Are you a giver or a getter??

All people pleasers will feel really good while thinking GIVER. Maybe stop reading now or embrace yourself for what’s coming!!?!

Giving is a beautiful thing, but the key is the WAY we give. Is it with slight bitterness, martyrdom or defeat (no-one else is gonna do it…). What if it wasn’t about giving things or “services” (doing all the mundane stuff for others), what if the best thing we can give is significance?

And here comes the crucial question: are you a giver or a getter of significance?? Significance as in making us feel seen, that we matter, that it makes a difference we’re here.

So do you GIVE others significance: your presence in that moment, true interest in whatever they are interested in, listening without prejudice or your map of right and wrong superimposed on top, asking questions to understand more? Or are you more about GETTING significance?

“See how nothing would get done here without me”, topping others’ stories with one you have that’s even worse/bigger/better… The full-blown significance-getters are the drama kings and queens of this world – but most of us do it really well too in many situations, without even being aware of it.

So start your radar scanning your own ratio of getting and giving significance this coming week. And notice how great it feels when you’re really into someone else and what they’re telling, doing or even better BEING. The silent acceptance of who we’re being can be one of the strongest. That’s why pottering about in the garden with a grandparent can be so lovely – no questions, just being. It can be as simple as a smile to someone you’re passing – acknowledging their presence.

My parents are absolutely amazing. I’ve often said to teams: everyone should spend a week with my parents. I only today have the words to describe it, but they are true givers of significance. When you are with them, they are truly interested in you, they listen with open minds (most of the time, not when you tell you’re moving to the other side of the world, including kidnapping the grandkids… well, we’re all human!). They ask questions to understand where you’re coming from or why it’s important to you, and you sense their good hearts for everyone, no matter the normal external gauges of status or social acceptance. They feel good in their own skin – and therefore have the space for others.

So with three cheers to them, let’s all do our best this week to explore GIVING significance.


You CAN have it all (what..??)

From early on we hear “you can’t have it all” and other energy-zapping one-liners (there is a whole song in Danish about not soaring too high, staying safe with good-old and so on… it was constantly on radio all through my childhood … Free Speech is a great principle, but lyrics like this should be forbidden!!).

What if I say you CAN have it all?? You will need others’ help, it won’t be easy, it won’t turn out exactly like you planned, and it definitely will not happen all at once. But it is possible.

Be ALL you can be. Every day. Think big, be big – or whatever it is being YOU. Connect with all the people you can, you never know what amazing things come from it (and for the introverts: enjoy being quiet, stay home, enjoy reading that book and cherish YOUR qualities). For all of us: use all your talents, pursue all your interests. Be love. Be daring. Be kind.

The bravery comes in handy when the going gets tough and you need to pick yourself up. And for a lot of us the scariest thing is reaching out, putting up your hand when you need help. Keep going, have another try and be kind to yourself.

Follow your heart while you show others respect and show you care. It’s not about getting it all your way, but it’s definitely not going to help anyone if you do nothing at all to pursue what you love to do. The biggest trap of all is when we thing all will be fine if we just stay quiet and under the radar. We think others will like us more. They won’t – they’ll just get used to you doing everything for everyone. Ouch….

So work towards building the family you want. Talking to each other in the way you want. The job you really want. The friends you want. Keep going… And it starts with you being who you need to be.

I believe you can have it all. Having it all includes having disappointment. Anger. Sadness. Despair. Frustration. Doubt. Mistakes. That’s a given. Having it all includes going through ALL emotions, not just the pretty ones. What matters is how long you let yourself stay that way – and what you do next. Don’t wait for others to do it. But ask their help when needed.

Life is here to be lived. Fully. Build it one step at a time. It may take a couple of years before you’re getting it on track. And don’t worry what others say or think – and what it looks like. Focus on whether it’s right for you. Is it worth having a go and enjoying the journey? It certainly is.

Good Hearts United

It sounds like a Football club, doesn’t it? But it’s a different kind of club. The club of Good Hearts United. The members are the ones seeing the best in others, sticking to their high values of how to treat each other – and wanting to share goodness.

Do you notice though, that many Good Hearts don’t get to REALLY do their thing? How they are often people pleasers, and they put themselves last – they may not even get their own needs and dreams onto the list. And weeks and months and years go by.

Well, well, here’s news for you Good Hearts out there. It is OK to put yourself first sometimes (YES, wow, I know, stop-press kind of wow!!). To invest in YOU. To have even more to give to others.

That’s why I’ve started Good Hearts United. A group saying yes to themselves and their personal development – linking in with others on the same journey. It’s like a book club for personal development. And the journey we’re starting this July is a 12 months’ journey.

Because change doesn’t happen overnight, does it? For sustainable, lasting results, we must keep turning up. And because we are the sum of the 5 people we surround ourselves with, it’s so important to join together – adding a cheer leading squad to our journey.

Are you going to join us as one of the Good Hearts? Looking forward to connecting.

