It’s that time again
Time to meet another empowered woman.
This weeks lady of inspiration and empowerment is Bekka Prideaux, a lady who I first met face to face at my good friend and coach Clare’s wedding. I had travelled down to Milton Keynes to attend Clare’s wedding solo and was in a bit of a fragile state as my mother had only died a few days earlier. The wedding was three days before her funeral and I was a tad wobbly to say the least. Bekka took me under her wing and we talked between mouthful’s from the plentiful buffet.
Bekka has many passions with diverse interests making her a wonderful person to get to know. If I have a question, I often think Bekka will have the answer, or at least know someone who does. She has yet to disappoint.
We have become friends and I recently was invited into her home for a few coaching days with herself and Clare. We worked on ourselves our businesses and there was also cake, coffee and wine involved. It was a wonderful couple of days enhanced by the oppotunity to retreat into Bekka’s lovely home and recline on her window seat. (A childhood dream of mine was to have a window seat. For a few hours I was 10 years old again writing my goals and planning my future)
I will had over to Bekka. Safe in the knowledge that her definition of empowerment is spot on in my mind.
When Elaine first asked me to write this piece for her I said yes without really thinking about it. That was the easy part. Then came the blank screen and the equally blank mind!
I guess I had not particularly labelled myself as an empowered woman – yes I have the woman part nailed, but the empowered part is a different question that for me comes down to your definition of empowered.
Empowerment for me is something that is accessible to everyone, male, female, young, old etc. It is a state of mind, it is knowing you have a choice about how you react to your circumstances, and knowing you can make a difference to your own future and the future of those around you. It is having the courage to follow your passion and live the life you want to lead. It is both powerful and fragile. The thought of it can seem scary, but living it, living authentically is both energising and calming.
That all sounds very lovely (apart from the scary part) but what does it mean in real life for me?
When I was made redundant from a job I absolutely adored I struggled to decide what to do next – and having decided that I wanted to work for myself it came down to two opportunities – both are things that I am passionate about and both make a big difference in people’s lives. Both areas motivate and excite me, but they meet very different personal needs and motivations for me. So my decision was to do both.
Firstly, there is coaching
Enabling individuals and groups to think better, solve problems better and achieve what they want to achieve. Helping them find clarity where there has been chaos, developing individuals and leaders. Noticing the areas I get most passionate about, noticing the areas of the work that give me the most energy and satisfaction has allowed me to shape my Coaching Business, Turquoise Thyme so my working days are things I really look forward to. In the moments when I am coaching, giving someone that focused, challenging and supportive attention, creating the time and space for them to really think at their best, I know I am doing something I am meant to be doing, I am living my purpose.
There is nothing more satisfying to me personally than seeing those ‘Aha’ Moments and the impact they have, be that the confidence that someone can follow their business dreams, or that a business can change direction, or as happened recently make a real difference to a world problem. That difference in people’s worlds is exciting to me.
Then there is
My paper crafting business, Feeling Crafty. This has allowed me to turn a hobby into a business which satisfies me creatively and brings incredible people and opportunities into my life. Sharing some fun and relaxation with people, unlocking their creativity and sometimes helping them turn their hobby into a business also give me that experience of knowing I have made a positive difference to someone’s day, to someone’s life.
Combining the two, along with all the other things I like to do can make my life look chaotic and sometimes it feels that way too. But applying the tools I would use with my clients to my own life means I am clear what I want to contribute, what my values are and what really matters to me. I am able to make conscious choices about how I invest my time and energy. Being aware of those choices is important for all of us, for me those resources are the most precious, especially as I live with a chronic illness which if I am not careful can leave me exhausted for weeks.
My top tips for being an empowered woman.
- Know what really matters to you. Listen to both your head and your heart. What do you really stand for? Then think about how you apply those values day to day. If being compassionate is something you want to stand for, build acts of kindness into your day. If being a great listener matters to you, don’t always cut people off when they are talking. If reliability matters to you, don’t let yourself or other down. Keep those promises you made yourself.
- Know that in every situation you have a choice about how you act, what you think and what you do. Sometimes the choices, and the consequences of those choices you have will not all seem attractive, but they are choices none the less. Own those choices and be deliberate with them.
- Know that only you can make it happen. You are the only person responsible for your own life. That is not to say don’t ask for help, choose who you have in your support team and let them guide, challenge and support you, but remember that it is your life and you are in control of making it the life you want it to be.