“I used to think being busy made me a better person. Then I realised it was only making me worse.”
My work life was busy, home life was busy, I was frantically trying to keep all the balls in the air, important relationships were ending and the ground felt unsteady. I began yoga and it seemed I’d been storing things up (this had pretty much been my modus operandi since a child!). This showed up as tears in my first couple of yoga sessions, then I began working with a coach, and bought a book called Buddhism Made Simple. From what my yoga teacher said in class it seemed that Buddha had a belief system that aligned with coaching. I was curious and wanted to learn more. On reading it I knew there was something powerful in this way of seeing the world and yet I didn’t know how to make that a reality in my work. Then in 2018 I listened to this episode of my friend and colleague, Garry Turner’s podcast with Piers Thurston. It led me to tears – tears of delight that someone seemed to have taken the essence of Buddhism and made it something that could make a difference in business. This was the Three Principles.
In fact I’ve since discovered that the Principles are the foundation to all of life and therefore are at the foundation of all belief systems and religions – the pure foundation that’s there before we humans layer on systems and robes and gods and mantras and rituals.
When I started to learn more I began to feel torn. Part of me was still excited about the thought of learning these Principles, but my intellectual thinking started to bring in doubt. I became cynical and sceptical – this sounds like a cult, or brainwashing. This sounds far too good to be true. Or maybe it’s just the same old wine in sparkly new bottles. Maybe I’ll be throwing my time and money away by following this path.
Again, thanks to Garry who attended a retreat with Piers ahead of my learning, he was able to reassure me that this really WAS something different and something I would want to explore.
And so it began. Within a month (3 sessions) of working with Piers I was feeling different. Life seemed lighter and brighter. Four months in and I felt that almost every aspect of my life and work was easier.
I’ve gained huge benefits: Now my new modus operandi is to be in flow, to feel calm, to respond to the world as it appears (not as I think it should be). I have frequent realisations that provide the insight I need when I need it. Decision-making is easier. My productivity has increased. My relationships and work have all improved, as has my parenting. Plus I no longer meditate – something I’d started in 2018 to achieve all those benefits I’ve just listed. Now I don’t need it.
This learning is so foundational that it raises the water in the harbour, which means that all the boats naturally rise.
So how is this work different?
Normal psychology is about applying tools, approaches and methodologies to help us feel OK. Often things which meet our basic needs: to belong, to feel valued and to feel in control. This “normal” psychological work is focused on what we’re thinking and feeling, and why we’re thinking and feeling that. It often requires effort and practice on the part of the learner, to build new habits of thinking and behaving. And it does make a difference – I’d seen that difference with clients – but the thing that was really always making the difference behind the scenes was…
Natural psychology or how our system works. It is in fact how our system has always been working, but which “normal psychology” points us away from and masks.
Until finding this understanding, I believed I was helping people in the best way possible by enabling them to get to the real root of what was holding them back. And there was definitely progress and improvement – I’d been a recipient of such improvements myself. But now I see that this understanding precedes any of that work and so sits beneath, around and within all of that.
The foundational nature of this work makes it all-pervasive, reliable and sustainable.
So my business is still Wild Fig Solutions because the Wild Fig tree, with the deepest roots in the world, remains entirely – and even more – relevant.
The best thing about the learning and experience I’ve gained over my 20+ years in people and development, is that I can now move up and down the scale from Normal to Natural psychology and meet your needs in the most useful way.
When we work together:
- I listen, I ask, I challenge, I tell
- I provide space for you to question what you’ve always thought to be true
- I sit, truly knowing, that you’re full of innate brilliance and wellbeing, with the capacity for great insight in any moment
So my purpose?
To reconnect leaders to their innate brilliance
My ambition is to enable leaders to gain this understanding, shift to Clarity, Connection and Compassion and release their own and others’ potential.
Great leaders > Great teams > Improved results
I have a Postgraduate Certificate in Business and Personal Coaching through Barefoot Coaching and the University of Chester
I’m an Associate Certified Coach with the ICF (International Coach Federation)
I’m also a Chartered Member of the CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development)
My Three Principles practice is shaped by the work of Syd Banks, with thanks to Piers Thurston, Michael Neill, Clare Dimond, Jamie Smart, Liz Scott, Nicola Bird, Ken Manning, Garret Kramer, Andy Winter who’ve all played their part in my learning.
Prior to this, my “Normal Psychology” work was grounded in Cognitive Behavioural Coaching; Chimp Paradox; Neuropsychology; Street Wisdom; Mindfulness; Time to Think; NLP; Gestalt; Creative coaching approaches; Design Thinking; Future, Engage, Deliver.
How my clients describe me…
My career journey…
I worked in HR for fifteen years. The last ten were in Boots UK where I started with nuts and bolts discipline and grievance before being promoted to a Regional role for the more complex ‘at risk of tribunal’ work. After that I became an HR Partner and Coach for senior teams in Head Office to help their departments be successful; and finally I led a strategic Organisational Development project for Boots’ stores.
Towards the end of my time in Boots I discovered professional coaching.
The GROW model has value in the right context, but learning with Barefoot Coaching took my development to the next level, connecting me to the psychology behind coaching. This enabled me to develop clients’ emotional intelligence and resillience, and helped them find a clear path through whatever looked challenging.
The professional coaching I received back in 2013 helped me to make the shift and start my business, and for this I will always be grateful to Prashant Jadav who was my coach then.
In 2018, I then discovered the Three Principles, the work of Sydney Banks. This work leads to a foundational transformation in how clients are, how they work with others, and therefore the difference they can make.
I’d love the opportunity to bring this experience to you.
Reconnecting leaders to their innate brilliance
Clarity : Connection : Compassion
Click here to read more of the things I get up to.