Category Archives: Happiness

What the **** is a Life Enhancement Coach?

A Life Enhancement Coach can support you to take inspired action to reach your goals.   But what’s more, a Coach can also support you in becoming more conscious, mindful and grateful, empowering you in the process.

A Vision

Have you ever had a dream or a vision for your life?   You start to dream big and envisage the way it will unfold. But there is something holding you back?   Maybe you experience a hiccup or minor set-back and you stop dead in your tracks?   Why?  Because you begin to invest in fear………… doubt yourself…………, second guess yourself…………… question your worthiness to have what you desire…… or  you begin to listen to the naysayers.

A Secret

Sometimes, this vision is something so precious to you, that you dare not share it with anyone, for the fear of  it being dismissed or worse still ridiculed.  It then becomes your little secret, tucked away safe from the world.

But what if your dream could be explored, or even better still, have the opportunity to be realised?  

Winds of Change

Sometimes, people engage a Coach, because the winds of change have swept through and their life no longer resembles the one with which they were so familiar.  Change can bring about the greatest challenges and your deepest fears.     This is where a Life Coach, or as I prefer, a Life Enhancement Coach can offer you genuine but objective support.  It means that you don’t have to go it alone.  A Coach can help you charter a course through unfamiliar waters.

What a Life Coach is not…….

A Life Coach is not a Psychotherapist or a Counsellor.  Therapy can often focus on past trauma and issues.  Often  with therapy,  the starting point and focus is on the why.

What a Life Coach is……

When it comes to coaching, the focus is more on the how.  A Coach can support and guide you in moving from your current reality to your desired future reality.  In the process, you clarify goals,  identify and work through any obstacles or sabotage that can hold you back.  These obstacles and sabotage can come in many forms.  Fear, confusion, doubt, limiting beliefs and overwhelm are some prime examples.


Goals don’t necessarily relate to success and achievement in the traditional sense – certainly not as we have come to perceive them in the western world. Sometimes, what you might be reaching for……….. is a sense of greater well-being and a better relationship with yourself.  There is no greater success than self-acceptance and  inner peace.

Or perhaps it is a bad habit or a recurring limiting belief that you choose to work through and overcome. It is all part of becoming the best version of yourself.

As you work on the inner world, the outer world will follow suit.

Do Coaches use coaching services?

Yes, I believe so.  I certainly do.  Friends and family can offer so much support, but sometimes you need more.  This could be objectivity and accountability that those closest to you can’t always offer. As a Coach, has said to me,   “You don’t go to a hardware for milk.”

What can you expect from me, as a Life Enhancement Coach? 

Generally, when it comes to life coaching, I make the following assumptions, based on the work by Cherie Carter Scott, Ph. D, who founded the first coach training programme back in the 1970’s.

  The first assumption is that as a client you have the answers to your challenges. 

The second assumption is that as a client, you possess the personal power to make these answers a reality.

The third assumption is that as a client, you can have your visions, dreams or goals become a reality.

How is a Coaching Session Conducted?

Coaching sessions can be conducted face and face however, many sessions are actually conducted by phone or Skype for example.  There have actually been studies undertaken that concluded that non-face to face coaching is highly effective, if not more effective than face to face coaching.

What should you look for in a Coach?

If you are looking to engage the services of a Coach you are making a commitment to yourself.   There is an awareness that you are now ready to take this step, so finding the right Coach to work with is very important.

A professional Coach will be committed to you as a client.  When it comes to communication, your Coach should ask about your vision or ideal outcome.  Your Coach will ask open ended questions, pick up on clues, recap at least once per session. The Coach will acknowledge when there is confusion and work with you to clarify this. There will be an awareness and understanding of your needs during your session.  Your Coach will be able to empathise with you and will be non-judgemental at all times.  Objectivity will be apparent, yet your Coach will have a genuine interest in you.   You will feel supported, but not directed by your Coach as your Coach will believe in your abilities.  You will leave each coaching session with a plan.

