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AofA People: Caroline Culleton – Coach


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Caroline Culleton, 53, is a coach from Brisbane, yes, Brisbane!! She’s a coach, domestic goddess and much more.

WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Caroline Culleton

WHAT IS YOUR AGE?

53

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Brisbane

WHAT DO YOU DO?

Coaching, at uni, domestic goddess, and everything in between

WHAT IS IS LIKE TO BE YOUR AGE?

Busy – crazy busy – I want to do it all. FOMO – smarter than when I was 20, more courageous and care little to what the youth say about me!

WHAT DO YOU HAVE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE AT 25?

Something meaningful to say! A husband! Kids! An opinion! A belief in me! The willingness to try anything new just because. My own home with a pool.

WHAT ABOUT SEX?

What about it?

AND RELATIONSHIPS?

Have to say – less exciting. In fact rather dull and domestic. Bordering on dull. Have more fun with girlfriends when I laugh loads, eat well, drink too much and feel a sense of freedom.

HOW FREE DO YOU FEEL?

Getting away and walking in nature. Getting on a plane and flying anywhere. Swimming – it’s quiet underwater. Walking my dog. Driving up a highway in search of a beach to hang out on.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

My kids. As corny as that sounds I reckon I’ve done a pretty good job there! Jumping out of a plane on my 50th birthday.

WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?

Trying new things. Coaching my clients who inspire me with their desire to change and be amazing, learning.

WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?

When I am walking with friends and camping. When there are no pressures from anywhere. Where I can just be me.

WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY GO?

In writing – have a blog as well as my coaching site. I used to love painting a few years back – even won a little prize!! But haven’t done that for a while. Should do because it is a good distraction. Love to sing – but usually in the shower.

WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING?

Honesty, community, connection.

AND DYING?

Peacefully, respectfully,

ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?

Absolutely. The challenge is to act upon these dreams so they become realities – and that may mean putting self first regardless of what other say or want me to do.

WHAT WAS A RECENT OUTRAGEOUS ACTION OF YOURS?

Just bought into a network marketing skincare business because I know the product is brilliant but I am shit scared of selling – ha ha. That sure is outrageous. Watch this space.

AofA People: Adrian Reith – Life Coach


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Adrian Reith and his partner Judy are the creators of Act3 – How To Live A Better Life After 50. Already a Guardian Masterclass (the next one is on September 20th), they are currently fundraising to produce a book that is available on pre-order.

WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Adrian Reith

WHAT IS YOUR AGE?

62

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Cambridge

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I was an ad man.  Now I’m a mental plumber.  I help people unblock their mental pipes.  I coach people.

WHAT IS IS LIKE TO BE YOUR AGE?

Ridiculous. Ridiculously good, actually. The steep incline of takeoff when you get thrown back in your seat is long gone. Now we’re in a steady cruise – and I like it. I don’t for a moment wish I was younger.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE AT 25?

Calm.  Confidence.  Less to prove.  Less arrogant and selfish, I hope. More aware and grateful of how lucky I am to be alive. Adult children. A belly.

WHAT ABOUT SEX?

Oh, I’m unstoppable. I’m at it right now.

AND RELATIONSHIPS?

I was a slow starter.  Maybe it was 8 years of boys-only boarding school. Then met a very very good friend, and Judy & I’ve been married nearly 30 years.  We work at it.  Nothing comes from nothing.

HOW FREE DO YOU FEEL?

 I feel 76.52% free.  Which by my reckoning is pretty good.  So much freer now from the things inside of me that limit me being me.  Yes, it’s still work in progress.  It’s a life’s work. That’ll be £25 please.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

I’m most proud of my three daughters because they know how to love, laugh and work. And proud of Judy, who surprises and inspires me.  And tells me when I’m a git.

WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?

 A motley collection of friends of all ages and stages are a delight – from their second decade to their ninth.  Most of them are what you’d call creative people.  But then I think everyone is creative in their own way. And wonder.

WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?

This morning, gliding slowly and alone on a classic racing bike through Suffolk countryside, perceptible warmth from the English sun, and a lone skylark, bubbling above.

WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY GO?

Creativity is crucial. I do projects.  Written things, filmed things, recorded things. I’ve owned and run creative businesses; chaired the charity Street Child United; and now Act3 – How To Have A Better Life After 50 is our new baby .. and it’s a huuuuuge baby. You should get involved, frankly.

WHAT IS YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING?

Aim low.

AND DYING?

Dying is a great sharpener.  Cut the crap.  At my age death focuses me on what’s important.  Last night I went to a Death Cafe evening.  It was great – you should go. And quite the opposite of depressing.

ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?

I dream of cycling alone through Africa where I grew up.  Of sleeping in a tent dreaming of lions just outside the flap.

