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Staying sane using the S.E.T. Method

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Please be warned – this is a vulnerable post and even a tad risque in what I share if you get to the end (hangs her head with a laugh). Definitely proceed with a sense of humour.

As we greet the end of January with the delightful promise of new energy and vitality as the Water Tiger pounces on the scene as Chinese New Year unfolds tomorrow, it’s suddenly time for my next insider musings.

Recently I had a wake up reminder (aka love nudge) about how I really do attempt to approach every day. Sometimes it has to be a very conscious application to align with my motto of #LiveLightLiveLarge …and other times it seeps effortlessly into the air I breathe. Today’s musing is about needing to consciously activate the S.E.T Method to regain my own sanity!

As my Nan would say, “pull yourself towards yourself.”

Such an apt saying for this months sharing.

Grab something to drink for your 9-minute read – and please remember to drop me a mail to say how you might tap into the S.E.T Method

When we reached the last few months of ’21 and I took occupation of a gorgeous new flat in Edinburgh, I was deeply inspired from the inside out to write and share more with you. I decided these musings were only going to be for my insider subscribers, and I started putting a lot of energy and personal sharing into them. Your response has been simply phenomenal and your messages kept me inspired to keep at it and for that I am deeply grateful. I post somewhat vulnerable musings from my life, at age 53 and doing my best to live my best life possible with ALL the ups and downs, laughter and ugly cries that go with that. How do I approach life, what do I do for healing, closure, when things go completely awry, and perhaps even this year you will get some dating laughs.


You can read all of those past musings on my blog here with the password LOVE (Yes, in capitals)

Today, speeding northwards on a train to Glasgow and then the most beautiful trip to Oban, I am drawn to share a story from a few weeks ago, as January started unfolding. That Highland Fling ritual I shared last year, had flung a new interesting soul my way, and the précis version of it kind of reads like this…

Mutual client friend has inspired thought to introduce us
Meet interesting soul Mr X
Lure of a kiss and a river
Mountain adventures
Soul connections
Dreaded “C” x 2
Me impersonating Florence Nightingale
Experiencing my own version of Outlander
New festive plans required
Island adventures
Followed by… well, what can I say other than …followed by January.
The oddest of months, right?
For you too?

Here goes: Over New Year I set up my gorgeous new writing and retreat base in this great company of Mr X on the Sacred Isle of Iona and then two weeks later, headed back into Edinburgh city mid January. The dance between the two landscapes suits me very well for this next 3M chapter.

Island girl and city gal. I think I love this vibe…

Onto the point of todays sharing of my SET Method. I’m back in the city and lapping up the New Year. While it’s been a deeply introspective and quiet start for many of you, mine was a lot more active and focused. January turned out to be a profound month of personal productivity, purpose, energy, and clarity about where I’m headed with my passion business and working with women on the threshold of making courageous leaps! I was meeting up with all my wonderful Edinburgh friends, connecting with my local writing group, signing new private coaching clients, booking my Iona Retreats, filling our Greek and Italian Writing Retreats for summer and getting on with my awesome life.

After all I do live an awesome life and after almost 2.5 years of healing and being single I honestly believe sharing it with someone else is a delicious cherry on top – not something to hanker after and chase, yet something I am embracing and calling in. So when it came crashing into my life on all fronts in November, I paid attention, said yes and made space to show up big time.

But after the précis shared above, January has found me sitting with a profound sense of WTF happened, mixed with some sadness and heaps of confusion. I’m missing a beat somewhere. My heart and soul is clearly going through a deep healing process right now. I’m experiencing the gift of what happens when another soul helps us along our journey to become the best version of ourselves.

So my saddened heart story was unfolding alongside all the wonderful vibrant energy. It definitely was NOT derailing me. I have luckily been able to somehow see the experience of that encounter with Mr X as existing in a beautiful metallic singing bowl. At one point that singing bowl emanated the most beautiful music and then this month it has been sitting patiently (mmmm, not always!) and quietly waiting to burst with sound once again. Yet all the while being pretty contained and not spilling out tooooooo much into the rest of my life.

If you have been watching my Instagram lives, you might already know my THEME WORDS for this year are TRUST and EXPANSION.
Trust feels aligned to this lesson and insight for my heart and soul.
Expansion feels very aligned to my business ventures and passion projects.
TRUST means if something or someone is meant to be then nothing will keep it from you, and if something or someone is not meant to be, nothing can make it so.

But that would be far too easy if we could LIVE that in every, single. flipping moment right? Cue some dramatic “dum dum dum” music as I get struck down by the joy and irony of BEING HUMAN!
Thanks universe. No easy ride on this one then?

The singing bowl metaphor went awry and it started leaking!
Messy flowing emotions everywhere.
Feeling distracted, a tad distraught, wanting answers, insights, wanting outcomes…a ‘what the hell is happening here’ kind of vibe.

And here comes the ridiculous laugh at my expense …

I found myself starting to check social media about 20 times day, checking my phone to see ‘who’ was online, behaving like a totally numbskull!

Giving a lot of my energy and time to…well nothing really. Cos nothing was happening other than in my head. The intensity of connection was replaced by nada.

My S.E.T METHOD is how I approach life from both the macro and micro level. Looking at what you need to let go of so that you bring your energy into the present, and from that point you create a fabulous future. It’s the motto of my life and the reason for my business. Letting go, closure, forgiveness, healing, moving on with energy in tact and being able to SIT IN THE GAP that exists between No Longer and Not Yet.

At a daily level I use a slightly more practical approach that can be a faster way to clean up and tackle each day with intention.
S.E.T Method stands for the following:

S = SUCK
E = EQUILIBIRUIM
T = TANTALISING

After about three days of my ridiculous energy-dispersing behaviour, I burst out laughing at myself and decided I needed to put into practice what I know.
AGAIN dear human.

Me muttering to myself, “Kate come on. It’s time to ask yourself the series of question you live by. Let’s get going already…”

  1. WHAT IS SUCKING YOUR PRECIOUS ENERGY?
  2. WHAT WILL BRING YOU SOME EQUILIBRIUM?
  3. WHAT IS TANTALISING TO SAY YES TO RIGHT NOW?

