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Photo by Karolina Grabowska on

I chose to sell my soul

To the corporate devil for

Just some pennies in my pocket

To buy from other people in

A world that only wants to sell.

So sell I will,

Regardless of that little pain

Lodged deep somewhere in my heart,

A sign that I’ve become a clone like them.

Disclosure: this post isn’t actually sponsored by anyone; but it sometimes feels like I’m the only person in the world not doing that.

I watch a lot of Youtube and it sometimes feels like every video I watch is interrupted midway, not by a regular advert, but by the creator peddling something.

This isn’t a post to bash people who have sponsors because how else are creatives supposed to make a living? If I’m being honest, I’d quite like to have a company contact me and say that they’ll pay me to do what I love. Who wouldn’t?

However, as a teacher and a mother to a teenager it does make me worried about how companies sell to people these days. Teenagers are bombarded with marketing and I think that half the time they don’t even know that it’s happening.

I think that eventually there will be subliminal messages sent to us in our sleep and we will all feel a compulsion to go out and order Hello Fresh and set up a Square Space website while also learning how to draw a duck on Skill Share. I dread the day…

Much Love

Rachel xx

the boss lady

person in gray skirt
Photo by cottonbro on

She strides in through the glassy doors,

Stripper heels and skirts so short that clients

Cannot help but take a second glance, the hope

That maybe they can get a little bit of that.

But she’s untouchable, it’s all for show,

That bleach blonde hair and lips in killer red,

The outfits made in neon green and violent blue,

They’re just for her and not for you.

She knows exactly what she’s doing, what she wants,

It’s money and it’s power that the housewives

Of the 1920s dreamed on their sunny afternoons,

Hoping for a day when they could be the lady boss,

But look how long it took; look at what it cost.

I’m sure I’m not the only one bingeing on Selling Sunset at the moment. The series follows a group of women who sell houses to billionaires in LA; and it’s compulsive watching.

But, it’s the power of these women that fascinates me. We talk about women still being weak and it’s true that there are mot enough women in the boardroom, but this show does paint a different picture.

I don’t think I’d ever want to be those women on the show; the maintenance required to look like that and behave like that must be immense. However, I sometimes dream of being one of them, just for a day. To be that beautiful, that confident and that rich would feel a bit like being in a fairytale.

I just couldn’t keep that up so I think I’ll just stick with the teaching and leave all that money to the professionals!

Much Love

Rachel xx

it’s hard being the boss

It is a precious crown that’s made of glass

Placed on just the chosen heads

Of those who do not quake in fear

At that sentiment, that ludicrous idea

That they can keep it balanced there.

To keep it safe from careless slips.

It’s hard, it requires some tender care.

But wear that crown with love and grace

And for the reins there’ll be no race.

A monarch can be truly loved,

But duly note that once you’ve reached your pearly throne

You are up there entirely on your own.

I’ve been thinking a lot about responsibility recently. I hate it. I have absolutely no desire to be a manager of any kind at work but it’s not always been like that. Not so long ago, I craved that success. But I didn’t seem to appreciate that with the success comes responsibility. It was a burden that I am not strong enough to carry and I would often buckle within a few weeks of getting any promotion.

It’s taken a lot of therapy to realise that it’s not what I want and that it’s OK to not want it. Society tells us that we should aspire to reach the top, but it takes a certain type of person and not all of us are that person. I love just pottering around at my work and leaving my stresses at the door when I leave. And that is OK!

Push yourself in areas that interest you because once that crown is placed on your head you sometimes have to fight to the death to keep it there. Make sure that it’s a battle you have the energy and the inclination to fight.

Much Love

Rachel xx

Come into the office and close the door behind you

Does anyone else fear those awful words?

It shakes me to my very core

When the boss comes out to me and says

“Come into the office,

And close the door behind you.”

What the fuck do you need to say to me

That can’t be heard by anybody else?

What are you going to do to me

Once we’re trapped inside that tomb

That you prefer to call a room,

Or an office, or some other

Much less terrifying name.

Does anyone else feel their blood run cold?

Does anyone else say a silent prayer

When those fatal words are uttered?

But in I go like a little lamb

To the slaughter or at least the place

Where I get a grilling

For a thing I really didn’t mean to do.

I really hope that my words resonate with some people out there because this is a fear that has crippled me over the years. I’m not sure if it is down to some repressed trauma; maybe I got locked in a cupboard when I was naughty back when I was three?

I can joke about it but the fear of being asked into the office has made my life a living nightmare. Every time it happens I can feel myself sweating and my heart palpitating. And then nine times out of ten, whatever my manager wanted to say to me is positive anyway!

