Archive for positive

It’s all his fault

Just a little over 5 years ago I moved from Paris to Shanghai. With Nicolas. Because of Nicolas.

I had very mixed feelings

Excitement at staring a new adventure, but at the same time scared as I was in China for goodness sake – so a mixture of fear and enthusiasm, as I was leaving a corporate career of 14 years in a multi-national company that had provided me with great opportunities, but had never really made me feel fulfilled.

I was starting a new journey.

Being me, I had made sure that before I left Paris, I had all of my ducks lined up work-wise. I was changing career paths, which was really thrilling and things had sort of fallen into place (or so I thought – more of that another time), so I would have something to start on part-time as soon as I was more settled.

It all made sense

But before getting to this stage I had really struggled to make the decision and take that leap.

When Nicolas first told me he had this job offer, I was extremely proud and happy for him. But I had assumed I would just be able to get a job transfer as well. Which did not happen. And it made me scared.

No security net, no financial independence. Depending on someone else?


I was not one of ‘those women’. I could not even think of that.

Looking back it almost makes me wince about how many twisted judgmental thoughts made up my beliefs. And how that is extremely powerful and can make us stay stuck, paralysed and unable to see a way out.

I needed to go through that painful process to free things up, and let go of the heavy weight of those beliefs that were not helping me at all.

Nicolas was a rock. He helped me see things differently. He made me feel safe. He told me to look at this as an opportunity to really do something I loved.

That was my turning point

It was so liberating. It changed everything.

Suddenly, although it was scary I felt free. I could do anything I wanted to. No pressure.

The ‘blame game’

Because of all this, I have never played the ‘blame game’ – the ‘I am sacrificing it all because of you and your career’.

The ‘blame game’ usually shows itself when we are stressed.

When your basic needs aren’t met – and there are a lot of them when you move abroad – you feel vulnerable, you have a huge sense of loss of identity, you feel hopeless at getting simple things done because you don’t know the ropes. So you blame it on ‘him’. After all, if it weren’t for him and his career, you wouldn’t be going through this.

So instead of playing the blame game or saying it’s all his fault, play another one: ‘the opportunity game’: I have the opportunity to live in a different country and I have the time to do all those things I never have time for ‘back home’.


  • learning a new language
  • taking up a hobby
  • doing volunteer work
  • learning a new skill
  • starting a business
  • travelling
  • spending quality time with my family and being a domestic goddess
  • meeting new
  • exploring the surroundings of where you are living
  • being a social butterfly

Or whatever tickles your fancy. There is no right or wrong.

It’s all about me

For those of you who know me, I really prefer not to be centre stage, but the day after we got back from holiday I was interviewed by the lovely Dominika Miernik.

We talked about the transitions I have been through in the past few years and how I got to where I am today, doing what I do.

Brazil - China - Paris - Tot

Brazil – China – Paris – Tot

If you would like to listen to it and get to know all about me and my story, here is the link:

I hope you enjoy it and would love to hear your feedback below.

Catarina x

How to stop struggling

Imagine you are at a crossroad, and you can choose one of two roads:

  • the road to struggle
  • the road to joy

I am assuming if you knew these were the choices, then you would not deliberately choose the first one – who wants to struggle?

Yet everyday, in all the actions we take and the reactions we have we are choosing one of these. It’s not deliberate and it isn’t usually at a conscious level, but it’s done.

And the strange thing is that a lot of times we actually do take the first road.


Yes really.

Think of a typical day:

  • Your alarm clock rings, you turn it off and you sleep an extra five minutes. These turn into 15 minutes. Which means you are late. And you hate being late. You get into a tizz. And that’s how you start your day off on the wrong foot. Typically everything will go into a downward spiral from there. The world is against you. Everything goes wrong and you feel annoyed and irritated at everyone and everything, including yourself – you say negative things to yourself ‘Why do I always do this? Why is this kind of thing always happening to me?’ etc etc. A black cloud seems to be hovering above you all day.


  • Your alarm clock rings, you turn it off and you sleep an extra five minutes. These turn into 15 minutes. You are a bit late, but that did feel good. You needed that. You deserved that. And you will just speed up things a bit and get going.

In this second scenario, you didn’t beat yourself up, you didn’t let the negative thoughts creep into your mind, the guilt for sleeping an extra 15 minutes and being late. And the fact that you didn’t focus on that, that you didn’t hold on to the negativity means that you didn’t attract more of it into your day.

You chose to not let ‘being late’ spoil the good that sleeping a little bit longer did to you.

Choose your reaction

Can you see the difference?

You see, what we focus on is what we attract more of.

So by being cranky and annoyed, we attract more crankiness and annoying things into our lives.

Even though I know this and teach my clients this, doesn’t mean I manage to do it all the time myself.

I experienced this last weekend…

We went to a friend’s wedding in Tuscany. It was lovely – stunning landscapes, gorgeous weather, magical moments. But we had to fly back the next morning as Nicolas had an important meeting the following day in Sao Paulo.

We had 3 flights. A late night, an early start, driving back to Florence, returning the rental car, then catching a flight to Paris, catching a taxi from Charles de Gaulle to Orly airport, where we had another flight: Paris – Lisbon, then Lisbon – Sao Paulo.

Tuscany roads

3 hours sleep, no GPS in the car, windy Tuscan roads without very clear sign posts and not a lot of time to spare to get lost. Which we did. And Nicolas isn’t the kind of person to stop and ask. Not that there were a lot of people to ask on an early Sunday morning… Eventually we did get on the right route, but there was tension in the air. I kept saying ‘we need to get out of this negativity’ but still it was a bit nerve-racking and by the time we got to the airport our flight was delayed by 1-hour. This flight wasn’t connected to our flight from Paris, so if this one was late and we missed our next one, we would have to get another ticket and would probably not make it back to Sao Paulo for Nicolas’s meeting.

Stress! I continued to say ‘we need to get into a positive state of mind’, but we were still upset and therefore when we dropped our suitcases at check in before returning the car, we had problems, got lost returning the car, had a few more hiccups but it all ended up well, we made the flights and got back home in time.

What I’m trying to say is that even though I know that negativity attracts negativity, it was really difficult to get out of that spiral.

So imagine when you don’t know it…

My challenge to you is to take notice of what negative thoughts and patterns you have in your day.

Start noticing them and make a conscious effort to let go of them and choose more positive thoughts. Choose the ‘joyful’ road instead of the ‘struggle’ one. Do your best to stay on this path and this state of mind. And notice what happens.

Because what you focus on is what you will attract more of.

Let me know how it goes.