Quite evocative things to ponder with no hint of wishy washy in sight. No Grey!
I needed to stop the obsessions at play under the first SUCK question! Fast.

***FACING THE SUCK
1. I was letting social media eat my time and energy. Constantly checking Insta, Facebook, messages, mail. You know this routine right? I took action and simply muted those certain Instagram Stories and Posts, so they were no longer in my face every time I ventured online. I made a promise to myself to stay off Social Media altogether for 24 hours – something I do regularly but hadn’t been sticking to. DUH!
Next, I put my phone on airplane mode so no one could bug me and I couldn’t go down the rabbit hole for several hours and could focus on re-building my energy internally with nothing SUCKING at it.

Off with you oh comparison social media monster! Sometimes knowing who is doing what, when, where and with whom can be destructive and energy sucking. It is like sugar and alcohol – hard to resist when it’s in the system. Control, Alt, Delete.

2. I fasted for the rest of the day and next morning to get my sugar cravings under control

3. I wrote a quick action plan for the following week to make sure there was nothing pulling at my work energy or fallen off the radar

Ok – I was instantly more in control of the leaking bucket.


***EMBRACING THE EQUILIBIRUM
This is about doing the things that we know are good for our body, heart and soul. The things we ideally need to do often and consistently in order to embrace that sense of calm, balance, and poised equilibrium.

1. I did some yin yoga at home to calm my nervous system

2. I sat and wrote in my journal whole sipping hot lemon ‘n ginger water

3. I energetically tuned into what I really needed to do until I got an answer – ah so simple – walk the city in the morning light and go sit in a church to feel the presence of spirit again.

With that insight I got dressed and embarked on one of the most beautiful walks as the dawn light was playing over Edinburgh. The silhouettes of the buildings and trees were exquisite and healing. I felt gratitude returning to my insides. I walked for hours and then found myself in the main city cathedral. As I walked in the choir was practicing and it was like the angels of the world were singing just to me. I sat and meditated intuitively using the infinity symbol before the service started. Full to the brim with exquisite architecture, healing voices and a calmness seeping out of my pores, I stepped back out into the glorious sunshine.

***YES TO THE TANTALISING

The third part of this three-fold method is about saying YES to some tantalizing aspects– juicy, delicious and energizing things that makes you beam with joy and smile from ear to ear. It has more energy and vibrancy than the embracing of equilibrium. So now, what was I to do?

1. Tantalizing Trick
One of my tricks in new cities to visit the grand old hotels to get a real feeling of the city from yester-year. Just for a simple cup of glorious coffee. They come complete with excellent staff, silver service, in glorious surroundings and far outweigh popping into a regular high street chain for a quick brew. It’s a ritual of immense delight for me.

I found myself walking with a skip in my step to the beautiful Balmoral Hotel on Princes St.

A kilt-wearing doorman (which always makes me smile) greets you and ushers you inside and that morning I was taken to the Palm Room, specifically for morning coffee. Another tartan-clad waiter escorted me to a “throne –like” chair from which I could simply bask in the beauty of this exquisite room. Everything was simply tantalizing – the fine crockery with a delicate green palm pattern, the silver coffee pot and the accompanying Scottish heather shortbread biscuits.

The room had an exquisite tree be-jeweled with fairy lights – I felt like a queen. See pics below. Of course, I had my journal and pen with me so wrote a little bit while basking in the regal Scottish energy.

I have also been activating and stepping up my energy to embrace being more “Queen-like.” This means truly and honestly embodying who I am and what I know, being able to be of real service to people who need my unique kind of help and support. Also knowing that I am ready to call in a “King” to take up place on the throne beside me. I am working on that rather than reducing my standards of what I truly desire for myself. Tough one!

Calling in an aligned partner is a want, a delicious desire, not a need. I come from the premise of living a full life that can get even sweeter with a witness, partner and adventure playmate. I reveled in sitting on that chair in the Balmoral drinking my coffee and dreaming my next phase of life into being, while just savoring every single sip of coffee.

2. Tantalizing Treats
I can’t really believe I’m going to share this right now – but my PROMISE is to be vulnerable and share ALL the ups and downs, highs and lows and be REAL for you when penning these musings!

Walking home to the West End along Princes Street after my morning adventure, I walked the route I have walked a gazillion times living in this city. I walked past the Ann Summers shop – only today I walked IN and straight to the back of the store. If you know what this store is, you know exactly what I bought. Nudge nudge wink wink. If you don’t – use your imagination or Google what the store sells. It was time for some self tantalizing. Oh there is so much I can share from my life but suffice it to say that it was time to take matters into my own hands so to speak, and shift some of this energy I had been grappling with.

Ha ha – yes my mum reads this newsletter too! (Hangs heads and laughs at self on the train as I write this.) Thank goodness I can laugh at myself! Can you?

3. Tantalizing Tootsies
Next I did everything in my power to get my sizzling hot salsa shoes from South Africa. Those sexy heels have been waiting ever so patiently for me. Living out of a suitcase #LocationFree meant that every item of clothing I travelled with for the past 6 years, needed to be clever and multipurpose. Salsa shoes can only be used for dancing, so they never made it into my suitcase and remained in South Africa with my art. Being reunited with them now, thanks to a sweet young friend who popped them in his suitcase, I am armed with the right shoes and my toes at the ready when classes open up again this week in my neighborhood.
I see some tantalizing moves coming up soon – ooh la la. Cue sexy music this time.

So if you made it this far into the read – I am wondering how YOU are going to utilize the S.E.T METHOD to stay on top of your own world. It’s so simple …

Get rid of what is SUCKING at your energy
Embrace and restore inner EQUILIBRIUM
Say yes to something TANTALIZING

I hope you got a wee laugh today and another practical nugget to use practically in your life. Till next month, enjoy February with the new Tiger energy in the month of LOVE.

With Lightness,
Kate

READY TO EMBRACE YOUR NEXT CHAPTER?

