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1st February. Imbolc. The midway point between the Winter solstice and the Spring equinox. The first day of Spring in Ireland.

Spring is here with all its opportunity for change, growth and fresh starts. Today is a good day to book some time out for yourself to decide what seeds of change you would like to plant this Spring time. If you keep doing the same things, the same way, you will keep getting the same results. Life doesn’t change to your desired outcome unless you make your own plan, take your own steps and work to make those changes happen.

Think. What activities would you like to begin or restart? What people would you like to reconnect with or disconnect from? What habits would you like to change or replace? What growth would you like to see in yourself and your life this year? What personal goals would you like to harvest this Autumn?

It’s also Brigid’s Day. Brigid the goddess of nature and healing. If you do one thing today, take some time to go out and be in nature 💚 your body and spirit will thank you.

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Momentum and motivation is high at Mareus as we stride out of Summer and get ready for the changes Autumn brings. With interesting projects planned between now and the end of the year, and great clients already booked in to work with, what’s not to be excited about?!

Autumn is a great time to let old habits go, make positive changes, and enjoy life through a new, more focused, lense.

Get in touch today…

  • If you’d like to work on learning how to enjoy the transitions life brings
  • If you want to experience how empowering it can be to let things go
  • If you want to make informed positive decisions about your life or career path

Happy Autumn!



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  • How good are your boundaries?
  • What are you tolerating from others?
  • Do you find you are always the one cutting slack or giving help but not really getting the same back?
  • Do you let certain people treat you less well than they should?
  • Are you feeling undervalued or unappreciated in certain relationships?

If so you might need to look at your boundaries.

Having good boundaries in place is a positive thing.  Having good boundaries is about respecting yourself and putting positive strategies in place to protect yourself from those who might take advantage of your good intentions.

Unfortunately a lot of the time our biggest tolerations are of the behaviours of people in our closer circles; partners, family members, in-laws, old friends, bosses and long-time work colleagues who feel they can say what they like and treat you however they want to because you know eachother so long and so well. These can be harder to understand and cope with.  You might ask yourself why someone who knows you so well, and should know better, would expect you to put up with so much more than a newer friend or acquaintance or work colleague would.


While the odd toleration can be an important part of keeping the peace in your inner circles, putting up with long term bad behaviour or disrespect towards you can be very destructive and damaging to your self confidence and feelings of self worth.

So how can you turn things around and start educating people about how you want to be treated?

Step 1:  Think.

Is it a toleration or a simple disagreement? Disagreeing from time to time is normal and important in relationships. It would be very unusual and probably a little worrying to agree with someone else 100% of the time.  A healthy debate, a heated argument or an unexpected difference of opinion is a normal part of adult relationships. Disagreements can challenge us to look at the world in a different way and increase our self awareness.  The key is to have a look at the frequency of incidents and the behaviours of both sides in the aftermath of disagreements. If these situations are happening a lot, or if you feel consistently bad after these interactions with a particular person, it might be a sign of an unhealthy toleration that requires you to take action.

Step 2: Talk.

Habits and beliefs can also play a part here. In long standing relationships (business, friends or family), both sides over time build up beliefs about the other person and make assumptions about their motives and intentions without actually asking the other why they are behaving a certain way. The brain takes short-cuts. The brain can get it wrong.

In your closer circles a good first step is to talk. Ask questions rather than assuming. Educate others about your own motives and values.  Find out what’s really going on. Don’t short-cut and fill in the gaps with assumptions. With relationships worth fighting for this should pave the way to a better, more mature, relationship.

However, if someone is saying “well you are known to be X, Y, or Z” it is possible they aren’t really listening to you anymore. It’s possible they are devaluing you. They may have already made up their mind about you and how they feel they can treat you. Or they may just be in habits where they switch to autopilot whenever there is a disagreement.

If you feel no effort is being made to hear or understand your point of view, this is definitely a time to consider putting boundaries in place to protect yourself and your wellbeing.

Step 3:  Put good boundaries in place – it’s empowering!

If no matter what you do, you find your energy, confidence or happiness dropping consistently at the thought of meeting or interacting with certain people the next action is to find an appropriate boundary to put in place for this relationship. There are many unique ways of doing this.  It is an empowering and brave thing to do, and it allows you to honour yourself and your own personal values. What’s stopping you?

Putting the right boundaries in place can have different outcomes depending on the type of boundary and the reaction of the other person. Boundaries can reinject value, respect and enjoyment into some relationships.  Other times boundaries can take you away from certain relationships altogether.  Whatever path you choose your energy will feel better once you stop tolerating and start putting yourself front and centre.  It’s time to re-educate others on how you want to be treated.

Positive people


Step 4:  Hire a coach to champion your change.

