About

 

I help individuals to lead colourful, creative, celebratory lives and feel calm, playful, connected, and present. I specialise in coaching people with marginalised identities & experiences, and those raising people with marginalised identities.

My magic is in listening to you more wholeheartedly than you've ever experienced. Being fully present to the beauty in your life that you might have become oblivious to. Gently, fiercely, with unwavering compassion, helping you to tease out the truth from the distractions, the gratitude from the resignation, the joy in the everyday.

Offering up a way of coaching that is trauma-informed and holds space for the unique ways we each move in the world, whether in your neurodivergence, your ethnicity, your quietness, your queerness. Bringing you to your own beautiful transformations. Propelling you away from doubt and into a momentum that you can actually sustain.

 

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The week I crafted this website, something happened. At an official appointment, the person in a position of power looked at me and asked about my ethnic heritage.

“So,” they asked. “What are you?”

I fumed inwardly. I felt vulnerable. The familiar combination of suppressed rage, judgement, compassion, sadness, fear, feeling unsafe. I took a deep breath, tuned into my body, remembered what was true. I spoke out loud, challenged the words, stated my identity. The moment passed. We moved on.

I woke up the following day realising how perfect it was that this had happened right now, the day I’d planned to write my About page.

Because, here’s the thing.

We each get to write our own story. Even within a world that seeks to define us on its terms. We might not always be able to change our circumstances or our environment or the wider culture we exist within. But we get to choose our relationship to each of those things. We get to heal, and we get to experience the ripple effect of what happens next.

 

So.

What am I?

 

I’m a fierce advocate for compassion.

I’m someone who has learnt to access the steadiness of my breath when I’m feeling scared, who can name the emotions in my body and let them be there, though it wasn’t always like this.

I’m someone who loves winter for the magical worlds that exist through windows as you pass a stranger’s house, all the stories that lie within.

I understand how self-care can mean whatever I need it to mean that day. Not only the pamper-yourself, paint-your-nails self-care but also the renew-your-strength-to-navigate-the-fuckery self-care that equips me to step out into the world with fierce compassion and sustain a presence there.

I’m a parent, and a carer, and I’m learning about my own neurodivergence along the way.

I’m a believer in the ripple effect, of what happens when we extend care and kindness to ourselves, to our earth, and to others.

I’m someone who can listen to the same song ten times in a row and still want more.

I’m someone who needs quiet, who finds the world too much sometimes, who can’t handle the sensory overload of perfume counters or the unexpected flashes of sunlight on certain summer days.

But I didn’t always have the words for all of these things. It took me a long time to connect to the radiance of my story.

 

You see, I spent a long time trying to insert myself into other people’s stories. To insert others into mine. Never realising when the fit was all wrong. Expecting the impossible of people, never recognising or stating my needs, then blaming other people, feeling resentment. Doing the same to myself, too.

I spent most of my 30s scowling out of windows at the world, wondering why everyone else could get by fine, could cope, could thrive. I made my world so tiny that I could barely be seen at all. I would sway between extremes, either all in or burnt out, unable to balance the scales day to day and unable to receive any help that was offered.

I spent most of 2020 feeling the most isolated, resentful, uncertain and exhausted I’d ever felt. Pushing through. Digging deep. Showing up for my family. Building resilience. Fighting my corner. And somewhere, in that liminal space, there came a turning point where I began to do things differently. I think it felt like I had nothing left to lose. Like if I didn’t try to connect with people now, somehow find a way to create wellbeing while honouring those things I couldn't control, then I would never be able to enter the world again.

I finally began to tell my story out loud, to care out loud.

And it opened up light. I didn’t even notice at first. Little moments of connection with like-minded souls. I kept sharing. And then more. More connections. More moments of light. I dipped my toes into a coaching programme but skirted around the edges. I told myself I was too busy to go all in. There were so many other important things that needed my attention. That it wasn’t for me anyway. They wouldn’t exactly miss me.

 

Story of my life, so far.

But the light kept inching its way in. I noticed that, in the places where I was the most vulnerable and the most myself, the light pooled the strongest.

Friends began to invite me to join them on courses. A few had discovered a love of dance. I made up reasons why none of this was for me.

I read every book about healing, trauma, identity, and neurodiversity that I could get my hands on, still thinking I could think my way to transformation.

I even co-created a book about anxiety and transformation. But, even as I so passionately believed in the words I was writing, about the power of nature and connection and community and gratitude and celebration to transform other people's lives, I still didn’t believe it could be part of my story.

I thought I was too in the thick of it, too shattered, too quiet, too committed to being who I’d become, too busy to ask for help in the quicksand.

 

And then, one day, something shifted. A loved one invited me to take part in a four-day course and I’d run out of reasons to say no. The following day, I found myself crying with relief among an online community of strangers. The sole purpose of the group was to gather in celebration, to go around each little square of faces, for each individual to take up space to celebrate anything and everything they wanted to share.

When my turn came around, I was just thankful to have made it here. To have finally got out of my own way. That’s what the relief was. If I’d waited for the circumstances to be perfect, it would never have happened. I was relieved to have finally made space for something new.

That four-day course cracked me open. I signed up for more, then more again. I finally realised that I couldn’t do this healing thing alone. That books would get my mind so far, but my body and soul needed to come along too.

I leaned in, I journaled, I said things out loud, I burned old stories, I listened. I was able to look at events in my life with compassion for the first time. And I started to show up. Properly show up in my life, not the one foot out the door, packed bag under the bed, slinking out before I get in too deep way I’d been living for years.

 

And, alongside noticing all the light that started to find its way into my life, refracting at weird angles in places I’d never thought to look before… I started paying attention to the radiance of my own story.

All those times I shared something that resonated with another person. That felt light, felt like light.

Many of my external circumstances stayed the same. There’s a fair amount that will never change and I hold space for it all. But my relationship to those circumstances has shifted. Reframe after reframe, I connected to how my story had brought me here, and to all the power I do hold over how I choose to respond each day and where I choose to focus.

I leaned into gratitude. I celebrated my resilience, saw that it had served me well, and then I welcomed softness. I danced, reluctantly at first, and then with joy. I sat with sadness. I held boundaries I’d never even felt able to set before.

I started to believe that all this good stuff was for people like me, too. 

When that person this week asked, “So what are you?”, they probably didn’t expect that answer. But I’m glad they asked.

See, here’s the thing. We each get to connect to the radiance of our own story – and to practice finding the best ways for us to let that radiance resonate each day. We get to write the next page, and I’m here to support you to fly when you’re ready to stop going it alone,

Nadia x

(she/ her)  

 

Portrait photographs by Anna at Studio Gently