I am fascinated with helping you make courageous leaps at significant moments in life transitions. Perhaps it’s a big birthday beckoning soon, a new chapter approaching, a project ending, your home being sold, an empty nest looming, divorce or death to process and you need a fresh perspective to help you close out the old and welcome in the new? I am also currently mentoring new coaches getting started with their coaching business models – with over 19 years of coaching, mentoring, speaking, facilitating experience as well as 5 published book and a movie under my professional belt – I find it super easy to support new coaches in the right direction to gain traction, impact and clients FAST!

Please reach out to me directly on kate@kate-emmerson.com to start a conversation.

PLUG IN OR PUSH OFF – it’s all about RESPECT

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Plug in or Push off!

My October newsletter comes from Edinburgh and it’s a quick lesson from my recent life. I hope you find something in it for yourself today.

Grab your tea coffee, wine or juice and enjoy a 9 minute read.

Plug IN or push OFF
It was the joy of truth when we need it …and boy did I ever need it. Is there anyone out there telling you just how things are? My recent session went like this.

“Why are you there, what’s your connection to Scotland Kate?” he asked me.

“Well, I have always loved it from my first visit over 30 years ago. I feel spiritually connected to it, love the drama of the awesome landscape, have heritage here and my third name is Walker. I just love this country”

“Well… it doesn’t look like it. You are kind of being disrespectful to the Scots right now and you need to plugin. You have to match the energy of the country and what it epitomizes and then work outwards from there!”

Eeeck. Slap. Reality check …and so began the session with my healer. We used this insight as our starting point.

I was told in no uncertain terms that I was not FULLY plugged into where I currently am. I’m not in Greece where the sun and warm water surround me – I’m in Scotland. Plant myself there or leave. Simple.

Ouch.

Pathetic

I typically pride myself on being wherever I am, and living #LocationFree means I embrace and adapt to changes quite fast – USUALLY.

I have chosen Scotland for this winter 21/22.

Brrr!

Double Brrrrrrr!

Triple rain!

Quadruple grey!

I LOVE Scotland.

In my September newsletter I shared how I approach life using the 3m Principle. Readers LOVED it. I was quite taken aback by the overwhelming response. Oh yeah, baby – living it up in Edinburgh for this particular 3m and getting others to think about the 3m approach too. I even got clients coming to work with me on the 3m process.

Yet suddenly I wasn’t plugged in, tuned in or aligned. My entire body was reacting to it!

I was trying – doing my best. So I thought. But it had started…the familiar pull of the “hole” about a week after I moved into my gorgeous apartment. I think most of us have our own version of “the hole.” Whether it’s full-blown Black Dog, (aka depression) or anything on that spectrum where things are just totally out of whack and off-kilter. At some point the world tilts a degree too far and we can all lurch there.

The short and sweet lesson and reason for today’s sharing is simply:
BE WHERE YOU ARE AND PLUG IN … OR PUSH OFF!

If my story or the way I look at life helps YOU to do something differently in your life – how wonderful. Clients, colleagues and friends tell me that my musings help them! So I keep showing up and sharing.

Warning: Part of who I am is to share honestly. I always have. From the awesome highs to the awful lows. The good and the bad. Middle ground is challenging for me. Sometimes life is easy and sometimes it’s shite. I grapple hugely with self-worth, intermittent depression and sometimes totally lose my way. I also have huge dreams and ideals supported by courage, honesty and freedom as my top values. So I get up again and keep looking ahead to the light.

Charlie Mackesy is one of my go- to-reads to his enormous reminder of self-compassion!

Sharing my life helps me – and I know it helps others out there.

I also know being vulnerable makes me kinder, more real and ultimately better at helping/ coaching/ mentoring others. If you want to read more about what was going on and love hearing about how I handle stuff because you can translate it to something useful for yourself- then grab some tea or wine and walk a little further into the story with me.

THE PULL OF THE HOLE

Before my session with my trusted energetic healer, I could feel myself edging closer to the hole. It was leering at me from up ahead and I had a clear visual image. It was almost laughing at me. Challenging me. For a while thought I was on top of it all. I told myself I was managing to circumnavigate it this time.

A few factors had simultaneously prodded some deep patterns awake that ensure I question my self worth, ignite my imposter syndrome and make me question everything about life and my choices. I was veering off course and denial was kicking in.

I was feeling:

Little

Invisible

Tired

Lacking

Aching

Impatient

Uncertain

Hopeless

I had just made awesome yet mammoth decisions, implemented changes and was at a huge crossroads (like many folk in these times). I was aware of it and how these cycles have sneaked up on me and attacked me in the past. I reached out. First I got some body support. Remember that neighbourhood FB group I mentioned as a way of connecting in to a new area – well someone recommended an osteopath just two minutes walk away from my home.

He gently eased my body back into shape with a twist here and a prod there while asking me some tough questions to ponder. Grrrr. Don’t you both love and hate it when the right buttons are lovingly pushed?

He was suggesting my body pain had been “torqued” (more like tortured) by all the emotional stuff going on. Go figure.

Nothing was cogging together. No flow.
Muchos pain and muchos buckets of tears!
Copious wine!

I also booked a session with a homeopath for another layer of support, but had to wait three weeks to see her. “Oh I’ll be fine till then,” I thought delusionally and told those who asked.

I often wonder why humans tend to underestimate the gravity of change. Even when we have willingly put ourselves in the situation – all the other parts of our body, heart and soul still have to catch up and land in the same place. That can take some time to settle through all the different layers.

While part of me thought I was living the life in Edinburgh, embracing my latest 3m – a larger part of me was pretty much running away, staying home most of the time. Hiding out a bit. Being mean to myself and berating my choices when things weren’t shifting as fast as I had hoped.

My timing vs. diving timing.

Ego and impatience vs. source.

I had rented this gorgeous flat in the city centre and already started building a writing community. That should have been enough! Then I had booked a writing retreat to be run within a month of moving into my flat. And cold water swims, salsa, and attending other writing events. Meeting many new folk. Crazy right? But I wanted to connect and meet lots of people and live my very best 3m dammit.

I thought I had made peace with where I was.

But that hole was now becoming way more magnetic and it was swirling a devilish dance – beckoning me in just one more time. Maybe that hole is my version of crack or heroin? My own addiction. A way to pull me off course and keep me small?

