AND: I am a creative perfectionist with lots of visions.
The creator in me keeps creating, adjusting, always reframing… and the perfectionist keeps saying ‘we’re not there yet.’

I am tired of all that.

So now I’m going with ‘There will never be a perfect time, just start where you are’.

express yourself

express yourself

 As a coach, I’d like to open to my clients, and you reading me now:

This, me sharing, as opposed to me writing, is a result of a lot of coaching, going deep in sessions, leadership rounds and innumerable creative conversations.

This is me responding to an inner desire to fly high and I am following the slightly scary encouragements to do so from my coaches, my leadership tribe, many friends, and colleagues who may not even know it.

This is me stepping in, into vulnerability, fear of failure, fear of success and ultimately fierce courage, trusting that following and opening up on what I enjoy doing is OK.
A secret part of me admits to being chuffed if I were able to feed the world with some entertainment and food for thought, too 😉

I am on my journey and everything I do is part of it. Bear with me if you wish to, I sure like travel companions.

Seat belts tight, the wings are spreading for take-off…

Love, Laura xxo

(April 2015)