It can be hard to start putting boundaries in place when your energy is lowered by long term challenging relationships.  Working with a coach will help you identify tolerations, put good boundries in place and ensure you have support through these challenging times.

A coach will champion you as you take action to honour and respect your personal values.  A coach will keep you on track as you start the process of re-educating people how to treat you the way you want and the way you deserve.

Step 5:  Avoid pity parties and cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

Once you have your boundaries in place, you can move on to more positive interactions in your relationships with other people. A few good friends are more valuable than a large circle of people who don’t share your values and best interests. A few constant friends are more valuable than the transient ones who only join in to gossip about how bad everything is.

seat at the table

Remember, for all the tolerations you put up with, there are also people in your life who care for you and appreciate you. It’s easy to take this for granted and focus on the negative.  A good practice to ensure you don’t go on autopilot yourself is to put aside a set time in your day or week to remember the good guys, good times and good vibes that you are grateful for in your life. As Tony Robbins says, where your focus goes your energy flows.

Celebrate those positive relationships and spend your time focusing on those people who lift you higher. It’s a more empowering use of your time.

No-one has the right to belittle you or treat you badly.  Stay strong, and believe in yourself. Empower yourself with good life strategies. Show up for yourself. You are definitely worth it!

believeAll the best from Park West,


If you would like to chat about how coaching might work for you, please reach out to us at



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So said Confucius apparently.

Unfortunately he doesn’t give us any info on the best place to start.

What makes a job one that you would love?

A solid place to start is to work out your values.  What are the most important things in your life? What personal code/people/activities keep your energy high, put a bounce in your stride, and a smile on your face?

Once you’ve checked in with your values, you might ask how do my values translate into a job search? The key here is to work out your own personal job spec. in terms of your personal values before you start trawling through the various company specs of job sites, agencies and LinkedIn listings.

Make a list of 3 to 5 values that you want to experience in your future role. These could translate to particular organisational culture, flexible working, challenging work, opportunity to learn and develop, potential for ambition, exposure to entrepeneurial mentors, convenient location… the possibilities are endless, and everyone has their own unique formula for career success and fulfillment.

  • If you feel that you want to make changes but worry that you have gone too far down the rabbit hole of a particular career direction to change…
  • If you want to find a job you love but to do that in the business of day to day life seems too overwhelming…
  • If you want to get clear on your own unique recipe to start a focused search for the job of your dreams…

…Hire a career coach who will help challenge you to to get started on your “working wishlist”. A year from now, you will wish you had started today!

All the best from Park West,


If you would like to arrange a call to discuss how coaching can work for you, contact us today





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Anyone doubting themselves, hiding who they are or trying hard to fit in, you are not alone.  We all wear masks and not just at Hallowe’en.  We can wear different masks at different times, work masks, school masks, masks we show family and friends. We hope these masks will protect us from the world and hide our vulnerability.

On the outside it can seem as though our chosen personality masks are working well and protecting us, but most of the time we feel fake and insecure on the inside.

Being behind the mask is denying our true selves.  Living behind the mask is uncomfortable, restrictive,  and not to mention a bit sweaty.  Stay behind the mask long enough, your true self will suffocate.

Being brave, taking off the mask, and being your honest self will help you feel a lot better. It might even encourage your colleagues, friends and family to do the same. How much happier could the world be if we were brave enough to be our honest selves and not wear the mask what we think the world wants to see?

I came across the following piece by Marianne Williamson in a book that I’m currently reading and I thought it too good not to share.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate,

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure

It’s our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves: who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of the universe.

Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.

There is nothing enlightening about shrinking,

so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are born to make manifest the glory of the universe

that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,

we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

And as we are liberated from our own fear,

our presence automatically liberates others.”


So take steps to take off that mask today.

Let your light shine in this lifetime… be your unique crazy perfect self!


All the best from Park West

Grace 🙂

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Power and vulnerability aren’t two words that you would normally find put together, but through her research Brené Brown has demonstrated that the most content and “wholehearted” of people achieve this life state through allowing themselves to be vulnerable.  When we shut ourselves off to negative emotions and feelings, we can also shut out the positive and joyful emotions of life.

When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to say how we feel, to put ourselves out there (warts and all)… we open ourselves up to the possibilities of a more joyful, courageous and connected life.

Courage brings connectedness

Courage brings connection and fulfilment

How many people or organisations do you know to be so courageous? How many people let you know what is going on behind the mask they wear in public?  How connected (and vulnerable) do you feel when someone is brave enough to let you know that there are cracks below the surface, or when you open up to someone yourself?

