Dream Big


This blog post is for you if you dream of a different life or a different career. If you dream of having more freedom and more time. If you’re sat in an office and you really want to be outside. If you’re commuting on a bus but really want to be walking along a beach. If you’re struggling along on a low income but want to live an abundant life.

I had a dream once, to be a journalist, to be paid to travel, report and write. My ultimate dream was to work for the global news agency Reuters or the BBC. I shared this dream with my tutor in my final year at Oxford University, shortly before I got a 2:1 degree in Modern Languages.

You know what she said?

Don’t bother, don’t try, or words to that effect. You won’t get into Reuters or the BBC, she advised. They won’t give you a second look. She said I should have been involved in journalism at Oxford, writing for student newspapers or working for student radio stations, instead of playing lacrosse, football, rowing and drinking beer. Without that experience, I could kiss goodbye to my dream, she told me.

She was probably right with her initial assessment. Reuters and the BBC were heavily over-subscribed. They were likely looking for students with journalism experience as well as for graduates who could speak more exotic languages than French and Spanish (Chinese and Arabic, for example). I don’t begrudge her for saying it how it was.

But where was her creativity? Where was her encouragement? And why didn’t she spot my creativity, determination, ambition and ability to make things happen, and encourage those qualities in me?

I remember feeling downhearted after that meeting. I felt even worse after a meeting with the careers’ advisory service. My adviser suggested that a career in insurance, perhaps based back in Liverpool, from where I’d come, would suit me.

Were these advisers terribly short-sighted or was I giving off unambitious vibes? It wouldn’t surprise me if I’d emanated a feeling of not being good enough or of not belonging or of wanting to run away and hide.

I didn’t feel good enough. I didn’t feel like I belonged among those dreaming spires, and I often wanted to run and hide. But beneath my insecurities, there was an incredibly capable and creative woman. I know that now.

I found my own way into Reuters, via the back door, so to speak. I picked up a rucksack, travelled alone to Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and the U.S., working at odd jobs as I went along, and then into Mexico, where I began working for English language newspapers in Mexico City, before landing a trainee and then correspondent role with Bloomberg and ultimately, a correspondent position with Reuters in Brazil. From there, I moved to London with Reuters and worked for six years in parliament.

I got in, my own way. Since then I’ve written for the national press and appeared on BBC TV and radio. In fact, this Monday December 11th, I’ll be speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour (on ambivalence about motherhood – I’ll come back to that in a moment). These are all institutions that seemed out of reach to me, and that were out of reach, if I’d listened to my Oxford tutor and that careers adviser.

As I write, I’m also reminded of the time I tried, with the help of a literary agent, to get a book published. On my behalf, she approached the biggest and brightest of the publishing world. I thought a book deal was in the bag. I could see my book (about the baby gap) in the window of Waterstones. But they all said no. Thanks but no thanks. Lovely writing, great topic, but not for us. All the doors closed.

I lost my confidence. The publishers were right and I was wrong, I decided. I was not a writer after all. I hoped my agent would help keep my spirits up. I hoped she’d reassure and encourage me. And I expected her to show some creativity, to guide me into publishing via different, less established routes. But my agent went quiet. In fact, she went AWOL for a while (I believe she was dealing with some personal issues). I hung on to her despite her absence, believing I didn’t have the right to fire my agent, believing I was so lucky to have one that I’d better endure being stood up at a cafe or not replied to by email. Just like I needed my tutor’s backing to apply for Reuters all those years earlier, I needed my agent and the big publishers to tell me I was OK and my book was worth publishing. Without their approval, I lost my way.

And then, earlier this year, I found my confidence, momentum and self-belief. I wrote a different book – How to Fall in Love – and published it myself. I finally believed in myself enough to put my work out there. I stopped waiting for others to give me permission. I went for it, like I’ve rarely gone for anything before.

That act of pure faith in myself, in my talents, in my craft was the start of some amazing things. I got engaged a week after publication for a start! My book got a plug in the Daily Mail and was featured in Psychologies magazine. I spoke on the radio. And now I’m on Woman’s Hour on Monday. Plus, I’ll be doing a talk in partnership with Psychologies on Feb 12th, as well a Facebook live on Psychologies’ page on Valentine’s Day (when I’m re-releasing my book).

So it’s been well worth believing in myself and publishing my book.

