3 Steps to your Dreams

Are there really just 3 steps to achieving your dreams?  We’re all busy dreaming about how we want to make this year a good one; even a great one. Certainly different from 2016 when the world felt shaky and we had our own issues and of course goals we didn’t achieve.

 Let’s hope we can all have a very different year now. If you have goals – and a goal is just a dream with a deadline – here’s my 3 Step Process to follow that will get you to success.


Step 1. Get clear on what you want.

This sounds obvious but I see so many people who don’t really know what they want. The way to discover this is to listen to that inner voice, the one that keeps whispering to you but you push away. You carry on being logical, saying to yourself, “I could never do that’ I’m silly to dream of that, I don’t have the time, I don’t have the money…” You can choose to ignore this longing inside, or you can choose to live a more fulfilled and inspired life.

If you know what your dreams are it’s time to act!

You’re not getting younger – and it’s never too late!

You have the capability to bring these experiences into your life; you just have to trust yourself. You have these dreams because you know deep down that you only have this one life. What are you waiting for? Give yourself permission to create the life you desire.

 Step 2. Decide to do one thing that will move you in the direction of your dream. Your dream might feel just too huge and unattainable right now. That’s good, why dream unless it is a big fat audacious dream?

I know it can feel overwhelming but you can break it down into baby steps that feel more comfortable. For example, your desire might be to write a best seller. So what is the first step you can take? You could join a creative writing group, or start writing a daily journal. There will be other steps, but the first one sets you on your journey.

 Step 3. Get moving!

Think of creating your life in the same way you’d take any journey. First you have to choose the destination. Only then can you work out the route. The next step is to put your foot on the accelerator and start driving! So to reach your dreams you have to focus on your dream and spend time on making them happen. Nothing ever happened from sitting on the sofa. If you really want to do the thing you’ve always wanted to do in 2017, you have to take those action steps.

 Go and get what you need, whether it’s practical help or support. If dreams are going to become reality they need investment, and that can be investment of time, money or effort. This is your one precious life and surely worth making it the best it can be.

 Here’s to 2017 and your amazing success!

Do you need more guidance, help or support in achieving an amazing year?  Does this sound lie something you’d like to explore? Check out my coaching packages here and email me!



They’ve flown, you’ve an empty nest. Now what?

You’ve heard of the empty nest. All over the world there are mothers sitting on the edge of their child’s bed crying. Perhaps holding a dirty T-shirt and breathing in the smell of the absent teenager. Yes, it’s that time of year when those irritating, noisy, smelly, stroppy youngsters finally leave home and instead of celebrating, their parents are struck down by grief.

 It’s grief for a passing stage in their lives, for a job done, for the shedding of parental responsibility. The house is silent now. There are no shrieks of laughter, no pounding music, no footsteps on the stairs and the slamming of doors.

In contrast the fridge is full. No-one has finished the orange juice, eaten all the cheese or left the bread out. The laundry basket is almost empty, the top’s on the shower gel, the towels are no longer a damp mess on the floor.

 And you hate it. You sit there clutching your stomach, which is cramped, yet hollow, and you sob. The tears stream down your face as you feel the strings cut at last. If your offspring have moved to another part of the world, the pain can be even harder. You know you can’t just jump in the car and have a weekend together.

I remember the pain of the empty nester. First my daughter left and the house changed dramatically. No longer was there another woman there. I could now only feel testosterone in the air; no feminine laughter and giggles, no comparison of period pains, nail colours, or TV heartthrobs.

Empty nest

Then our son left and the hall was tidy, no longer cluttered with trainers which resembled small smelly boats. No more late night meals, big bear hugs, and discussions of rap music.

 Twelve years on and writing this I can feel the deep pain that I felt then when the bedroom doors were closed because I could not bear to look inside and see them empty.

So how do you cope? Like the story of the Bear Hunt, you can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, you have to go through it. And there are ways of coming out the other side.

 First you have to give yourself time and be gentle with yourself. You are grieving. You used to be a full-time mother and now they don’t need you to look after them. You need time to adjust to a new role and you may not even know what this is yet. So don’t berate yourself for feeling sad; allow and honour any feelings that emerge, you haven’t been here before. You may just feel relief! Just like when they were born, there was no instruction book on how to deal with this new stage of parenthood.

 Eventually you will realise that a new you is emerging. You have a different role to play and your own life can begin an exciting new phase. What will you do with it?

