I was recently asked to run a workshop for The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) on resilience.  A dictionary definition of resilience is “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change”.  The concern was that employees have tools and resources that can make them more resilient. 

Do you find that you always have new stuff you need to get done and more responsibility to take on? Have you noticed you work longer hours and that the commute is longer than it used to be? Have you got to the stage that you have nothing else to give, you have no energy and that you are stretched as far as you can go? Do you feel that something has to change? Are you feeling stuck and unable to work out what to change? And if you do know what to change, are you struggling to put that change into action?

Having more time seems like a good way to try to fit more stuff in. Yet, even with more time, does that actually feel like a relief or are you piling on more pressure, stress and dis- ease?

How do you get more time? By sleeping less, seeing less of the family and friends, eating convenience foods, working out less, resting less, taking less holiday time and living on the move? Taking time is always a good strategy. When you do it at the expense of your health, wellness and life- work balance it can be a recipe for stress, burn out and poor quality of life.

We’ll come back to time later. For now I’d like to offer a solution that includes energy. How much energy do you have? Of that energy, what proportion would you say comes from caffeine, sugar and prescribed medication? What amount of your energy comes from deep restful sleep, good nutrition, rest, living on purpose, with mission and passion?

The Artificial Highs

Though artificial stimulants like caffeine and sugar seem like a good short- term solution, they have a severe impact on your health long- term. Our society promotes the use of these things to the point that they are normal and encouraged. In spite of their common acceptance, they drain the body of the energy it does have and then deplete it further. This in time leads to illness and disease. Think how much poorer your mood is when you have not had enough sleep? A day or two is manageable. After three or four nights of poor sleep, it is much harder to keep your mood buoyant. Your ability to cope and make decisions is significantly impaired when your energy is depleted through lack of sleep. Tiredness through over- exercise, excess work, insufficient food and lows after sugar and caffeine highs are all examples of your depleted energy.

Recharging the Healthy Way

The energy of the body works like that of a battery.  It requires recharging.

The energy of the body works like that of a battery. If you do not recharge it regularly, the body cannot use the energy to move, think, live, repair, learn, grow and heal. Therefore, good sleep and rest are essential. Balanced nutrition and hydration are important too. Living with a sense of mission and purpose are excellent ways to maintain energy levels.

Energy rather than Time

In the future, when one more thing gets added to your must- do list, instead of thinking about time, I invite you to think about your energy. Will this thing increase or deplete my energy? If it increases my energy, then that’s great. If it depletes your energy, have you got enough energy in the battery stored up to see you through in a healthy and manageable way? Those things that deplete your energy may still need to be done, but at least you can take care of your health and well- being around those things. By thinking about recharging and understanding that you can’t take affective action without energy in your battery, you can change your behaviour and still get so much done while maintaining your quality of life. Let me share some of my personal examples:

