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Kirsty Keating a life coach.


Shame, Honour & Grace – Find your mantra!

Heather Wallace

Shame: Shame is a negative, painful, social emotion that can be seen as resulting “...from comparison of the self’s action with the self’s standards...
Honor and shame from no condition rise. Act well your part: there all the honor lies.
— Alexander Pope

I felt real shame when I had to admit, once and for all, I was a single mum. It felt shameful, it felt ‘less’, it felt lonely and it felt like I was no longer part of that ‘tribe’ of successfully married women in my family and in my group. People will try and shame you if you are out-with their social norms or grouping, it’s the law of the jungle really. It can be subtle (invites stop to couples dinners, ‘that’ tilted head ‘ oh poor you’ look from the smug married friend who suddenly has a ‘perfect’ husband) to full blown ostracism of calls unreturned, emails unanswered, catty comments and friendships ending totally.

I think a lot of it was self imposed as I was no doubt guilty of some of the above for many different, immature reasons in my life. In my head I fought the shame hard, even if no-one but me was making me feel it. How to work your way OUT of this feeling, it may of course come and go but a strategy to lessen that heavy insidious cloud of shame, an emotional umbrella for you will help.

Try this -
HONOUR - the quality of knowing and doing what is morally right.

It’s the counterbalance to SHAME.

My mantra of this time was GRACE, GRACE, GRACE

I tried to handle all situations with the most amount of grace I could to be the best example you can for your children, for yourself and for your future self. Okay it did not always work when the screaming harpie came to call after a rough night of a teething baby and the ex wanted a bit more than I could give of my patience or my children. It got me through a few things as I just knew that to honour myself and my two little developing spirits in my care, required grace.

Deep breaths, what is right in this situation, what is the next BEST step? It might not always have been what I wanted to do, right there, right now. Hell I did not want to be FAIR, calm or honest but would I want to look my kids in the eye in 5, 10, 30 years and say ‘yes, I tried, I did it with as much grace as I could muster for you, for me’  Would they find themselves in a similar challenging situation and something in their dna, nurtured or natured that whispered ‘have grace, breathe, keep your head held high and do the right thing’ God I hoped so but it was playing the long game really with a short fuse.
There may have been an element of well aren’t I the perfect, bigger person but somehow just trying it, whatever the intention, it came from, made me make a few better decisions based on what was going to make me happy, deep down, and not just being ‘right’.

What fills you with HONOUR? What makes you feel honourable?

Is there a word you can return to when you feel shame? Can you find an image that works – I often held my head high like an African queen. What would Beyonce do? What would Maya Angelou do? What would Taylor swift do? Shake it off? RISE…. To the best self you can find TODAY…

Grace, love, calm, integrity, authenticity, ?... Find your Honour mantra and work it baby!



Stick or switch – How to make the BIG decision

Heather Wallace

When you don’t know what to do, my best advice is to do nothing until clarity comes. Getting still, being able to hear your own voice and not the voices of the world, quickens clarity.
— Oprah

Life is full of big and small decisions and they all have big and small impacts that are not always relative to size of the question at the time. I had a BIG decision to make a few years ago that would change the course of my life or maybe not but it felt big, urgent, important and really stressful.

I had to decide whether or not to move me and my 2 small children, selling the family home after divorce or stay and try to make it work.

This felt HUGE. I was in a 4 bedroom dream home. You know the one ? The one with the ceaser stone benchtop  breakfast bar, deck onto the garden with tomatoes home-grown ready to be picked for dinner, 3 toilets, an office for you to create your dream ‘work from home job’. Yip the full kahuna! Livin the dream….. except now I was getting divorced and had a toddler and baby and this was no longer my dream or was it? It felt impossibly multi-faceted and open and also incredibly overwhelming all at the same time.

What to do… nothing, well not exactly. I decided, prompted by a wise friend to just ‘try on’ each decision for a day or a week. So, as advised I tried on the idea of keeping the house. My mind began to look at ways to make it work. I looked into mortgage payments, returning to full time work, renting rooms out, remaining in the area and considering the schools my kids would grow up and go to. I could instantly feel the stress rise, the possibilities shrink, my life shrink into an endless cycle of debt, pressure, no family time and little freedom. I gulped the air around me and wondered if maybe I was just chickening out of responsibility and growing up, standing on my own two ladyboss feet?

Well let’s try the other option for size. Sell the house, buy a smaller one? A bit like Goldilocks that bed was still not the right fit for me. Okay, third time lucky lets try the ‘lets move back to the beach an just rent’  a bit of  a wait and see but go where you love kind of deal.

Ahh, instantly whilst a bit scary it felt hopeful. My body felt nervous but excited to look for a smaller place (less cleaning), not owning (less responsibility as 2 kids was enough for my cup then) and being back in my old ‘hood’ smelling the ocean daily to perk my tender spirits and recover my vibe. Yip, I could try that option on and it fit pretty good, like a trusty old pair of your favourite jeans.

I still use this for major decisions to ground myself and whilst decisions to do not always turn out the way you imagined and you may not always trust your instinct you will now when it ‘clicks’ or feels better to instinctively a big fat NO. Try it.

Lets be BRAVE. What if I just speak to my Hero?

Heather Wallace

I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people
— May Angelou

I was walking along the city street, head hung with tiredness. My baby son had woken up countless times and my 3 year old daughter did NOT want to go to daycare that morning. I had just put behind me a day of interviews that had drained me and I was in the middle of a messy, painful divorce. I was not the all singing, all dancing zen life coach that I had proudly in mind for myself.

Then I saw her….. across the road… someone on my bucket list to speak to… 7 times world surfing champion Layne Beachley. I should warn you that I am a mad keen surfer of almost 2 decades. I’ve surfed snow covered Scottish beaches beside nuclear plants that warmed the water to catch that elusive wave. Crazy huh?! I have moved to this side of the world to live nearer a warmer and safer wave. It does not reflect my talent I have to say, but that’s okay.

Back to Layne.. gulp, do I speak to her, bother her or just say wow thank god I’ve seen her in the flesh and  just get on with my day. You know that wobbly, adrenaline thumping, this is my chance, before you jump feeling? ALL of that! Just jump my inner voice said.

I approached her and said I think what you are doing with your foundation is amazing and she graciously stopped what she was doing smiled and said thank you. Job done. I survived!
That was enough to make me realise I could do scary things even when my life looked scary around me. What I did next will forever stick in my mind as continuing to change my life daily and bringing it to a whole new level. Of course I could’ve stopped just there but no lets take the next step.

I contacted Laynes Aim for the stars foundation and offered my services as a coach to all her amazing grant recipients. Guess what she said yes!! A few months later I found myself, a week after signing my divorce papers on a yacht in Sydney Harbour, surrounded by amazing, talented girls who are ballet dancers, Olympic para-olympians, leading change agents, athletes I will see at future Olympics and Layne alongside Kurt her husband. Kurt is in INXS, the first live band I saw!!

I continue to support, since that fateful day over 6 years ago,  this foundation yearly and it never ceases to amaze me what I gain from coaching all these inspiring women and what Layne achieves and continues to achieve.

All from this one brave move and taking the next step…
What is your next brave move or next step? Are you ready? Do you have a story to share?
Always learning…