Ice Walk- Atyrau [Strength despite cracks]

The Ural River in Atyrau was completely frozen on 15th March 2008. A bit surprising considering it was 5 days before the start of spring (20 March-using astronomical seasons);  if  we were using meteorological seasons it was already  spring for 15 days.

Anyway, I digress the Ural River was frozen on 15th March 2008,  many walked on the ice some even rode their bicycles on it and no one fell in.

This river had visible cracks yet no one fell in because it was still strong enough to hold human body weight.

Readers you are like this frozen river,  you are strong, you are powerful irrespective of your visible cracks/scars. In fact, those battle scars will become badges of honor.

A brief word of encouragement from me

Joie D’Vivre



Affirmation and Action (Affiraction?)-Part 3 [personal story]

Note: The definitions below may not always conform to the strict Oxford English dictionary definitions.

(Self) Awareness is a consciousness of your present reality.

Reminds me of grandpa stating fact “You exhibit effective communication”, “You do not delegate and your employees don’t like that” “Your stress shows under pressure.” “You are good regional manager”. Yes, grandpa Awareness is not judgmental, he does not care if your traits are good or bad, he simply states the facts as they are right now and demands you do the same.

(Self) Affirmation is the positive vocalization of that awareness coupled with your destination.

Now grandma Affirmation hears everything grandpa Awareness said, but she chooses to focus on the positive not just in the present but in the future. She exclaims “You are a great country manager” well before your interview for that post. She gives you ‘side eye’ if your statements are passive like “I am kinda a good manager sometimes”. She is bold and she is visionary.

(Self) Acknowledgement states “your awesome but there are some negative aspects of your life that need to change”

Acknowledgement is the fraternal twin of grandpa Awareness and a good mate of grandma Affirmation. You see she hears your affirmation and she is aware of where you are now; she knows there is a gap. She will tell you to”address how you handle pressure so that you can be a great country manager”

(Self) Action declares “I will take active steps to change the negatives I acknowledge, while continuing to affirm positive truths”

Now Action is the offspring of Acknowledgement. He is that young man with a drive for self improvement. She is the young lady with a plan to close the gap between her present reality and the future she wants. 

This family of As (Awareness, Affirmation, Acknowledgment and Action) may seem like an odd bunch but they are pretty awesome companions. Below is a youtube clip of me hanging out with them.


If you listened that video, you may think I am turning this into a fitness blog about my journey to loose weight. I can assure you that is not the case, there will be no pictures of me eating seaweed while attempting to do push-ups (even if that has comedic value).

No, this blog is a reminder to you, my amazing and talented readers that improving yourself will never take away from your awesomeness. You can be content with who you are right now and still strive to be better in the future.

Below a picture of a happy and rather rubenesque me.


Have a wonderful week everyone!

Joie D’Vivre

Continental Shift-Ural River Atyrau

me meet point

Above, a picture of me in a quirky cafe in Asia called Meeting Point; brunch was pancakes stuffed with minced beef and scrambled eggs. Surprisingly delicious.



Below is a picture of me walking along the river in Europe.

me in Europe

Question: Do I look different on the two continents?

No?  Well, that is not surprising considering both pictures were taken 20 minutes apart on opposite sides of the Ural river in Atyrau.

Often when you take the first big step to achieve your dreams it seems uneventful. You look the same.  Your surrounding are no different.  People treat you as they always did but….

You know you crossed a continent.

And if I kept walking in the same direction? Say for another 2 hours? I would still in be in Atyrau probably at the airport.

Despite the effort put in, sometimes you can’t feel the progress. You start the journey put your head is down and focused on your goal. Then, you look up and see you are in the same city. How can that be?

You know you crossed a continent.


Continuing in the same direction would eventually take me thru Russia and Ukraine to the heart of Europe. The continental shift occurred the moment I crossed the Ural river but it was not immediately evident.



You know you crossed a continent, so keep moving towards your dreams even when the impact is not instant.

Oh and please be smart about your mode of transport; a plane at Atyrau airport would have gotten us to Europe faster. We could be sipping Prosecco in Northern Italy at this very moment. Prosecco, unsurprisingly delicious.

You know you crossed a continent.


I just like my Hair: International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day (IWD) from Kazakhstan. Today, was celebrated by men serving cake and handing out roses to ladies. The event was topped it off by these men making speeches praising the contributions of women at work, irrespective of whether that work is inside or out of the home.  My first IWD in Kazakhstan was a wonderful experience.



Below is a poem, inspired by some incredible women I know, was written and performed for IWD 2017

I wear an Afro,

Tall and proud like a roaring lion

Yet I am not an angry black woman

I Force no militant agenda



Does my tailored pant suit and short cut style

Some how make me more agile?

More likely to achieve

Or indeed succeed?

The truth is this crop highlights my cheek bones

Makes me look lighter by a few stones


I am a blonde but I am not dumb

The peroxide does not beach the brain on my inside


My red hair does not make me hot tempered

Or impatient

Or un trust-worthy

My red hair makes me a

Red head who says



It may sound shallow but love your hair, it may seem vain but love your skin.


Joie D’Vivre

fro (2)

Client Feedback- Coaching Sessions with Joie D’Vivre


I recently asked some of my clients and former clients ‘What was the impact of your coaching sessions with Joie D’Vivre Life Coaching?’. I could not be more delighted  with the feedback. With their permission, I share some of their comments below (without their names of course):

Mr A is a Senior Mechanical Engineer between 30-40 years old. He lives in London, UK and is married with children.