Discovery Session

As a Life Enhancement Coach, I recommend and offer a Discovery Session.  This is an initial  ‘getting to know you’ coaching session.  My Discovery Sessions flow more or less as a regular coaching session, based on the principles as outlined above.

A Discovery Session enables you to, firstly sample a coaching session with me.  Secondly, this session is to determine if we would be a great coaching ‘fit’, which is so important,  should you wish to continue with coaching.    The session allows me to get a feel for how I might best support you and it offers you the opportunity to gain some clarity.

From July, 2017, I have opened up times on Thursdays and Fridays, for Discovery Sessions. Discovery Sessions run for 45 – 60 minutes.  These sessions will be offered via phone or Skype.   For the months of July,  August and September, 2017, the cost is $70.00 AUD. For initial enquiries, please contact me, via email at  I will then send you a link to book an appointment.


In The Spirit of Abundance – A book to inspire, empower and support.



About the Book

In 2013, I had the opportunity and privilege to take part in a book entitled, In the Spirit of Abundance.  The sole theme of the book obviously is that of abundance.  One theme, perhaps, but abundance can mean different things to different people at different times in their lives. Abundance can show up as  freedom, wealth, good health, opportunities, doing fulfilling work and so much more.  This diversity is so clearly depicted in this book.

As Sandy Forster states, in the foreword of this book, “abundance can be defined in many different ways.  If you were to ask a thousand people what their definition of abundance is, you would (sic) a thousand very diverse answers, each of them with their own definition of what abundance means to them”.

This book for me is both positive and uplifting. We all face challenges at some point or another and there are times when these challenges seem insurmountable. If you are in this place, you can take comfort in knowing you are not alone.  Others have gone before you and have come through to the other side, and while it can seem hard to believe, they are actually stronger and so much greater for having had the experience. This is what this book is all about. The personal stories shared, offer hope. 

Best-selling Authors

As well as the personal recounts, there are contributions made by several best-selling authors to the book.  Sandy Forster, who compiled the stories is one such best-selling author.  Sandy’s journey took her from living on welfare, with two small children, to becoming a millionaire and a best-selling author.

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen make a contribution to the book, with a chapter based on habits and how they really work.  Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen are best-selling authors and probably best known for their hugely successful Chicken Soup for the Soul, series of books.

Brian Tracy is another best-selling author, having written over 70 books including, ‘Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time’.  He is also a global leader in self-development.  His contribution to the book is on the topics of changing your thinking and on the importance of being an optimist at all times.

Arielle Ford is yet another best-selling author who has written 8 books.  Her latest book, ‘Turn Your Mate into Your Soulmate:  A Practical Guide to Happily Ever After’, is due for release in late December, 2015.  Arielle’s chapter featured in this book, is about finding a soul mate/life partner.  She outlines the top 10 things to do and to remember to attract a soul mate into your life – no matter your age.

My Experience

Being part of this book brought up so many feelings. It brought up fear in ways I couldn’t have imagined.  My mind went into overdrive.  Was I ready to share anything about myself in such a public way?  It brought up feelings around worthiness. Who was I to be in this book?  I am no-one special  This sort of experience happens to women every day – how will my story make a difference?

In the end, I went with my gut feeling which told me to go ahead.  I stepped out of my comfort zone.  I felt the fear, but decided to contribute to the book despite that fear.

Once I began to put together my chapter I wondered how I could get my story across in a mere 1200 words? I had built up a life of which I felt certain, over the course of almost 20 years. Now it had been completely dismantled.  There were so many layers, so many feelings, and so many words.    How could I possibly condense that into 1200 words?  I would need that number, just for the introduction.  But I did it. I got the words down onto paper. I just went with it.  It was actually a cleansing experience.

When the book was published, the fears arose all over again.  I wondered if my contribution was good enough?  In my mind, the other co-authors had more to offer.  They had come through the storm and found success.   I, on the other hand, had managed to find abundance in the form of courage and strength to let go, but my success or what I defined as success was still a work in progress.  