But most people don’t share this stuff right? They only put out the brave and bold stuff to the world. OR the front of social media. Truth is, I didn’t want my people to worry. But people who care about you know when stuff isn’t right. Instinctively. I can’t get anything past my mum and close friends.

Even so, sometimes it just feels easier to retreat. I was getting dangerously close to succumbing to that hole.

And then I stumbled and fell in.

Splat.

I was feeling shocking at all levels. My moods were erratic, I was drinking tooooo much wine (and could no longer blame lockdown right) and spending too much time at home on my own in my lovely nest. Every night. I even slept and read for one whole day during the week – simply not able to face the world and canceled all appointments. My mental health was not coping. My emotional body was aching. Muscles and joints were sore. All too much. I kept seeing the osteopath as I knew it was helping.

A day or two after succumbing to the hole, the homeopath session finally arrived. I know that modality helps me at a cellular level to balance hormones and mood. Contrary to popular belief, homeopathy can work with both acute and chronic issues, and I needed some fast-dose remedies. I have not had a general GP for more than 30 years other than to get blood tests signed off or asthma pumps when needed. My go-to form of support is to treat “like with like”. I trust the field of homeopathy instinctively. You know what works for you too right?

It was Friday. After a morning session crying and wincing on the osteopath’s table, I then blabbed for 90 minutes to the homeopath. I didn’t care how crazy I sounded – I just purged it ALL out. I swear I went through a tube of mascara in one day.

What a relief to be heard and seen with zero judgment.

Like a giant hug from a teddy bear!

I was sent home with some acute remedy doses of GOLD – even just the thought of imbibing gold (known as Aurum) made me feel like anything was perhaps possible again. I had a ladder out the hole again. “Gold” was designed to pull all of me back together. That was the problem- I felt like I was totally split and none of me was in the same place. I could feel my energetic, physical, emotional and mental bodies were all swirling around and none of them were aligned IN my body.

Literally, the next morning I woke up feeling a slight shift in my energy. I had also gone to bed repeating gratitude and prayers. I got up and cleaned my flat from one end to the next. A deep clean. I tackled it with energy and the intention to literally shift the space. I even turned my mattress over. Swept, dusted, hoovered and mopped every nook and cranny. Washed, ironed and replaced bedding. I loved every single corner of my home knowing I was loving myself stronger too. Scrubbing clean and starting afresh. Then fell into a deep, therapeutic sleep for a few hours.

It was a small turning point and one step on the ladder.

Three days later was that healing session where I was told I am not plugged-in to where I am! It was all about timing as I was now in a place to hear it clearly. My body and emotional state was a lot better from three days of homeopathic treatments.

I GOT IT.

As he spoke those words to me, I could see how I had been saying one thing but feeling another. Longing for the warmth, longing for sunshine, longing for the Aegean and long days of light. Even thinking of how much I loved short, colourful linen dresses and flip flops, oversized sunglasses and a wide brim hat. Berry lipstick and lingering kisses. Longing for anywhere energetically that wasn’t Scotland.

So I simply wasn’t aligned in what I was saying, doing and believing. No wonder I was being tossed around in the washing machine of life.

Sometimes we just need to hear it like it is.

It was PLUG IN OR PUSH OFF time!

Align or release.

What’s it going to be?

Truth with compassion and understanding is a powerful trait.

Either be here fully or don’t. We can’t be here wishing we were somewhere else. Or with someone else. And that’s the truth of life. You have to fully embrace where you are – the job, relationship, country or any situation you find yourself in. RIGHT NOW.

The choice is to embrace it, make peace with it and love it to ensure you re-plug in or do something to change it or leave.

BE WHERE YOU ARE.

Simple but not always easy.

We need to know how to move between expansion and contraction. I had to remember to match the energy of Scotland and embrace it before I could ever hope to have an impact on it or be impacted by it.

Embrace then shift.

I have painstakingly climbed up all the rungs on the ladder out the hole, and I do feel a bit tender and vulnerable. I also feel it’s important to share. Sharing might help someone else. Maybe you? There is NO weakness in asking for help, and we might need it from a couple of sources.

Do you want a chuckle now?

As soon as I plugged in and embraced the shift internally, I was able to play it out externally. The ”girlie” reality is that I realized I needed some sassy clothing to embrace winter in Scotland in the city.

Not just gym gear, jeggings, trainers and bulky three layers to cold-proof myself.

I needed to have some clothing to help me feel sassy to entice me back out. To dare to venture out at night for a glass of wine or the local salsa classes.

I realised I had been dreading going out or felt kind of frumpy when I did. Yikes – no wonder I wasn’t plugged into and respecting Scotland.

So here is the trick – I had to get the internal ENERGETIC shift first, and then I could spiral it through to my outside world.

As a minimalist with a capsule wardrobe, I was taught by my stylist friends to be clever about mix ‘n matching. Everything works cohesively to ensure the minimum number of clothes that can be worn in several different ways.

I chose winter neutrals with a pop of colour. Black cream and silver with cerise.

Sexy Boots with a thin flash of Zebra pattern for attitude

Amazing leather biker jacket with a floaty dress

Sensual cream blouse that fits perfectly

A sexy skirt above the knee worn with stockings

Soft cuddly jumper (to emulate that kind hug)

Fluffy cashmere pompom hat and gloves.

Ooh la la I think I’m ready.

I have always heard the expression… “There is no such thing as bad weather in Scotland, just bad clothing.”

HELLO UNICORN ENERGY!

This morning I put on my short skirt and asymmetrically-cut fluffy jumper and literally pranced out the house. I even bought an umbrella so I don’t have to think about a clumpy raincoat all the time.

I strutted down the road and literally felt people respond to me. The Scottish national animal is the unicorn and I’m calling in that feeling of possibility, playfulness and magic. People respond to energy right – it’s not about what you look like but what you feel like. And boy do I feel some sense of swagger back in my step.

