Changing perceptions, change time

school run Changing perceptions, change time.

Everyday millions of us get the kids to school and battle against time to get them ready, looking fresh with  packed lunch and PE bag and a big kiss on their cheeks. Everyday after that school run, how many of you feel exhausted by it and often annoyed as you might even have lost your temper because your so-called child could not even be bothered to hurry up. If this is stressing you out, I can tell you that it has for me for years and I recently decided that it had to change as my son was increaasingly getting worried and annoyed by his usually good humoured mum suddenly changing from kind to being a mean bear a bit like in Toy story.

I started making it easier on myself

1/ Make getting organised a little ritual .  I now get organised the night before, if possible, and put neatly folded Leon trousers shirt, pants and socks on top of my wardrobe. I enjoy the folding and have considered where it is best to place it so that it will be visible to me and Leon in the morning. This was a big achievement as I am quite spontaneous and random but  once I realized that would save me looking in the morning and allow me to get dressed instead of rummaging to find some clean clothes

2/ I had already decided that I would not do packed lunch for my children. Some of us might argue that schools meals are expensive, is it really. Most of the meals cost £2 , a £10 , £390 a year but complete peace of mind and knowing that they will have a balanced meal and that your mornings are not going to be so stressful, is it not worth that amount?

3/ Change your perception of time- make time a friend instead of an enemy!

Our routine goes like that

We get up at any time between 6.45 and 7.10. We chat and play up until 7.30 then we have breakfast and at 8 we have bath and get ready to leave at about 8.35. Now at about 8 I used to panic and by 8.15 started to get anxious about being on time. I have decided to let go and not worry anymore and after a few morning hiccups,  this morning was magic

Both up at 7 am, Leon decided to write a party invitation on the computer, we decided on the date, which kids to invite and he went to do the invit. I started dreaming, picked up a book and started reading. At 7.30, we had breakfast and at 8 went into the bath and Leon joined, we talked and played for a short while and then i got dressed and sorted out his PE back and his snack. I did not look at the time but at 8.30 I was nearly ready. There was no “Let’s get ready , Leon we are going to be late”, only “Please would you brush your teeth” and when he went, no a few times to tease me. I said firmly but kindly, please brush your teeth. We were out of the house at 8.42 and on time for school and walking and chatting.

Feel the time instead of check the time- guess the time and then have a look but do not get obsessed . In dealing with kids let them be a bit, Have you noticed that you are ordering them all the time and telling them off when they do not do what you want them to do immediately? Some kids are dreaming, when playing they are so engaged in the present, they won’t hear you

Make it simple for yourself : breathe if you feel the tension, watch my video on Breathing 

  • Make small changes be worthy of your attention. i used to think that small things details as i called it were not important.  I now bring it them  to the forefront, to my attention to improve my life.
  • If you want to get rid of something in your life, like no more drinking coffee or  no more wine, replace them by something else that you enjoy, find a substitute, I love fizzy water so I drink gallons now when I feel like having a glass of wine. Not quite the same but overall ok. I do not restrict myself, just organise it so that i am not going to drink too much during the week and also drink when I am out

Helene is a mission to improve her life and the life of others and helps others to find their voice and overcome their fears of speaking in public, in meetings, in social gathering and in life. Find her on 


Helene is a dreamer, a poet, a trainer,  a coach, a mother, a daughter.  She is passionate about helping others to find their voices through her training. Get in touch with her If you want to book a discovery call with her, please get in touch on 07875627485. If you want to buy her book, click here.


Growing up and learning from the past

Letting go of the pastIn winter , it is a good time to reflect before fully engaging with the new year by letting go of the past. 

I used to be the enemy of small talk as I felt that talking about small things was just passing the time and, for me, talking needs to be about something of a deeper meaning, worthy of my attention. This arrogant attitude made me regularly say “I am not interested in talking about hair and nails, but I like talking about feelings and people”.

It was strange to understand that my willingness to talk about something of substance prevented me from deepening relationships with people and actually making long lasting friends. By showing a contempt for small talk, I have realised now that I have prevented myself from growing and learning. When meeting a stranger, I used to talk very quickly about my life, my aspirations, my ideas and, although people seem to be enthused by my enthusiasm, I have realised now that, more than often, they were put off by my directness and my over-the-top exuberance , and being bombarded  with information they did not need to receive straight away from someone they had never met before. I used to blame them for rejecting me as I thought it could be because I am a foreigner and that they could not understand my bubbly and forward manners. With reflection, I noticed that I was doing the same in France, during my younger years. Unconsciously, I wanted to get close to people very quickly, and felt that it needed to happen now!. I was failing to leave time for the relationships to mature and evolve naturally.

This realisation is not old for me but it has had three implications on my life:

1/ I have stopped blaming the past and my parents for this inadequacy. This has been liberating!  I changed schools so many times in my childhood that I had to adapt quickly and, in other terms, lose and make  friends easily. I wanted to get attached but could not as I was likely to move on. So I developed a shell to protect myself, so that the loss of friends was not so painful anymore. This has helped me to cope rather well, even if I am on my own. I now thank my parents for giving me this strength from a young age which has allowed me to be strong in difficult situations.