This is the perfect time to discover who else you are. Parenthood has changed you for sure, you have different strengths, talents and values to those before motherhood. Do you know what they are?

 What do other people say you’re good at? Are you great at getting people together, organizing committees, mixing cocktails? What do you really love doing? Maybe there’s an activity that you never had time for when you were rushing around running the family. Is there a creative energy you’d love to engage with now?

 Is there something you’d love to learn now that you have more time? You’re probably going to lose the school community too, (no more concerts to attend, no more hanging around the sports field), so you can make new friends in a totally new context. That’s exciting!

 It’s also time to acknowledge both your gifts and your limitations. Is there something you’ve been doing because you’re son or daughter’s parent that you’re now happy to drop? No more pressure to be or do that thing you always hated!

Your role has changed and your identity has therefore changed. Be open to what might evolve and get to know yourself better. Will there be a different you? A change of emphasis? An awakening of a new dream?

 Just as you have stood on the edge of any change before, whether it was becoming a new parent, moving to another country, or starting a new career, this is a transition and you can make it work for you. As an empty nester it’s about reclaiming and recreating your life. This can be a wonderful time if you give yourself space, reflect on who you are now and what you want your life to look like. Your second life is about to begin and you can decide just how it will be.

When you’re ready, you can put away the tissues, plan the next visit, and then step out towards your new wonderful life.

 If you’ve been through this, let me know what changes you made!

Are you suffering from empty nest syndrome and need support? How can I help you? Contact me on the next page.  Let’s get you to the next phase of your life. 

Giving Children their Labels

If you think of a hospital maternity unit and all the babies lying in their plastic cots, do you think of the labels they may come to wear? Visiting a newborn you might say “he has the look of Aunt Annie” or “does he have my nose?”. We don’t look at a baby and say “he’s an academic” or “she’s a shy one”. So how in the space of a few years do we have labels thrust upon us?

Gaining a good school report one term we’re told we’re smart, but a bad spelling test can mark us as stupid. Doing Michael Jackson impressions as an eight year old can label us as “a born entertainer” for years. Struggling with the complexities of long division can soon turn into ”not very good at maths”. We come to believe them. Then as we grow older we find that we are pretty good good at amusing people, and certainly not good at maths. Is this true? Or is it a label we’ve been given and taken on as indisputable truth?

 Try this exercise. Every half hour yawn and tell yourself that you’re tired. I guarantee that by the end of the day you’ll feel exhausted and will be planning an early night! Why? Because if we tell ourselves that we’re feeling a certain way, or that we behave in a particular fashion, we will believe it, just as sure as if we had black hair or long legs.

 Some people live with these labels all their life and it takes courage to start peeling back the layers of who you really are and uncovering the real you hidden within. But once you can start shedding those beliefs, ideas and labels it’s the most freeing thing imaginable. New possibilities emerge, new doors open and a whole new world opens up.

Labels given to children

One of my clients had always been labeled as clever, ambitious, academic and successful. And she was. She’d been studious at school, done well and gone straight into a corporate career. She lived the label but slowly realized she loathed the corporate life more as time went on. But she felt stuck, because this was had always been expected of her and she couldn’t see an alternative. When we stripped these labels away, she found a new confidence in herself and we explored what really excited her. She’s now managing an equestrian centre and gets to ride her horse every day. She’s in heaven! It’s her new wonderful life and as far away from an office block as you can imagine.

 Once you admit you’re not a “stay at home bird”, you can plan the trip you always secretly desired. Now you’re not “the academic shy one”, you can explore what you really enjoy; maybe you’ll take up Samba classes or join a choir! What would you do if you stopped being the person you’d been told you were?

 When you discover who you really are, you can change anything and everything. You’re now free to explore what it is you want and who knows who might emerge?

Karen x

 PS  As I said, getting rid of your labels can be scary and you may wonder where all this confidence is going to come from!  I have launched a brilliant new course that helps you boost your confidence is a fresh fun way. All details are here –  The 3 Week Confidence Booster 

Colouring Books for Mindfulness – just how do they work?

There has been an explosion. Everywhere you go you see them. I’m talking about colouring books. They are everywhere, and the point of them is to help you be mindful.

Mindful? What’s that all about then? It’s a concept and a practice that’s been around for a while but is now getting some flack; probably because of all those crazy books.