I might never fully know why this particular transition hit me so hard. So many complex factors came together all at once. But I do know that alignment is key. I have made new promise and commitment to my support team to have quarterly tune-ups or more where needed! Sessions booked in advance! The aim is to tweak ahead of time to help me walk around the hole and not fall IN it too often. And back on track with being mentored.

And now I’m going to pop on a lovely black wool coat, embrace the cold air and go out dancing.

Wishing you light at the end of your tunnel today
Love Kate


DO YOU NEED TO PLUG IN NOW?

Are you blessed with someone in your life that reflects yourself back to yourself, steering around your blind spots? A trusted advisor or wise mentor who has been where you are and who has skills and ability to get you to where you want to go?

Perhaps you know I’m the person who will get you! It would be an honour to help you through this chapter of transition in your life to find your sassy self again. If you happen to come work with me in either Edinburgh or Iona over the next few months, you might get to appreciate my capsule wardrobe with your own eyes! No there’s a thought.

Pop me a mail about exploring working with me on a personal retreat or a 3-month silo to embrace and implement changes in life and business.

Please mail me directly to set up a chat on kate@kate-emmerson.com

Thunder Rain … by Kate

By Insights to help you #quickshift, Transformational Journeys, Transformational thoughts

A poem inspired by an unexpected storm on my Greek island in the midst of summer. Being dragged out of bed by thundering noise suddenly brought these words tumbling out of me – and I have not written any form of “poetry” since 26 – almost half my life ago!

Thunder Rain

Rain cleansing broken hearts as dawn light appears
Water healing pain, buried not forgotten
Flowing through the lives
Of everyone deep in sorrow
Tumbling words in a gasping gush of water

Fumbling “I’m sorry” in a muddy pool
Wind curling ferociously around feathered leaves
Thunder beings crashing through the panes
Beckoning get up get up GET UP

As swallows take flight in bursts of energetic black
The tall sky keeps throwing off its cleansing cloak
Begging us
To wash away the stains, just for today

by Kate Emmerson

Poem inspired by gorgeous rain on a Greek island in the middle of summer. See my pic taken from my apartment

Kate Emmerson

When Habits are Abandoned, Dancer’s Pose is Elusive

By Coaching Tips 'n Tools, Food for thought, Insights to help you #quickshift

Fancy a laugh at my expense again? Not as much running and mad-dashing through airports this time…. more like simply too much horizontal time….

I know the power of ritual and ingrained habits. As a coach, it has been one of the cornerstones of my business and of course my own personal practice. One of my habits/rituals that serves me super-well is that of my morning ritual during the week. So  the only way I know how to do it, is that the instant my morning alarm goes off on the phone, I fumble for the screen to switch it off and I hit the floor – I am upright before I can blink and I don’t even allow myself the luxury to think about it because in that split nano-second of pondering it – well suffice it to say, I’m totally screwed.

So at 5.15 am this morning, said alarm squeaks and beeps……and I dare, for some stupid reason, to think. Not “Daring Greatly” as Brene Brown suggests, or daring to lie back for a cuddle; just daring to stop and think. It’s called negotiating with the alarm, and I have always found it both futile and daft!

But for a stupid moment this morning,  I imagine that maybe I can have just five more sweet, little minutes. 300 seconds!  But I never have a backup alarm because I don’t need it, do I? DO I??

Truth is, to put it in context,  I had been up in the middle of the night not able to fall back asleep, so I just got up and was drinking tea and working. For about 2 hours in the dead of night, I was reading all about Northern Spain and the Camino, contemplating all the wonderful walks and hikes in the Asturias for our retreat in October…so I was ”justifiably” tired when it squeaked at that ungodly hour.

It beeps at that hour because I haul my butt to Yoga – and YES, you guessed it, because I am also an early-morning-exercise-ritual-person. But the Gods were beaming down on me because a few minutes later, a much louder alarm yelled at me and then I did my usual LEAP. I looked at my phone, it was now 5.32, and I KNEW that I could still make it to yoga. Dash to pee/teeth/dress, and as I grab the keys I cannot find my red-rimmed glasses – oh well, sunglasses it is! At 5.36 in the morning on a cloudy drab day. COOL!

I hurtle to the car and feel decidedly BREEZY – only to look down and realize I am only wearing my little bra-let / tank top and no vest layered on top. Now yes, I MAY practice Bikram/ Hot Yoga, but I am not one of those scantily clad “bear-my-middle” yogibears. Damn – I dash back in to grab my vest, thinking I MUST remember to put it on at the studio. I have never had the horror of staring back at my midriff in the HUUUUGE mirrors.

Ok, let’s GO! I speed reverse and hit first gear. I did think, “wow it’s quite light this morning”, (even with clouds and my sunglasses) and then as I get onto the flat part of the road before I join Conrad Drive, I see about 20 cars ahead of me…..huh?

This is more like morning traffic that I NEVER venture into, reserved for the poor souls who have to commute out of our neighborhood. This is more like 6.45 am traffic – WTF??? My drive time to yoga is pretty carefully calculated, but this has put a spanner in my Downward Dog Dammit. No inner calm for me as I stare at the cars in front of me, bewildered!

I flip on the radio, wait for the dial to show and realize with horror, I am going to have to really hurry now as it is already 5.45 am.  Hang on,  HANG ON ….waken the brain… it’s 6.45 am!!!! SIX FORTY FIVE AM. Aaaaargh. And class, by now, is about to hit the floor after the standing series, and will soon be humming internally in Savasana. You know, the Dead Corpse Pose you revel in at the END of class. When you have BEEN to class.

All I can do is burst out laughing, knowing that Jay will just wag his tail with glee at seeing me so soon, and I will have time to grab some coffee before we hit the load shedding schedule for today.

This butt will sadly not get to do Tree, Camel, Dancer’s Pose, Tortoise or anything else remotely yoga-like today.
Oh…. if only I had realized it was not my alarm. I hadn’t quite computed that I had fallen back into a deep, delicious, dribbling sleep for another hour, only to be jolted out of it by my Argentino Valentino’s alarm. I should have just continued practicing Dead Corpse Pose all along.