I can not change the past but I can change how I feel about it and then relish the  present in order to shape the future.  

2/ I have accepted that even if I do not like small talk, there is value in it, and that I listen more and talk less, not always though- still loves talking! I feel lighthearted in people’s company and, these days, much less desperate to make and have friends. I am more relaxed and happy as I will take what people give instead of expecting them to give (I can tell you I am still working on this one!)

3/ By being more relaxed, I have now accepted that some people will like my bubbly personality and will embrace who I am. Some others won’t and it is fine. Not everyone I encounter is going to like me and vice-versa, but with the people who do, and whose feelings I can reciprocate, we will be in a win-win situation. Our relationship will be able to grow and enrich both parties. As I heard once in a training, what other people think of you is none of your business.

I have made friends with the past and it is very liberating. Have you?

Helene is a dreamer, a poet, a trainer,  a coach, a mother, a daughter.  She is passionate about helping others to find their voices through her training. Get in touch with her If you want to book a discovery call with her, please get in touch on 07875627485. If you want to buy her book, click here. 


Be yourself, be proud, value your name, value YOU

A confident womenI have touched over the past few year the topic of being yourself and published a blog called being yourself and what it means to you. How do you start with being yourself? we often make it too complicated. Start simply with your name!

 About Your Name

Being yourself is first of all, about your identity.  It starts as simply as your name – Your name, who you are with that name  and where you come from.

I used to call myself “Helen” in my first six months of living in England.  But my name is not “Helen”, it looks like Helen, but it’s “Hélène” (You pronounce it Elaine really but it is still not quite exact , or maybe for the Anglo- Saxons, I should spell it LN, which would be close enough!). After six months of not replying when a friend called me-not a good one if you are in the pub waiting for a drink-  as it felt alien to hear these sounds,  I just thought ‘It’s not me!’ It wasn’t right, it didn’t feel right.   I could not respond to “Helen”.

In my desire to be integrated, I was denying my own core identity starting with the way I had been named as a child.  I had to accept that,  despite all my best intentions, I would never be English and did it matter anyhow? I realised later on, that my Frenchness in England was my best asset as I was different from everyone else and got noticed for being different. Especially I could get away for not queing like everyone else and bringing blue cheese to my childminder for my daughter’s packed lunch!

Recently my son was at the swimming pool, and he met a little friend in his diving class called Pip.  And I straight away said “Pip.  That’s a strange name” So I asked my son  to check if his real name was not Philip but it was not, it was Pip.  Then I reflected: ”So he must be called Pip, that’s what he’s called. Although for me it’s a bit of a strange name but that’s the way he is. It is him, let’s call him Pip.”

I think your name is paramount in defining YOU and it is essential to value your name for shaping and making YOU the way you are.   With the foreign nationals I work with, it is even more important to ask them what they want to be called , not what they think is acceptable in an English speaking country.

I recently worked with a South American lady called Maria. In my workshops I always make sure we learn all the participants’ names and call them exactly as they would like to be called, out of respect for their identity. When asked what she would  liked to be called,  she actually gave us the whole of her name Maria Carmen and she realised she wanted to use her full name as it was an integral part of her identity as a foreigner and so we did in the workshop. I don’t think she had ever been asked : what do you really want to be called?

Again, when someone uses a shorter version of their name, for example a Matthew might become a Matt, I always double check what they ultimately prefer to be called. When you call an individual exactly by the name they cherish or at least they are used to,  then you increase your connection with that person and very simply build rapport whilst showing respect for them as individual.

Now it is your turn!

Try the You Are Your name Show game

Have fun!

Recently in one of my workshops, I had two participants who did not like their names. My immediate respone was to feel saddened.

Then I suggested, ” Is there any chance you can change your name? If not, what about creating a story about yourself which would make you proud? What aobut inventing a story about something you wish has happened to you?”

There was a bit of confusion from the bemused participants whose immediate response was that this would be a lie.

“A lie?” I replied, “Are you sure? If it is a story that makes you happy and proud and enables you to live a more positive life, then is it not worth thinking about?

so now it is your turn, please pick up pen and paper and write or record on a microphone, or just tell a friend…

  • What is the story of your name?
  • Why were you given that name?
  • What is the origin of your name?
  • Most importantly what does your name mean to you?
  • Do you need to invent your own story?

 This blog is an extract of  The Power of Outrageous Expression. You can get hold a full copy of Helene’s book here.

Helene is a dreamer, a poet, a trainer,  a coach, a mother, a daughter.  She is passionate about helping others to find their voices through her training. Get in touch with her If you want to book a discovery call with her, please get in touch on 07875627485. If you want to buy her book, click here. 

Are you feeling fully confident?

are you feeling confident?Are you feeling fully confident?