  1. I experience that putting things off is a huge energy drain. If I procrastinate, the energy I expend thinking about doing it is immense. It stops me concentrating on what is important now and wastes a lot of time as I spend valuable moments thinking about it. If I had acted as soon as possible, I would be free to think about life affirming things rather than life- consuming things. It feels like such a waste. As much as possible, I try to act as soon as I can rather than put things off.
  2. Make sure the important stuff is at the head of the list. What is important? The things you value the most like your health, enjoyment at work, quality time with your partner and the kids, time with friends, holidays and anything else that increases your energy. The important things that deplete your energy, try and get them done by doing a little at a time or giving them to someone else to do. That might cost you money, but if you can afford it, its better than putting it off and having to do a long stint with resentment and frustration in your heart.
  3. Making sure you get sufficient sleep. Most of us need about 8 hours sleep a night. Very often deadlines, travel, children, illness, caffeine drunk late at night, lights from laptops, tablets and phones, stress, anxiety and worry hamper our body’s rhythm to shut down and go to sleep. Therefore we struggle to go to sleep or we might wake up in the night and be unable to get back to sleep.  I went through a period of struggling with sleep. Finally reading Ariana Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution showed me the many small moves I could make to have a better night’s sleep.
  4. Rest.  I am a person who does what he loves.  I used to believe that rest wasn’t necessary. “Rest is for people who hate their jobs” was what I used to say. Nothing could further from the truth. Rest is important for everyone. It is different from sleep. Rest is unplugging, slowing the pace right down. It has the benefit of making the conscious mind a little quieter so that the big picture view of the subconscious can come through. Some of my most productive and creative periods come after a rest period in my working year. Meditation, exercise, socialising, playing games, art, music, writing and reading are all activities that can rest and energise mind and body.  Therefore I make sure I do as much of them as I can which boosts my energy further.
  5. The movement- stillness balance. As a society, we spend way too much time sat down. We spend 13 hours a day on our bums it has been estimated. As well as the cardiovascular implications, the body simply does not like to be still for too long. Every part of your body likes to move. The use of standing desks is a breakthrough in some working environments. However, a still body gets drained of energy just like a battery unused loses its charge. It’s just not what it’s designed for. Use your body actively throughout the day. The benefits are immense. Energy is just one of them. Exercise can really energise the body. Make sure you do exercise at a level that is in line with your fitness and health otherwise this can deplete you of energy. Light and regular exercise is better for you than a short, sharp blast. Building movement and exercise into your day if you can is a sure way of staying active and fit. Walking, cycling and roller- blading might be better ways of getting around than car, motorbike or public transport.
  6. The life- work balance. Life needs to have balance in it. If we do too much of anything, it begins to drain our energy. The Wheel of Life is a great example of demonstrating this concept. This coaching tool has you look at all the areas of your life from intimate relationships, finances, health, contribution, family and friends, work, recreation and more. By seeing how fulfilled you feel in each category, you can see where you might want to put your energy into creating more of that in your life. Consequently, you can create balance in all areas of your life so that you feel fulfilled throughout. Each area feeds the others and so you end up feeling more energised more of the time and your life can more smoothly roll towards your desired goals.
  7. Living on purpose. Purpose gives you a real energy boost. To feel that inner compulsion draw you towards your greater goal is like a surfer riding the wave to the shore. It is powerful, energising, compelling, motivating and thrilling. In part you are not in control.  You are pushed along by a force that is beyond you. Where your control lies is in staying on the wave and giving yourself to the journey. Some people become scared of relinquishing this control and become drained in their energy as they try to control things. I have struggled with this for years. More and more I am learning to trust and allow myself to be led. The journey on the wave is so thrilling and is a wonderful experience that I try to do it as often as I can.
  8. Nutrition and hydration. What you put into your body significantly affects your energy levels. Good quality food makes all the difference. Just that extra piece of fruit or veg each day adds to your energy in a healthy and balanced way. Drinking water is also really important. Hydration ensures the body works efficiently and makes you less susceptible to injury. One big tip…….. try to avoid taking big intakes of water at one time. The body cannot absorb it all and the rest goes out as waste. Instead, little sips throughout the day are best, keeping you topped up. Same with food. Eating smaller portions is easier for the body to digest and is less demanding, so that you are less likely to have that mid- afternoon energy crash.
  9. Charity and random acts of kindness. Doing something for someone else gives a huge energy hit. It lightens the heart and the mind and simply feels good. You may not get the reaction you were hoping for so make sure you are doing it from a place of doing what you can rather than with a sense of achieving particular results.
  10. Your living and work space as well as the people you connect with powerfully influence your energy. Some people and places drain your energy. Others energise you. Learn which feed you and those that drain you so that you can make informed choices about the places you go and the people you surround yourself with.

Self- Care

There are many more examples I can use, but these ten are a good start. Learning what energises you means you have more to give, and when you do give you can do so more fully. Prioritising what energises you in an act of self- care. Sometimes you have to do things that drain your energy: those boring tasks; meeting people you don’t like; the daily commute; perhaps work drains you because it is not in line with your values. If we can fill our lives as fully as possible with things that recharge our battery, we have the energy reserves to do the things that sap our energy and still have some left in reserve to make the small changes to remove those energy drainers from our lives in time.

Taking the Time

You only have a limited 24 hours a day. That time is precious. Time is the ONE thing you can never get back. Being energised allows you to live as many moments of that 24 hours as fully as possible and making each second count as much as you can. I know that balance is hard and I am forever getting the juggling act wrong. If you are at the point when you feel the pain of having too much to do and not enough time and energy to do it, taking the time is one thing and having the energy is another. Look after your energy and the time is easier to create. Take care of the time and your energy is easier to maintain.

Over to You

How are you about energy management? Do you actively work on maintaining your energy? Are you depleted of energy a lot of the time? What can you do differently to give yourself more energy every day? How can you build your energy reserves up so that you can deal better with the things that sap your energy? What things do you do to increase your energy? How do you avoid the affects of energy depletion? I’d love to hear from you so please post your comments in the box below.