So I try again tomorrow – oh no wait, it’s the weekend, where alarms are not welcome. Except that I am going Hot Air Ballooning for the first time, courtesy Argentino Valentino. So at 4.00 SHARP am my feet WILL hit that floor with a little jiggy jig.

Love Kate

#LIVELIGHTLIVELARGE

The airport dash of the silver-crested Cheetah

By Coaching Tips 'n Tools, Insights to help you #quickshift, Transformational Journeys

I stared Alroy straight in the eyes, holding his gaze and said, “You have to know, I’m NEVER that person that arrives at the desk last minute trying to squeeze in the queue and dash through the security, pushing in line. I have never, never, missed a plane or even been late for one in 50 years. 50! And boy, do I travel the world!” I stared him down, just a tad out of breath, grinning and not-so-silently begging.

He says, “the gates closed 15 minutes ago, mam, I can’t let you on,” as I inelegantly flung my case on the scale and he then had to continue as he glanced at his screen…. “And your bag is overweight, so you have to go and pay the fee – it’s too late.”

Somewhat deflated, I chimed back – “oh god, isn’t there ANYTHING you can do for me?”

“Well, maybe I can just call through and check with them – maybe?”

“Yes, please please pleaaaaase …….”

My eyes beady and heart somewhat lighter with his words of possibility.

“But your bag is still overweight.”

“Can’t we just let it through?”

“No, mam!”

He picked up the phone, “I have a VERY late passenger, she was checked in online, but her bag is overweight, is there any chance I can let her through?”

In the meantime, he is furiously (but not fast enough for me) filling out the overweight slip for me to go and pay. This is non-negotiable no matter how big my grin.

You also need to understand this. My motto is LIVE LIGHT LIVE LARGE, and yet somehow my suitcase managed to be 23.8 kilograms….on a 20kg allowance. Don’t even get me started on my hand luggage. I swear I need a new suitcase as this current one weighs 6 kgs EMPTY! Daft beyond daft, but it was a gift, so it makes my heart happy. Go figure. LIVE LIGHT, TRAVEL HEAVY!

Let me backtrack a little bit to how I even arrived so late at the gate….it never usually takes more than 40 to 50 minutes to get to Cape Town International from Houtbay in the middle of the day. I am not talking rush hour commuter traffic time. MIDDAY! Yet, as we get in the car, leave the bay and start climbing up over Constantia Nek, we realized there was a bit of a problem up ahead towards the circle at the top of the hill. I whipped out maps on my phone – damn! Red, red, red, everywhere. 38 minutes just to Constantia. Crawl, crawl, crawl. We banter back and forth about whether it’s even viable to hit the wheel and U-turn to go via Seapoint, but we are already at the point of no–return.

It took 40 minutes just to get to the top of the hill to the La Parada circle. Oops. More like DAMN! So I’m sweating a little bit. Actually sweating a lot, cursing a few people. Not to mention God followed by the Hout Bay road maintenance at the top of my list. Flashing through my brain is the thought that this is going to be the first flight that I ever missed. EVER! I have also been away from Naldo for six weeks while on a Greek trip, and this was my last little leg, just a two-hour flight to be in his arms and kissing his delicious lips once again. So while I know I am going to do whatever I can to make the flight, I also have to just sit back and relax and go, you know what – this is out of my hands. There is absolutely nothing, nothing, nothing I can do. But I also know I am going to give it my very best shot!

So by the time we were nearing to the top of the hill, Sarah says, “If you went left down the fork to Newlands, that might be much quicker,” because we were going right at the fork. We planned that I would go with her to Constantia, where her lunch meeting was (also now 45 min late) she would throw me out, and I would put myself into an Uber taxi and do the last little leg on my own to the airport. So as I call up the Uber app, agreeing it’s much better to jump ship in the middle of the road at the traffic circle, my phone’s bleeps back “insufficient funds.” Huh? What do you mean insufficient funds? I only have one account logged with Uber, I don’t have cash with me, that account has money in it, it has to work – I press confirm again. Uber bleeps again, insufficient funds. I look at Sarah with a feeling of annoyance and simultaneous shame creeping over my face – bouncing between is this a system fault vs. what IF there is no money in that account?

Regardless, somehow, right now, I can’t book myself an Uber! I feel 12. I’m now questioning if there’s a problem with that bank account and my head is racing 5 million times ahead of me…

If it’s saying insufficient funds, is there a problem with my card or has it been fraudulently hacked and money phished, or have we been working so hard this past week that I haven’t been cognizant of my spending? Surely not! Because you see now, if I’m too late for the plane it means I’m going to have to rebook a flight and then it means I don’t have enough money in this account. What the Hell’s going on? What am I going to do? And all sorts of old shameful patterning came flooding into my psyche.

Have you ever been in the dire situation when you go to pay for groceries, or you can’t put in electricity, or you go online to pay something, and you realize there isn’t quite enough money in your account? The account always screams back at you “insufficient funds” or something bounces and you know it’s going to cost you another 150 in fees for that bounced debit order? I’ve worked so flipping hard on my financial slice of life to be in a very different place now, but that old patterning just came and hit me as my solar plexus tightened up and my breath constricted, eyes watery.

Oh God, what if I’m stuck at the ticket sales trying to get on a later flight and I have no funds…

Sarah called up an Uber on her app and threw me out at the circle. Ok, maybe she really did stop the car and let me get out as I hurriedly snapped a screenshot of the confirmed Uber – I needed the right number plates, so I didn’t get into some unsuspecting driver’s car and bellow, “airport now.” But the right number plates driven by Excellency pulled up, and while throwing suitcases into the car, I said, “You don’t understand. This is a bit of an emergency for me. How fast can you legally get me to Cape Town International?”

He said 25, maps said 33, I suggested 20. We made it in 21!

In my head, because I never cut it that fine and it’s irrelevant to me usually, I somehow thought that the gates closed just 30 minutes before take off. I also figure that while I’m in the Uber I can somehow get onto my bank account and just check what is going on because I am sure there’s money in that card or I can move money around etc. etc. – but of course the laptop is in the boot, and my phone and passwords are not all connected and I cannot for the life of me access my bank online.