To be fair, the books of beautiful outlines ready to be turned into fantastical works of art are wonderful. People love them and will spend hours recapturing the sense of fulfillment they had as a child. The point of them is to get you to focus on doing just one thing. You’re not supposed to do your colouring while watching television for instance. It is suggested that you concentrate on the feel of the crayons, the lovely colours, the outlines, and therefore free your mind of the usual chatter.

 That is what mindfulness is about. Freeing your brain from constant chatter.

 Mindfulness, whether through colouring books, meditation or practice, is a growing phenomenon. I think it is because we are all so busy now, and with our screens and the urgency of life, becoming disconnected from what matters. Our brains are not used to us doing so many things at once.

You can use Mindfulness in your life in various ways. For instance, deciding to concentrate on enjoying a job you usually hate is a great way to get through it. If you are washing up you could notice the heat of the water, see the action of the bubbles and wonder at their shape. As you scrub away at a pan, you might notice how satisfying it is to get it all shiny again and how that makes you feel. What you will notice is that your mind is no longer thinking a dozen different things and your breath has slowed. That’s a great stress buster in itself.

So in our frantic, action packed days, it’s a good idea to take time to stop and breath and think of just one thing. Even if you don’t think you’re being “mindful”, it feels so good when the world slows down and you can briefly observe what’s really going on next to you. And the more you look, the more you see and you’ll feel just a bit happier.

I have started a new Facebook group – Worldly Women. Come on over and join us for connection, sharing, support and new friends from everywhere in the world. 


Spring Cleaning! Getting lighter and ready to dance.


I think this week we have definitely seen good positive signs of Spring. While the daffodils have been dancing for a while, the magnolia blossoms are now unfurling and we’re waking up to sunshine. At last.


Some of us think about Spring Cleaning or perhaps, these days without coal fires and grimy rooms it’s more about de-cluttering. I am desperate now to find time to get rid of all excess ‘stuff’, and to keep only those things that delight me.   I’ve learnt, probably much later than I ought, that more things don’t make you feel more alive. Yet feeling more alive is what we want.

I’ve learnt that letting go of some things whether they be shoes or relationships, makes space for better things to enter. De-cluttering is a way of hitting the Refresh button of life.

So what can you get rid of this Spring? How about those people who suck you dry and don’t support you?  Then there are those bad habits that don’t serve you anymore. I’d like to say goodbye to those decisions I made that no longer support my self-care and self-worth. Oh and those steps I took that didn’t really encourage my personal growth, but swept me backwards instead.

It would be good to de-clutter the inefficiency and time wasting at work so that it becomes balanced and invigorating. I want my coaching to be inspiring and empowering to others, and time wasted on things that don’t matter is a waste of very precious time I won’t get back.

So I know I want to get lean and clean for the rest of the year. I’m getting rid of the stuff that’s holding me back so I can start to fly. Would you feel lighter and freer without certain ‘stuff’ in your life? I reckon dancing with the daffodils is just the start!

Do you need a good Spring Clean? You want to clear out old limiting beliefs and start to see clearly on where you want to go?  One of my coaching programmes will be just right for you.  Take a look here and book a call to discuss how to move forward. It’s a great journey but you have to take the first step!

It’s a Confidence Issue

Last Tuesday I went along to a local Speaker’s Club and spoke for 2 minutes about fish.   Yes, fish. I’d always said “I don’t do public speaking”, and it was true. Although I felt confident inside, as soon as I stood up to say anything in public my throat would close, my pounding heart would prevent the words coming out, hell, I couldn’t even get to the end of a sentence. I felt such a dork!

 I’d go to networking groups and read out my introduction from a piece of paper, with shaking hands. Training to be a coach though meant learning NLP techniques and these have certainly helped me, and slowly I’ve begun to build my confidence.

 You can choose how to feel. Instead of telling myself that I felt too nervous to speak, I’d keep stating “I can do this, I’m confident, I can speak clearly and confidently”.   Repeating these affirmations really does help. Your brain starts to believe what you’re saying. Instead of dwelling on what you can’t do, you can try telling people your positive stories. Even talking about tiny achievements is really powerful and helps build up your own confidence. Look for what’s going well in your life and big it up!  I love this picture of the skate-boarder in Los Angeles.  I wonder how much he had to work on his confidence to get this good!


A few months ago I agreed to do a 10 minute talk to a group of women. Yes I was terrified! I could have told myself I couldn’t really do it and I’d be awful, but instead I kept saying to myself “you can do this and you’re going to rock it.” I imagined myself standing there with a clear strong voice. I saw myself full of confidence, and when the time came I gave my talk. OK I felt that my throat trembling at times, but I kept going and got a really good reception. How I felt afterwards was amazing! I felt like dancing down the street. If you need a dose of confidence, tell yourself you have it already!