“Joy has a great talent and ability to mix highly positive message with realism which I benefited from greatly. Not only were the sessions I had with her exciting and refreshing, together we were able to set realistic stretch goals which I was held accountable for.

Since the sessions I had with her, I have been able to adopt a more positive mindset which has led to a series of personal victories. With her assistance, I feel unleashed to challenge myself to reach greater heights.”


Miss B is a Marketing and Communication Officer living in Accra Ghana. She is between 25-35 years old.

“My coaching sessions have been very impactful, to say the least! October 2017, when I had my sessions, was one of the most productive months in my life. I have begun to feel more purposeful and I am now empowered with tools to accomplish any goals I set for myself. My coach, Joy, was firm but friendly and easy to approach. She gave me room to explore my hidden talents and also enabled me to get from point A to B without spoon-feeding me or lecturing me on what to do. This was refreshing because now that I don’t have regular coaching sessions with her, I am able to go through that same process with myself and reach my objectives. The coaching sessions have enabled me stand on my own without being dependent on a coach to help me achieve my future goals.

My first major goal I set during my first session was to be more clear about my career path and to figure out if I wanted to stay at my job, move to a new one or go back to school in the next two years. After the session, I have several options which I am considering now. I feel much more confident about the decision I will make because I am now thinking about it holistically. As I think about my career path, I am now thinking about which of my three options actually takes me a step closer to where I want to be in the next five years, based on the different areas in my life. I achieved my goal of gaining clarity on my career path and even went on to set smaller goals within the bigger one. This was a truly defining moment for me and I am much more confident about the decision I am about to take.”

Mrs C is an HR Specialist living in Birmingham UK. She is married and between 30-40 years old.

“My coaching sessions enabled me to prioritise tasks and manage days more effectively.  The sessions clearly highlighted areas for personal development with respect for time, appreciating sometimes ‘little is much’. To be realistic, think SMART and be more structured with my thought processes and future/ daily planning.”

Coaching has provided me incredible opportunities to work with clients on a range of goals from becoming healthier to career progression to spiritual goals.

To to all my clients a big thank you, it has been an absolute pleasure. My goal is to be even more impactful as  2018 progresses.

Continue to look within!

Joie D’Vivre

Check out my you tube video on the importance of feedback …

A new set of videos are coming in the spring I am just warming up to it (literally)


Missed your target? Widen your Perspective.

Alas, I have become rather British, talking about the weather.

On the eleventh day, of the second month in the year of our Lord two thousand and eighteen, it was -3C in Atyrau. As the picture below shows the sky was clear and  blue, the tree tops had a dusting of snow. People used  words such as ‘lovely’ and ‘warm’ to describe the weather.Now the freezing point of water is zero degrees Celsius (at standard pressure of course); in my mind temperatures below freezing can not possibly be warm. Yet for those who less than a month ago experienced -20C, a temperature of -3C is indeed lovely and a welcome change. Perspective.

tree tops

It was cold in London last week, on 8-Feb-18 friends said the temperature dropped as low as -2C and it was bitterly cold. Six months ago I would have agreed with their assessment of the weather, but as they spoke  I found myself wondering ‘is -2C really that cold?’ Perspective.

In the space of 3 days, I found temperatures just below freezing both cold and well not that cold. Perspective.

What happens when you do not meet your goals? Do you acknowledge the reality of you missing your target yet celebrate your victories no matter how small? Have you trained yourself to see ‘missing your mark’ as cold and well not that cold? And even warm like the good people in Atyrau?

Success is not found focusing solely on your faults, neither will it be found fixating on your small wins.  Life demands you unleash your hopeful optimist and listen to that inner pessimist at the same time. For that pessimist will highlight risks and potential failure points that can only be mitigated if action is taken. Perspective.

The challenge is not to change your perspective but to widen it; to make room for multiple viewpoints at the same time and use them to your advantage.

I will leave you with my favourite visual on perspective, a picture of the changing room inside Boux Avenue a wonderful lingerie store in the UK.


You can try on your purchases in different lighting, Day, Night and Dusk. The same apparel, the same room, the same person yet somehow looks different with lights and a different…. Perspective.

Own your truth:Why is it important to acknowledge your feelings?

Weather in Atyrau 26Jan18



It was rather chilly yesterday in the greater Atyrau region of Kazakhstan, -13C. The weather report showed a strong wind and the local channel said ‘feels like -24C’. So the question is given that information, do you dress in clothes appropriate for -13C or -24C? (Yes, I can see the eye rolling, the real question is ‘How quickly can you leave ’)

The scientist amongst you will point out that you can not truly quantify ‘wind chill’ and that fluids such as water will exhibit properties associated with -13C.  That being said, it would be folly to dress for the true temperature in this case. When the productivity and disposition of those around you reflect -24C, it is pointless exclaiming ‘It is -13C’.  The  absolute truth is always important, but so is what the truth feels like to you.  

Let us be clear, this is not a call to escape reality and make outrageous statement like ‘humans have 20 legs or Usain Bolt* is not the greatest sprinter of all time’. Rather, it is a reminder to acknowledge your truth in 2018, even if others have a different viewpoint.  It is a challenge to make authentic goals that align to your truth.

Wishing you all the best for the remaining eleven months of 2018.

Be truthful, be empowered and as always look within!

*In case you were wondering, I am an island girl at heart. Which island you ask….