sunflowersSunflowers: “Gifts of radiant warmth, sunflowers are the happiest flowers, & their meanings include loyalty and longevity. They are unique in their ability to provide energy in the form of nourishment and vibrance, an attribute which mirrors the sun and the energy provided by its heat & light.”

So why do I start my first post writing about sunflowers?? Well today I was inspired to do something creative… Something oozing with positivity, sunshine & creativity – start a blog about things that are important to me, issues we face in finding that little pocket of peace in our hectic lives & most importantly, just share things that inspire me… For me, sunflowers are such a symbol of happiness & positivity & there is no better sight when you drive over a hill in the sunbaked fields of Italy & France to see a blazing forest of yellow set against a brilliant blue sky. There are so many things that I love about my home in Australia but the sunflowers of Europe are one of the things that I miss.

I have always held a deep-seated dream to write a book ever since I was a little girl. I remember writing plays, a short book & in particular, dreaming of being a writer one day.Then, life got in the way & I walked a different path into the corporate world where I spent many years living at such a pace with high stress levels, weaving & ducking amongst all the politics of corporate life.

It took a life threatening illness (leukaemia) & health complications to make me stop & think about what’s important in life. Some lessons which I have never forgotten… 6 months in a hospital bed in isolation has a way of making you think about what’s important to you… particularly when I had just got married & all my husband,Crombie & I dreamed of was starting a family.

However, reeling from my treatment, I went back into the corporate world  but things were never the same for me -I just didn’t care enough about corporate money/goals to ‘die on a stake’ for the brands that I had loved with such passion, to get so stressed that it impacted my health. Boundaries around my home/work balance are sacred & it’s so important to me to be the best Mum I can be to my 14 year old son – that’s my job & as much as I love to work, family comes first ALWAYS.

So many of my clients are caught in the dance between material /external success & creating a sustainable home life: it’s tough but there’s always a choice to be made & a trade off to be had. I just love that question ‘If you say Yes to this, what are you saying No to…? & use it with my clients often…There’s always a flip side!

I wanted to make a difference in the world – one of the things that really stood out for me in hospital was the amazing job that all the nurses & doctors did & that they really did make a difference in people’s lives every day. I struggled to reconcile my corporate career with what they did. All our friends turned up at hospital to visit in their fine suits & fast company cars & the contrast in what we did for a living, compared to the team of people that had saved me seemed palpable.

So I was lucky enough to be given an Executive coach… & it inspired me to change my life. Esther Cameron was her name, she still coaches and consults to organisations & she really opened my eyes to a different career path. I found it the single most valuable piece of development that I experienced in my career at that point. That fuelled my passion to work with others & help them grow & fulfil their dreams. Purpose is a huge word with all it means but I believe that mine is absolutely about helping people believe they can reach for the stars and achieve their dreams.

So that brings me back to writing, after a windy path, it seems I am drawn to finally write again – maybe not the book or play I dreamt of but something that people will hopefully enjoy, find insightful & if nothing else, helps them connect with the important things in the life & that little place of calm that nourishes our souls… So if sunflowers are your favourite flowers, this is the place for you!