Hello Lovely subscribers & new hello to new readers!
Thank you so much for opening my mail and I hope you find this month’s round up useful.
March is here!
Glasgow is at it’s bonniest best in the Springtime & I’m LOVING having the opportunity to really appreciate it during my new working days. I’ve been celebrating the further stretching of the days by risking hanging the odd washing out on the line and stealing an al fresco coffee.
Yes, this is how I’m rolling in my forties!
The Learning Curve Collective has also been blossoming; since my last newsletter, I booked out my Quarter 1 one-to-one coaching spots. I am relishing this new work; it gives me the opportunity to work with amazing women and see them flourish - all through their own work & me giving them that space & tools to be honest with themselves. An absolutely privilege and I’m looking forward to re-opening the doors in April.
This work is helping me too; as I see women develop their self-awareness and find what matters for them, it’s leading me to do some more work on myself.
Marking International Women’s Day: self-investment is not selfish
I’m putting this newsletter together on the 8th March, International Women’s Day. I’m letting my kids have a bit of screen time after we had a morning of crafting and playing so I can put this together.
This International Women’s Day is interesting for me. It used to be a focus point for a lot of my old work. As a lecturer and a feminist with a bit of a platform, I was involved in organising or attending events, writing blogs, talking, teaching. I had some truly exceptional opportunities within that role to engage with women’s rights activists from across the globe.
However, I feel like this is the first year where I no longer feel it selfish to think of what I need. As Audre Lorde said; self-care is a radical act. I’m not talking about bubble baths and face masks here (although these are nice), I’m talking about allowing myself to take time for my own nourishment; intellectual, emotional, physical, financial - the things that allow me to also be political and show up for others too.
So I’m taking time to write this because this keeps us connected.
That is important to me.
A month of self-awareness
March is a month of many awareness days and celebrations, including Endometriosis Awareness Month.
I suffer from stage 4 endometriosis - the most ‘severe’ type.
Endometriosis is a debilitating condition where tissue similar to that of the womb grows outside and causes inflammation, scarring, adhesions. This results in a daily battle of managing pain, fatigue, brain fog and the general anxiety that comes with having to accept that I have to work and live differently than I did before.
I also have to be able to show up for my kids and this is something that I am prioritising. And - I am delighted to be able to do so.
Becoming self-employed has allowed me to manage my condition better, but as I put effort into rebranding and growing the business at the beginning of this year, I did take my eye off the ball in terms of really looking after myself.
As part of Endometriosis Awareness Month, I’m putting some time into becoming more aware of my body again; not just managing and working through my symptoms, but resting and nourishing myself; breaking some bad habits.
Diet is really crucial when managing a chronic, inflammatory, disease like endometriosis. My inflammation triggers are diary and gluten. I have been relying too much on these old frenimies!
I have started this month by cutting down on dairy and caffeine. Specifically, cutting my daily take-away latte and having 1 coffee a day.
So far, it’s been fine.
Yes, you can laugh, a week in… yet, this is pretty significant for me as that daily latte (or 2) became an engrained habit in my old job & life - it was the excuse to get away from my desk and walk for a few minutes.
I don’t need it anymore.
I’m looking forward to getting back to enjoying a latte as an occasional treat; one that is accompanied by a friend and a chat.
This is also my one, imperfect, way to cut down on my waste and shave a bit off my limited budget. Not buying those lattes equates to at least £14 (or more if I’m really honest and count the cakes that often went with them) - that is there to be invested in something much better.
Does this resonate with you?
What habits do you want to break?
March: a month of trying something new
This month, I’m doing a bit of work on something new. I’m spending some time researching the ‘sixth sense’ or intuition and how it might helps us understand what we want better.
I have always been pretty sceptical about this side of things, but I do believe in ‘going with your gut’ in many circumstances.
In fact, I think for women, going with our gut is often crucial; it is sometimes the only real barometer of what is right for us when we are being discriminated against - overtly or more subtly.
Again, lets’s think about that UN report released this Month that shows 90% of PEOPLE hold biases against women.
Misogyny affects us all. It can catch us all off guard. Another must read unpacking the workings of misogyny is Down Girl by Kate Manne.
Feed your body and your mind
Speaking of all kinds of nourishment, I want to share some of my favourite sources of mind and body food from February-March:
What to read
Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo - I absolutely loved this book. Compelling - read it in one sitting. A must for understanding women in the UK today. See also the Guardian review here.
Grown Ups, Marian Keyes - this is next on my to read list. I started following Marian Keyes over on Instagram last year when she was talking about her painting and all things mental health. I love her straight talking and am really looking forward to this.
What to listen to
My own podcast might be gone (for the time being), but I absolutely LOVE a podcast; I listen to at least one a day.
My picks at the moment are all around growing a small business, but there is so much in these for all of us; getting to know what we really want and how to go get it.
This month I’ve been listening to:
What to eat: even without lovely, lovely gluten
Think that dairy and gluten free sounds utterly grim and desolate?
I struggle a lot with feeling like I’m limiting my choices (especially as it has taken me a LONG time to recover from the severely disordered eating of my teens and early twenties).
However, I urge you to try these triple chocolate beauties by Nigella. Substitute margarine for the butter and use vegan chocolate. They still work a charm.
Even my buckwheat hating family scoff these down in twos!
I have also forayed into the realms of… chickpea pasta.
However, I was pleasantly surprised and it was a good old Aldi find! I made the pasta into a warm salad by adding some beetroot, teeny bit of blue cheese (oops!), rocket, hazelnuts & a bit of olive oil. A genuinely tasty - and much better for me - home lunch!
Tell me your best recipes - gf/vegan or adaptable! Always looking for new ideas. If it can be made in one dish - all the better too!
You turn: how are you going to invest in yourself?
I’d love to hear about how you are growing in 2020. Tell me about your plans and your sticking points. You can email me, or come and chat on Instagram or Twitter.
A great place to start is with some simple journalling. This can be as simple as getting up and starting the day with a few sentences that tell yourself what you want to get done and how you want to feel.
Ok, but give it a go for a week and let me know how you get on.
If you want to try a free 20 minute coaching discovery call where we can tackle your sticking points, then get on the wait list by contacting me here.