I think that a lot of this fear comes from my own insecurities. I constantly worry that I’m going to get pulled up for doing something wrong and a lot of the time this prevents me from even starting something. I sometimes wonder where I may have gotten to in my career if I had been more fearless and cared less about the dreaded office. I wish that I had known in my twenties that it’s fine to get something wrong. We all make mistakes and that’s how we grow and develop into strong and wise people.

If you are struggling with the fear of the office, try to see it as a place of growth. I understand how it quite literally feels like a tomb, like a place that I’m never going to escape from once that door closes behind me. It’s about as scary as being buried alive for me, so I know that it’s worthy of a panic attack. There is nothing to be ashamed of in feeling this frightened but do draw strength from the knowledge that there are lots of us that feel the same. I pray that you find strength and that next time you are called into the office there is a positive outcome.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

What I REALLY need is someone to look up to

I’m watching BBC Question Time and these are the words that started to come into my head. We are living in a really divided and scary Britain and world at the moment. It’s scary enough to make me want to turn the TV off and pretend that none of it is happening. But poetry is designed to help us say what we feel about these bigger topics in the world, so here goes…

What I really need is someone to look up to.

I don’t need a person who speaks so posh,

That someone like me can’t understand what he thinks,

How he feels and the things that he wants.

I don’t want to follow men who are older than dad,

Who can’t possibly understand

What is nagging at my consciousness, as I toss and turn,

In my bed late at night.

I need somebody who speaks like me, looks like me,

Concerned by the same things as me.

I need to know that the world that I leave,

To my children and their children will be OK.

Better than OK.

I want it to flourish and some posh geezer,

Who waltzed through Eton and Oxford,

Or Cambridge or somewhere like that,

Just doesn’t seem to get what I mean.

When I say that I’m scared, I’m really so scared.

They’re out for themselves in this contest,

For popularity and fame.

Think of the speaking gigs and book deals they’ll get,

When this is all over,

And the country is in tatters.

When we are all left to pick up the pieces.

So I don’t really care if a candidate,

Is young or female or ‘wet behind the ears’.

I care if she cares and I can see it in her eyes.

I want a role model,

And if that makes me stupid or silly or dumb,

I’ll take it on the chin and vote with my foot.

Because all that I really want and need,

Is a person to relate to,

To look up to and a person I’d quite like to be.

I don’t think it’s hard to guess who I’ll be voting for next month and my reasoning behind it. I hope that everyone does get out there and vote and I hope that this next couple of weeks will start to wrap up such a difficult three and a half years in our history.

I’d love to hear what your thoughts are in the comments, although do keep them loving and respectful. Politics have the ability to draw us together or rip us apart and I hope that whoever in power does everything they can to do the former. This is about what’s best for the country and not how much glory the person who wins can enjoy.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

Am I too shy to be a leader?

As a person who is about as sensitive as it is possible to be, and also lacking in confidence, I have often worried that I’m too shy to be a leader. Is it possible for somebody like me to stand up and lead the way for others? Can I possibly inspire other people? Or would it just be best for me to keep in line and keep my mouth shut?

I think that this feeling that I cannot lead stems from the fear that I cannot possibly have anything worth hearing. It’s a total lack of confidence in myself and what I stand for and I’m sure that there are a tonne of other people out there that feel the same way about themselves.

Where does this lack of confidence come from?

I’m no psychiatrist but I’ve had enough therapy to know that it comes from childhood. I grew up always being told to keep in line. I was an athlete so I had a very strict and structured lifestyle and I just learnt to do as I was told. And I was also told that you can’t be a shy leader.

I’m not saying that this was bad or that it damaged me in any way. My parents were incredibly loving and gave me everything I needed. And my sports gave me an incredible amount of discipline that has helped me later in life. But it also taught me to just shut up and follow instructions.

What I wish somebody would have told me?

So it’s all very easy saying that this all stems from childhood, but how do I fix it? I want to become a leader. I know that I have so much to say and to give and I can’t give it from my place in the audience. What do I do?

The first thing to remember is that a place in the audience is not a bad place to be. It’s the place where you learn from others and the place where you join forces with others to make something great as a team.

But, sometimes stepping up on to stage is necessary and you need to know that you are capable of doing it. It is a scary place to be because all eyes are on you, but you need to tell yourself what you should have been told when you were a child.

I wish that somebody had told me that my voice does matter. Because it really does. Even if I feel like I have nothing to say, I actually have a whole lifetime of experiences that could help another if I just had the courage to step up to the microphone. Even if my voice is shaky and uncertain, there will be at least a handful of people who will need to hear it.