Mothers’ groups for retirees?

Mother’s Day last week. Lovely messages and connections. But one day can’t last us – what I believe supports us through the year, through the daily ups and downs are the collectives. The groups of women, family, friends, neighbours, colleagues or random women we’ve gathered around us. Listening, supporting and giving each other a kick or a hug when needed. That’s what keeps us going.

I know Mothers’ groups exist in quite a few countries. Great way to meet likeminded and be able to talk about ALL the stuff on your mind, especially with first time motherhood. Our first group continued, way past bringing the kids along – it became a women’s space to relax and be honest.

So why do we need a group as “excuse” for this? And what to do for those without children? And for the women moving into later stages of life? I believe we must create women’s groups for all ages – for retirees, for back-to-work-after-kids, for why-am-I-the-only-female-in-this-leadership-team!

To have this safe space to speak your mind, test your views and values – and walk out strengthened, with great ideas and courage to do what is right for you.

I love singing, and choirs and ensembles have been my anchor through decades and countries. They are all co-ed, but maybe that’s just me feeling safe to share and trust these mixed bunches. Whatever you feel safe doing, create your safe hubs of likeminded where you can speak your mind and get re-energised.

It takes a village to raise a child, the saying goes. What if it takes communities to support adults? Enjoy connecting!

Saying NO… to say YES

Did you ever wonder if you say NO enough? In order to say YES to yourself more?

We’re not talking about mindless no, no, no, no to everything, and we’re not on about NO!!!! with anger, stubbornness or provocation. It’s the calm no. The considered no. The grounded no, because you know who you are and what’s important to you. And often “the request” doesn’t need to be done, or someone else could do it instead of you.

So I invite you to ponder: how come we so often have YES as our default response? What if we turned it upside down and had a calm NO as default, unless certain criteria (yours! not others’) were met? So that you know when and why you say yes.

In the Joy Hearts workshops we see how it starts with knowing who you are. What’s important to YOU. That’s such a good starting point for making wise decisions. Based on this, you decide how you want to spend your waking hours (we all have the same number of hours in a day; Richard Branson and you both have 24 hrs, I’m just saying?!). SO many things can be done differently, smarter, quicker, not needing to be done as often, have others do them or help – the list goes on.

With this new-found focus and hours to spend, you can start saying YES. To those people and things that matter to you. That give value to you and those around you and move you all forward in a way that’s valuable and sustainable.

How to actually say NO is another exercise on its own, we’ll do it in a couple of weeks at the Women, Wine and Wellness event, how exciting to have 60 women look into each other’s eyes, saying no calmly and standing by it.

I’m happy to help YOU speed up this journey as well. On how to say NO, to say YES to you. Enjoy your Sunday.

Who are you BEING (who… me???)

In coaching there is a model called BE – DO – HAVE. How in life we most often start with what we want to HAVE (I really want that house/job/car), then I would DO (…deliver much more at work/blah-blah!) and finally I could BE (happy/valued/insert-feeling-here).

What if I tell you it’s really the other way around? When you start BEING who you want to be, it makes you DO the things that you truly want to focus on (not from guilt or chasing an external-thing-dream) and that leads to you HAVING what you were really after.

We have talked about this before. Sometimes we need to hear things twice??!! So:

It was never about the house. The car. The new title. It was always about how you imagined you would feel when you HAD it. And that exact feeling you can choose to feel now. Right now. Over something you already have present in your life, big or small.

It’s not when you have gotten or done all those other things that you (magically) become that loving, calm, driven, valued or whatever person you know you can be. It’s the other way around. So BE the person you want to be, no matter the circumstances. Happy Sunday.

The Egyptians did what??!!

Egyptians 3000 years ago believed that the heart possessed all our wisdom. When embalming the dead, an important first step was to remove the brain. How fascinating is that? We visited the Egyptian Mummies exhibition some weeks ago, and this astonishing fact hit me like a hammer: they knew 3000 years ago, and we’re only now starting to take it to heart (pun intended!), and for some even with hesitation.

So what can we learn from the Mummies? Stop using our brains to run our lives. They did not even want the brain to hang around after death. So how come we let most things depend on it? Try this on: live more from your heart, what about even leading from your heart??!!

This is not a free pass to Procrastination and Laissez-faire – this is combined with knowing your purpose and having your steps and high standards clear. But start the journey and live each day from the why and the values rooted in your heart. And then use your brain to put words to the goal and add the benchmarks and actions needed.

The Egyptians also used basic herbs for medicine that we’re only now returning to (well, our grandparents used them, but somehow next generations always seem to think they know better??). So here we are, thinking (indeed the brain taking credit) that we are so clever and advanced. And really we’re reinventing what cultures before us knew and treasured every day.

So join me in this awe of the Egyptians and let’s go on a journey of “back to basics”, WITH all our current technology and advancements, but allowing our good old hearts and their wisdom to lead the way.