I think the greatest concern for me when the book was published was that I wanted to protect those I loved.  I didn’t want to cause embarrassment or any hurt – not that there was anything damaging in my words.  But there had been enough hurt.  As it turned out, my ex-husband had been involved in affairs during the course of our marriage.  Along with the affairs, came a web of lies, deception and betrayal. Nothing good can come from living a life in that way and nothing did.  The exceptions were the lessons that it brought and the wonderful children that came from the marriage.

Now is the time.   I have walked a fine line between speaking my truth and protecting those I love. My children are now young adults.   It is time for me.  It’s time to take ownership of my story – without shaming or blaming.   As Brene Brown states, “you either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”  I choose to walk inside my story.

Information on ‘In the Spirit of Abundance’ can be found on my website,  You can purchase the book, for AUD $15.95 (plus postage) at my Etsy store.  Here is the link

Clare Lavender is a Mother, Creative Entrepreneur, a Mosaic Artist, an Accredited Life Coach, a Licensee and Facilitator of The Desire Map Workshops (by Danielle LaPorte) and a facilitator of Mosaic workshops.

(This means that I facilitate, create, and deliver one-on-one personal development, life coaching programmes and art therapy workshops for women. I am also pleased to have created my own ‘Daring, Divorced and Divine’ coaching programme for women aimed at inspiring, empowering and supporting women to move on to greater well-being following divorce).

If you are interested in any further information, working with me one on one or joining a workshop please contact Clare at or visit



It All Starts With Your Mind

It All Starts With Your MindChange your thoughts and change your life.  It’s more than just a platitude.

I have noticed that when I talk of the work I am doing, which involves life coaching and facilitating ‘The Desire Map’ workshops,  that I occasionally get the odd look. Don’t get me wrong, there are many who embrace this work and get a great deal from it, but every now and again there is some resistance. I get it. I have to remember that there was a time, a few years back, when I might have reacted in the same way.

Breaking It Down
When I look at it, much of the work covered in the workshops, is really breaking things down to their most simplistic form. It’s an opportunity to strip back many of the superficial layers and to get back to what matters most. It is also an opportunity to explore and examine thoughts and feelings in the key areas of your life, to reveal what you truly desire. Sometimes you can lose sight of your hopes or dreams or sometimes you stray too far from who you truly are.

I know personally, whenever I have strayed too far from who I am, who I really truly am, I become quite miserable. When I am saying, doing or behaving in a way that really is not who I am, to conform or fit in, then I am basically betraying myself. I pay for that in a big way and the cost is my happiness.

New Research
What is so exciting about the work I am doing is the new research and information that is becoming available.  In a world that is constantly changing, at a rapid rate, it is so easy to feel at the mercy of external circumstances and events. Much of what I am discovering is that you have so many inner resources and that so much of it starts with your mind and the way you think.  This can have an enormous impact on your general well-being and every aspect of your life.

Many breakthroughs through research and new levels of understanding have occurred in the past decade or so. If I can embrace this new information, to get more out of life, then I am all for it. I like to bring some of this information to my workshops and so I touch on the following three areas.  These are neuroplasticity, epigenetics and the relationship between gratitude and joy.

In the late 1990’s, there was a landmark study which revealed that the human brain is malleable. This is referred to as neuroplasticity. This finding was a significant advancement in the field of neuroscience because prior to the 1990’s study, the human brain was believed to be pretty much hardwired and rigid. What you were born with, you were stuck with. It was thought that you were born with a certain number of brain cells, you lost a few of them each and every day and they were never to be replaced.

The new groundbreaking findings revealed that the brain was not only able to produce new brain cells, replacing the lost cells but in being malleable, it was able to transform itself. This transformation occurs in the brain’s structure, function and connections and is in response to internal and external stimuli. This stimuli includes your thoughts and beliefs.

So what does this mean for you? In her book, ‘Sane New World – Taming the Mind’, Ruby Wax explains that, “you can change your mind and how you think. When your mind changes, your brain changes and because our brains are so malleable, the sky’s the limit”.