As my book dream became a reality, other dreams began to surface. I had an idea of running a retreat, of bringing women to the beautiful part of Dorset where I live, of leading them in guided meditation along the beach, of going in the sea with any crazy ladies who’d join me and of facilitating exercises that would help them open up, let go, understand themselves and others better, identify and remove blocks to love and feel more loveable. My first retreat was a success. My New Year retreat is Jan 12-14. In the spring, there’ll be longer retreats with activities like paddle boarding. And there’ll be retreats abroad with yoga and relaxation.

I remember when I first thought about running retreats. I was on a holistic holiday on the island of Skyros in Greece. I’d signed up to some group healing. I looked at the man who was leading the group. I want to be in your place, I thought. I want to be leading groups. And now I am.

So where do you want to be? Who do you want to be? What do you want to be doing? What dreams are you holding? Are you going for them or are you telling yourself you’re not good enough? Are you waiting for someone to approve of you, to tell you you’re worthy or to champion your work?

It’s time to start championing yourself.

If you’d like help doing this, I have two free live video workshops coming up. On Dec 19th, I’ll be leading a workshop called Letting Go, Moving Forwards – recognising the importance of clearing out the old to make space for the new. And then on Jan 4th, I’ll be leading a workshop called Create The Life & Love You Want In 2018, where we’ll be identifying our heart’s desires and creating a plan to go for them. I’d love you to join me.

Before then, tune in to Woman’s Hour tomorrow or on catch-up. The topic is ambivalence about motherhood, which is something that’s followed me around for a long time. In fact, ambivalence is one of my core traits, which you’ll know from my previous blogs (here’s one on ambivalence from 2013) and from my book. I come up against it in so many areas – my approach to having children (I’m 46 and don’t have any and probably won’t, although I still find it hard to say I definitely won’t, even at this age), my relationship (I had to choose to commit to my partner or I would have stayed on the fence for ever), my work, my approach to success, and many other areas. I’m looking forward to discussing it.

Here’s to dreaming big in 2018 x


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Anger turned inwards


Anger is on my mind, as you’ll know if you read my previous post, ROAR!

Why is it that when everything in me is screaming, ‘That’s not OK!‘, or ‘You’ve got to be kidding’, or ‘WTF!’ (excuse my French), I smile and say ‘That’s OK’, or ‘Don’t worry about it’, or ‘I understand’?

Why is it that when I know instinctively that someone else has crossed a line or is taking the mick, my first reaction is to assume that I’m in the wrong, that it’s my fault?

I’m not the only woman (or man) to do this, as evidenced in this courageous piece of writing for The Guardian by my former Westminster colleague Jane Merrick, who Sir Michael Fallon MP, ex-Secretary of State for Defence, tried to kiss. Had I led him on in some way? She asked.

I must have done something wrong. It must be me.

In my case, this impulse to blame myself and to exonerate everyone else goes way back.

When I was a little girl, I spoke my truth to an adult. I said what was on my heart, freely, without censorship. I pointed out something that I didn’t think was right, that I didn’t think should be happening, that was making me sad. I must have been seven or so.

In response, I was shouted at, dismissed, told I’d got it wrong and that I shouldn’t be so stupid to suggest such a thing. I won’t go into details as it involves someone else’s story too but it was a frightening moment for me.

As a young, sensitive child who was still at the stage where I depended on adults for everything, for my very survival, that altercation, that flash of conflict had a damaging effect. There were other situations too, but this memory is especially vivid.

In that moment, I decided I would never speak up again. I’d never speak my truth. I’d never call anything out that I thought was wrong. It wasn’t safe to do so. I’d be met with anger. I might not survive.

What’s perhaps more damaging is that I also decided that my instinct couldn’t be trusted. That my feelings were wrong. That my gut told lies. That whenever I felt that tap on the shoulder suggesting something wasn’t as it should be, it was most likely I was mistaken and everyone else was right. I should ignore it. Whatever feelings were coming to the surface, I should push them back down.

The same goes for anger. Back in that moment when I was told off, I had every right to be angry. But it wasn’t safe to express it. At least, it didn’t feel safe. I felt the other person’s anger and assumed, as the child in front of the all-powerful adult, that their anger was justified while mine had no place.

And as I became scared of everyone else’s anger, I also became scared of mine.

