Category Archives: Relationships

The Courage to be Ourselves

Our biggest challenge in life, if we choose to accept it, is learning how to be ourselves. We become so used to living in a way that conforms with societies expectations that we lose sight of who we truly are. We get buried under the avalanche of “shoulds’ that dictate what we do with our time , our money, our lives.

    I believe we all have personal gifts that we are here to express – there is no-one else that can share what we have to offer in exactly the same way anywhere else in the world. So the theme for today’s Community Call was “The Challenges of Being Yourself” and allowing yourself to express these gifts and indeed all of who you are. Here are some thoughts from the call on how to to overcome any challenges… 

    • Awareness as always is the key – notice your patterns, your default behaviours, your habits. Only from awareness can we see the options for making different choices.
    • Know that some of these default behaviours are not really who we may be – as children we were very good at hiding parts of ourselves that may have been disapproved of and  compensating with learned behaviours to get approval instead. I see this as the biggest challenge of being yourself  – remembering the parts we have disowned and reintegrating them to create the full picture of who we truly are.
    • Use whatever is happening in your life today to get to know yourself better – there is an opportunity for learning in everything.
    • Take time to be by yourself – time for reflection on what is going on in your life. Use this time to practice acceptance and compassion for yourself so that you can then choose to create the changes that become necessary.
    • Develop trust in a higher power – we are all part of a bigger plan so stop resisting it!
    • Reach out for support – don’t try to solve it all in your own head. Only through verbalising what we are experiencing with trusted friends, family members or support people can we start to make sense of what is happening. This then allows us to make different choices and to move on.

    I would love to hear from you … what are your challenges with “Being Yourself”?

Email me directly with your questions or add your comments on this topic below. This will help me to tailor my Community Calls to provide the support and inspiration that you need at this time.

I have the right…

  • I have a right to ask for what I want or need – others have the right to say no
  • I have a right to say no when others ask me to do something for them – they have a right to ask
  • I have a right to put myself first sometimes
  • I have a right to express my own opinions
  • I have a right to change my mind when I need to
  • I have a right to ask for more information when I don’t understand
  • I have a right to be treated with respect
  • I have a right to use my time in my own way
  • I have a right to decide how I will use my own money
  • I have a right to be heard

It’s really useful to know your rights – makes being assertive so much easier! Feel free to add more to the list that are relevant to your life and may be useful for others to know about.

Do I have the Courage to be Myself?

This is the question that has been on my mind since I saw this poem on the wall at the Lower Hutt Women’s Centre  –  do you have the courage? 



“The Courage to Be Myself”

I have the courage to . . . 

Embrace my strengths—

Get excited about life—Enjoy giving 

and receiving love —Face and transform 

my fears— Ask for help and support 

when I need it— 

Spring free of the Superwoman Trap— 

Trust myself— Make my own decisions 

and choices— Befriend myself—Complete 

unfinished business—Realize that I have

emotional and practical rights— 

Talk as nicely to myself 

as I do to my plants— Communicate 

lovingly with understanding as my goal— 

Honor my own needs—

Give myself credit for my accomplishments—

Love the little girl within me—

Overcome my addiction to approval—

Grand myself permission to play—

Quit being a Responsibility Sponge—

Feel all of my feelings and act on them

appropriately—Nurture others because

I want to, not because I have to—

Choose what is right for me—Insist on being

paid fairly for what I do—

Set limits and boundaries and stick by them—

Say “yes” only when I really mean it—

Have realistic expectations—Take risks and

accept change—Grow through challenges—

Be totally honest with myself—

Correct erroneous beliefs and assumptions—

Respect my vulnerabilities—

Heal old and current wounds—

Favor the mystery of Spirit—

Wave goodbye to guilt—plant “flower”

not “weed” thoughts in my mind—

Treat myself with respect and teach others 

to do the same—

Fill my own cup first, then nourish 

others from the overflow— 

Own my own excellence— Plan for the future 

but live in the present— Value my 

intuition and wisdom— Know that I am 

lovable—Celebrate the differences between

men and women— Develop healthy, supportive 

relationships— Make forgiveness a priority— 

Accept myself as I am now–


by Sue Patton Thoele

Taking responsibility in communication

Communication is often a challenge in families and mine is no exception. My children don’t like me asking them lots of questions and can complain that I am not listening. Now sometimes it is true that I haven’t listened (I am human after all) but sometimes I haven’t heard them properly or understood what they said. So I can also get frustrated when I have to ask them questions or to repeat themselves so I do understand!

This week I had a great reminder at my son’s soccer training about who is responsible for what in the process of communication. The coach emphasized that it was always OK to ask questions and then he added that if the players don’t understand something he has asked them to do that it is his responsibility to make sure he is understood. He takes responsibility for not communicating his message clearly enough and needs to find another way to express it.

Immediately I thought “Yeah – it is OK to ask my sons questions and it is their responsibility to make themselves understood”.

However there is still the part about listening. If my children are communicating something to me it is my responsibility to stop and listen to what they are saying even if it means asking for 5 min to finish what I am working on so I can be free to concentrate.

So the lesson for me from this meeting was that it is OK to ask my sons to take responsibility for how they communicate and it is also up to me to be responsible for my part in the process by listening carefully.