Ruby Wax, a writer and a  comedian, has dealt with depression most of her adult life. She has experienced some very challenging times with this mental illness.  It has resulted in her being hospitalised when she has been particularly unwell.

Initially, Wax began doing her own research and investigation and then went on to gain a masters in mindfulness and a degree in psychotherapy. The knowledge she has acquired helps her manage her illness and she shares this information with others. She is now an active mental health campaigner.

From reading ‘Sane New World – Taming the Mind’, I gained an understanding of the way in which the brain works and the way in which neuroplasticity works. Her book is a great read and there are many practical exercises on living more mindfully.  There is also so much humour in her style of writing, you might find yourself laughing out loud often.

Another recent advancement in science is in the area of epigenetics. Bruce Lipton, in his book, ‘The Biology of Belief’, states that this new science “literally means ‘control above the genes’”. What this means is that, “the activity of our genes is constantly being modified in response to life experiences”, as Lipton explains it.  Your environment, diet, behaviour, beliefs and thoughts can all affect your genes and the way in which they are expressed.  In the past it was believed that we were at the mercy of our genes.  According to Lipton, that is not the case and that “we are not victims of our genes, but masters of our fates, able to create lives overflowing with peace, happiness and love”.

In ‘The Desire Map’ workshops I facilitate, there is a component of the course which concentrates on gratitude.  It’s basically where you take stock of where you are at and you examine what is working and what is not.

Brene Brown is a Research Professor. whose extensive research has resulted in her becoming a thought leader in the areas of vulnerability, courage, worthiness and shame.

In her book, ‘The Gifts of Imperfection’, she devotes a chapter in the book to Cultivating Gratitude and Joy. Brown makes the point that, “one of the most profound changes in my life happened when I got my head around the relationship between gratitude and joy”. Her research findings on joy revealed that those people who actively practiced gratitude “described themselves as joyful”. It was so much more that just an attitude. Those people “attributed their joyfulness to their gratitude practice”. The practice of gratitude included such things as maintaining gratitude journals or taking time out to do daily gratitude meditations.

So, it all starts in the mind.  If you ever hear the expression “change your thoughts and change your life” there is actually some scientific and factual evidence now to support the statement. The statement is more than just a platitude.

If you would like to learn any more about the workshops or coaching I offer, visit

Clare Lavender is a Mother, Creative Entrepreneur, Mentor, Accredited Life Coach and Mosaic Artist who will be hosting the Level 1 Desire Map workshop at the Creative Fringe. For further information about the workshops, contact Clare at or you can visit



Goal Setting – Getting to the Heart of the Matter

Woman happy for blog postDesire! Deep wanton, luscious desire! You know you’ve felt it.

The experience of desire can be so intoxicating, it’s hard to forget.

And it’s at the very heart of goal setting.

Sweet, Sweet Desire
It starts out as an inspirational thought or an idea. Then you really begin to feel in it your heart and then in your whole being. You know you desire it so much, now how do you get that which you desire……

Well, it all works pretty simply really. You desire something. You say to yourself, “I will get/achieve that thing. I’ll work towards manifesting that thing by such and such a date”. Before you know it you’ve set yourself a goal.

Next comes the how to get it. The more difficult part. So, you develop a plan. You make the endless ‘To Do Lists’, so that absolutely nothing stands between you and your goal. You are on a mission.

You know you’ve got this covered and you know that once you get there, you are going to be feeling so contented, so satisfied and oh so fulfilled! It will come and all of those feelings will come with it, just as soon as you achieve your goal. If you haven’t experienced those feelings consistently before, not to worry, because you are so certain that when you get that goal those feelings are there for you. You are so going to be sitting pretty.

The Desired
So what do you desire? It could be any number of things, but it might be one of the following on your list. You desire that future ideal life partner, the perfect relationship maybe with the perfect children, all in just the perfect timing. It might be the more material desires you start off chasing. Maybe it’s that car. You know the one, the one that just hugs those corners and has the luscious interiors. It’s the ideal home, of course. While you’re at it, how about that fantastic career or that highly successful business. You know the one. It will give you all that time to enjoy life as well as complete financial freedom.