As a coach I work to move my clients forward to a deeper understanding of self and to take actions towards authentic and positive fulfilment in life.  The 2010 TEDTalk Brené Brown gave in Houston really embraces that agenda. Click on the link below for an insight into Brené’s honest, entertaining and “wholehearted” research.

Brené Brown TEDTalk Houston 2010

Here’s to being courageously imperfect this week!

All the best from Park West,




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Spring in Dublin

The River Liffey on a Dublin Spring morning

In Ireland the first day of February signifies the first day of Spring and is traditionally known as St. Brigid’s Day. Brigid the Celtic Deity was a goddess of healing, poetry and smithcraft.

Year after year I’ve noticed my clients seem to find it easier to set clear-cut, well defined goals in Spring than in the immediate aftermath of the New Year. With a bit of distance from the end of year festivities, the mind and body are less busy and have rested some. The fresh, newness of a Spring morning focuses the mind and the scene is set for a little “Spring-cleaning”.

For me Spring is a second chance to start the new year and a great time to check in with my goals. A time to clear out the habits or activities that are no longer working for me using a “Brigid’s checklist”.

  • Healing (Well-being):
    • Am I holding on to thoughts, beliefs or feelings from past experiences that are no longer helpful, or are getting in the way of me living my “Best Life”?
    • What truthful, empowering thoughts, beliefs or feelings can I replace those unhelpful thoughts with?
    • Am I telling myself “lies” about they way life, people, circumstances, “should be” instead of accepting “what is“?
    • How will I be honest, put good boundaries, supports and healthy habits in place to build my resilience?
  • Poetry (Life):
    • How well am I staying “in the now“? Am I being mindful and appreciating the poetry, beauty, and myriad of experiences life brings?
    • What can I do to be more present for myself, family and friends?
  • Smithcraft (Career):
    • Am I being true to my values at work? Am I making a difference?
    • How will I stretch out of my comfort zone in the year ahead, learn new skills and make the world a better place?

Time for a walk in the park with my notebook to put a spring in my step! It’s never too late to start again.

All the best from Park West,

Grace 🙂

HNY part 2






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If the answer is yes, it might be time to revisit your goals and values, and maybe challenge yourself a little bit more on a daily basis.

Every day brings about small changes in who we are based on our experiences of that day.

Some experiences can be positive, they drive us forward into new skills and stretch us out of our comfort zone in a healthy way.  Other experiences can be very tough and can almost feel too challenging. These experiences can cause us to retreat back deeper into our comfort zone, and maybe even shrink it a little… “once bitten, twice shy” as the saying goes.

A comfort zone is a dynamic thing.  It never really stays one size.  For the most part if it’s not expanding it’s shrinking. It rarely stays still. For most people the more a comfort zone shrinks, the less energy they have to change it. It can become a catch 22 situation.

Are you moving out of your comfort zone today?

Are you moving out of your comfort zone today?

There can be many different reasons for lacking the energy to break out of a comfort zone.  You could be in the middle of a difficult life experience, you might be stuck in a rut or a cycle of “safe” habits, you could be dealing with challenging personalities.  A lot of the time, a lack of energy will point to a lack of alignment with your core values.  Something in the challenge you face is not aligned with your values. Something is at odds with who you are and what you value in life.

If you can work out where your daily life is getting away from the real you and the things you value, you might just have a “lightbulb” moment and work out what it is you want to change.  The minute you start working on that change, your comfort zone begins to stretch out again in a positive way. Your energy will pick up bit by bit and drive you forward at your own pace.

Each step out of your comfort zone no matter how big or small will make a positive difference to your life. Choose your step size to fit your current energy reserves.  Be kind to yourself, if you’ve not exercised your comfort zone in a while you’re better off starting with a few gentle stretches 😉

Every day has the potential to bring with it a new challenge or adventure. Are you moving in or out of your comfort zone today? Let us know in the comments below.

All the best from Park West 🙂



PS – thanks to Marie Butler for sending on the “That’s Life” text image above which inspired this blog post!  🙂






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Busy Bee

“Busy Bee” photo by Suzanne Kenny

I recently attended a workshop for managers of high potential small to medium sized businesses.

A common problem that came up for these owner managers was they were so busy working “in the business” (handling the day to day issues and challenges of their organisation) that they didn’t have time to work “on the business” (developing a structure and strategy for growth and further development).  This workshop was an opportunity for them to take that time out from the day to day, to revisit their passion, their original ambition, and to work towards building a meaningful action plan for themselves and their organisations.  For this workshop they broke the routine, they ducked out of the day to day for some precious “Think Time” with great results.

Whether you are a school leaver embarking on your first job, a stay at home parent with a “to do” list as long as your arm, a busy executive thinking of your next promotion, or an ambitious new entrepreneur, there are plenty of things to keep you distracted from your real passions and goals.  In a world that gets faster and faster, and a society where information and distractions are available every second of the day, words like “burn-out”, “meltdown” and “crisis-mode” frequently turn up in day to day conversations.