So I swallowed my anger and I’ve been swallowing it ever since.

In my case, the phrase swallow my anger is pretty literal. I developed an eating disorder from a very young age. I began by starving, which, if you think about it, is an attempt to become small, to become less visible, to shrink, as well as an attempt to find some form of control. But then, at a crucial moment in my teens, I began to binge. I ate on my feelings. In fact, I ate my feelings. I stuffed them down with bread and sugar. I smothered my anger with food and an extra layer of fat, which gave me another reason to dislike, dismiss and mistrust myself.

I don’t do that anymore. I am pretty much free of any food obsession or any desire to stuff my feelings down. Yes, there are times when I’m tired or anxious when a little bit of extra food seems attractive and sometimes I succumb, but that’s fine. It’s nothing like it used to be. I don’t worry about it.

Unsurprisingly, as I’ve put the food down, the feelings have come up. That’s what happens. That’s why alcoholics, when they put down the drink, find they have a food problem, or vice versa, or why former druggies get addicted to running marathons. For some of us, feelings are intolerable so we’ll do anything to avoid them, moving from one substance or compulsive behaviour to the next. We keep switching crutches until we run out of choices and have to face our feelings and process our pain.

Initially, in the early days of my personal development journey, I felt grief, so much grief and loss that it floored me. So much pain and so many tears I thought I’d sprung a leak. I thought they’d never stop.

Much of that is out now. Much of that pain has been released, although there are always new layers of the onion to peel off. As an aside, if you have feelings to feel or grief to process, find some support. The feelings are there and they’re going to come out, one way or another, so get yourself into a safe space so that you can feel them. They won’t kill you. I know, it sometimes feels like they will. Believe me, I’ve cried from such a depth that it was frightening. I’ve howled. But the feelings didn’t kill me, although I was always scared they would. I came out the other side. You can do the same. But it’s good if we don’t do it alone.

As I say, much of mine is out (I hope), but what’s left, what’s still there and just making it’s way out is the anger.


I remember my very first therapist in the UK (I briefly saw one in Brazil before moving back here in 2002) mentioned anger to me and I couldn’t understand what she was talking about, at least not how it related to me. I don’t get angry. I don’t have any anger.


I was in denial. I had stuffed it down, buried it inside, ignored it in whatever way I could.

I had turned it inwards – binge eating, binge drinking, a punishing exercise regime and an even more punishing work schedule. I had run from it, avoided it, distracted myself from it, and from all the other feelings I didn’t want to feel.

But I am finding my voice. And I’m finding my angry voice. I am connecting to my anger. I’m not about to explode or rage at people. My long journey of recovery has taught me to pause and reflect and to work through feelings before I take action or say something to the person who I feel deserves to hear from me.

But from now on, I’ll speak my truth, with integrity and dignity. From now on, I won’t assume you’re right and I’m wrong. I won’t ignore that feeling in my gut or that tap on the shoulder. I won’t stay quiet to avoid your anger or an adverse reaction.

I’ll speak up. I owe it to myself. I owe it to my present self, my past self and my future self. I owe it to other women and men. It won’t be perfect, but I’ll do my best.

As Melody Beattie writes in today’s entry in The Language of Letting Go:

“What do we want to do or say? What are our instincts telling us? Trust them – even if they don’t make sense or meet other people’s rules and expectations … We can convince ourselves that people-pleasing, going against our nature and not being honest, is the kind, honest thing to do! Not true. Simplify. Back to basics. Let go of the confusion. By honouring and respecting ourselves, we will be true to those around us, even if we displease them momentarily. To thine own self be true. Simple words describing a powerful task that can put us back on track.”

So how about you?

Are you in touch with your anger? Or where has your anger gone? Have you stuffed it inside with food or with too many glasses of wine? Have you run from it? Have you distracted from it by staying so busy that you don’t give yourself a second to feel or to think. Are you pleasing others, playing by the rules, not rocking the boat? Where is your anger?

Or do you have other feelings buried inside that you’re running from or hiding from? Grief, loss, pain, anxiety, loneliness, sadness? Are you able to find a safe way to express them?

If you want to join me on this journey to full self-expression, stay in touch. I am putting together some Women Who Roar workshops. I might even write another book (my first one is here). So subscribe to this blog or sign up on my mailing list: www.howtofallinlove.co.uk or www.katherinebaldwin.com.