The Reality
It’s all so perfect. It certainly all looks so good on paper. When it all works out it is absolutely fantastic. Right? It’s what everyone desires, isn’t it? It should be what I want, right? It’s what I am being sold through the media, so it must be what I want? Everyone else is doing it, why can’t I? I want to make my mother/father/spouse proud, so I want to prove myself? Isn’t this the way? But why has life thrown me a curve ball? This wasn’t the way it looked like from back there. If only life would conform? If only he or she would do this, then everything would be better? It sort of works for me but something is missing? Why doesn’t life always feel the way it should?

And it continues and you begin to notice little things, like, I’ve bought the top of the range ‘King Koil’ bed, so why am I not waking up, every morning, with that ‘Sealy’ posturepedic feeling. Instead, I seem to get tension headaches more often these days. I have that neck and shoulder pain again. I seem to have these niggly aches and pains which I can’t seem to put my finger on. Maybe it’s that knot in the pit of your stomach that you notice more often, especially on your way to the office. It’s that cough or cold that just seems to linger and you just can’t seem to shake. It’s the return of that damn IBS again. This is the start of the wake-up call.

The Problem
When life is working out the way you had hoped, planned and dreamed, it is fantastic. There is probably no need to question your approach to planning and goal setting, whatsoever. You can ride out the small challenges and get through them intact and almost unscathed. But what happens when you face one of life’s bigger challenges? What if the tried and tested approach to goal setting isn’t working anymore? Then maybe it’s time for a reality check.

The reality is that relationships can take work, a lot of work. The car is great but it comes with a price. You have to do extra billable hours to make the monthly repayments and the hefty residual payment is coming up soon. The home is an absolute dream to live in, if only you weren’t working so much, so that you could actually enjoy more time living in it.

When it comes to your professional life, you made your career choice in your late teens and early twenties and it doesn’t seem to be quite living up to your expectations.  Now what do you do?

The business has seen you move forward in leaps and bounds but, there have been more challenges than victories, lately.  This has left you feeling tired, jaded and frustrated. You want to shake things up a bit. You want to feel more of the passion you felt in the beginning. You just seem to be lacking the clarity and focus. But what now? You are at a cross-roads? Which way is forward?

Taking A Different Approach
When the tried and tested methods you have used no longer seem to meet your needs then, it can be time to try a different approach.

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
Albert Einstein

 ‘The Desire Map’, a book by Danielle LaPorte takes a different approach to goal setting. It basically turns the way that you approach goals on its’ head. ‘The Desire Map’ takes the view that you are actually chasing the feeling the goal will bring you, rather than the goal itself. According to Danielle, if you were to get clearer about how you wanted to feel, not just when you reach the goal but also on the journey towards the goal, you could gain so much. For a start you would have greater inner clarity and from there take much more effective outer action.  You would also set your intentions based on the way you want to feel along every step of the way, rather than deferring the ‘good’ feelings until the end. In taking this approach you also know what immediately to say ‘hell yes ‘and ‘hell no’ to, as options arise.  You more or less use this approach as your internal GPS.

You may be someone who is normally very much in tune with your own knowing, intuition or gut feeling. However, there come times of overwhelm, turmoil and upheaval when it is difficult to tune into this inner guidance. I found ‘The Desire Map’ to be a very useful tool, during these times. I know that many other women have used it in a similar way. Using ‘The Desire Map’ as a tool and a practice, I believe, has been part of its’ success.

‘The Desire Map’s’ success came upon its’ immediate release, with more than 40,000 books being shipped in the first month and more than 500 Book Clubs forming internationally. Now, since early 2015, there is workshop based on ‘The Desire Map’, happening somewhere in the world each and every weekend.

I am one of a small number of Licensed Facilitators of ‘The Desire Map’ within Australia. I offer both Levels 1 and 2 of ‘The Desire Map’. The ‘Desire Map’ approach has been a perfect fit with my Life Coaching training and experience. I combine ‘The Desire Map’ and Life Coaching when presenting my ‘Life Design 101 featuring The Desire Map’ workshops. I am also taking on a more creative approach in the near future, combining mosaics with some of ‘The Desire Map’ workshops. I have a desire to bring this work and these workshops to the Blue Mountains and Greater Western Sydney area.

The next Level 1 workshop is on at The Creative Fringe, Unit 6, 51 York Road, Penrith on Sunday, 26th July, 2015, between 9-30 am and 5-00 pm.  If you are looking for a fresh approach towards goal setting, whether personally or professionally, you might like to learn more. For further information about the workshops, contact Clare at

Clare Lavender is a Mother, Creative Entrepreneur, Mentor, Accredited Life Coach and Mosaic Artist. She is the Director of Coaching-I-Am. Clare lives in Sydney, Australia. For further information you can visit or email Clare at You can write to Clare C/- Coaching-I-Am, PO Box 123, Blaxland NSW 2774.






The Painted Picture

Welcome to my inaugural blog post!

It has been quite a journey to get to this point with many twists and turns along the way.  Life sometimes has a way of throwing you in at the deep end and that has certainly been the case for me.  I have been on an enormous learning curve in so many ways, the least of which has been coming to grips with social media.  I still have a way to go but I am certainly enjoying the ride.

After some major unexpected life changes I have come to view life in a very different way from the way I did a decade ago, in my thirties.  I have endured a great deal of pain, heartache as well as an enormous amount of loss.  At the same time I have also experienced an incredible amount of personal growth.  I’d just like to say for the record, that I would have been perfectly happy to accept the growth without the pain, but that was not to be.

The events that I experienced would bring me to my knees.  I would hit rock bottom but I would come to terms with this, eventually.  Rebuilding at this level meant that I could at least make sure that I put into place firm footings and solid foundations for a new start.

In the beginning, all I would be able to do is get myself out of bed and put one foot in front of the other and go about my day to day activities in a state of numbness. Living life like this was incredibly difficult but I would continue on this way until life would become a little less painful to live. I had two perfectly good reasons to get out of bed and live each day the best way I could and these were my two beautiful children.

For me, a great deal of healing has taken place but there is still more healing to be done. There always is.  On my journey, I have explored different modalities of healing from the traditional to the alternative to find what combination worked for me.  In future posts I hope to share these, with my readers and my clients, as my experience may make the road ahead a little easier you.

Life experience has provided me with an excellent education and I have worked, read, studied and practised much of what I have been learning over the years.  This has brought me, I hope, to a greater understanding of myself and a greater appreciation of the need for compassion for myself and other people.  I feel I am now able to help others much more than if I did not have the experiences that have come to me.

Now, I create a painted picture of how I want my life to be.  I am more selective about the people I allow into my life.  I have learnt to trust my intuition more and act upon it. I practice mindfulness so that I can take the reins of life more rather than feeling I am at its’ mercy.  I work more and more on living a truly authentic life each and every day.   When I am true to myself in the choices I make, I know that I experience peace and happiness.  Of course, I am human, I am far from perfect and I struggle from time to time but this is my new approach to life.  This is the life I crave, desire and above all else, deserve.  At times, this all falls into place and comes easily and other times it is extremely difficult as I face the stresses of daily life which don’t always to support my new approach. Regardless, of this I persist and focus on appreciating the good things in my life, at all times.

To achieve my painted picture there have been a number of processes, many of them fun and enjoyable which I have put into action and I hope to also share these with you, my readers and my clients.  I know that these processes can make an enormous difference in people’s lives because I have not only experienced it but I have also seen it with my very own eyes occurring in other people’s lives.

My aim is to make my blog posts to informative, fun and insightful. I also aim to develop my website at as a sanctuary with lots of information and free downloads.  This is all a work in progress and a continuation of my learning.

Anyway, this has been my first Blog post so I hope that’s the way it’s done.  Until next time, best wishes to all,

Clare xx