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Do you feel that your life has momentum? Are you engaged, motivated and energised by the journey you have chosen? Do you notice when your life has drive? Can you relax and allow things to unfold?  Do you recognise the signs that you are coasting? Would you recognise the feeling of your life stagnating? Do you know how to get the drive back?



Like driving a car, life can feel like you are driving forward.  For instance, you have a goal or a destination to reach. It is a wonderful feeling to know you have direction and focus. Perhaps you enjoy the acceleration of the car as you press down on the gas to go faster? It can feel just as invigorating to press down on the accelerator on your life journey.  The energy surges, your mind remains focused on the road.  What is around you and your body feels alive to the whole experience.

This feeling that life is flowing in the right direction for you is a combination of honouring your values and being the person you want to become. The three cornerstones of your being: your physical, mental and spiritual energy.  They are all aligned and pulling in the same direction giving you a sense of power, purpose and potential. You feel alive because you feel that drive.


At times, the car can slip out of gear. Even though you are moving forward, you are coasting.  There is no drive any longer as you are moving forward on the back of previous hard work. This feels different to the mind and body as the energy of your life shifts out of drive. You might notice it as an uncomfortable feeling in your mind, a sense that you should be doing something or that there is a lack of energy in your life. In your body you may feel it as slight tension in the shoulders or gut. It’s often so subtle that you barely notice it and yet the signs are there.

There is nothing wrong with coasting- sometimes you have to let things unfold in their natural time.   No matter how hard you drive, things are not going to move forward any faster.  You are better off sitting back and allowing things to develop at their natural pace. The key is to be aware of this state of things.  Rather than be oblivious to the subtle change in feel, you are aware of how these delicate instruments called your body, mind and spiritual energy feel.  What they are telling you about what is happening in your life? You feel it because you are connected to the energy of your life.  You are aware of this energy because you are connected to the energy of your mind, body and spirit.


Leave this coasting long enough and your life comes to a halt. This too is OK as long as you are aware of it.  Sometimes you just do not know where to go and what direction to take. Are you searching?  Do you feel out for the next step? Are you open to change and new ideas?  Are you closed to the prospect of new vistas and new potential? The extreme scenario of this is stagnation, where your life has been at a standstill for a long time. This is often a sign of lack of awareness, lack of purpose or sticking your head in the sand, unwilling to face what you know you have to deal with.

I am all too familiar with this feeling- the relationship I have been in too long, the change in career direction I’m too afraid to take, or simply the DIY jobs I know I have to do. When the car comes to a stop you become familiar with the landscape around you. This can be a comfort, feel safe and unchallenging. If you feel happy with that, then you are in the right place. For many, this sensation feels stressful.  The body is tense, the mind distracted with accompanying feelings of demotivation, lack of energy and lethargy. This is an ideal time for coaching- a chance to give direction to this stagnating energy and let it flow to create something new, exciting and full of potential.


You may well be familiar with all three of these feelings. I know I have been at different times in my life. I can feel all three at different times in the same day!!!!! The key is awareness and to recognise the feelings in your body, mind and energy so that you know what they mean and you are able to take effective action. This way you are able to drive when it is appropriate, relax and allow things to unfold when it is time and to rest and gently search for the new direction when you require new focus.

The alternative is to drive when it is not appropriate.  This creates stress and tension for your self and others because it is not time to push hard; or to relax when things need to be driven forward otherwise things will come to a halt creating frustration and confusion for your self and the people around you; or to remain stagnant, disempowered to take action and create the life you want for your self and the people in your sphere of influence.


Taking some time out to reflect, be still and listen to the energy of your mind, body and life is important.  You can listen for the signs and hear what they are telling you. You have been endowed by life with this exquisite instrument.  It can tell you the subtle moods and phases of your life.  As a result, take time to listen- go for walks in nature, journal, meditate, talk over ideas with friends and colleagues, go for a drive or other activities that give you a chance to tune in to the messages that your body, mind and life energy are giving you. If you do, it will make you more aware of what needs to be addressed.  It will give you a chance to deal with it.

You are resourceful, creative and whole.  Therefore you have the answers, you simply need to be asking the right questions. Time to reflect can do that for you. And if you feel you need some support in getting going, a life coach may be one of the resources you can call upon.

