Calm Through Chaos Book

Here I am talking about my first book, a teaching memoir: Calm through Chaos: Surviving and thriving beyond a cardiac event.

#CalmthroughChaos #YourVoiceMatters

My story is not just about survival but the journey beyond survival, the part that happens behind closed doors, away from the comfort of hospitals, nurses, medical support and rehab programs. It is about how I coped on a day- to-day basis and created purpose, passion and wellbeing with my second chance at life.



Calm through Chaos Book

“Gratitude is the new expectations

Listening is the new talking

Healthy is the new wealthy

Colourful is the new black

Kindness is the new smart

Self-care is the new selfless

Being yourself is the new hipster

Loved is the new famous

Happy is the new skinny

Inner Peace is the new drama queen

Calm is the new chaos

Weird is the new normal

Lessons are the new failure

Personal growth is the new success”

Love always

T-TALKS: Ten Tips for Emotional Resilience at Work

  • Firstly, adopt the presupposition that there is no failure, only feedback. If you adopt the attitude that everything is learning, then everything you do can be a success and progress. Failure to get the job, salary raise or interview is simply a learning exercise, use the feedback to fuel your motivation to keep going.
  • We all experience fear of the unknown. The magic is not in eliminating fear but rather acting despite the fear. If you take an adventure as the metaphor for the journey, it can help enhance excitement, strength, preparation, all-in fun and creativity along the way.
  • Approach each day is a new beginning, a new opportunity with new possibilities and options. Each day is an adventure. Go forth and enjoy, for it is all you ever have.
  • Find routines that work for you – there is magic in consistency! Schedule regular focused times for activities that you dread or that seem to interrupt and consume your day (such as admin, emails or responding to social media / LinkedIn messages or phone messages) at times when your energy is high and then and reward yourself with things you love doing. Don’t forget to schedule in self-care and reflection times as priorities too. What you do regularly, becomes a habit and your habits dictate your wellbeing and resilience.
  • Self-care: treat yourself as you would your best friend, what advice would you give your best friend or client if they were in your shoes? Do or say that!
  • Get in touch with what you are feeling and what triggers these feelings? High workload will trigger stress and anxiety and commonly results in frustration and overwhelm. Is this an opportunity to learn how to unwind, to take time out, to gain a new perspective, to find a solution in stillness or to develop mindfulness / meditation skills? Emotion can be uncomfortable but it will pass and can also be a time to focus and gain some much-needed clarity.
  • Use your mind to prepare for an important phone call, meeting or interview. Take time to mentally and physically prepare yourself. Your body will follow your mind and remember this translate to body language and voice tonality. So when the time comes….take a few deep breaths, relax your facial muscles and your shoulders, then take yourself to a time where you felt tremendously confident, capable, passionate, strong, successful and alert but relaxed and optimistic. Close your eyes and imagine the setting…see yourself, what were you feeling? What were you hearing? Really deepen the visualisation, make it bigger, bolder, more colourful, enhance the feelings and sounds! Get it to its peak and then you can open your eyes. Remember your visualization, you can return to it anytime or you can use it to strengthen your mindset anytime and your body language will follow. Go forth and put your best foot forward!
  • Use Affirmations or Mantras. Positive language and self-talk is so important and can be used at the start of a day or during the day to revitalise yourself. Below are some examples and you can make up your own ones too:
    • I take each step with great mindfulness.
    • As I take small steps, I know that the whole picture will eventually unfold and reveal itself to me. I slow down and savour the journey.
    • I am a courageous explorer and my listening, observation and communication skills will help me be a pioneer on this new adventure.
    • As one door closes another opens for me.
    • There is a whole world waiting for me.
    • I am open and receptive to what comes next and allow it to unfold in its own time and space.
  • Stepping away from perfectionism doesn’t mean that we give up our high standards but it does mean that we can finish something without driving ourselves demented. It simply means that we let go of the need to keep going until it is “perfect”. Remember the 80/20 rule. The remaining 20% can take forever to achieve whereas it is more important to focus on the 80% and be sure to put your heart and soul into it. Then when it is 80% finished to a high standard, let go of the need to keep going, move on, let it be finished. Anything worth doing is worth doing well but not worth getting stuck on and neglecting what comes next or the implementation phase. I am of course not referring to engineering, medical, accounting or other types of tasks were accuracy is essential but rather tasks that are more open ended and don’t have an exact result, these are tasks that could be refined forever without really adding any value, such as researching, planning, report or book writing, practicing the delivery of a speech or social media.
  • Challenge yourself to try something different and new. Explore options during some still time perhaps in nature or when listening to music. If you are struggling to find still time, try some activities such as walking or even a relaxation massage.

Love always

T-TALKS: Finding Purpose

I meet so many people who are looking for work that has meaning or serves a purpose. They want to contribute to something bigger than themselves. Sometimes this is a life changing discovery and sometimes it is a response to something that has been niggling away at them for a long time, perhaps forever. They want to find purpose in what they do or they want to find a new career that will provide purpose and meaning in their life. Many believe that they have to find the right or “perfect” career, job or company to achieve this. This can certainly help but searching for purpose can be a bit like trying finding Nemo in the Pacific Ocean, a little elusive.

By looking outside of yourself, you might spend a lifetime pursuing purpose or even miss purpose when it is right in front of you. Turn inward to find purpose. Consider your unique gifts, the ones that only you can bring to a situation or task. What is your trademark or signature style? I would suggest that when you allow your unique qualities leading the way, to shine, one day you will turn around and find yourself right in the middle of purpose. You might already be there right now?

