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Barbara's Story

As I look back over my working life, I am thinking how it has all come together now... for most of my life I worked in health and social care. After my initial degree in the UK, I thought I would work in librarianship but I found reading the books much more interesting than managing them! I moved to Nottingham in the late 1970s when we got married and took a temporary post as an auxiliary nurse in Ladies’ Orthopaedics – which certainly completed my education! I went on to train as a State Registered Nurse, gaining an identity which has never left me, and then into homes for older people. Initially I was in management and later went into training and assessment. I discovered coaching about ten years ago and was completely hooked when I realised what it is really about – the empowering of people to find their truth, their path, their own way, and holding the space for them to do it.  

I’ve always been interested in health and well-being and so this is what I have focussed on in my own coaching, as well as in house management development and coaching during my work within a couple of large local authorities. I describe it as ‘compassionate and intelligent questions for developing people, to improve resilience, well-being and effectiveness’.  

We hear so much about the dire state of the climate, loss of biodiversity, diminishing ocean health and more, that humanity has caused, and over the last three years I’ve become especially conscious of it, and of the need to act. I’m more and more aware how connected we all are, with each other, with nature’s systems and the stardust of which we are all made, and how important we all are, in our actions and our being. Everything we do matters; and at this privileged time of my life, I want to do ‘what’s mine to do’ and make a difference.  

We have three grown up children, proud of them all, and especially that one of them is also a nurse. I love music – I sing in the church choir and I play every size of recorder I can get my hands on. I always have my nose in a book to learn about new things, and I deeply value my many friendships.  

What's my Ikigai?

We can have more than one Ikigai, and it can change over a lifetime...I would say that mine now is about passing on whatever of value I have learned in my life, so that it is not lost and may be of use to others, my children, my friends and anyone I may work with. It’s spiritual – what's mine to do, how can I best be in harmony with God. (I'm an Orthodox Christian and deeply sensible of its rich traditions of prayer, liturgy, music and contemplative practice.) My Ikigai has also created in me an awareness of, and wonder at, the many interconnected systems of which we are part, from the recently discovered fungal mycelial networks in forests right out to the largest scales of galaxies. And beyond! 

On a smaller scale, I’m a bit of a closet photographer; I love taking snaps from unusual quirky angles. This makes me more aware how much we create what we see by the ways we think about it: two people can look at the same scene and see something completely different. There are obvious parallels here with how coaching helps us see our situations from different angles.

What I Offer?

As an Association for Coaching accredited Executive coach (ICF ACC equivalent) I work with professional people under pressure to improve resilience, effectiveness and well-being, part of which is to find your Ikigai.  

We’ll look at where you are now, what really matters to you, where you want to be and how you might get there. I’ll agree and use what approaches seem right for your individual situation, such as The Coaching Wheel, The GROW Model, aspects of NLP, Clean Coaching (the use of metaphor), Insights from Neuroscience (you really can’t multi-task!), Mindfulness approaches, awareness of Head Heart Gut, The Three Principles understanding ( e.g. how we create our experiences, the stories we run, the unreality of our thoughts). 

I’ll give you the space and time that you need to deeply explore what matters to you and together we’ll home in on what’s really important for you to do and to be.  

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