WHAT WAS A RECENT OUTRAGEOUS ACTION OF YOURS?

I was responsible for bringing 200 street children from 19 countries to Rio to play a Street Child World Cup in 2014 to raise awareness of 100 million kids who live every night on the street.  None of them had a birth certificate or passport. I consider the fact that no-one died a major achievement.

The Dark Night of the Soul is Purple


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When I committed to writing something for Advantages of Age I was feeling in my flow – that place inside of me where anything is possible. I was happy and excited to get my thoughts and feelings out into the world.

As the deadline for getting my piece in got nearer I found myself in a very different place . . . . a familiar place of fear and hopelessness. A place where nothing seems possible. Old voices telling me that I couldn’t write. Comparing myself with others. Trying to write something that I thought I ought to be writing. I felt immobilised and unable to even start writing.

As I was lying in the bath this morning, it came to me: all I needed to do was to write in my own voice. I didn’t need to ‘put on a mask’ or try to emulate someone else’s poetic writings. All I need to do is to share the vulnerability that is me – Louise de Caux – and that will connect with some people and not others and I know intuitively that this is okay.

Now, I’m a woman who has always hated structure and bureaucracy. This has got worse over the years but as I enter the third phase of my life, I have finally found the freedom that I have longed for my entire life.

Funny then that I spent the first 35 years of my working life in Human Resources (or Personnel as it was in the 70s) upholding rules and regulations, policies and legislations. And what is it about the Personnel profession that seems to be increasingly focussed on what they are called rather than what they contribute? Only yesterday I saw a recruitment post for an ‘Employee Success Partner’. Whatever does that mean? But hey, because I hate structure I tend to go off at a tangent and I think an article about the Personnel profession is probably for another day. . . . .

Back on track with structure and bureaucracy. In my 30s and 40s I worked for large global American companies, travelling to exotic places, meeting incredible people (including Bill Gates!) My parents brought me up with a strong work ethic – just the kind of employee most employers love. I worked long hours, attended telephone meetings at 1 00 am in the morning, lived in hotels, ate badly and drank too much. Finally I had the first of my Dark Night of the Souls or burnout from the stress of attempting to live a life which was nigh on impossible. I didn’t know what was going on. All at once, I couldn’t do anything, I was paralysed with fear that everything would overwhelm me, I wouldn’t be able to cope and my employers would finally see what I had known all along . . . . I was a fraud and I couldn’t cope.

By this time, I had begun a journey of personal development and I embarked on 3 years of counselling. This was the beginning of my journey to awakening. But looking back, I see that I did not enter this Dark Night of the Soul wholeheartedly. I brushed the fears aside and patched my life up and got back on the treadmill. I told myself it was different this time, I was working for one of the biggest companies in the world, I had negotiated working only 4 days a week, I would set my own boundaries and not work into the evening and beyond.

Two years later I was facing my boss in the US at an annual performance review and she was telling me that I seemed to be paralysed to take action . . . . . I had good ideas, I managed people creatively but I didn’t take action. She told me I would have to start working 5 days a week. For the first time in my HR career, I was in danger of losing my job! How many times had I faced employee in this same situation? I was scared. I didn’t want people to find out that I might be sacked. Me? Louise de Caux? I had to keep the mask on. This is the first time that I have admitted this out loud, dear readers, and I feel the vulnerability and also the relief of showing you a part of me that I am ashamed of. I could feel the Dark Night of the Soul beckoning me again.

However, this galvanised me into action for myself. With a great deal of trepidation (fears of financial security, giving up a good pension, etc) I handed in my notice with no idea of what I was going to do except a vague idea of coaching and running workshops.

Over the course of the next two or three years I tried to get something off the ground but procrastination and paralysis was dogging me more and more. Eventually I purchased a franchise business for children’s performing arts which I still love to this day BUT the company was literally taken over by a Venture Capitalist in the same month that I brought it and I found myself hurled into the cut and thrust of Corporate bureaucracy and playing by others people’s rules rather than being able to follow my heart.

This plunged me into what I call my Purple Dark Night of the Soul. I felt such Fear and for the first time, instead of ignoring it I began to feel and embrace it. No one knew that I spent days under my duvet or sitting in front of the television literally shaking with fear. I felt physically sick with an unnamed illness. I turned up on Saturday with the kids which was the part that I loved doing and no one knew what was really happening underneath. I was falling: falling to the depths of the darkness of my worst fears. As well as my own fears, I felt the overwhelming terrors that my father endured during his life and the family history of the atrocities of war. Everything mixed up in a swirling whirlpool of anxiety and apprehension. It was literally a living nightmare. But I stayed with it, found a somatic bodyworker to calm my system, spoke to my trusted women friends and somehow found my way through it. It took two years for me to begin to see the light again. I realise now that this process cannot be hurried, it comes in waves, sometimes unexpectedly when I am feeling really good, it taps on my shoulder to remind me that it is there.

