Guts and Grace

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Last week I facilitated my 3-day Heart of Thriving workshop again.  It was a magical and profound experience for all of us.

I wanted to share a bit about what the participants said about it.  We asked them two questions:

  • What are you learning about what it takes to truly thrive?
  • How will this impact your life?

I’m breaking all the rules here – because this video is far too long for a promotional video, but I couldn’t bear to leave any more out in the editing process!

Even if you never come along to a workshop yourself – I think the insights they’re sharing here are gold dust.  Watch it here:

The next workshop runs 15 – 17 November, and there are a few places left.  I’d love you to join me.  Find out more at or you can e-mail me at

Guts and Grace

I heard the term “Guts and Grace” on BBC Radio 4 in this past week and just love the way it describes our natural resilience as human beings as we navigate this funny old thing called Life!

The person on the radio used the term to describe our Prime Minister as she coped with the various challenges of the Conservative Party Conference this week (!), but I think it applies to all of us at different times in our lives.

People are extraordinary aren’t they?

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working with several clients who seem to have had more than their fair share of body-blows in terms of external circumstances.

Their stories include Stage 4 cancer, a partner in intensive care, losing their home, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, PTSD and clinical depression.

Over the past month, I’ve also coached highly successful (but very stressed) CEO’s and leaders, a millionaire, and a person preparing for a TED talk.

The fascinating thing is that it’s the SAME FUNDAMENTAL UNDERSTANDING that brings hope, peace of mind and an experience of true well-being to all of them.

As regular readers will know, I’m talking about the understanding first articulated by Sydney Banks – sometimes called the Three Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought.

In a nutshell, most of society has been operating from an innocent misunderstanding about the nature of the human experience and how our minds work. The misunderstanding is that your experience of life comes from what happens to you.

The two facts that I point to in my retreats, workshops and coaching are:

  • Our minds only work one way – inside out, rather than outside-in.  We only ever experience the energy of thought passing through us in the moment.  We don’t experience the world out there, or our external circumstances. Only our thinking about them.
  • We have a natural, in-built capacity for resilience, peace of mind, clarity and insight.  The only thing that ever takes us away from this is our thinking.  Like our physical immune system, we also have a psychological immune system, that – left to itself will constantly move us back towards stasis, mental health, balance and well-being.

Everybody really is doing the best they can – given the thinking that looks real to them in the moment, because that IS their reality.  Everybody.  Including the gunman in Las Vegas recently. 

It’s true that, sometimes, ‘bad’ things happen. People get sick or die.  It feels like our heart is breaking. People go bankrupt. We feel insecure or scared. Sad, depressed, upset, angry, frustrated, jealous, lonely, misunderstood.  Yup, me too.  It’s called being human.

“Life is a contact sport” Syd Banks used to say.

What really, really helps though, is Guts and Grace.

When we understand where our experience is coming from, this transforms our experience of what’s happening.  Yes, even the Stage 4 cancer diagnosis. When we understand that, deep down, everything is profoundly OK, it’s far easier to navigate the ups and downs from a place of clarity.

This too shall pass.

I’ve witnessed so much Guts and Grace in my clients recently that it takes my breath away with admiration.

They inspire me to continue to do the work that I do.

Here’s that video link again:

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