Do our insecurities make us shy and unable to lead?

I have always suffered from anxiety and in my twenties I used alcohol to numb it. My alcoholism was always something that I was deeply ashamed of and it made me put the brakes on every time I started to excel at something. But what if I could use this part of my story to boost my own confidence and that of others?

Having had some time to reflect on everything that happened in my twenties, I have realised that my difficulties could actually help me to be a better leader. People can relate to that pain and that struggling and it helps me to relate to them. And being relatable is one of the best things a leader can be. It’s not all about being loud and gobby. It’s about having something important to say, that can help people, and can inspire them.

So, next time you are thinking you aren’t good enough, or your past is too shameful or isn’t epic enough for people to want to follow you, remember that those bumps in the road are the thing that will make you a great leader.

Confidence is all you need and it only comes from really knowing where you come from and really believing that none of it can stand in your way. I believe that any one of you can get up there and inspire others. It’s just a case of finding your tribe and the cause that really sets your heart on fire. I wish you luck in finding it because I know that it will lift such a weight off your shoulders and that is something that everybody deserves.

Much love,

Rachel xx

What to do when life goes wrong?

There are times in life when everything is going stupendously. The flowers are in bloom and there is a spring in your step. But what happens when life takes a turn for the worse and everything just goes a bit wrong?

I was thinking about this today having just watched an interview with Glennon Doyle. I had come across her before and I knew her work but I didn’t really know anything about her life before she was a big writer and married to Abby Wambach. I didn’t know what had led her to the point that she was at when I came across her.

In the interview, she spoke about how she had the blog that she still runs called Momastery. She was a Christian mommy blogger with a husband and a couple of kids. Life looked pretty amazing from the outside, and it sounds as though she thought it was pretty amazing from the inside. And then disaster stuck and her husband told her that he had been unfaithful for the entirety of their marriage.

Now, for a lot of us that could have spelled the end of everything. The perfect life that she had portrayed on the internet had just been blown to smithereens. But instead she picked herself up and wrote a book.

Then, rather than worry about what people thought of her in the small community she had surrounded herself with she married the woman who she fell in love with, Abby Wambach. She didn’t care that people who had previously followed her were saying that she was wrong, she did what her heart told her to do.

And now, the two of them are one of the biggest power couples out there. They have a following of millions and they raise millions of dollars for charities that mean a lot to them.

I bet that there were some really dark days in between her husband leaving her and her marrying Abby and being where she is now. There must have been times that she got down on her knees and asked her God why life had to go wrong in the first place. But she persevered and kept following her heart and just look where she ended up.

There are times in all of our lives when a catastrophic event sends us careering off course, ending the life that we have come to know. But we need to remember that it is just lining us up for the next step in our life. And when life goes wrong, that is the time when we really truly grow. It’s the time that teaches us the most about ourselves if we are willing to stop and learn.

So next time something bad happens, remember that Gods timing is always perfect. You have been dealt that blow so that you can become a stronger person and be in the right place for your next blessing. If Glennon’s husband hadn’t left she would never have met Abby and if they hadn’t faced difficulties together then they wouldn’t be the inspiration that they are to so many young people.

Life has a funny way of working itself out so just enjoy the ride and really appreciate the full human experience, and that includes the bad parts!

When the time is right, I, the LORD, will make it happen

Isaiah 60:22

Reflections on 3 years sober

Crikey! Where do I start? I remember my last drink like it was yesterday, and then at the same time it seems so strangely long ago. And that’s because I’ve grown; something it’s impossible not to do when you sober up and start living a real and fulfilling life. In reality, I’m still a newbie in sobriety terms. Three years is nothing next to the thirty to forty years that I have seen others achieve. But God willing, I will continue on this road and get there too.

I just wanted to write a little bit about what drove me to take that scary step into sobriety because I think that it’s an important message to carry and the purpose of this blog is to inspire, uplift and help.

So, my journey began in August 2016 when I was pulled into yet another HR meeting because I had acted out. I was never malicious but my social faux pas were slowly mounting and this just ended up being the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was so humiliated and angry and frustrated and depressed although I spent every night drinking to blackout so I had no idea what these feelings were, let alone how to articulate them.

I ended up getting into a total mess after this quite traumatic meeting and I needed to be signed off from work. Yet again, I found myself at the doctor’s office, crying over my anxiety and depression. I admitted that I was having trouble with my drinking but I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t even get help with my mental health problems because no services would touch me with a barge pole, knowing how much I drank (and quite rightly so, not knocking them for that in the slightest!)