Your anger is there for a reason. Don’t push it inside. Don’t turn it on yourself. You deserve so much better.


If you’d like more support to be real and live authentically, I have a free Facebook group, Being Real, Becoming Whole.

If you’re dating or looking for a relationship, I have an online membership community for a small monthly fee in which I coach and support women to find love. It’s called the Love Ladies Community.

I’m also running two retreats by the sea in Bournemouth – I have two spaces left for Nov 17th and plenty of room still on my Jan 12th retreat.

Finally, my How to Fall in Love course begins again for six weeks in January. As I mention above, watch out for Women Who Roar workshops in London very soon.



Posted in codependency, Eating disorders, Empowerment, Recovery, Relationships, Self-Acceptance, Women | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment



Something is stirring. I can’t quite explain it but it’s bubbling up inside. It’s anger. It’s a desire to break out and break free. It’s a fierceness. It’s my wild side. It’s the woman inside me who wants to ROAR (rather than squeak).

It’s hard to explain in words. I need something to punch, to wrestle. Or I need to yell and scream.

That reminds me. A few weeks ago, I did yell and scream. In the car on the way back from a morning sea swim. I won’t go into all the details but suffice it to say I felt ignored, dismissed, fobbed off. And I was angry. So I screamed. I screamed so loud in the car that my voice hurt and my ears began to ring. I wonder if anyone heard me outside.

My reaction was so violent that I must have been screaming about much more than that one incident. Remember my post from years ago, Hysterical? Could Be Historical. I must have tapped into much earlier, younger, deeper episodes of feeling ignored or dismissed and staying quiet about it, lodged deep in my subconscious.

I haven’t screamed since but it’s still there and I know it’ll come out again soon.

I have a wild side. I’ve always had a wild side. But I’ve been such a good girl. I’ve people-pleased. I’ve done as I was told. I’ve said what I thought you wanted me to say. I’ve stayed quiet. I most definitely haven’t roared.

Why? Because I felt scared? Scared of your anger. Scared of my own. Scared of the repercussions. Scared I’d get hurt. Scared I wouldn’t survive. That feeling goes way back. It’s visceral. It’s traumatic. It’s real. But I’m stronger now. I’ve survived. I will survive (cue Gloria Gaynor at very loud volume).

What does this wild woman inside look like? What does this mean for me and my work? What does this mean for the direction I want to go in?

I’m not sure but all I know is it’s not pink and pretty.

It’s gritty and real.

I just spent a day redesigning my website for my relationship coaching and life design to make it look pretty and alluring. But now I think I need to chuck it out and start again. I need to paint it black or dark grey and throw some stones in there, some grit. A few lions and tigers. Some fire. Who knows.

Going forward, maybe I’ll need to change the title of my How to Fall in Love retreats (2 spaces left for November, and January is now on sale!). Maybe I’ll be running Get Real Retreats. Or Roar Retreats. But even if I don’t change the name, we’re going to roar.

Because I’m not pink or ladylike, and I’m not a mouse. I’m wild. I’m loud.

I’ve broken free from loads of things over the years (from binge eating, from a job in which I felt caged, from dysfunctional relationships, from big, concrete jungles to the open expanses of the coast). I’ve shown so much courage.

But now I need more. To really speak my truth. To connect on a deep level with the women and men I’m supposed to be talking to and working with. To those who are caged or trapped in a prison of their own making. Who drink or drug or binge eat or starve or sleep around or compulsively run or work 18 hour days or who self-harm in other ways, all beneath a pretense of niceness, respectability, perfection and success. To the women and men who want to be real. Who want to unleash the lioness or lion within.

Too much? Too angry? Too aggressive? Not me?

Who knows. I can only write what’s on my heart. I can only say what’s real in this moment. That’s the beauty of this blog.

I feel it.

I write it.

I publish it.

I’m changing and evolving so fast. Last year, before I published my book, I recorded this interview with Nicola Humber as part of her Heal Your Inner Good Girl series (Nicola’s book is here). What I say in that podcast is still really relevant and very true. I tell my story – the eating disorder, the breakdown, the ‘Wow’ job that I quit and how I turned my life upside down. I share how hard it is sometimes to be authentic, to stay true to ourselves. And I use this great line: I didn’t have the courage to do that, until I did.

