Serendipity is a beautiful thing.
You see, I have been following Liz (who described herself as a joy ambassador) on Instagram on the recommendation of Insta itself. Her feed is full of quirky, jubilant pictures of my home city, places I like to go and idiosyncratic quotes that avoid cliché. Then there’s the odd picture of a beautiful cat, yummy healthy food or friends having fun and a nice glass of wine. Lots of things that make me feel good basically.
Subsequently, I received a message from Liz via Instagram explaining that she felt from our pics we had a lot in common (she was following me at this point) and suggesting we should meet face-to-face one day. Then, it also turned out I had met one of her very best friends Elizabeth Danon an interiors aficionado earlier in the year at a Vlogging event in London as we’d sat next to each other. That Liz (the interiors one) had also messaged me to say ‘do you two know each other?’ Life was definitely tapping us on the shoulder when we finally realized we live within a 15-minute walk of each other. So, of course, I invited her over for a cuppa.
Providence steps in and tells you ‘you should connect with this person’: ‘you need them in your life’
It get’s better.
The first thing I noticed about Liz when she arrived through my door is she is radiant and fit. She’s just smiley and glowing with a warm healthy vibe, which instantly put me at ease.
It turns out Liz is a coach, hypnotherapist, EFT and a well-being practitioner and a super-duper qualified one at that. With a degree in philosophy and sociology and a BSC in Psychology, plus loads of experience working in mental health, her professional background is as an NHS therapist. But she told me the story of why she decided to quit her day-job and work for herself after she was witnessing better results and greater well-being with her clients from the alternative practices and positive psychology and philosophy she uses.
Then we started talking about miracles.
Hold your horses. This isn’t where I go all woo-woo or god-botherer on you, (no offense intended to believers). She said for her a miracle is when something that seemed impossible happens. And when that thing that seemed impossible then actually occurs, it feels like anything is possible. Once we believe that anything is possible, then everything becomes possible! Liz defines miracles as something that can happen every day. Sometimes they are small, sometimes they are big! She said we just need to look for the miraculous and the magic in the every day and we will experience more and more of it. What we focus on expands, basically. Sounds good to me.
Before she went home Liz kindly agreed to give me a free taster session of her coaching. I have tried a little bit of coaching provided by an employer about twenty years ago, and have also had grief counseling and therapy following a bereavement and annus horriblus. I have to admit I was more than a little skeptical as there seem to be so many poorly qualified coaches out there or people who have done very short courses or even online esoteric courses who are dabbling in mental health and well-being. I think it can be a careless and dangerous game. But as Liz is the real deal I thought I’d give it a go with an open mind and I am so glad that I did.
Let me describe it backward. I think the main things I got out of my session were retrieving some fond hopes and the power of daydream, realizing I need to listen to my heart more, and connect with the more instinctive and spontaneous side of myself I’d buried in pursuit of pleasing other people and paying the bills. And you know what else? I felt really happy and energized after my session. All this in a couple of hours!
I found the stuff about daydreaming particularly piqued my interest and have started doing some research of my own around it for another post, from a personal and business perspective. Technically speaking there are different styles of daydreaming I have recently discovered and context is important. We can think of it as “autobiographical planning,” if we do it at the right time, so I definitely want to explore this more.
But to give you another example of how I spent my session with Liz we did an exercise around my perfect day. Liz asked me “if you could have any kind of life that you wanted, anything at all, what would you keep in your life right now and what would you change?”
The exercise was to help me to imagine my “ideal, perfect day” and not just what happens but also how I FEEL during this day. She explained to me that feelings are big drivers for our behavior and if we know how we want to feel, then we can more easily figure out what kinds of things would make us happy / happier.
Following my session, a weird thing happened. Over the bank holiday, I went off to Wiltshire with my boyfriend, sister, brother in law, nice and my Dad to celebrate my cousin’s 50th. It was a big gathering of friends and family as this particular cousin has had a really tough time over the last few years with her health and family bereavements. We all wanted to show how much we love her and applaud her strength.
I was invited to camp on my second cousin’s farm for accommodation. I had only met this particular relative a few times and never been to her home. The spooky bit is… that the environment and feelings I had described to Liz were pretty much bang-on in reality over the weekend! You see I have got a daydream of one-day rural living. I already grow my own fruit and veg and have a beautiful garden, although I live in the city. However, my perfect day involves the countryside, open fields, and owning chickens and pet pigs ala Barbara from The Good Life, the BBC comedy from my childhood. During my real life weekend, I got to wake up to fresh air, views of hay barrels and cows mooing in the distance and was surrounded by all the people I like best. There were chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, horses, peacocks and fields of sunflowers. It was a dream come true. It wasn’t until I started writing the post that I thought back to Liz’s point about: what we focus on – expands! It was like I got a to experience all I’d dreamed of.
Maybe just a coincidence but maybe not…
Anyway, you can find out more about Liz’s services and coaching packages on her website. She tailors her support and packages to the individual and also offers face-to- face, telephone and Skype sessions