So there is nothing to do but try and not bite my nails and hand it over! It’s all up to the Gods actually – I started doing my own little form of a clearing prayer, seeing a beautiful light traveling out in front of me, moving effortlessly through the traffic, going to the check-in, security and plane and saying to myself, “it’s all going to be ok, and I really think I’m going to get on this plane, but let’s see how the cards fall today”. I’ve always learned in life that if you don’t get on a plane or catch that taxi or you don’t nab that last train, there’s a much bigger reason why. And I also know not to question that too much. Yet my head, my ego, every sense of me wanted to be on that plane to arrive in Johannesburg at 4.35. Excellency is driving at the speed of legal light, and I realize I might have a chance…. 21 minutes it is!

I run through departures to where I “know” Kulula’s check-in is situated, only to find I have run past it. Has it moved? Damn, I hate it when “more haste, less speed” proves to be true.

And so started my interaction with Alroy. It is definitely the first time I have run straight AT the check-in counters under those barriers that guide the queue. I just flew under them with bags in tow – big eyes looking at me from check-in staff. They sensed I was serious! Alroy soon tells me I can perhaps, probably, maybe definitely get on the plane, but my bag might not. Who cares? I start running to pay for the overweight baggage like it’s now a game of The Amazing Race…”Kate, wait, come back you need the slip” …I did the whole reverse trip even faster when running to pay for over-weight baggage, only to receive a clapping ovation from the staff as I got back to the check-in lightning speed. Perhaps I should enter the TV show race next year? Of course, with a little prayer, as she slipped the same gold card in the machine, I was quite incredulous when it just happened to work. So much for insufficient funds. Part of me expected to see the DECLINED line on the card machine.

Miraculously when I charge back to Alroy, he says, “Ok, I have made a plan, and now you just have to take your bag to the FRAGILE check-in.” I understand COLLECT your bag at fragile – assuming he means that it will come OFF the plane and be at the side of the conveyor belt in JHB. Those Gods are smiling again ….

“No,” he says, as my bag doesn’t disappear down the magical rabbit hole.

“Do you know where fragile and oversized bags is? You have to take it there now.”I hear the word SPRINT because of course, FRAGILE is at the farthest end of this terminal.

He says, speaking faster than me now, as I sense he is in for the long haul with me. “You go check it in, then I’ll meet you back at security and escort you through to the gate.”

Great stuff, because escort = faster.

But first, it’s a case of ‘run rabbit, run rabbit, run run run’! A song my Nan used to sing to me, is playing in stereo in my ears. You can see me, can’t you? Silver hair and silver handbag strung over my shoulder, heavy red suitcase on wheels for check-in, PLUS my hand luggage and we are flying through the terminal… I was like a little mountain goat and cheetah all in one. Really, the whole terminal should have been clapping and parting like the red sea. I also remember the inspirational talk given by Marie Forleo, titled everything is figureoutable – detailing her airport dash to save her marriage.

Oh shit – as I get back to security, Alroy isn’t even there yet. I thought he knew by now how fast this butt of mine can move. I look frantically back over to Kulula check-in, and he sees me, waves frantically and comes hurtling towards me! But now I realize the next hiccup – the security queue. Nope, this is me being escorted remember; so we sidetrack off to another little gate, he tells me to jump the queue at the X-ray machines as he goes and verifies my boarding pass. I apologetically say to the folk in the line, “I’m so sorry, he’s asking me to push in.”

As I’m puffing and removing my laptop, I suddenly remember what is IN my hand luggage. All the beautiful duty-free gifts that I bought at Athens airport – a full liter of Cretan olive oil, olives, rich creams, and shower gel – aka LIQUIDS. LIQUIDS! I had intended to shrink wrap them and send them as excess paid luggage, but well, here I was, going through security. BREATHE. I see the nose of my purple bag tortoise its’ head out the X-ray machine, then stop, and reverse, come out again, and reverse and I think…

It’s over.

Either they are going to confiscate all my delicious liquid goodies, or it’s going to take another 5 minutes I don’t have, for them to check my bag. My heart sinks. Alroy, already through the staff security, is waiting for me as if he’s ready to receive the baton in a relay race. He knows he’s going to be running with me! He’s poised and waiting…

On the 3rd sighting, my bag comes out, and no one stops me as I throw my laptop back in the suitcase and we hurtle off down the ramp. Of course the gate – I don’t even know the number as I am just following him, is at the very FAR end of the departures. He says, “Yoh, I can’t believe how fast you run.” He’s half my age! Maybe even younger! And fit! Not an ounce of fat oozing out of his tight Kulula uniform!

Understand this. I’m a walker – both in name and passion. I’m a Yogi, and I’m a swimmer. I am NOT a runner. Once in my life, I trained for, and did the Spar 10km race just for the hell of a goal to attempt running, and while I loved it, I later injured my back quite severely. But today, I ran like a little silver crested Cheetah. Well, I probably looked more like a huffing, puffing, baby elephant, but I ran through that airport on FIRE I tell ya, on fire! I probably ran the length of Cape Town airport about three times in the space of 12 minutes. As we get down to the gate, he says, “oh look, there’s been a delay. They haven’t even started boarding yet”. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry, so I just wheezed, trying to catch my breath.

While my heart is relieved, my asthmatic chest is really not happy and I have sweated as much as in a Bikram class, – not just little beads of sweat to match my elegant outfit – hell no – a tsunami of menopausal sweat mixed with crazy, running woman sweat. Sorry to the lovely lady who sat next to me on the flight!

And he is about to leave me there, his crazy, woman package delivered, he says, “there you go, you have made your flight – but maybe I can get you to the front of the queue.” You know where the ones with babies and in wheelchairs are? I gave him that Bambi eyed look – I think my sheer tenacity spoke to his heart, and God knows what he told the gate staff, but I was the second one on the plane. I slept solidly for two hours and as the plane doors open the lady next to me says she has a long time to wait for her next plane, and so she is happy to let me out of my window seat. I smile at her and say ” I can just climb over you, then you don’t have to move” and with that, I hopped onto my seat and gazelle-like jumped over her. Her reply ‘it’s nice to be so agile”. Indeed it is.