But I think I’d speak differently if that interview were today. I’d be angrier. I’d be wilder. It would be grittier. Less altogether. I might roar (a bit).

How about you? Where are you at with your wild woman or wild man within?

Do you squeak or do you roar or are you somewhere in between?

Are you pink and pretty or are you gritty and real?

Maybe we’re all a bit of both. Maybe I am. My dark and my light. After all, lions and tigers are beautiful but fierce at the same time. And I do love purple and lime green.

But she’s there. The wild woman is there.

And she wants to be heard.



Check out my pretty website (for the time being) here: www.howtofallinlove.co.uk for details of coaching, courses, retreats and more, or drop me a line: katherine@katherinebaldwin.com

Posted in Eating disorders, Empowerment, Love, Recovery, Relationships, Women, Work | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Our time is now

Last week, I sat in a clinic with my mum and wiped my tears away as the nurse diagnosed her with a form of dementia. It shouldn’t have come as a shock – her memory had been failing for a while – but there’s something about hearing a diagnosis from a medical professional that makes it very real and final and drives it home in a way you can no longer ignore.

Mum is 77, 31 years older than me. My Nana, her mum, got dementia too and it began in her 60s. What does this mean for me? That’s something I hope to explore in greater detail in a magazine article – is it hereditary; what do I need to do to protect myself and reduce my risk? But beyond the facts, figures, studies and expert opinion, it’s clear what it means for me: I need to get on and live.

clockMy time is now.

Our time is now.

I owe it to myself to make the most of my life and my current state of health, which, apart from some aches and pains, is pretty good. I’m very fortunate. I’m blessed.

I owe it to myself to fight for the life that I want, to follow my heart, to live my passion, to speak my truth, to stand up for myself, to have real conversations.

I owe it to myself to reduce my anxiety and stress levels, to lighten up, to laugh more.

I owe it to myself to do my utmost to turn this passion of mine for writing and for coaching women and men into healthy relationships and lives they love into an abundant business that’s deeply fulfilling and has a profound impact on others’ happiness and wellbeing.

Yes, we owe it to ourselves.

Don’t we?

I know it’s not all going to happen at once. I know that I might be fired up one day but feeling low on enthusiasm the next. I know there’s no magic bullet or quick fix. I know I’m on a journey.

But if I can make a choice every day to trust, to believe, to have faith in myself, in my work, in my future, in this glorious life that I’m creating, then I’m half-way there.

If I can speak up when my shame is telling me to be silent.

If I can speak my truth when my fear is telling me to hide.

If I can go big when my low self-esteem is telling me to play small.

If I can join in with others when my saboteur is telling me to isolate.

If I can fight for community and belonging when the voice inside is telling me I’d be safer on my own.

If I can be generous to others and to myself when my financial insecurity is telling me to hold on tight to everything I’ve got.

If I can let go and trust when I want to tighten my grip and control.

If I can cry when I want to stuff my tears down with food or numb my feelings by staying busy.

If I can believe there’s enough for everyone and celebrate others’ wealth and success rather than envy it and be scared to share my gifts.

If I can laugh often with friends and strangers.


One of those grey day swims

If I can go paddle boarding or sea swimming even when it’s cold and grey rather than stay home watching rubbish TV.

If I can be bold and brave.

If I can say sorry quickly and say I love you every day.

If I can do all that, then I’ll be giving life my best shot.

How about you? How are you going to make the most of your time?

Your time is now.


If you’d like to help me do the work I believe I’m meant to be doing and make an impact on others’ lives, it would be wonderful if you could share news of my upcoming How to Fall in Love retreats in Dorset with any single women who might be interested. And if 2018 is your year to find love, come and join us.

Retreat10My November 17-19 retreat is almost full but I still have a few rooms left. My January 12-14 retreat is now open for bookings. Both are great value.

I’m also opening up my membership community of Love Ladies again on Nov 1st so if you’re ready to find a relationship and would like to explore dating as part of a supportive community of like-minded women, come and join us. The fee is £16/month. We have group coaching calls and an active Facebook group with lots of video and written content on topics like wellbeing, intimacy, body image, fear versus instinct etc.

For a flavour of my work, read some more of this blog or check out my book: How to Fall in Love – A 10-Step Journey to the Heart. Please leave a review if you read it and have a moment. Reviews make a big difference.