Over to you

How do you maintain your drive? What resources do you use to get you out of stagnation? Do you find your self relaxing for too long or driving too often or too hard? Whatever your experience, I would love to hear from you.   So why not contribute to our on- line community and help others through this common challenge if you have some keys to success. Or simply offer your experience of being in these situations to offer that sense that others are not alone.

 Pass it on

If you know someone who would benefit from the ideas presented in this blog, please send them the link and give them another opportunity to discover more of their potential.  I would really appreciate it……. and maybe they would too.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.

Finding a different perspective can open up a whole new view

Finding a different perspective can open up a whole new view

There is an Einstein quote that I love: “You can’t solve a problem with the same mind that created it”. I find it incredibly instructional, because it reminds me of the limitation of one mind set that can be given new light, insight and understanding by viewing it differently. It also reminds me that whenever there is a block in my life, I know that there is at least one way past it somehow if only I take the time to look, explore and discover.

Body Wisdom

Sometimes the process of getting to that new vision can be really challenging as it may ask us to question previously tightly held beliefs that may be long engrained and even foundational to our current life style and way of being.

As a martial arts instructor as well as a life coach I am constantly reminded of the intuitive knowledge of the body. I call this ‘Body Wisdom’.  In martial arts as well as dance, particularly contemporary dance, manifests in movement.  Particularly the spontaneous movement within unstructured forms and personal expression.

To people outside these worlds this may appear strange, yet to those of us sharing this wonderful experience, it is as if the body is speaking to us, through us in freedom, joy and celebration.

We experience this wisdom all the time, in our health, spatial awareness, balance and homeostasis- the body’s dynamic equilibrium of minerals, electrolytes and hydration.

Body Wisdom as a new Perspective

As a life coach people often come to me feeling stuck, challenged and unsure as to which direction to turn and get locked into the story of their journey. This is the conscious mind recounting facts explaining how it got into this situation in the first place. Very quickly what I do is ask clients to access the intuitive, creative and freer part of their minds.  Almost instantly the blocks begin to dissolve away. New action ensues from this new mind set.  Then the conscious mind is given new insight and knowledge which leads to new solutions.

I have a friend who pitches business solutions to companies, in particular industries in which he has no industry track record. To begin with these companies are a little bemused as to why he would bother. Very quickly he poses solutions to their problems that they have never thought of simply because he is not restricted to that particular industry’s mindset and can offer thinking out of the box so to speak.

One source of alternative thinking in life coaching is Body Wisdom. The awareness of the body, it’s feelings, emotions, tensions and pains. I use this a lot with myself as well.  I understand that my body is speaking to me all the time.  Recently, my awareness of tension in the core of my body led me to understand that I have fear around trust.  I am now able to address this in many areas of my life.  Therefore I’m improving my relationships with others both privately and in business as well as with my self.

I use this with clients too, accessing insights that are hidden to the logical, conscious mind normally. It brings freedom, the choice to make a decision consciously rather than be motivated by unconscious drivers. Slowly over time we return fully to our self.  Becoming progressively more present, more available and more powerful in the moment.

Four steps to Body Wisdom

1. Take some time and space to sit quietly and bring your awareness to your body. Deep breathing and progressively relaxing the body helps with this>  It has the additional benefit of calming the mind as body and mind are connected.

2. Become aware of tension in the body. This can really only happen when you are still and aware of the body. It could be shoulders, neck, stomach, back, your jaw, even the breath itself. Wherever there is tension, there is energy held, locked in and not free to flow.

3. Pick a spot. Breathe into this tension. Penetrate deep with your awareness and your breath. When the energy starts to shift this is when the insights come- in words, feelings and often in pictures. Perhaps it is an object or place, what temperature, what textures, sounds and movements are there? This is the body speaking its language. This is Body Wisdom.  Work with the imagery, let the process unfold and discover the wisdom that lies within.

4. If you feel inclined to do so keep notes of your revelations and insights. Most importantly you are setting your self free from the tension that holds you back from being most fully your self. This is an on- going process, constantly unfolding, releasing you from old ways and paving the way for the new.

Body Wisdom is just one way in which you can gain a different perspective on engrained ideas. The key to opening the door to any situation in which you feel stuck or limited is to look at it from new perspectives. Suddenly new information is available to you and new avenues present themselves. If you want to remain stuck in the old view look no further.  If you want freedom, sometimes the body can reveal perspectives to you that not only give new insight.  They can also heal. Such is the power of the body when you give it a chance!