And here I am, back at the beginning. Balancing the joy and the fear, the excitement and the hopelessness, with both structure and formlessness. Writing this is showing you a part of my Soul. As I enter what Jane Fonda calls the ‘3rd Act of my life’, I have learnt to love myself exactly as I am and to know that fear will always be with me, just as love is. All I need to do is to feel what I feel. I remove my mask and learn to live by my own rules. I found the freedom to live my life on my terms and discovered the wisdom and intuition of my own precious Heart and Soul.

I have found the purple-ness of my wise woman or crone and wouldn’t exchange this for the pinkness of the young girl who first met her power at puberty or the Red fertile years of a woman who was practicing her power. I am now post-menopausal and at long last am inhabiting my power: my own unique Purple Power, which has brought me the freedom I have always longed for.

My Purple is expanding and encompasses Red. My Women 2Gether brand is currently running Red Tent Activations for women of all ages to celebrate who they are as a woman (next one scheduled for Sunday 24 September in Cambridge). My Purple Power workshop for women entering, in the midst or beyond the menopause is coming up on 22/23 July also in Cambridge. It’s an exploration of the menopause maze using potent but simple exercise to help women find their own unique and innate purpose.

You can contact Louise here

ldecaux@btinternet.com or  FB page https://www.facebook.com/women2gethereastanglia/

AofA People: Barry du Plooy – Counsellor & Life Path Coach


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Barry du Plooy, 69, is a life path coach who lives in Cape Town, South Africa. He specialises in sex, health and relationships. “At this stage, I am at a sexual peak like never before,” he says. He also explains that sometimes people are shocked when they find out he is a man who is a sexual educator with a special focus on women.

WHAT IS YOUR NAME?

Barry du Plooy

HOW OLD ARE YOU?

69

WHERE DO YOU LIVE?

Cape Town, South Africa

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I provide solutions to Life’s challenges in the areas of . . .
– relationships
– parenting + family
– attraction
– sexuality + sexual function
– health and
– career

I use quantum physics to analyse people’s personality + potential as encoded in their birth date . . . along with their lessons + challenges of course.

Then simply by adding two (or more) dates together . . . I am able to describe the dynamic between those people with blinding accuracy,

TELL US WHAT IT’S LIKE TO BE YOUR AGE?

69 is my chronological age
25 – 35 is my actual age
So I am thrilled to say that I have the excitement, joy and drive of a newbie, but the wisdom and patience of an oldie.

(Whispered) At this age I am at a sexual peak like never before . . . it’s a total joy to have surpassed the fumbling and bumbling stage of life . . . and am about to launch a series of workshops targeting the feminine as also schools, colleges and universities.

WHAT DO YOU HAVE NOW THAT YOU DIDN’T HAVE AT 25?

5 children + 4 grandchildren
33 years of participation in the biggest individually timed cycle tour in the world
Qualification as a Chartered Accountant

18 years in alternative healing and a whole bunch of interesting other related directions.

6 years on local radio, dispensing counsel and guidance on relationships, parenting and career direction.

WHAT ABOUT SEX?

Yes . . . with 5 children (that all look like me) I have had some involvement 🙂

I am about to launch a series of workshops in the area of sex-ed starting at schoolgoer level, through college and university, with a strong focus on women as they are my predominant clients.

I am passionate about putting people in touch with their bodies and facilitating their understanding and enjoyment of their sexuality.

AND RELATIONSHIPS?

Struggled through my younger and teen years as I was painfully shy and did not know how to interact with girls.

Have had two 18-year marriages and I am currently in a relationship of 7 years with a honey who is 23 years my junior.

I am not a proponent of marriage in the legal or biblical sense, as I have come to believe that we are not monogamous beings . . .

HOW FREE DO YOU FEEL?

2017 is my year for finishing off, clearing out and letting go and I have been diligently letting go of all manner of ‘things and stuff’.

The more I let go of, the free-er I feel.

I am also releasing the shackles of rules, regulations and inhibiting beliefs . . . that are foisted upon us through our prescriptive schooling curricula, through religious dogma and regulatory controls

WHAT ARE YOU PROUD OF?

I am most proud of my kids, who have grown up as responsible people, without being boring, without being constrained by convention and who have risen to meet life’s challenges.

WHAT KEEPS YOU INSPIRED?

The constant thirst for truth in the wide-ranging areas of my passion . . . and my ability to make a difference in people’s lives on so many varied fronts.
I specialise in providing Solutions to Life’s Challenges

WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?

I thrive when I am with people but even more so when I am out in nature. Cycling gently along the beachfront, taking in lungs-full of fresh clean air is a special treat and happy place.

AND WHERE DOES YOUR CREATIVITY GO?