So how good are you at taking responsibility for your part in a conversation?

  • Do you listen when someone is talking to you?
  • Do you get frustrated and upset when you are asked too many questions?
  • What would you like to take responsibility for and improve in your communications today?

And if you need some extra support with communication issues you can give me a call/ text on 0212 406 535 or email to arrange a time for a chat.


The topic of respect has come up for a few of my clients this week so it seems an appropriate subject to explore. Here are some thoughts on the matter…

I have often heard the saying that respect has to be earned – we have to do something to deserve to be respected – so what is it we need to do that means we are respected?

The things I have heard people say that are linked to respect are being educated, academic, wealthy, or masterful in a particular skill yet we all know people who have achieved success in these areas and they still don’t command respect. So what is respect really about?

The dictionary says respect is to “treat with consideration”. I believe that to be treated with consideration we also need to find a way to treat others with consideration even when we don’t admire or approve of who they are or what they are doing. This can be a real challenge when they are part of our families or represent a part of “who” we are.

If we believe we are not respected we will create situations in our lives that reflect that belief. When this happens in only certain pockets of our lives we need to consider what the lack of respect is about in this area. On the other hand if we believe we deserve respect and treat ourselves and others with respect we will start to experience more of it in all areas of our lives as well.

Here are some great questions that may be useful…

  • What parts of my life do I not give respect to others?
  • Where do I give respect to others easily?
  • How do I show respect to others?
  • How do I decide whether I respect someone or not?

Have you got someone you respect immensely in your life? What is it that you respect about that person? Please share your experiences or thoughts so we can all learn some more on the subject – I look forward to hearing what you have to say. You can also reach me by calling/texting 0212 406 535 or emailing

Learning how to Trust

The topic of trust has been coming up for me over the last few weeks, both personally and with clients…

  • What does it mean to trust someone?
  • What does it mean to be trusted?
  • How can we learn to trust others more?
  • How can we show others that we can be trusted?

I have become aware that when there is a lack of trust it seems to be because we are afraid. We are afraid that we will not get the outcome that we want, that someone we care about may get hurt or we may get hurt.

Part of the process of trusting is to identify our desired outcome and boundaries – what would we like to have happen and where are our limits. We then need to be able to communicate this information clearly and the finally we need to be able to let go of the outcome and trust that whatever happens will be absolutely perfect even though it may not be exactly what we wanted to have happen. I have learned that some of the best opportunities turn up when things don’t go quite as expected.

So what is your experience with trust? Have you had to learn to trust others, or even your self, and how did you do that? I’d love to hear and learn from your experiences so please feel free to add a comment below. And if you need support in how to set clear outcomes and boundaries call/ text me on 0212 406 535 or email to set up a time to chat.

Taking Responsibility

I have had a couple of weeks now where I have been looking at taking responsibility and what this actually means, especially regarding who is responsible for what. Here are a couple of key points that I have been reminded of over this time…

  • We cannot change anyone else , we can only change ourselves – we are responsible for how we choose to respond and behave towards another person in any given situation.
  • A clear sign that we are not taking responsibility is when we criticize others, blame others, or when we justify or make excuses. We try to ease our own discomfort by passing the “buck” when we engage in these behaviors.

The challenge is to learn how to stand up for myself without criticizing or judging others even when I am being judged or criticized. I am learning how to acknowledge and take responsibility for my mistakes, without allowing this to mean I have to take responsibility for other people’s mistakes or upsets as well.

I am learning to become more conscious in all my communications by noticing how I am responding – what am I thinking and feeling, physically and emotionally, before expressing any thoughts or opinions. I am learning how to be willing to listen to others thoughts and opinions from a place of curiosity rather than a place of defensiveness.

It is taking time and patience for me to change my old patterns and is still very much a work in progress. Sometimes I get it all wrong responding from my old unconscious patterns, however I can be more compassionate and understanding now as I can see it is all part of the learning process.


  • Where in your life do you find yourself being critical and judgmental of others? Or blaming others?
  • What are you not taking responsibility for in these situations?

If you find these questions challenging and would like some support as you explore new ways of being in relationship with others call / text Heather on 0212 406 535 or email

How critical are you?

I am a great believer in what goes around comes around and that how we treat other people will come back to us in some way or other. If we are critical and intolerant of others they will, likewise, be critical and intolerant of us. What I also find is that when someone is very critical and intolerant of others they are often privately very critical and intolerant of themselves as well.

At some point a choice must be made to let go of the criticism – to become aware of all the times we criticize others, as well as ourselves, and to stop so that we can experience more peace.

We need to recognize that we are all only human, and we all make mistakes. Some of the lessons from these mistakes can be very painful and difficult to live with. We all need support, kindness and encouragement when we feel we have failed, so be the first to send a kind thought, to offer a word of support or do something for another to show that, even though you may not approve of their actions, that you understand and have compassion for their humanness.

If we are able to turn our thoughts around and find a way to be compassionate with other people’s perceived failings we will also benefit from this ability to offer compassion to ourselves when we need it as well.

Do you need some support with being more compassionate with yourself and others? Call/ text  Heather on 0212 406 535 or Email