My big red suitcase was first off the line at OR Tambo and all was right in my world again as I go up to the departure level for my usual meeting pick up, and as I walk out, Mr. luscious lips pulls up. The rest is censored….

My point dear reader – I handed it over to the Gods, the staff and all powers that be, but you can bet your bottom dollar that I gave it horns to ensure I was not ever left thinking- “I wonder if I could have made that flight?” I could have, and I darn well did! And of course, that bank card and account were just 100% dandy! Just a regular day in my life! I think I will go back to attempting to live up to LIVE LIGHT LIVE LARGE again.

I would love to hear YOUR story of that near miss! A plane, train or ferry. Drop me a comment below or on kate@kate-emmerson.com – yes that does come STRAIGHT to me!

Back to LIVE LIGHT, LIVE LARGE!

With Lightness,

Kate

The FIVE ‘G-SPOTS’ for cultivating a VIP relationship with yourself

By Coaching Tips 'n Tools, Insights to help you #quickshift

When life gets ridiculously busy, overwhelming, and fraught with responsibilities and you feel at the bottom of your priority list, perhaps it’s time to re-think some ground rules? As you chase your chosen goals (or your tail!) and step up to be the best version of yourself whilst sticking to your values – every now and then it can all get too much. It can be useful to resort to my 5 simple yet counter-intuitive strategies, called the cheeky G-Spots, to kick-start a VIP relationship with yourself.

 

  1. GO SMALL (CONTRARY TO THE GO BIG CONCEPT!)
    One of the biggest traps women still fall headlong into, is to make unrealistic demands on how they are going to change everything. Moreover, of course, change it all at once – GUN HO approach – sound familiar to you? Then you usually land up changing zero, nada, nothing and are left bereft of your goals thus feeling far worse off than when you started. However, everyone, including you, can START SMALL. Small tweaks for big leaps. Consider a realistic 5-10% improvement in one area of your life; when you have achieved that, you can start with the next aspect. One small chunk at a time. Step by step.

CHALLENGE: What ONE thing can you commit to shifting today and how will you shift it? Go small to end tall.

 

  1. GEAR DOWN – STOP WORRYING ABOUT OTHERS’ OPINIONS BY GIVING LESS OF A DAMN
    What other people think about you in NONE of your business. WHAT? How often is everything that you do, think, feel or act upon, based on how others will possibly approve or disapprove of you? Your life is meant to be one of joy and stretching for what makes you happy. No matter what! If you don’t know, find out. Every time you put another’s needs ahead of your own for the wrong reasons and drop yourself off your priority list, you are in effect making their needs way more important than your own. The plight of the compassionate female! How will you ever achieve happiness? You can continue to think it is the most generous thing (giving of yourself for the betterment of others), which it IS, provided it is not at the expense of yourself. Be more in control of what you need to do within your space, take charge of your challenges and stop “vomiting” your stuff into other people’s space. Be the best version of yourself so that you are more available to others.

CHALLENGE: For the next five days, the moment you wake up, your challenge is to do something for YOURSELF first. Perhaps a quiet cup of tea before you wake the rest of the house, ten minutes journaling, a walk, etc. You can come back to everyone else AFTER you have taken care of YOU.

 

  1. GRAND EXPANSION BY USING ‘AND’
    We have been continuously taught life is about either or, one or the other, this or that, yes or no. Really? The concept of grand expansion is grasping the concept of the word “AND.” It boils down to self-belief and the idea that you can have what you choose in the way that you want it. Most of us have been brought up to make choices, and choices have consequences. When you have the courageous conversations with yourself and others about what is important to you, then you may be able to find a way forward that incorporates BOTH, or several options, the commonly known WIN-WIN. I prefer to think of it as the GRAND AND! It is a mindset of how you view the world and what you expect you deserve. It also links to point 2 – it is possible to put yourself on your priority list AND thereby still be able to help others too! Ponder that for a moment.

CHALLENGE: Every time you hear yourself saying “OR,” reframe the sentence or request to use “AND.” Make a game of it to see how often you can rise to the challenge and enlist the help of someone you trust to nudge you when you fall into old habits.

 

  1. GUT-FEEL INSTEAD OF GUTTED
    I cannot emphasize this enough. Your instincts will always give you the right answer and will show you the orange warning lights way in advance. You can also rely on your nasty, mean and self-deprecating nagging voice to try its level best to sabotage you and turn you against yourself. It is always your little voice’s job to make sure you doubt yourself and yet, your spirit-self ultimately demands that you listen to your gut. It’s your lifeline from birth to death. Make a decision based on your initial gut response, find reasons to support it and MOVE ON! Think back to anything that “went wrong” in the last year and be honest if you always knew at the start but just never listened? So often we are merely scared to trust ourselves and will abdicate to others’ ideas and opinions rather than make any waves based on our gut feel.

CHALLENGE: A bit of a weird one to try. The moment you hear your nagging voice kick in, literally address it directly and say, “thank you for your input, but I’m going with my gut on this one for now, thank you.” Try it!

 

  1. GROUPY – LEARN TO HANG OUT WITH LIKE MINDED FOLK
    If you are brutally honest with yourself, which takes real guts, then you know whether you are disciplined and self-reliable in pursuing your goals or if you let yourself off the hook to easily. Even the most successful people that you know achieve massive results because they have grounded support systems and are accountable for the right reasons to the right people. Get a support group, a disciplined friend, join an online community course, be mentored and have a “go – to” person to help you stay on track Quit trying to do it on your own for once and then beating yourself up when you inevitably feel like a failure.

CHALLENGE: Contact that “someone / group” today to let them know what you are working on and ask for their specific help in achieving your goals over the next six months.

I cannot wait to witness the shifts you make so that you become the breeding ground for miracles again. Come and check out my website where you will find out retreats, mentorships and all things geared to help you LIVE LIGHT, LIVE LARGE. www.kate-emmerson.com

If you need to take quiet time out for yourself to REBOOT THIS SPRING, then check out my retreat being held an hour from JHB, in the luxurious Steynshoop Valley Lodge. We have just 4 places left.

Check it out here