Finally, my free Facebook community is here: Being Real, Becoming Whole.

Posted in Dating, Faith, Happiness, Love, Recovery, Relationships, Self-Acceptance, Trust, Women | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How to stop emotional eating


Weight. Body image. Self-esteem.

These are issues that come up quite regularly in my work as a dating and relationships coach.

Or perhaps I tune in to them more than to other issues, because I’m a recovering compulsive overeater. For many years, through my teens, twenties and early thirties, binge eating and comfort eating inflated my body and deflated my confidence.

The way I felt about my body affected my interactions with men and potential partners.

Throughout university, I barely had a boyfriend because I felt fat. I was a few stone heavier than I am now and I disliked myself profoundly, although you wouldn’t have known it. I hid it well.

The first thing I did on the morning of my finals exams was to weigh myself. The number on the scales dictated how I felt about myself that day.

It took until my early thirties for me to come out of denial about emotional overeating and to find help. Today, I’m largely free of obsession around food and body image. I eat healthily most of the time and I’m pretty happy with my body. Just like Kate Winslet, I don’t weigh myself anymore.

My eating isn’t perfect, whatever that means. I still eat on my emotions at times – on sadness, tiredness or anxiety. A few biscuits, a bit of cereal, extra chocolate or toast. But I’m aware that I’m doing it. My eating doesn’t spiral out of control like it used to. And I forgive myself quickly and move on. I don’t carry around bags of shame.

I believe I had to make peace with my body and develop a healthy relationship with food and eating in order to find love. My excess weight, in the past, acted as a barrier to men. They may have found me attractive but I didn’t feel worthy or good enough. And I had so much shame that I didn’t want anyone to come near me. I didn’t want to take my clothes off.

Your story may not be quite so extreme, but I wonder if your relationship with food and your body is affecting your relationship with others. Is it affecting your dating? Is it keeping you single? Or is it keeping you emotionally distant in your relationship?

This morning, I felt inspired to record this video: How to stop emotional overeating. I wanted to share some of my journey with food and body image, and how I’d managed to put an end to my emotional eating. In it, I share how I’ve learned to soothe myself in healthy ways rather than with excess food, or alcohol or male attention or work, for that matter.

The video is half-an-hour long so you’ll need a bit of time. I hope you find it useful. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

If you’d like any support on this issue, or would like to know more about how I developed a healthy relationship with food, do get in touch. I’d love to help.


A reminder that I’m hosting my first How to Fall in Love retreat in Dorset, Nov 17-19. Click here for more information. Rooms are selling fast. Four spaces left.

I’ve recently launched my membership community for single women looking for a healthy and loving relationship. Find out more about the Love Ladies Community here.

Come and join my free Facebook community: Being Real, Becoming Whole.

To buy my book, How to Fall in Love, click here.

Posted in Body Image, Eating disorders, Love, Relationships, Self-Acceptance, Women | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When you follow your heart

ChangeI was interviewed this morning on BBC Radio Solent’s Breakfast in Dorset programme about my love coaching work, my book and my upcoming love retreat.

The interview was over in a flash. In fact, I felt a bit deflated as I left the studio. Had I managed to say anything worthwhile in such a short space of time?

But then I listened back to the recording, which host Steve Harris kindly sent me, and I heard it.

I heard it in my voice.

I heard the excitement and the passion.

I heard the authenticity.

I heard, loud and clear, that I absolutely believe in what I’m doing and in what I have to offer others in this area of love, dating and relationships.

I heard my truth.

I heard my energy and enthusiasm for this life I’ve created and this work that I do – for the joy of being able to spend my Monday morning driving through the New Forest, speaking on the radio about my love coaching and my book, then driving back to the beach for a sunny walk.

If you’d like to hear it too, click here for the radio interview.

During our brief discussion this morning, Steve and I agreed that when we’re true to ourselves and when we find happiness inside, or as much happiness as possible, love and relationship often follow. We’re more open and more attractive.

For me, moving to the seaside, committing to my creativity by writing my book, and doing my love and life design coaching – these are all acts of self-love and self-belief. They are all examples of me listening to my heart and following it. They are steps that have hugely contributed to my happiness and wellbeing. They have filled me up from the inside. They have given me purpose.

