I’m a fully trained coach and facilitator. I live in rural Essex, with two little girls, Molly and Jemima, my husband Chris, our Newfoundland, Bertie, and a flock of phlegmatic chickens.
In my 20s I finally had enough of the never-ending conversations inside my own head and the mild yet perpetual sense of detachment from life. Gradually connecting back with my body through yoga, meditation and improv, I discovered an ease with myself and an availability to life just as it is. Becoming a mother deepened this connection and also opened my eyes to how far we have strayed from our older, more sensitive and harmonious way of being in the world.
It sometimes seems like life gets more complicated and ‘out of control’ with each passing day. The chronic levels of fight-flight response in our society fuels a response of yet more consumption and judgement. I believe that it is by going back to what makes us human – what brings us aliveness and joy and connection – that we right our relationship to each other and the planet.
I know how hard it is to break free and do something different. I spent the beginning of my career working in as an economic consultant and then in the UK Treasury. I left this comfortable approval behind because I yearned for more creativity, freedom and purpose. Instead, I built a social enterprise from the ground up, in the challenging but rewarding country of Cambodia. And then the greatest blessing – being able to hand it all over with care to passionate local staff, where it belonged, who have made it the success it is today.
I went on to work in Zimbabwe and Rwanda working on big challenges from the oversight of huge public investments to transforming commodity-driven economies to knowledge economies. On this journey I became fascinated in the complex relationship between locals and development workers and how the different agendas at play undermined the natural spontaneity and creativity between people.
An abiding belief of mine since studying economics at Oxford had been in the supremacy of the ‘correct answer’, and as a former chess-player for England and Ministry of Finance geek, I am familiar with the temptation to play the role of ‘mastermind’ – overseeing, planning, predicting. Yet the ubiquity of unread reports gathering dust on Ministry shelves stood as a rebuke. Neat answers and policy frameworks were simply a defence against anxiety and a refusal to participate in reality. But my heart lifted when my team of Rwandan civil servants, struggling to find its place at the heart of Government, found the confidence to be collectively curious, and blossomed into a force to be reckoned with.
In my career it was in the moments where I stepped back and gave space to what wanted to emerge, that made the biggest difference. My greatest gift was the energy I contributed, and the belief I invested in people – not the answers I presented. It was a surprising relief to discover that human connection is at the root of all meaningful change in the world.
This new awareness got me excited about the potential for change when people can connect authentically, with heart. It drew me to coaching individuals and facilitating for teams working in the midst of complexity. I work with practices that cultivate a trust in the wisdom of what’s already there and what is wanting to emerge. For the last few years I have enjoyed nurturing the space or ‘third entity’ that emerges between government and community in areas such as Responsible Business and innovative public service approaches.
I like to work playfully and with compassion, throwing in some provocation from time to time. I follow the motto to ‘comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable’ (Cesar A. Cruz).
I focus on creative and mindful practices: constellations, yoga nidra, improv practices and movement, metaphor and visualisations, and other things we may come up with in the moment.
I work both face to face and virtually. I have developed specific practices to ensure that working virtually is still a deep and insightful experience.