Navigating Transitions + Tough Times

2 things to remember when you’re going through a rough patch

February 1, 2020

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A few months before going live with my new website I went through a deep winter period in my life and work.


This had nothing to do with the seasons of the year but more to do with the seasons of my soul. 


Winter was my rough patch.


Winter = a time of hibernation, reflection, going deep.  


Despite having so much to be grateful for and feeling really connected to what I’m doing — there were a few areas in my life that weren’t in alignment and calling me out for attention. 


Whilst I wanted to just keep soldering on and keep on going – ignoring that little voice –  I was constantly being pulled back to really look at what was working and what wasn’t.


Practically speaking I started asking myself the deeper questions: 


+ Is this really what I want?

+ Am I on the right path?


To the outside world it looked like things were ticking along…


But it was in those quieter moments before bed and when I was journaling in the morning…that the deeper nudges and callings came through. 


You know when things get quiet and your heart/soul starts speaking to you? 


That’s what I’m talking about…


So today I wanted to share the value of honouring that winter season because the truth is we all go through these phases (whether we like it or not!)




It’s time to embrace your rough patch!



In the past I would have squashed down those heart and soul whisperings down and soldiered on…


But I’ve learned time and time again, that living a life this way isn’t really living…..


If you don’t remember to listen to yourself you can get yourself waaaaay off track, waking up one day thinking…


“Who am I? What am I doing with my life?” 



As a coach, many women come to me during a rough patch aka winter. 



Usually they only come to me because they’re at their wits end. 


Things just aren’t working.  


They feel like work is a shit show. Their lives are stressful.  Their body’s are playing up with unexplainable symptoms. 


Whether they want to or not, they’re being called to look at all the different areas in their lives so that they can make the changes to get back on track. 


Can you relate?


Have you or are you going through a rough patch too?

Siobhan Barnes - Hong Kong Life Coach Career Coach Blue Street 2

My personal philosophy is that we feel most alive, fulfilled and on purpose when we’re being true to who we really are


….when we’re able to welcome and love all the emotions/sides within us: from the light end of the spectrum (joy, gratitude and love) to the dark (shame, guilt and fear).  


But boy is it hard to welcome let alone love those darker feelings: anger, fear, resentment, shame, guilt.


And it becomes so normal for us to avoid going there at all costs. 


We spend so much time pretending it’s not even present at all, numbing out, shutting down. 


As the saying goes…


“What we resist, persists” 


And so we unconsciously spend so much energy to squelch these feelings down. 


In my own journey I’ve done this time and time again. 


In the past, my unique flavour has looked like…


+ Staying busy and not wanting to slow down….so I didn’t have to face the truth (and consequences) of being a people pleaser in my corporate job

+ Drinking a little too much wine after work to numb out feeling “not good enough” in my corporate job

+ Mindlessly scrolling on online shopping sites looking for things to buy in order to make me feel good again because I didn’t feel I “looked the part”

+ Soldiering on pretending like the problems I’m facing in my life will go away if I juuuust keep on moving


And the ironic truth is…when we can face and welcome the darker emotions we feel without attachment to having to “fix” or make them right again…the quicker we move through them and flow to the other side. 



Because here’s the truth:


Truth #1: Feeling “bad” doesn’t make you broken, it makes you human.


Trying to avoid feeling bad and forcing yourself to reject the “negative” or “low vibes” is to shut down half of you. Your essence. And that ain’t cool. 


Truth #2: We are cyclical, not linear.


It’s natural to cycle through the positive and negative. Mother Nature knows this truth…


…. Night and day.


…. Winter and summer. 


…..Tides coming in, tides coming out.


…..Breathing in, breathing out. 


Night, winter, the tide washing out, breathing out — these are not “bad.” They’re simply the other half of the expansion/contraction equation that we’re living in. 


Note: If you want to learn more about your cyclical nature, check out my post:


How to work with your period



What I want you to know is: 


Spring is around the corner — when the time is right. 


It’s not a question of IF. But simply a question of WHEN. 



In my own life, when I let myself sit in winter those few months ago, without having to fix, or make myself wrong…a juicy pearl of wisdom has been revealed to me. 


I came to see a pattern in my life through slowing down.


Slowing down allowed me to see a truth that was ready to be welcomed, loved and accepted before being liberated back into flow. 


The truth that I uncovered?



I’ve been holding back. 


Holding back on speaking up in certain relationships. 


Holding back from stepping into my leadership in my business, womanhood and motherhood. 


Holding back from sharing who I really am and the work I really do. 


And so this new website, these blogs, these messages are me making a conscious choice to stop holding back and stepping up and out into the world more fully. 

Siobhan Barnes - Hong Kong Life Coach Career Coach Tram 2


Let me be clear: this choice is a choice I have to make because I HAVE to but because it’s ready to fall away and I WANT to. 


A very important distinction.


“Having to” being grounded in needing to fix and make myself more than I am. 


“Wanting to” being grounded in my body’s wisdom and invitation. 


This is a distinction that I’m ready to accept, explore and play with. 


And I’m excited to show more of here at



Let me ask you:


+ When it comes to your life and career, what season are you in right now? Winter, spring, summer or autumn?

+ What is this season of your life about for you?

+ If you’re in winter a question for you to go deeper with: What pearl of wisdom is this season trying to reveal to you as you slow down, turn inward and reflect?


I’d love to know.  Leave a comment for me below. 


Sending oh so much love. 


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