A reflective and confident and honest! account on how to get some confidence back into your life.

In my search for a little je ne se quoi and a little bit more va va voom, after the holidays so that I could get some work, feel a little bit more focused, and feel as if I make a real contribution to this world instead of moping around feeling sorry for myself, I started thinking that I needed to reread some books to give me some inspiration.  In my blog yesterday  I talked about Real Love which is a book, a bit of a manual, to help you deal with children, but you could apply the principles to other people.

But I also thought “it’s all well and good, but I need something to inspire me in my field of work.”

So I just think a bit more about what I’m good at, what I’m offering to the world. What I actually can do instead of thinking “oh, no!  I have to restart, I need to wonder if I do this and I do that.” So I actually thought, “Who do I know?” and “What do I know?” about my own field of expertise.

Then I pondered for a few seconds, then I realised I have written a book myself!

What is my book all about?  What is the title of my book, already?

 The Power of Outrageous Expression

My own internal voice carried on:

Helene, you’ve written a book about expressing yourself and having the courage to express yourself.  Yet you’re not using your own principles? Are you forgetting what you’ve learnt?” I realised that what I needed to do was to revisit what I was good at, what I knew, so I could start afresh.  So today, I’m picking up my own book and part of me felt a bit cheeky ‘Picking up my own book?’ Are there no other books to read?  But my own stories in my own book highlight what my own achievements and remind me how far I have managed to get to.

Inspiring people to take risks, inspiring people to have a voice, helping others to stand up for themselves and to get more confident, more assertive and if I want to inspire anyone I need to be myself inspired.  So if you’d like to get that book you can buy it from Amazon and I hope it helps you too!

I’m running an offer on for this book at £5.00 for the whole of September, just to get you going so don’t hesitate, go and get it here.   It is a start to get you fully confident and if you want to get into a conversation, book a discovery call by phoning me on 07875627485  Have a fantastic day.


How can a book change the course of your life

how can a book change the course of your lifeIn my last  blog , I started talking about this book I purchased at a dating conference.  

“Real love in parenting, Nine simple and powerfully effective principles for raising happy and responsible children” by Greg Baer

I find communicating with my daughter very difficult.  People say it is her age, she is 17. She is a reserved child and does not need to talk much or to touch either ( she doesn’t like cuddles and never has, really). I am the opposite, I am bubbly and like to cuddle my children and kiss them. I suppose we are opposite. It is strange to me that I have created such a stranger.

With learning about NLP and becoming older and a bit wiser, I felt I had managed the relationship as best as I could, in the last 10 years, with minimal emotional support  from her dad ( I split up when  she was 5) and other unsuitable men in my and her life ( I have had two long term broken relationships).

However,  I am an avoidant and guilty parent. Avoidant in the sense that I minimise interaction with my daughter because it becomes too stressful. I am there but I do not spend much time with her and at times I dread her presence because it gets too stressful. In the acute stress response, I often choose the flight because the interaction and the relationship do not bring the best in me . As a consequence, I feel a constant guilt for not doing enough, for not being around enough, for not being a good support and for not  listening enough or not being happy just being with her.

So the guilt is hovering all the time.  

Over the years, I have kept her busy with her school work during the term and on holidays have sent her,  away partly so I do not have to deal with her, with a sense of relief. At 17, she is now asking for more presence from her mum and I am ready to give her the support she needs, but how,  when I feel the irritation as soon as she is around. I have  been confiding this feelings to friends and used some coaching techniques to some effect but still feeling pretty inadequate.  I knew I needed a peaceful and loving way. To this day I am a work in progress.  Real love is about unconditional love to my children and I suppose to myself. In the course of my holiday, I read the book, in little bits slowly but surely, and started to feel different. By that time, I was in sunny Portugal with my daughter. In the previous weeks, I had noticed that I had not been on holidays with my daughter for years, that due to the tense relationship, I  had not desired to do that.

There she is,  this beautiful being asking me to go on holidays with her, just her and me. Really? Portugal was chosen and holidays were booked, money was spent but suddenly every expense seem to be worth it. I was still scared but with this book in my hand I had more courage, starting with the courage not to get angry anymore.

There is now a little card in my bag saying

Be quiet: be prepared to listen first before getting your point across

Be wrong: Anger is never an option, there is no need to be angry

Feel loved: if you do not feel loved yourself, how can you love another human being  

Get loved: find the love amongst the people who really care, create that network

Be loving: Once you have been given love, then you can love


Already I am putting things in place. In Portugal, I listened to these words and relaxed. The holiday went smoothly and I appreciated every minute of my daughter. Now back at home, with the routine in place, when I feel the anger filling me up, I pick up my card and I use these words of guidance.

There are days when a book can change the course of your life. Which book is it going to be for you? Please share by using the comment box below. 

Helene is a dreamer, a poet, a trainer,  a coach, a mother, a daughter.  She is passionate about helping others to find their voices through her training. Get in touch with her If you want to book a discovery call with her, please get in touch on 07875627485.