If you really can’t find purpose in what you do – ask others, clients, customers, friends, family. It is often not “what you do” but “how you do it” that counts. Purpose can be bold and lofty but a simple exchange can also be transformational. A smile can turn someone’s day around. Take two bank tellers, one is bored and disinterested in their job, the other believes that her purpose is to light up each customers day. The latter attitude won’t always work, but on the whole will result in what she gives out coming back with optimistic exchanges. Positive exchanges fuel motivation, fun and enjoyment.

Focus on positive aspects and attributes that you bring – and build on that, forget about the rest. I trust you will discover purpose or expand your existing purpose along the way!

Love always

T-TALKS: It’s time…


Its time…
Start somewhere
Start anywhere
Just make a start
Take one step
It doesn’t have to be the perfect step
It doesn’t have to be the perfect time
Just take a step
What if you learnt something?
What if one step propelled you further?
What if your first step was the perfect place to start?
What if your first step was the start of an amazing adventure?
What if your first step led to your dream?
What if the first step is your dream in fruition?



Love always

T-TALKS: The Healing Power of Writing

Write for yourself first! Write because you want to!

I keep a gratitude journal and I have always kept a journal for writing down my poems and most secret thoughts. I recently came across a journal my grandmother kept from 1953 – 1972 for her two daughters. Finding this diary has brought me so much closer to her and given me such an insight into her feelings and thoughts over this almost twenty-year period of her life that was filled with much turbulence in her relationships and health but also great joy and happiness of seeing her daughters grow up and the birth of her six grandchildren. Writing gave my grandmother a voice and allowed her to live on through her words!

I love writing because, firstly, it gets it out of my head and down…. always better out than in, that is my motto! Secondly, it allows me to arrange my thoughts, process them and sometimes uncover insights and gems that I missed along the way. I love the pure unadulterated joy of just writing and letting it flow and thinking and feeling as I go along, it is a very beautiful thing.

A client, who was inspired by a workshop that I ran, published her first and then not much later, a second book. I was delighted for her and I have always thought that I would write a book myself. When I recently read “Its All Good” by Cassie Mendoza-Jones, which inspired me, and I decided that it was time to write my own book. Primarily my book is about my experiences, lessons and healing when I suffered a cardiac arrest in 2010. I started with a letter to my children and now I am continuing to write to them about my healing process and sharing coping tools which will hopefully help others but at the same time I am acutely aware that the writing process is just another step in the healing process.

If you don’t already, I can highly recommend the healing power of writing. Gratitude journals are a great way to start and to focus on all the good that we have in our lives. Today I watched a tiny little bird bathing in the birdbath in my garden and it made my day, don’t miss the small things which are really the big things in your day. Gratitude journals brings that focus to the beauty in your life. Journaling your thoughts and feelings is also a good way to release them. Start a blog – you’ll be surprised how many people are interested in the things you are interested in and write about! Writing in whatever form it takes is powerful, when last did you receive a letter? Write a letter to someone!

Write because you can and because you will find it heals something within you. Write because you need to express yourself. Write because you want to uncover the power of your own voice. Write because you have something to share with others. Write because you have a story to tell. Write …just because!

Love always

T-TALKS: The Waves of Career Transition

I want to be somewhere else!

At first it was painful and uncomfortable, I was only focused on what I didn’t like about my job and what was making me unhappy. My goal was to make a change, but I had no idea what that change would look or feel like. All I knew was that I didn’t want to be where I was. I was feeling frustrated with myself and scared of change. I didn’t like experiencing these emotions. I wanted to act, but I didn’t know where to start and I was struggling with myself, those around me and my desire to be elsewhere. I was trying to move away from what I didn’t want.

I accept the here and now!

Slowly I am finding an acceptance that this is where I am now and the more I struggle with it, the more I keep myself from moving forward. I am realising that if I am present to my current circumstances then from this point, I will grow, and the future will unfold so I start to appreciate the here and now. I start to enjoy the journey unfolding and I find that I am in a better position to act when I am calm and present. I am starting to believe that this is an exciting time in life, in fact it is my life. I realise that I can’t change circumstances or people, but I can change myself and I am always in control of the way I respond to circumstances and people. I am present.

What will the future hold?

There is a shift in me, I am starting to paint a picture of the future, not necessarily in terms of specifics but in terms of what steps I need to take and how I will feel. I am feeling more resilient and ready to act from a place of certainty about myself and surrender to the uncertainty about the future. I have found certainty in a world of uncertainty! I set my intentions.

 Moving towards the future!

I am taking positive steps towards my goal. I am being resourceful and asking for help when I need it. I am amazed at how helpful people are and how willing they are to help me. I am walking this journey with love and respect for myself and I talk to myself as I would my best friend. I encourage myself and I seek out others who inspire, motivate and encourage me. I have discovered that there is a whole world out there waiting for me. I am learning new things and amazed at how much I enjoy the personal growth. I seek the learning in all opportunities including the setbacks, they have so much to teach me. I treat each step I take, as one step closer to my goal. I reward myself for the small wins along the way and I reflect on the challenges. I feel alive and open to new possibilities.

If you are making a job or career change or going though any transition, I wish you all the very best and trust that this will help you on your journey!

Love always