We can be so busy working in our jobs, working in our projects, or getting that “to do” list ticked off that we can miss those moments, opportunities and activities that bring real meaning to life.  We can miss out on life altogether.

It might be time to take a break from the day to day and book in some “Think Time” for yourself if you find yourself saying any of the following:

  • I have a lot to get done, I don’t have time to be thinking about what path my life is taking.
  • I will get back to working towards my real passion when… (the kids are grown up/when I have some more money saved/when the time is right)
  • I’m good at what I do, even if I don’t enjoy it… better the devil I know
  • I’ll get some more training first…  and then maybe some more training then I’ll  think about it, if I have time…
  • It’s not the right time at the moment.
  • It’s selfish to put myself ahead of…
  • My parents/spouse/kids need me to be there for them…

Sometimes being busy is a habit, other times being busy is a way to stay in your comfort zone and avoid taking risks. Whatever the reason, being busy can bring you all the way to your ultimate destination without you ever really seeing the beauty, oportunity and real potential of your life.

If you think you might be a bit too much of a busy bee… what next?

Get the notebook out, chat to a trusted friend, book a life coach, go for a walk in the park and sit under a big leafy tree.  Whatever works best for you. Find some “Think Time” in the weeks ahead to relax, refocus and realign your life.  Set some positive, practical and powerful goals.  You’ll be glad you did.

All the best from Park West,

Grace 🙂

“Life moves pretty fast.  If you don’t stop and look around for  while, you could miss it” – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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So the hard work on your CV preparation, your linked in profile photo, and your search for the ideal job has paid off and you’ve got an interview for your dream job in a few days.  It should be a really exciting time, but for some reason anticipation has turned to anxiety and you’d rather run a marathon over hot coals than talk to strangers about your skills and experience for 40 minutes. Your palms are sweaty but your mouth is dry, and don’t even get started on the rollercoasters in your stomach…

STOP! Before you reach for the fourth bottle of rescue remedy or run to the loo again… breathe deeply and consider some more practical P‘s to settle your nerves throughout the interview process. After all, you want to be in for a shot at your dream job right?

1. Prepare.  It might seem obvious, but getting stuck into some serious preparation can not only have you feeling more confident about the task ahead, but if you stay busy with it, preparation tasks can distract you from your pre-interview anxiety. Learn all you can about the organisation interviewing you, practice your interview responses, maybe even ask a friend to do a mock interview with you.  The more familiar you get with the role and what you bring to the party in advance, the more likely you are to relax into the interview on the day.

2. Particulars.  In the excitement of interview preparation, don’t forget about the practical details.  There’s nothing more likely to give you a pre-interview meltdown than getting lost on the way or being late for your interview. Don’t leave it to chance, do a practice run to the interview venue in advance.  If the interview is at company headquarters, you get the double whammy of measuring employee enthusiasm as they walk in and out of the building.  Yes! It’s time for a reconnaissance mission, just don’t get caught in the car park with your night vision goggles!

3. Power Pose. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy says that “power posing” or standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain.  In turn this can impact how confidently we perform at important meetings such as interviews.  So get there early, ask the receptionist where the bathroom is and grab a cubicle for a few minutes before your interview, strike a pose, and VOGUE!

4. Participate. Much as it can feel like a test of your mental agility and a forensic analysis of what you’ve been doing with your life up to this point, an interview is actually a two-way process.  Remember, you also get to decide whether you like what you learn about the people on the other side of the interview table.  In terms of nerves, it can be helpful to think of your interview as a conversation with a purpose, where both sides should participate in fact finding.  Take a Miss Marple approach to your interview. Ask questions, interact and assess the company culture so that you have the full picture before you make an important career decision. If the decision making shoe is on the other foot (yours), what’s there to be nervous about?

5. Pro-active vs. Post-Mortem. However you fare out in your next interview, it’s always a good idea to ask for interview feedback.  Far more effective than the traditional angst-ridden interview post-mortem over a cup of tea with your favourite agony aunt, professional factual feedback gives great material for future interview preparation.  Don’t sweat it if you got something wrong, we learn very little from our successes, and a lot more from our mistakes. Take the learning, adjust your answers and voila, that’s material you can use in your next interview for that even dreamier, dream job.

Take your pick of the P‘s and good luck in the job hunt!

If you have any other hints and tips you would like to share about how you handle interview nerves, I’d love to hear them in the comments section.

All the best from Park West,

Grace 😀


Click on the image below for Amy Cuddy’s full TEDTalk on body language and power posing.