 Now I’ve gone and offered to run a 2 hour workshop in Los Angeles. Am I mad? Probably, but heck I’m taking steps, slowly pushing myself out of my own comfort zone and building up my own confidence step by step. I’ll let you know how I get on!

 Last week, speaking about keeping an aquarium having just pulled out a picture of goldfish 6 seconds before and told to tell a story, was another step for me; but I managed to speak quite coherently and engage about 20 people. I’ve decided to stop dong negative thinking and take positive action instead, and I’m confident it will work.

Have a great week!

 Do you have confidence issues? Mine was in public speaking but I’ve helped women get over all sorts of blocks. Contact me here to find out more.


How to Feel What You Want to Feel

Do you know how you want to feel? In last week’s blog I shared a method of finding out just how you want to feel every day. When you wake and get out of bed, when you get in the car, when you pick up the ‘phone or when you have to hold a tricky conversation.

Last year I followed Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map and became an official facilitator.  I bring a lot of her theories into my coaching.  I do firmly believe that when we set ourselves a goal, what we’re really looking for is the feeling we think getting that goal will give us.

I discovered through the process I gave you last week that what I wanted to feel was vibrant, wealthy, accomplished and open-hearted. But I don’t want to wait until I’ve lost 5 pounds, built a successful business and able to give a lot of money away.  I want those feelings NOW!

How to feel what you want to feel

The best way to generate these feelings each day is to look for those things you’re already doing or can take up, that will make you feel the way you want to. I know that doing my exercise routine will make me feel energised and vibrant. So even when I don’t feel like getting up and moving around, I remind myself that I want to feel vibrant every day and this is going to do it!  Oh yes.

You might want to have calm in your life. What makes you feel calm? Is it going to a yoga class or taking a walk along a beach? Maybe it’s sitting quietly, breathing softly to lyrical music.  Can you make sure you give yourself those experiences on a regular basis?

Say you want to feel rich. There’s nothing wrong with that. What would give you that feeling when there’s only a fiver left in your purse? When she want to feel wealthy, my friend Claire will arrange a test drive in a car she can’t possibly afford right now. She says it makes her feel fabulous and inspires her to achieve her goals.

This week ask yourself how you want to feel each day. What can you do to generate that feeling? It can often be the crazy things, so do let me know, and tell me, what you do to feel the way you want to feel!

PS. Have you seen my new Working Together page? I’ve put together 3 fabulous coaching programmes for women who are fed up of everything being the same and want to start stepping forward. There’s probably one that’s perfect for you.

PPS Come and join my Facebook group at www.facebook.com/karenjburgecoaching


You Gotta Know How to Feel

Do you know how you feel? Last week I talked about how life is like a painting and just as you can create a painting (though it may not be up to Royal Academy standard!) so you CAN create your life.  I suggested you had a vision of what you really, really want to achieve.  If you missed last week’s blog on creating the vision click here.

How are you going to create your dream life; paint that big picture? Let’s look at taking your first step to get there. Here’s an exercise I do with a lot of my clients. First break down your life into 5 areas. Your Livelihood and Lifestyle encompasses your career and money, the place you live, your possessions and your style. Body and Wellness would include what you do for relaxation, and don’t forget your mental health. In Creativity and Learning, list your hobbies, interests, education, and your artistic and self-expression. Relationships and Society would include not just family and friendships but your community and any causes you’re involved with. Essence and Spirituality is who you are in terms of your soul, faith, practices, truth and intuition.

You Gotta Know How You Feel

Taking each section, think about what’s working. What are you grateful for and why? How do these elements of your life add to your life? Write it all down. Then go back and ask yourself what you’re not happy about. What is causing sadness, frustration, discomfort or disappointment and how does this affect your life? It’s a very thought provoking and illuminating exercise.

Now we come to the nitty gritty; how do you want to feel in these areas of your life? Don’t rush this, you can be as specific or vague as you like. Listen to your intuition and let the thoughts flow.

What are the things that you are doing now that make you feel like that? Let’s take an example; in your area of Essence and Spirituality, you wrote that you really enjoying doing a yoga class. It makes you feel calm, grounded, and peaceful. These feelings are important to you, this is how you want to feel in other areas of your life. You might wish you felt the same when it comes to some of your relationships. Gaining this sort of clarity on your life and how you want to feel each day is incredibly empowering.

