On March 14, I wrote about seeking joy… exactly 3 months later my father died. This is what I wrote then:

‘Seeking joy was not something I ever thought to do and, you know, I did seek to understand why I was here…and I wanted to be wiser and happier.

Seeking led me further into my artistic life and introspection through coaching.

Meditative practices helped me, and many wonderful authors have been my guides – Thich Nhat Hanh, Julia Cameron, Wayne Dyer, Bruce Lipton, Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Pema Chödrön and many more. In my thirties, a friend asked me what I liked; what I wanted for myself. I was shocked that I had not thought to ask this of myself!

The more old stuff I addressed, the more joy started to bubble up at unpredictable moments…and gratitude…both have been a surprise. I realised that for many years, I was ungrateful and rarely experienced joy! Now its my turn to ask:

what do you love? what do you want? What are you hoping for? And so, what are your current challenges? What do you feel is standing in the way? What do you believe about that? 

Most of our beliefs are taken on before we reach the age of 7 and continue to determine behaviour without our realising these old beliefs are having an undermining effect. It is possible to dismantle old limiting beliefs and integrate new realisations that are transformative.

After these few months, I would add  – love as well as you can; forgive easily; say thank you a lot and feel gratitude in your heart for the people who’ve given you so much. Address whatever is in the way of loving yourself and your life. That’s how coaches can help….guiding you through the stuff that seems impossible, and out the other side to being more true to your self.

The last couple of months of my stoic father’s life he became more gentle, kind and grateful. A farmer, Dad wondered why I studied art, but around a month before he died, he told me – ‘Keep those paint brushes revving!” He wasn’t just telling me to keep going, he was saying: Go! Put your energy into it.

I will not hear his voice again. I will never hold his warm hand or kiss his forehead. I will not worry about how much more the illness will take his vitality and destroy his body. I will never get to thank him again. There is a big space in my folk’s home, and a big ache in my heart.