This doctor that I saw turned out to be the person who would save my life from being the shit show that it was slowly becoming. She pointed me in the direction of an NHS drug and alcohol service and told me not to come back until I was sober (she wasn’t quite that blunt, but she was pretty straight to the point).

I went to the NHS place and it was terrifying. I was frightened and ashamed but they gave me a handful of tools and sent me off to AA. I didn’t go for quite some time because I knew that I had an all inclusive holiday coming up and there was no way that I was going to get through that without alcohol. I slogged through the holiday and then I decided that enough was enough. But midway through the following week I caved and bought another bottle of vodka. I was shaking, I needed it so badly. I realised that I had officially come to the end of the line. The next morning I woke up at about 3am feeling really sick. I was living at my parents’ house because I was too much of a wreck to look after my own place and I was so embarrassed to let them hear me being sick that I ended up vomiting in the sink in the utility room. That was my moment. I wouldn’t say it was my rock bottom. That was unfortunately still to come. But it was when I knew that I could never drink again. It was 3rd November 2016.

Life since then has not been easy but the changes have been amazing. AA promises you that you will have a life beyond your wildest dreams and at the time I thought that meant money and ‘success’. Now I realise that it’s something far more subtle than that. Now I realise that it means that I’ll have a much better chance of living to watch my son get married and to enjoy grandchildren. I have the money to go on an extra holiday or buy something nice for the house. I can actually live on my own and not run the place into the ground like I did before. I can pay my bills on time and I can be a much more reliable friend, family member and employee.

I still have anxiety and I’ll always take tablets for my depression but I’m constantly growing and learning so much about myself and the world that I live in. Now I just hope and pray that others can enjoy what I have and that hopefully I can inspire somebody who is struggling to reach out for help. Go to the doctor, speak to a friend or send me a message if you like! We’re all here to help if you are struggling so don’t squander this wonderful thing called life.

Much love ,

Rachel xx

Rejection (a poem)

I sometimes feel so pained and raw,

It’s quite a common human flaw,

To worry what the people think.

Have they found that hidden chink,

The one we try so hard to hide,

To protect our selfish pride?

But it’s not that we are scared,

Of how they think that we have fared.

It’s more a fear that they will force,

Us out to run the longest course,

On our own, without the backing,

Of the tribe that have done the sacking.

But really you can go and find,

The love and joy or your own kind,

Somewhere else where you will fit,

And you are free to do your bit.

So turn your back on those that fail,

To see what greatness you can nail.

Feeling attacked? Try this little trick to put a stop to it

I know that people who tend to be even the tiniest bit on the sensitive side can struggle with the feelings of being under attack. You do something wrong at work; you feel like your boss is attacking you over it for the next month. You can’t meet a friend for lunch; you feel like they are attacking you for being a bad friend. You can’t help out a colleague by covering a shift; you feel like they are being spiteful towards you for weeks afterwards. The list can go on and on. So how do you put an end to it without being an absolute bitch and losing your cool?

There are a tonne of different techniques that you can use ranging from meditation through to going into a bathroom and crying about it for ten minutes. Some are good and some are not so good. But this one is a brilliant way to cut the person down immediately without the need to be horrible in return.

The technique is really very simple and it’s all about repetition. Repetition is such a powerful technique in so many situations and this is no exception. Just think about it for a moment. If you repeat an action over and over, it gets learned and you become an expert. If you use repetition in a speech you really drive your point forward. If you repeat a mantra to yourself then you can really end up believing what you are telling yourself.

Now think what effect it has on someone who is attacking you. Many people who resort to attack are feeling emotional and they are not thinking about what they are saying. They are on autopilot. And it’s very easy for you to get sucked into the same trap, say something mean back to them and then you find that you’re both engaged in a meaningless war of words.

If you just slow down and ask the person to repeat what they said you will be amazed by what effect it has on them. I recently had a co-worker tell me that I had done half of my job wrong when I had missed one task that I was supposed to do. Instead of flying into a rage and arguing that point, I just told her that I wasn’t sure that I’d heard her properly and could she please repeat what she had said. She IMMEDIATELY took back what she had said because she was repeating it in her mind and realising just how much she had exaggerated. It worked a treat.

Now this only works if you then just let it go. You can’t then carry on and on at the person about how they had been making things up and outright lying and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You have to know when to pick your battles and when someone has dropped it you need to learn to also drop it. You probably won’t get an apology but at least you have stopped the ear bashing in its tracks.

Try it next time someone starts to harp on at you about something that’s really not necessary. It won’t work all of the time but it’s a good way to stop things escalating when emotions are starting to bubble. I’d love to hear if it works for any of you?

Have a great day and remember to be nice to people and love your life because it’s the only one that you’re going to be given.