I’d love you to do this exercise and see what comes up for you. Next week I’ll go through what you can do to generate those feelings. Its the most powerfully creative thing you can do with your life.

Please leave a comment below. You can get more of my thoughts and posts by following me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/karenjburgecoaching. if you’d like to discuss your life vision with me, I’d love to hear from you.

Brushstrokes create the Painting

I bought a painting. Well OK, my husband and I bought each other this painting for Christmas. We saw this and liked it and we didn’t need “stuff” or new saucepans.  Whether you like it or not, you can see that it is made up of several brush strokes and I liken these to all the experiences that make up our lives.  The big events, the small wins, the tears and laughs are all brushstrokes on the canvas that is our life.  The thing is though, we control the brush, we can be the artist of our painting, just as we can be the director of our life. Yep, we can fashion our life instead of just letting it happen to us. Would you believe that?

Brushstrokes create the Painting

I tell my clients that they can create their own lives and at the start of our journey together, they look at me with scepticism. Oh yeah?  So a painting is good analogy.  You can make a big picture, just as you can construct the life you want.  Have a vision.  I’ll repeat; have a vision.  That’s your starting point and if you don’t know what your vision is, then why not start thinking about it?

What would be your perfect day? Where would you be and what would you be doing?  What would your surroundings look like, how do they smell and what can you hear?  Imagine your big dreams and deepest desires because you’ve got to start from somewhere and you might as well imagine something amazing, audacious and exciting. Even scary.

You want to run a beach bar in the Caribbean?  You fancy a trek in northern Japan one day?  You want to run Salsa classes or be an expert in medieval silver?  You can choose anything.  No-one need know, it’s all yours to create.  Go big!  You are the artist and creator of your life.

Don’t worry about the details. Once you have the great vision of how you want your life to be, that’s the first step to working out the journey.  Next week I’ll talk about the details, but for now, let your imagination fly.  Be excited! Have fun! Create something bold and wonderful, and get painting the big picture.

Have a great week!

If you’d like to know how to take the first steps to creating your own wonderful vision and live an awesome life, contact me to book a conversation where we’ll see if we can work together on that.


Where is home?

Where is home?  When asked that question, most people will blithely trip out the cliche, “home is where the heart is”.  What do we mean by that?  In Pico Iyer’s Ted Talk he said “It’s less to do with a piece of soil than a piece of soul”, which I thought was quite wonderful. That’s probably what we mean when we talk about our home being where our heart, our deepest feelings, are.  So I’d agree with Pico and say that home is the place that speaks to you, it’s where you feel a connection and at peace. It feels familiar and part of you.

On meeting some one, they will usually ask “where are you from?”  We assume they’re asking where we were born, brought up, educated.  When asked this myself I could reply “from the North East of England”. But to me that says nothing about the person I am or what might identify me in any way.  Sure, I have family there, but I have no connection with the place. My cousins could land on my doorstep now and I wouldn’t recognise them. I don’t speak with their Geordie accent.


Is home where you work and pay your taxes?  Well that could be anywhere. These days most of us can choose where and how we wish to live and there are currently about 220 million people living away from “home”.  That’s equivalent to the 5th biggest nation on earth.

Many would say that home is where your loved ones are, and to be away from them means you no longer feel “at home”.  On Friday I landed at Heathrow and came home after 3 weeks away. It felt good to be back in my own place with my husband, to sleep in my own bed and potter around my familiar kitchen. However by coming “home” I left part of my family behind and a place that is feeling increasingly comfortable.  My heart is torn when I have to say goodbye to those I love, and I know that I could easily make Los Angeles my home – for a while.

While I was in LA, I met those for whom it did not feel like “home”.  They were there with their families and therefore wouldn’t choose to be anywhere else. They had their own place and were settled, but where was “home”?  Does home mean a place where you aren’t a foreigner?  That’s going back to the question of feeling comfortable. Is it where your original roots are and a place to which you know you will ultimately return one day, if only to grow old and die?  When I lived in France, many of the British there were retired and truly settled in the French way of life. But if you dared to push them, you discovered that most would eventually return to Britain to end their days because deep in their hearts, that was their home.

So what does home mean to you? Is it wherever you lay your hat?  It is where your family is? Or is it anywhere where you feel at ease in, where you feel a part of the place and that place allows you to be  who you feel you really are? Answers (on a postcard) please, I’d love to know.



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