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  1. On Monday 4th October my friend Garry Turner and I put our brave person pants on and went live with our new production The Inside Out Show. This show comes from our hearts, and is our way of talking openly about environmental change, social impact, diversity, inclusion, equity and the joys and challenges of the world of work.

    You can find the recording of our launch show here:

    Here's our thoughts, composed the day after our broadcast....first off from Garry.....

    On the morning of Oct 4th I (Garry) was in a mental space of overwhelm, wondering honestly whether to shut down all social for a month and just step away and then Lucy and I spoke.  In what a wonderful 15 minute catchup I was reminded of the power and importance of connection, expression, listening, vulnerability, shared vision and more.  All of the things that I would assert have too often de-prioritised by me in the past, but are fundamental to turning our current workplace, social and planetary challenges around.

    Fast forward to 3pm UK time and Lucy and I hit 'go live' and what ensued was a truly diverse, emergent, soulful exploration of what we both hope to achieve by holding space with the Inside Out show and some of the early stage feedback that has been received has blown me away including "I could have watched you two all day, the conversation was so engaging and important."

    Now this show isn't about Lucy and I, it is about YOU, US and it seems a common thread of our exploration was a desire to have real, constructive exploration and debate around sustainability, community, our personal habits and choices, humanising work, to share just a few topics.

    I have no idea what will emerge next, either in between weeks or when we hit go live with Nike Anani on Mon 18th October, but what I do know is that there will be learning and insights galore, some fun and a space to explore without needing all the answers.

    Indeed this show seems to exist to help role model the critical importance of navigating the unknown with curiosity and grace.

    We hope to see you on October 18th and please do let us know if you would be interested to join us or have someone in your mind that you feel would be a brilliant guest, we would welcome any suggestions or introductions.

    And then from me (Lucy).......

    Many things have struck me in the time since Garry and I recorded our inaugural episode of the Inside Out Show. Most of the things have been as a result of the wonderful reaction from people who have tuned in. Here's a few of the interesting points that have bubbled up for me:

     - Our desire to MAKE A DIFFERENCE is a common goal that has attracted people, maybe even grabbed them unexpectedly!

     - Our conversation went in areas that I didn't expect, even prompting me to talk about things in the broadcast that I hadn't planned to mention. That's the joy of not scripting the sessions, and I love it.

     - Being open and honest provokes a reaction. I've had messages in response to our broadcast from all kinds of people, some I know but haven't spoken to in a while and some who are exciting new connections. Connection and community are hugely important to me, so these reactions are a gift.

    Closing off on this little piece I just want to reiterate that Garry and I would love to hear from you if you want to join or contribute to the show. Your voice is important in our quest to make the world a fairer, healthier and more sustainable place.

    Our next show will be on 18th October with Nike Anani. We're planning to stream it on YouTube and LinkedIn, and will share the link around before, during and after :)

    Abundantly Yours,


  2. Do you sometimes feel that the same things keep happening to you?

    Do you find yourself irritated by particular events or people?

    Have you felt stressed or fatigued by life?


    If you've answered yes to any of these questions then this edition of the Abundant Thinking blog is for you!

    If these questions don't resonate with you, but you can apply them to other people in your life then please read on as well.

    This edition is all about ways of thinking and how these processes impact us deeply, and often physically, over long periods of time. An example might help here - a few years ago I worked for someone who was a bully. This person's management style was loud and brash. A technique this person often used was to bellow instructions across our open plan office. This approach could be humiliating - with particular individuals singled out in front of colleagues for a very public dressing down. This was management by fear, and it made being in the office at the same time as the person a pretty unpleasant experience. This also seeped into other areas of life, for instance I would dread my work phone ringing in case it was this person calling. For a couple of years after I left this individual's team I would still get a feeling of creeping dread when my phone rang in the car, after one particularly stressful exchange whilst I was driving.

    The story above is quite extreme, but we can all come up with examples of how people or events seem to invoke a sinking feeling in our stomachs, or a tightness in our chests or heads. Who or what flicks your switch like this? Is it a needy workmate? A nosy neighbour? Or is it a discussion about politics? Or football? Or climate change?