Over to you

As ever, I would love to hear from you.  How do you find the process of accessing Body Wisdom?  What revelations have you had?  How have you overcome the parts you have found challenging?  Please share your thoughts and insights.  You never know you may provide a perspective for  someone else that may help set them free.

Why not………..

If you found this article useful and interesting please pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word.  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.

Finding the things that energise you are important- nature, music, art, creativity. What energises you?

Finding the things that energise you are important- nature, music, art, creativity. What energises you?

‘Sometimes I just want a little time and space to unwind, unplug and recharge’ I often hear people say.  Another common one is ‘I need some quiet time and a place to destress’.

Do you find yourself looking for some time in your schedule when you can relax and rejuvenate? Are you finding that time harder and harder to carve out for yourself? Do you feel that down time is often in front of the TV or resting in a way that makes you more tired and far from recharged?


If you find that your rest time is not as rejuvenating as you would like it to be, perhaps it is because it is draining your energy. Resting the body and the mind is not the same as rejuvenating the mind and body. Sometimes the mind needs to relax and unplug- doing exercise or chilling out can be brilliant for that.  Other times, the body needs to recuperate. Sleep, reading a book, watching TV or chatting with friends can be the tonic you want.

Done right, these will all rejuvenate your energy because it is what your system needs right now.  We all need time by the pool or on the beach.  Chilling out in front of the TV can be a good thing. Too much of any of that can leave you feeling more tired and less motivated to do the things you need to live the fulfilling and meaningful life you want and deserve.


I believe it is about engagement.  Are you truly connecting with the activity you are doing?  Are you sinking into the moment of the experience and allowing that to energise and revitalise you?  Just a moment when you connect with someone across a room can give you all the energy you need.  There is a third dynamic as well as the mind and the body.  That is the energetic quality of your being.  It also requires recharging and is important in energising the body and the mind.  We need to spend time recharging that part of us as well which is often lacking in people’s lives.

I visited an uncle yesterday who has Parkinson’s disease. Often I see him and he is tired, with low energy and disengaged. Yesterday he was animated, sociable and healthy looking. It was a wonderful transformation. When I asked him the reason for the change he said that he had spent some time in the garden.  It is a place that always gives him joy. He pottered around and watched the flowers and the birds and it fed him spiritually.  Not in a religious sense, rather from the point of view of injecting him with vitality, calm and strength. It gave him energy to enjoy the things that matter in his life like family and friends.

For me, nature always has this effect.  I often take trips to the coast and the local countryside to walk and feel the power of nature. It sets me up for the next important step in my life if I feel I need a little pick me up. Others write, some read.  I know people who visit art galleries and museums for the same affect and inspiration.  Something that I have been known to do in the spirit of learning about new things that inspire and invigorate my spirit.


The annual holiday is one means to unwind and rejuvenate- and we all need these little sprinkles of joy and reenergising to keep us at the top of our game. And let’s face it- you deserve it! You work and play hard- which may be fulfilling and demands a lot of you. So make sure you make time and space to feed your self spiritually.  Keep those energy levels up for the next step in the adventure.  And because that adventure keeps unfolding, you want to set aside time on a regular basis to keep your self recharged.  You can say you do not have time.  By taking time, by making it important, you will feel the benefit it provides.  Continue to recharge your energy so that you have strength, motivation and inspiration for the entire journey ahead.

It becomes about prioritising.  Life coaching is an excellent vehicle to set aside some time and focus on what is important.  It ensures you can make informed decisions about your life on a daily basis, based on the bigger picture.  So that you can live the meaningful and fulfilling life you want, you want to say “no” to drudgery, tiredness, stagnation, poor health, financial constraints and disharmony and say “yes” to inspiration, vitality, creativity, health, wealth and wellbeing.  Recharging the batteries in a timely and effective way is an important part of that “yes” process.  Try it and see and let me know how you get on.

Over to you

What do you do to rejuvenate and power up? Where do you find the time and space in your life to have those important few minutes when you can recharge? How does making the time for your self feel? I’d love to hear from you and share your ideas and experiences. Who knows…. it may be inspiration for some one else. The tonic they had never thought of to make a huge difference in their life.

Why not………..

If you found this article useful and interesting please pass it on to other people you think would be interested and spread the word.  I would really appreciate it.  And if you are new to Potentiality Coaching, why not sign up to the e- mailing list at and get an e- mail straight to your in box when I post my monthly blog and be first to hear about news, information and insights at Potentiality Coaching.  I’d love to have you be part of the community.