It’s not surpising, then, that my partner proposed just after I finished my book and at the end of my first How to Fall in Love course.

I had found myself. I had found my joy. I was living my dreams. I was all fired up. My light was shining bright.

And as I write this, I feel excited. I feel excited for what’s to come.

As much as I can give myself a hard time for not doing enough or achieving enough (don’t you hate that side of us that always does that?), I have come so far this year and it’s only October.

I have written and published a wonderful book, for which I’ve received some wonderful reviews, some from people I’d never met before. I’ve run a number of How to Fall in Love courses, also to lovely reviews. A small group of women have stayed working with me since doing my love course in January. January! That’s nine months. I’d have never had the courage back in January to suggest people work with me for nine months, but these special women have, and I feel so grateful for their belief and trust in me and so excited to watch their lives unfold as they go after their dreams.

I have got engaged. Big deal! Very big deal.

I’ve had my relationship story and my book featured in the Daily Mail, my love story featured in Red magazine and I’ve been on BBC Radio four times (BBC Radio Solent three times and BBC 5Live). Some more wonderful media is just around the corner.

And today I’m super excited because I’ve just launched my community of Love Ladies, a supportive space where like-minded women can evolve and grow as they create wonderful lives for themselves and move forwards on their journey to love and relationship. Plus, places on my imminent seaside retreat in November are filling up. I can’t tell you how excited I am about that. Running retreats is one of my big dreams and here I am, running a retreat! If either the community or the retreat appeals, do get in touch (katherine@katherinebaldwin.com). I’d love you to join us.

Yes, today I’m excited. I’m in a good mood. I’m upbeat.

I know I won’t feel like this everyday. It’s not in my nature and that’s not real life. But when setbacks come or when I feel downbeat, I can look back at this blog and at this year and remember that wonderful things happen when I follow my heart, stay true to myself and trust myself. Wonderful things happen when I face my fears and do it anyway. When I embrace change.

I read another quote that really spoke to me:

Don’t fear failure.

Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.

I can safely say that this October I am nowhere near where I was last October. Hurrah!

I hope you can say the same if change is something you’d like to see in your life. And if you can’t, I hope you can commit to change today, in this moment, to whatever small or big change you feel able and equipped to make.

Don’t fear failure. Fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today.

Posted in Faith, Love, Recovery, Women | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Faith over fear

Faith over fear.

Trust over terror.

Or trust over turmoil.

Or trust over tears.

What would it feel like to believe the world is a benevolent place? To trust that everything is working out for the best and will continue to do so? To have faith that it’ll all be OK, rather than to live in fear that it won’t?

How would it feel to let go of our tight grip? To let go of control? To stop trying to force the world to turn in the direction we want it to? To stop trying to manage every last detail of our lives so that we can stay “safe”, or at least feel safe?

How would it feel to look on the bright side rather than the dark side? To always see the glass as more than fall, rather than close to empty? How would it feel to do as we please, to break the “rules”, to feel free?

I asked myself these questions this morning as I swam in the sea, on the first day back from a 10-day holiday in Portugal. Because this morning, I made a decision to trust. To have faith. To relinquish control.

I chose to walk on the beach and swim in the sea – my way of connecting to my soul, spirit, intuition and to God – rather than sit down at my desk first thing to make up for all that time I’d been away. I chose to keep my phone off until after my swim rather than check my email first thing. I chose to believe I had time to invest in my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, even though I’d been away for 10 days, even though my holiday had finished, even though it was time to get back to work.

It wasn’t easy.

My fretful, anxious self who has a tendency to imagine disaster, catastrophe and crisis around every corner wanted to take over. She wanted to sit down to work first thing. She wanted to don her firefighter’s outfit and start putting out fires, most or all of them imagined. She wanted to take control, start micro-managing, start building a wall around herself to feel “safe”.

But I didn’t succumb to the lure of anxiety and adrenaline (a familiar and therefore comforting place for me to be, but one I’m trying to resist). I chose to try to maintain some of the peace, ease and trust I’d found on holiday.

Because this holiday taught me to trust from the very first day.