    What happens after that initial physical sensation? If you find yourself 'switching off', making your excuses and leaving or getting into an argument it might be reassuring to know that this is your brain's pre-programmed protection mechanism in action. You might be familiar with the concept of freeze (switching off), flight (leaving) and fight (arguments). These are those pre-programmed functions which have been present in our brains since we lived in caves and needed to respond at sub-second speeds to mortal threats on a daily basis.

    In the thousands of years since those pre-historic times our brains have developed more sophisticated cognitive processing capacity - what neuroscientists call Executive Functions. These elements of our brains allow us to rationalise events and consider what our responses could be. This is more about clear thinking and strategy than reaction and protection. But…these parts of our brains can be a bit lazy and can lose power relatively quickly. The laziness can manifest itself in our ancient reactive functions jumping in first with fight / flight / freeze responses. The power drain becomes evident when we focus on challenging tasks for a period of time without adequate preparation, regular breaks or timely nourishment.

    So….how might we encourage and nurture our sophisticated cognitive processing capacity to support positivity and energy in our lives? Here's a few tips to try out:

    1. Catch yourself in the act of being downbeat - negative thought patterns tend to be stronger than positive ones (due to the ancient survival programming discussed earlier). But they are just patterns!
    2. Write new empowering mental stories for yourself - you can write new patterns into your brain every day of your life. This ability is called neuroplasticity, and is an amazing human skill.
    3. Reframe unpleasant events - look for chinks of light in bad situations, opportunities for you to make a change. I pre-programmed my physical stress reaction to the phone ringing by thinking of the 200+ fabulous contacts in my phone who could be calling me, rather than the 1 angry person who is actually very unlikely to call anyway!
    4. Empathise with others - every person has a different view on life (wherever they go, they take themselves) and almost everyone has fears, challenges and stressors that can drive their behaviour in the same way that you experience. Give people the benefit of the doubt, show interest in them, be curious about them. It generally helps.
    5. Look after yourself - make time to do the things that give you joy with the people you love to be with. Focus on building healthy lifestyle habits that balance sleep, nutrition, exercise, fresh air, learning, fun and whatever you do for work (whether that's caring for family or having a paid job)

    I focus on all 5 of these areas in my coaching practice for individuals and groups. I'd love to talk more about any of these topics if you'd like to book a free discovery session with me. Please do just drop me a mail to [email protected] or fill out the contact form on my website. It will be lovely to hear from you.

    If you're interested to do some wider reading into some of the topics I've been discussing here then here are a few books that I would wholeheartedly recommend:

    Positive Thinking

    The Happiness Advantage – Shawn Achor - this is a really quick read where he gives 7 principles that fuel success and performance. Good for those of who you like lists!

    Flourish: A New Theory of Positive Psychology (Archived Newsletter) | Authentic Happiness ( - this link takes you to a great summary from Martin Seligman about this book. In one sentence his view is that true flourishing is about more than just happiness.

    Understanding and Handling Emotions

    How Emotions Are Made | Lisa Feldman Barrett - A really rational approach to understanding and handling emotions. I think I need to read it again ;o)

    Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway - Susan Jeffers - This page is a summary of the 5 truths about fear that Susan talked about in this book. I found the book itself an inspiring read, it helped me to reframe an unpleasant situation I was going through at work in a really helpful, constructive way. It's also really down to earth.

    Understanding Other People

    Surrounded by idiots | By Thomas Erikson - This book had me laughing out loud, but it also really made me think about how I perceive and treat other people. It's not directly about empathy, but it helped me to increase my empathy toward others.

    Brain Health

    How To Build A Healthy Brain — KIMBERLEY WILSON - Really accessible guide to choices we can all make that contribute to better brain health. I read this in about a day, couldn't put it down.

    The XX Brain, by Lisa Mosconi, PhD - Dr Mosconi is a specialist in Alzheimer's and wrote this book for the group who are most at risk of getting this disease ie. Women. It's a great general read on brain health advice too.

    Brain Food — Lisa Mosconi, PhD - Another wonderful book by Dr Mosconi which also includes loads of healthy recipes.

    There are LOADS of other great books on these topics. Please do add your favourites in the comments! When I was putting this list together I realised that I haven't actually read any books specifically on neuroplasticity, so I'm on the hunt for recommendations for those…..