There are self-help mentors out there who just seem to have it sorted. You know that of course they don’t, but there are times when you’re reading their work or watching their online webinars, and it all seems so easy and formulaic.

Now there is of course a reason why these people have a following: they’ve walked the talk, and have much of value to share to help others thrive.

But sometimes the ‘how to’ can feel a little out of reach. Add to this a dose of ‘comparisonitis’ and by the time you’ve finished the encounter you’re a raving fan – OMG, they’re amazing! – and by default, you’re not and why bother even trying….

I just finished reading Cheryl Richardson’s new book, Making Winter: In Search of What Really Matters At Midlife. I count her as one of my virtual mentors in life. A number of years back I did her Take Time for Your lIfe course with my husband: well, except the final module on relationships…umm, something to look at there?! Also her Extreme Self Care book is one of the key resources I’ve recommended on various women’s wellbeing workshops over the years.

This latest book is different from her others. This is not a ‘how to’. This is a sharing of one woman’s navigation of a time of transition.

At first it appeared as a very simple, even lazy format: it’s her journal entries throughout a winter season, from October through until Spring Equinox.

What sets it apart though is her conscious intention to share what’s really going on in her own life at this time. She’s hit a point of dissatisfaction, including in her work. The time has come to reevaluate and Cheryl has found a way of portraying what it actually looks like to feel your way through this.

She shares about the difficulties she encounters in her marriage, including sleeping in separate bedrooms as her husband and her have very different sleep patterns and she’s waking up to honouring her own needs more. I can relate to that one!

Cheryl also alludes to the grief that comes from not having children. Even though it was a choice her husband and her made, the sight of a dad being tender with his young baby in an airport lounge presses gently on one of her wounds…ouch!

This I someone who’s known for having it sorted. A well known life coach who could be seen as being ahead of the game.  In this book, she’s showing the way for being vulnerable. For not having it all sorted. She gives us a glimpse in to what this actually looks like.

At the same time, there is a strong theme of nature running through the book as she describes her encounters with wildlife and the outdoors. The deep love of nature which she had as a young girl resurfaces even more strongly.

Flourishing is about following nature’s example and allowing this time of decay and die back. To allow the bare structures to reveal themselves. To think about what we really want to be in our life garden in the next season. What needs attention? Any tree cutting to be done? Are there any major changes we need to make?

This book is timely for the season we find ourselves in now.

Thank you Cheryl for sharing an example of what this looks like.

I wonder what you’ll be letting go off in the season ahead, dear reader? I love to hear so feel free to leave a comment below. Sharing is caring..for yourself as well as others.

Let’s flourish together.

All love, 

Arlene x

Ps. Cheryl is doing a monthly online Coach On Call session for Alternatives. I attended October’s. She generously and skilfully coached attendees (who requested!) live. It’s great value at only £10. The next is on Tuesday 17th November. Details here

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