I was anxious about going away, and for 10 whole days. I was anxious about the money I’d spend and the money I wouldn’t earn over that period. I was anxious about the hole it would leave in my finances. I was anxious about letting go of work for that period. I was anxious about taking a break from promoting my book, my upcoming love retreat (more about that in a moment), my next How to Fall in Love course, my new membership community for single women who would like to be in a relationship, and my next PR workshop. I was worried about taking a 10-day break from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. What would I miss? Would I be missed? (I sigh. It’s been so nice to be away from social media for that time. Such a relief.)

In short, I didn’t think I deserved a break. I didn’t think I’d earned it. I didn’t think I could afford it. I didn’t think my various businesses would survive for 10 days without me pushing and promoting and striving and trying and trying and always trying.


Sagres, Portugal

But some wonderful things happened in my work life while I was away sunbathing, surfing, paddle boarding and eating lots of Portuguese food, and it began as I got ready to leave.

I was offered a day’s PR and media consulting work, someone emailed to enquire about my PR coaching, I got paid for my Daily Mail article, I took a booking for my love retreat and one of my favourite magazines emailed to say they would be featuring my book as part of a spread on love in the next few months (which I’m terribly excited about).

So I didn’t need to push and strive and struggle and try. I didn’t need to control every last detail or micro-manage. I didn’t need to sit at my desk with my shoulders hunched and my brow furrowed, trying to work it all out, trying to find the answers, trying to make things happen.

And as I gave myself what I needed, my work took care of itself, in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Money came in. Opportunities found their way into my inbox. People put their trust in me. My books sold.

Faith over fear. Trust over terror.

Are you someone who holds on tightly to life? Who feels they need to control every tiny detail? Who can’t let go in case it all goes wrong? Are you someone who finds a feeling of safety from being in control? Are you someone who lives in fear and mistrust? Do you feel like you need to build a fortress around yourself to stay “safe” – perhaps a fortress of money or wealth, a job that’s secure but that puts your soul to sleep (I’ve been there), or a rigid routine? Do you fear change? Do you fear what will happen if you let go?

If you answer yes to these questions, I know how you feel. I know how hard it is to let go, to trust, to believe we’ll be safe if we stop trying to manage everything, to trust that things will work out OK. I also know how amazing it feels when I trust just a little bit or let go of control or release my grip just slightly and things flow.

It feels like I’m gliding through life rather than trudging through life. It feels like I’m swimming in a still sea rather than wading through treacle.

I feel lighter, more free, like I’m flying almost.


Happy on holiday

I know the world isn’t always a benevolent place. And I know we have to put in the effort to make some things happen (I had been bugging that magazine about my book for months). But it’s also good to let go sometimes, to allow ourselves moments of peace, to experience that sensation of flying. To swim rather than trudge. To relax rather than struggle. To kick back rather than strive. To smile. To trust. To have faith.

As I got back from my swim this morning, I picked up my book of daily meditative readings, The Language of Letting Go, by Melody Beattie. I knew I’d find something in today’s reading that would speak to me and that would chime with this notion of faith and trust that had formulated on the beach. Sure enough, I found what I was looking for.

“You do not have to work so hard at protecting yourself. You can relax and enjoy life, trusting that you are safe. Go without fear, for you are wrapped in love and protection,” today’s reading said.

If you’d like to have a go at swimming rather than trudging, why not join me for my self-love by the sea retreat in Dorset on the weekend of Nov 17-19?

The decision to host this retreat has taken a lot of trust and faith but I believe in myself, in what I have to offer, in the magic I know I can create amongst a group of like-minded women, and in the power of the sea, the beach, nature, fresh air, long walks, laughter and peace to heal, to restore, to refresh, to offer a new perspective, and to reconnect us to who we were always meant to be. Do get in touch if you’re interested in joining us.

For a flavour of my approach, check out this short video recorded at The Summer of Change Festival at the Canvas Cafe in London in August, where I was leading a workshop on How to Fall in Love. Click here to watch the interview, which was aired on the British talk show, A Different Kind of Woman.

I’ll also be speaking about my book and my approach to falling in love on Talk Radio Europe at 1:25 pm today. The link is here if you’d like to listen.

So it’s my first day back at work and I have a lot to do, not least my radio interview, but it’s wonderful to begin with a swim and then a blog. It’s wonderful to invest time in connecting to myself and in writing from the heart.

Faith over fear.

Trust over terror and tears.

Posted in Faith, Fun, Happiness, Love, Positive thinking, Spirituality, Women | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments