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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

About Inspirational Self Leadership

Are you a diamond in the rough or a shiny star needing support to help you shine?

All leadership begins with self leadership. Until one takes responsibility for becoming a leader of self, effective leadership of others is impossible. While Self Leadership may be quite simple, it certainly is not easy and requires willingness and commitment on the part of each individual to undertake what may be a tremendous journey of personal growth, development, transformation and inspiration.

Do you often feel...?

 Frustrated that you are not living up to your full potential
 Trapped by the expectations and demands of others
 Scared to say what is really on your mind and in your heart

One’s authentic self can often be hidden beneath layers of unresolved emotions and limiting subconscious thought patterns that run our behaviour without much awareness of how this is happening. The internal feelings that arise when a poor self relationship exists include a sense of disconnection, loneliness, inner emptiness or void, fear, internal anxiety / chaos, inadequacy, poor confidence levels and inner conflict to name a few. Some of the externally visible effects of the absence of relationship with self may manifest as health challenges, exhaustion, overwhelm, poor concentration, inability to relax, sleep or express personal needs and ultimately an inability to achieve desired results.

Do you ever ask yourself....?

 Why do people not hear me or see my potential
 Why can't I say what I really feel and think   What do I need to do to be able to fully express who I really am
 How can I make some life enhancing changes?

There will always be forces in our lives that will trigger or destabilize us – whether in our external environment or within our own internal energy fields. If you find yourself experiencing the same problems and challenges over and over again or repeating the same un-resourceful responses, this is a red flag to a limiting or disempowering pattern that may exist within you. When there is an imbalance in the system, these symptoms may first present themselves as a gentle whisper, but left unattended without reflection and redress – they will eventually become a noisy roar. By that time, you may already be in crisis mode.

Are you ready to.....?

 Release what is keeping you stuck
 Reconnect with your authentic self
 Individuate your decision making process
 Create your life as an expression of who you really are
 Find your voice

Once you are aware of a recurring pattern, experience or uncomfortable feeling and take ownership of this as a personal creation, this in actual fact represents an opportunity to deepen your relationship with yourself, release emotional baggage, get clear about what is important to you and what you really want, to establish which qualities you want to cultivate along the way, and to demonstrate self leadership through making some empowering decisions and choices.

“Inspired Self Leadership is the key that unlocks
doorways on the path to True Freedom.” Jacque A

Subscribe to Inspirations - our free monthly newsletter, get more information on Self Leadership at,  join me on facebook at jacque.allschwang or follow me on twitter @jax_inspires   If you would like to book an exploratory coaching session you can
e-mail  me on 

Remember to act from Inspiration!
Warmest Regards
Jacque A

The Kings's Speech - Find Your Voice

According to a recent review in the Sunday Times, by Barry Ronge the movie "The King's Speech - With its 12 Oscar nominations, is an elegant and engrossing royal drama which is clearly the film to beat."
SUPERB ENSEMBLE: Colin Firth as King George VI, with Helena Bonham Carter as Queen Elizabeth and Geoffrey Rush, left, as Lionel Logue in The King's Speech

I heard rave reviews from some Facebook friends and received several recommendations, and tonight as I watched this movie, I knew exactly why I, as a Self Leadership and Self Expression Coach was attracted to this specific movie, amongst all the movies showing.  I also knew why I had felt called to make time to see it during a week in which there seems to have been little or no time available at all.

As I watched the movie, I noticed the core message of the movie was about Self Expression ....and on my return home, after tucking my kids in to bed and kissing them good night....I felt inspired to share a few key thoughts with you, about this specific theme.

For me personally, "The Kings Speech" is a universal metaphor for anyone wanting to find their voice and in that journey ultimately discovering and reclaiming themselves and expressing who they really are.  Some highlights include:

Overcoming Past Conditioning
  • Recognizing how childhood corrections and conditioning embed tremendous internal fear and often shape us out of who we really are
  • Deciding to no longer live according to a father's expectations or in a brother's shadow
  • Willingness to accept and express difficult or negative emotions which are normally "frowned upon " including anger, frustration, despair, inadequacy, vulnerability
Strength,  Resillience & Humility
  • Building the physical body through a rigorous process to be strong enough to endure and overcome any challenges - through a series of mechanical exercises including breathing, relaxation and a strengthening of the diaphragm - the part of the body responsible for breath and voice
  • The willingness to work hard - self expression is a journey not a once off intervention.  The journey requires patience, perserverance, persistence, determination and inner strength
  • Sometimes one has to bury one's pride, to ask for forgiveness or to ask for what is really needed
Supportive Relationships & Acceptance
  • There are some professionals that can support and help purely because of their approach, their experience, their charachter and their way of being in the world.  It is important to recognize them for who they are, when they come along.
  • Equality and Respect - pedestals, status and positions of power can often lead to feelings of isolation, alientation and desparation - no one can get close enough to help
  • Acceptance and being surrounded by loving and encouraging support are essential on the self expression journey - those who criticize, doubt, undermine or manipulate are not helpful or necessary  
If you are trying to find your voice or would like to start the journey, I trust that you will find these key themes useful and do yourself a favour - go see this film.  If you would like some encouragement and support on the journey towards Self Expression...please do not hesitate to subscribe to our free monthly newsletter Inspirations or e-mail me on

Until the next Inspiration!

Take care of you.

Jacque A

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Butterfly and the Crystal

This weekend I attended what was probably one of the most beautiful and romantic weddings that I have ever been to in my life.  The setting - the Vette Mossel, a beach restaurant, in Mosselbay, the time of day -sunset, the weather - perfectly delivered by the gods, the bride - an exquisite goddess and my best friend in the whole wide world - could not have looked more beautiful.

During the festivities I was given the honour of sharing a piece of writing I composed for the occasion which I have called The Butterfly and The Crystal.  While I created this for this specific couple...the sentiments are as applicable for any two people who have decided to share their lives.  This is my dream of people living together in I-nspired Love:

As I gaze out into the open yonder, and I let my eyes wander to the far distant horizon
on the cusp of the eternal ocean blue, where the heavens meet the seas and
where the seas cascade over the edge of the earth, I dreamed a dream

It is a dream of two special souls coming together
in a union of the unique lights that they both are

An angel descended from heaven in the form of a butterfly bride,  flapped her gossamer wings and touched the lives and hearts of me and mine and of so many others when she landed in our worlds,

We played, we explored, we pollinated many flowers
and we blew seeds of joy and hope into the open fields of endless possibilities

Then one day, after fluttering and flying freely for many moons and suns, she landed on one specific crystal groom which she had visited with...a few times....for a while

This crystal amongst all the gifts the world had to offer was the one special one, that always kept calling her back. The crystal, was the one rock that was strong, protective, kind, caring and wise, a force of nature that she knew would always be there for her.

One gloriously, beautifully, perfect day the butterfly and the crystal came together in a sacred ceremony during which they made a promise to each other: -

To unite in a cosmic dance, an exchange of the heart that would bring both the butterfly and the crystal enrichment, expansion, nourishment and love.  To always treat each other with the kindness and gentleness that allows tender and vulnerable open – hearts, to be ever present. To breathe life into each other’s hopes and dreams and those they dream together and to encourage each other towards a life of happiness, fulfilment, adventure and joy

To build a warm and safe cocoon for their union together that inspires harmony, connectedness and peace.  To grow together in prosperity and abundance, so that there is always enough of what they need to nurture and grow any seeds they plant to full potential.

And as I dream this dream for two people that I love and care for so dearly and watch it coming to pass, my heart is overwhelmed by the joy and the love that I feel.

To the beautiful butterfly bride and her crystal groom –
May your union overflow with blessings
With All My Love
Jacque A

Thursday, October 28, 2010

In Love with Language

My fascination with words began when I was just a little girl. While other children played and had fun, I spent countless hours consorting with dictionaries and books, drawn inexplicably to the world of words, exploring new meanings, seeking understanding and gathering new tools for expression.

Over time, my relationship with words, slowly waned and faded, until 8 years ago when I connected with NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), which sparked an awakening that re – ignited my childhood love of language, then rapidly evolved into a deep and passionate love affair. Now, my heart and soul has been stolen away and taken prisoner by this obsession. NLP is the ever giving gift which brought me to coaching, underpins all the I-nspire Coaching Programmes™, is woven into the heart of training materials I design and has provided me with the raw material and tools to unleash my passion for writing. In an insatiable quest to imbibe as many delicious and descriptive words as possible and nourish my memory banks with linguistic delights, I find myself being called to dictionary surfing, word exploration (etymology), fridge poetry and devouring one fantastical novel after another. An expanded range of vocabulary enriches my inner world and elevates my capacity for colourful expression.

As I write, I love stringing unique sounds and different frequencies together in a sequence or flow that initially sparks my interest and, then grabs my attention. While scouring the libraries of consciousness, I search for the most accurate, descriptive and enticing words to order, organize and translate my thoughts, feelings and experiences into physical, tangible form. This process is the crafting of an invitation for others to get a brief glimpse into my world... without actually living my experience.

As I coach, I find myself tuning in more deeply and listening more closely and carefully to the specific words that people use when they start telling me their stories. As I do, I notice the energetic frequency of each and every word spoken and start hearing and understanding that how words are strung together and meanings are made either creates harmony or discord, symphony or noise in relationships and in lives.

Feeling stuck or uninspired lately?
Waiting for something amazing to happen?
What might this mean to you?

People describe who they are, recount their life stories and share how they make meaning of their experience with the words they choose to articulate and express themselves.

Limiting vocabulary and expression limits experience. Expanding the range, depths, flexibility, juiciness and frequency of your words and your silences, can make your experiences more interesting, interested, engaging or engaged.

But the real power of words lies in their ability to capture imaginations and take them on exciting and interesting journeys to places of inspiration, motivation, recognition, understanding and connection.

So, you would be wise to start paying attention to words if you would like to:

know yourself or others more deeply
lead yourself or others towards achieving specific outcomes
heal yourself from physical illness or emotional pain
expand yourself to build bridges for better relationships
express yourself in a way that motivates, uplifts and inspires
experience yourself fully for an enriched and fulfilling life

Think about these questions now...
• Do you make time to reflect on how you express yourself?
• How comfortable are you with your own silence?
• Which words lift you up and inspire you?
• Which words push your buttons and make you crazy?
• Which words would you use to tell me your story?
• Are you interested in hearing the stories of others?
• What happens when you start listening attentively?

Notice the sparks that fly when you take time and space to think....

Until we speak again...

Jacque A

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On Reflection

Sometimes I am fortunate enough to have open–ended days. These are rare occasions when I have nothing planned and my schedule is clear. Not too long ago these days drove me crazy and I would quickly find a way to distract myself or not to spend any length of time with the uncomfortable, uninvited and needless to say unwelcome gnawing anxiety, that would rear its ugly head whenever too much time and space became available to me.

But as you might very well know, what we resist persists and eventually I realized that avoidance was futile. I decided to surrender and invited my anxiety to engage in a reflective encounter which so happened to turn into an enlightening experience. When I asked my anxiety why it was here and what it wanted from me, it opened up with a confession that it was somewhat peeved with me for ignoring, denying, avoiding and repressing it for so long. It conveyed that it had been patiently waiting for me to acknowledge it and hear what it had to say, after which it proceeded to reveal to me insights about my fears, how to deal with the demons that had been driving me for most of my life, it explained where and why I was out of balance and how to remedy this and also showed me how I could conserve great amounts of energy and still achieve everything I wanted to.

So after this interaction, I realized how important it was for me to further develop my capacity for reflection. I spent some time trying to understand the meaning of the word "reflect" and noticed that it is made up of two distinct parts – the words re and flèche or flect. The dictionary defines "re" as once more, afresh, anew, go back or return, flèche as a slender spire often perforated with windows and "fleck" as a small particle or patch of colour or light. So from piecing the separate meanings of this word together, I deduced that when we step back and look at a particle of our lives or our thoughts from a higher level or perspective, new colour and light can enter and old situations and events can be magically transformed.

Now, I have come to look forward to these days with hungry anticipation, as it is these very days that are reserved and savoured purely for being and reflecting. These wonderful days present me with an opportunity to think about my life, my thoughts and my feelings. I use them to cavort playfully with creative ideas, acknowledge and attend to discomforts in my body and dream about future possibilities with joyful abandon. I look forward to these days and relish the time and space, without pressure or demands to embrace the opportunity they present to reconnect with my spirit, replenish my energy and nourish my soul.

Do you feel like there is so much to do and never enough time?
Do you want to set yourself free from the low level anxiety that stops you from experiencing joy?

Something that as human beings differentiates us from other species is our ability to self reflect or to think about our experiences, our behaviours and even about our thinking.  This skill or capacity is called "Metacognition" and is only possible because of our self–reflective consciousness – the existence within every human being of a higher self that is able to take a step back or a step up and observe itself, any situation, event or person from a different perspective.

So you would be wise to start thinking about your thinking if you would like to:
  • Gain new insights and perspectives in situations where you feel stuck
  • Unlearn invalid and un - resourceful meanings
  • Notice what's working for you and what is not
  • Elicit more clarity about your personal vision for your life
  • Expand your options or choices
  • Become more self aware and more flexible
Where are you feeling limited or stuck?
What sparks your imagination or evokes your passion?
If you could change just one thing, what would it be?

Remember to capture and hold onto and carry forward the precious insights you gain.....
Take care until next time and keep thinking about how you think!

Jacque A

Monday, August 30, 2010


It gives me great pleasure to introduce to you one of my beautiful diamonds - Lulekwa Sbukwana.  She is 31 years old and I met her at a Biodanza class.  During our I-nspire Self Leadership Coaching process, her gift of expressing herself creatively through writing began tickling gently at the edge of her consciousness, it then proceeded to awaken rapidly and then knocked loudly on the door and said "Let me in now - I am ready for you to bring me into the world!".  So, when she sent through this piece called "Invisible,"  I felt inspired to share her message with you, my community. 

As I was penning this letter, I heard in my head a voice that said, “Hey I’m here - I am not Invisible.” Wow!! that voice shattered me today.

I was having lunch with my colleagues playing the invisibility game, saying the right things and laughing at who knows what, when the voice said “Hey I’m here, I’m not invisible, why are you trying to make yourself invisible?”

I turned around in shock wondering if anybody else had heard it. That voice woke me up and shook me and shook me again. My answer was “I don’t want to be invisible.” Never again will I sit there with my thoughts, ideas and greatness, wearing the cloak of invisibility, hoping that I will disappear or die a quiet death. Yes I lift my veil up and I say Molo, “I see me - I see you”.

And this is just me saying to you “Hey, I’m here, I’m alive … do you see me?"

Hey I’m here I’m not invisible, is that voice that wants to talk for herself, no longer content in others speaking for her. Hey I’m here, I’m not invisible is that voice that refuses to sit in a quiet corner somewhere trying to muffle the sound of her breathing.

She says "I’m here, I’m now, and I want you to see I’m talented, I want you to see my art, I want you to see my great heart, I want you to see I stand for something."

Hey, I’m here, I’m not invisible, she is the voice that knows, she has poise, she is commanding and carries strength, she is the voice that won’t let anything stand in her way, she is the voice of knowing. She is her own unique voice and she is her commanding self, with stature and confidence, saying “all of you listen up!” She is assertive, her walk unmistakable, she will not walk in a room without you stopping dead in your tracks to admire her presence, she is unshakeable in the ground that stands within her. She is full of grace and self respect, you can't help but be in awe. She is self assured, she is tall, wide and deep, she is. She is the brethren that are dark velvety with blue hues - that when they mention a blue black colour, she is that, she is that smoothness and mystery combined. She is that force that spills out in multitudes, into the ground, right into the heart and soul of man.She is my ideas, she says "speak, your ideas are not stupid, they are good. Speak my child - this peace will not be held by your silence or through silence". She says "show them what you are capable of. Come on, do it … you have nothing to fear in being Great, you have nothing to fear in being who you are, come out and share your writing talent, share your thoughts, share your laughter, share your fear - you are here in the world."  No longer will you allow yourself to be shut up and put in a corner. Your needs will be heard and you shall make your heart visible. You shall make yourself visible, no longer will you wait.  Show it now!

I hope that this piece has touched you in the same way that it touched me and inspires you to put finger to keys or pen to paper or to speak up and express yourself when an event or incident arises where you previously may have remained silent!

Jacque A

Friday, August 27, 2010

Express Yourself

Well...eventually the website that I have been talking about, dreaming about, planning for, threatening to create and been working on, in some way shape or form, for what feels like a million moons is ready to be birthed. Not only am I so excited to have created a home for my bubbles of creativity and joy that will be coming into form soon, but more importantly for me it feels like I have been constructing a home.

For me this is a place to reconnect again with those of you I have connected with in years gone by, an opportunity to invite those evolving with me right now to contribute and express your newly emerging selves and finally a space to warmly welcome and encourage anyone who might very well never have even met me before.

To check out my website you can go to: you are interested in Self Leadership, Self Expression or NLP and feel the urge to visit and experience this space, return here whenever you feel called to:

• ask a question
• seek inspiration or wisdom
• share a story, insight or inspiration with others
• keep our inspiring community up to date on your progress
• share what the excellence inside of you looks like, sounds like and feels like
• tell us what is working for you and what is not

This truly feels like a new beginning and as I reflect on my innumerable learnings over the last two years and I count my many blessings as I start running out of fingers I feel a poem coming on.

Blank canvas, empty space, wide open, possibility
Then hesitation, doubt, frightened, anxiety
Not good enough - I hear my inner judge criticizing me,
And I whisper to him - stop hindering just let me be
And I listen for the wisdom and the truth comes quietly

Only inspired action will truly set you free!

The past few years have certainly taught me significant lessons in letting go, finding faith, slowing down, trusting myself and cultivating the patience to wait for diving timing to arrive. My deepest sense now however, is that the time has come for us to celebrate inspired action. The time to connect with ourselves is now! The time to dance with inspiration is now! The time to live an inspired life is now!! The time to claim our joy is now! 

To read my September Inspiration - In love with Language you can go to:

Don’t wait one moment longer. The time to act from inspiration is here!