How much do you love that classic Friends one-liner? We were on a break! I bet that made you smile! 

Breaking up is hard to do, but as the school year comes to a close, this particular break up is as welcome as the return of Ant and Dec’s I’m A Celebrity in the Autumn. I’m on countdown. Love the very funny bones of those boys.


Does the Summer make you feel like you don’t have a care in the world?

A client came to see me this week and said: ‘He didn’t have any problems.’  This was pretty amazing because weeks before when he first turned up in my coaching room, he was having suicidal thoughts as a result of some pretty nasty bullying.

So, what changed?

Three 121-1 Smiley Coaching Sessions and a crash course in setting boundaries and stepping into your powerful voice later, something had totally flipped 180. 

Wow! That’s brilliant. Isn’t it?

So when our external circumstances change, is it time to hang up our hat and proclaim loudly and proudly that ‘We’re done! Finished! We’re breaking up’


Well, think about it:

Do you ever really feel free of your problems?

I thought not. If you think you’ve got it all sorted, call me now and share your secret.

This is because the work goes on inside of us. It’s not about changing external circumstances – sometimes we can’t. It’s not about changing other people – we really can’t and it’s not our job to change anybody but ourselves.

Smiley Coach Lisa Parkes

And this is where people go wrong

Families stop coaching in the Summer because they associate it with school and when the kids are not at school they want to give them down time.

I’m all for this (read my post: Does My Child Have Too Many Clubs? or Letter to A Busy Mum) The Smiley approach to life is like the air that you breath. It’s not a crash diet or faddy trend. It’s not a plaster for your hurty bits.

Nope I’m not papering over the cracks or sellotaping broken bits together. I’m in the business of giving children a set of life skills that will stay with them forever. I want to make growing up easier because it can be tricky, right?

Read this blog post, Why the School Holidays are not a Cure for your Child’s Stress Levels.

None of us need fixing – we need love + understanding

We need to be seen and heard as we are. All of us. Even the bits we aren’t proud of or don’t like. No plasters. No sellotape. We are going straight for the wound and we are going to clean it up, soothe it and make it feel better. Feeling is what we are here to do as humans. This is a way of life. Think about that when you have an open wound. It hurts like hell. You need to be brave. Deep breath. Think about how you will feel when your body has worked its magic and healed.

Could you have prevented it? MaybeOnly you can answer that. We don’t know what we don’t know. What we do know is that ….


Without emotional intelligence, life becomes very tricky

If you don’t….

  • shower every day, how long is it before you smell or get sick?
  • eat your fruit and veggies every day, how long is it before you are constipated?
  • drink at least 8 glasses of of water, how long before you are dehydrated?
  • sleep, how long before you are cranky, fuzzy and wrung out?
  • have fun and play, how long before you become a serious workaholic?
  • clean your teeth, how long before you turn into that man from the Pogues (instant smelly breath though!)

Does this stuff every end or go away?

No. There is no magic bullet. No quick fix. In my post You Think You Know What Coaching is…… Think Again I debunk that myth. I’m really sorry. I wish I could tell you something else. If I ever find the secret, I will share it with you first. I promise. 

It’s a process – a learning.

I am a life long learner. Are you one too? There was lots of stuff I didn’t get early on in life or that wasn’t role modelled to me, so I have spent the last 8 years transitioning from Corporate Marketing Madness to Children sprinkled with rainbows and unicorns!

Prevention is cheaper than cure!

I learnt the long-winded, painful and quite frankly expensive way. So you can understand why I’m passionate about taking my 43 years of real life experience (growing up without emotional intelligence – sometimes, I wonder how I did it?!) and packaging it up into fun, easy and practical everyday tools. You can check out my Online Learning Den here! 

I want to save you heart ache and money!

I worked it out the other day and came to the conclusion that it has cost me around £20,000 in healing, talking therapy, training, mentoring, coaching and hours and hours of my life reading and putting together all the pieces of the jigsaw. I don’t want that for you….and I hope you don’t want that for you!

I wonder how many books and blog posts I have read? I have a thirst for knowledge. I am a seeker.

 What am I seeking? I am seeking the person I never had growing up. I can stop seeking now because that is the person I have become for my clients. 

How long do you think it takes to master something new?

I know that if I don’t go on a regular basis, then I can quite easily fall into a hole. These holes I fall into don’t get smaller, I just don’t fall into them as often and I’m much better and quicker at getting myself out. This picture explains that perfectly. Image result for walk down a road see a hole fall in it, walk round it

I think I have got to Chapter 4 and am about to embark on Chapter 5. Do I still get scared? Hell yeah! Of course I do.

What chapter are you at?

Maybe you haven’t even started walking down the road yet because you are afraid there may be holes that you might fall into.

Does it help if I tell you:

  • You can’t be brave until you’ve felt scared?
  • A lot of people stay stuck where they are because they are in the comfort zone and that is not truly living life? (you are not alone)
  • The first step is the hardest but it’s never as bad as you think it’s going to be? (I actually enjoy a lot of the things I used to be scared of now)
  • If you don’t step out into the world and show it what you’ve got, then the world is going to miss out on the wonderfulness of you?
  • It might all go Pete Tong but at least you tried? Trying is better than doing nothing. Are you willing to try?
  • If you aren’t doing anything about something which is upsetting you, then you are choosing to stay stuck? (and I’ll leave you there until you are ready. 

It’s easier when you just start!

If you are going to start this journey, you need to take one step. You can dip in and out. You can have breaks but like my client at the beginning of this post, when you show up and are open to possibility, when your mind is relaxed and happy, the magic really does happen. Needless to say this was one of the best sessions we’d had.

How do I know? He came back after leaving and asked me for a hug. Yes that is how I measure my success!

You do need to start though before you think you are ready. My post I’m Not Just the Girl You Call In An Emergency explains that people tend to come to coaching when things get really bad. Or they are a massive inconvenience or driving parents insane or giving them sleepless nights.

How do you know you are ready? 

You are always ready (there is always something to know and learn), but there’s some definite signs that I talk about in this post Are You Ready for Smiley Coaching?

Summer is the perfect time to style it out differently

  • There is less external pressures (which usually come from school) which gives you extra head space and a relaxed environment.
  • Our brains learn best when we are happy and relaxed.
  • Summer is a time for adventure and to step out of our normal routine (which from what I can gather is quite hectic and stressful).
  • Shared goals bring families closer together and that makes for a more collaborative and harmonious home (how often do you forget that you are all on the same team?).
  • It’s better to respond to life instead of react isn’t it? Being on the back foot all the time and fire fighting is exhausting.
  • Give yourself a head start and begin learning and understanding while you have time and before you need it. You and your child will be better equipped to respond to life. Your emotional resilience will mean you can bounce back from disappointment and handle stress better (doesn’t look like the world is going to slow down for us!).

So, are you breaking up with me?

Or are we good?

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