I am the eldest; born in the UK to parents who were both born in SA. I hung out in those huge toweling pantaloony nappies in a pram that looked like it was from the Victorian Age. They say I was cute. This was short-lived.
I was a bit of a tomboy, short hair, flat hips and two chipped teeth from a roller skating accident. I loved horses and C S Lewis. I was that kid on the back of a bicycle, exploring nature, rescuing birds caught by my cat, playing the piano, singing songs from Sound of Music.
Not much changed from the above. Sad really, but true! When I was 11 my dream came true and I found myself the delighted owner of a scruffy skewbald pony called Sukari (Swahili for sugar). The horsey thing became a full time occupation, together with my other passion for being on a stage!
After my parents divorce I became an overnight intellectual of sorts and went around smoking Gitane cigarettes, speaking with a French accent and reciting sections from Marcel Pagnol’s Le Château de ma Mere. My favorite word was "bohemian". I considered myself an existentialist, wrote a lot of terrible poetry and was horribly irresponsible.
I took a "gap year" before university. I learnt to type (for reals) at a secretarial college in Cambridge and drank my fair share of Pimms before heading off to a kibbutz in Israel and travels in Egypt. I read law, became President of my University Law Society and partied hard. Sloane Rangers were real. The Miner's Strike lasted a year and the message from Norman Tebbit was "get on your bike". My first car, a Fiat 500 fondly known as Topolino, wasn't much bigger than a bike!
This was short-lived. I am glad to have had this experience. Leaving the legal profession and choosing to go and explore my South African roots was the first major choice I remember making by myself and for myself.
I nearly became a spy. But THAT is another story altogether.
I was a missionary for a while . I went to Bible School and learnt Greek and Hebrew and stuff like that. The truth is that I was always a conflicted missionary and found that my interpretation of the Bible was distinctly different from that of my teachers. This often got me into trouble.
My political awakening had started in the UK, in my late teens and early twenties. Now, in South Africa, in the early 90’s, I found an expression for some of my religious and political thinking. Working both as a TV Producer and Presenter was a radical experience.
Others might have said I was a rebel. The truth is that for many years I was quite lost. I see now that I had a high capacity for stubbornness and a low capacity for conforming to the conventional or what was “not true” for me. I am pleased to say I have turned this into quite a strength.
I have two sons who are 22 and 20. Motherhood has been my BIGGEST JOY. Nuff said.
I spent some time working for Virgin Atlantic Airways. This was very cool.
I thought teaching would be compatible with single motherhood and went back to University qualifying with a PGCE. I had no idea I would be stepping into my genius. I loved teaching. I taught Religious Education, Philosophy and Ethics in the UK. I moved to South Africa with my boys and spend 4 wonderful years immersed in the Waldorf system before moving to an IB school to teach Drama and The Theory of Knowledge.
As my boys grew older, so did I. My time in the classroom found its natural conclusion and I "discovered" my dharma (or purpose) in coaching. A new and massive level of learning, growth and transformation began as I returned to study and started my own business: Metamorphic Coaching and Evolutionary Leadership.
Speaker / Facilitator
I developed an expertise in resilience and as I honed my message so speaking engagements found me. It fascinates me how this has evolved. Over the past years I have connected many dots, researched across disciplines, searched my heart, dug deep and experienced much healing. O'Brien said: “The success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervener. This is the real work!
I am writing a book right now. Presilience. Watch this spot! This has to be one of the most challenging things I have ever done. But, I believe, it is the thing I am here to do. This helps when the going gets tough!
Guide and Initiator
My work evolves as I evolve. It is difficult to find titles to what I do when most of what I do is to create a container for Presence! Often, these days, I am asked to “initiate” a process or a rite of passage for my clients as they make bold shifts in their lives.
Adventurer drives me. I see life as series of Hero’s Journeys. My children seem to have inherited the adventure gene. My eldest son celebrated his 16th birthday climbing Kilimanjaro and took off to the Himalayas on his gap year. My younger son ended up hitch hiking through Eastern Europe on his gap year, last year. Adventure takes us into the unknown. And it is here, as we make (sh)it up that the real magic happens!
I have been on a spiritual journey for as long as I can remember. While I have a number of shamanic tools in my tool kit, the title “Shaman in Stilettoes” has been taken and “The Urban Shaman” just sounds pretentious! As an alchemist I am trained in unfixing the volatile and making the volatile fixed - in other words - creating End Results - making dreams real - becoming the predominant create force in your life! Contact me for an explanation. I would be happy to chat!