I enjoy DIY . . . so do potter around
I also have an interior design consultancy partnered with my middle daughter, so do still have input to aspects of space planning and technology installation.

I love calligraphy but don’t get enough time to produce significant word-art . . . sigh . . . maybe when I am older.

For the past few years, I have been creating a workshop series about life skills and sexual education . . . and this has been an avenue for my rampant creativity!

WHAT’S YOUR PHILOSOPHY OF LIVING?

Before we enter this world, we make a whole bundle of choices . . . including, but not limited to, our parents, our body, our name(s), our date of birth (in which is encoded our gifts, talents, challenges + lessons) . . . and how and when we will leave this world.

As we come through the birth process, we choose to erase our memory of this information . . . then spend the greater part of our life trying to re-discover why we are here . . .

There is an easier way . . . 🙂

AND DYING?

There is no death . . .
Yes, we do cast off our earthly body, like slipping out of an overcoat . . . but life continues unabated.

Yet we cling to life as if it has an end, we hold onto and grieve about those we have ‘lost’ along the way . . taking much of our joy out of Life!

ARE YOU STILL DREAMING?

I don’t often dream at night . . . but spend most of my day in thought, planning, researching and capturing . . . just how I can maximise my gifts to humanity in delivering my Life’s work.

Night time meditation during my nocturnal wanderings does bring crystal clarity to much of my creations.

I am guided by a bunch of pretty powerful angels to connect with people across the globe . . . who are in need of an ear, counsel or guidance . . . those connections are forged with absolute clarity . . . with no room for doubt about divine guidance.

WHAT WAS A RECENT OUTRAGEOUS ACTION OF YOURS?

I am a thought leader in the areas of attraction, relationships, parenting, the family unit and sexuality.

When I deliver public talks, I issue a warning up front that what I am about to say will potentially shock people and make them feel very uncomfortable . . .  it does help to wake some of them out of their lethargy.

Many folks are shocked when I tell them that I am a sexual educator, with a special focus on teaching women about their bodies and sexuality.

AofA People: Karen Liebenguth – Life Coach & Mindfulness Trainer


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Karen Liebenguth, 49, is a green space life coach and mindfulness trainer. This means ‘coaching while walking in nature’. She is a woman of grace and sensitivity.

What is your name?

Karen Liebenguth

How old are you?

49

Where do you live?

London

What do you do? 

I am a life coach, MBTI facilitator and mindfulness trainer. I work with private and organisational clients and specialise in coaching while walking outdoors because I believe that’s where insight, creativity and change can happen most naturally.

Tell us what it’s like to be your age?

 It feels exactly where I am at.

What do you have now that you didn’t have at 25?

Self-awareness, for sure!

What about sex?

 I like sex but all my life I’ve always loved cuddles better, sensuous kissing and falling asleep spooning.

And relationships?

I long to be in a relationship because I have much love to give, I like intimacy and sharing life with someone I respect, appreciate and love.

How free do you feel?

Much freer than 25 years ago but still not as free as I’d like to be from old conditioned patterns… it’s work in progress…

What are you proud of? 

 My work – Green Space Coaching and Mindfulness Training. Having had the stamina and belief in myself to get it going and to turn it into a successful livelihood.

What keeps you inspired?

My own work, nature, sunflowers and calendula flowers that I grow from seed, my Buddhist practice, the women I live with, my close friends, my teachers.

When are you happiest?

When I’m out and about in nature walking or cycling – on my own or with a close friend.

And where does your creativity go?

I feel most creative when I’m in nature. That’s where I have my best ideas. My creativity also goes into my many pots of plants on our small roof terrace. It looks rather abundant which feels deeply satisfying and delightful.

What’s your philosophy of living?

Living a decent, simple and abundant life. Decent as in being able to afford all the things that are precious to me – going on retreats, visiting my family in Hamburg, Germany, walking weekends in nature. Simple as in sharing a house with four other women and only having stuff that fits in one room. Abundant as in living a full and meaningful life with many things in it that I enjoy.

And dying?

Without death no life, without life no death. I like that with each death always something new arises. Life and death are a continuous flow of becoming and ceasing, a process…

Are you still dreaming?

 Of course! I still dream of finding a lovely man that I can have a healthy, accepting and respectful relationship with – one based on true love, ie free of expectations (a tall task). And I still dream of a cottage in the countryside with that lovely man, a horse, a dog and a cat… Makes my heart smile…

What was a recent outrageous action of yours?

I shared my grief about the loss of my father (he died in 2006 and I never met him), of the lost sisterhood with my sister (we never got on and have become estranged over the years) and the loss of my last relationship (with a man I truly loved but we couldn’t work it out together) in front of a group of 20 people (as part of a professional development course). I felt vulnerable, scared and liberated at the same time.

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