Cultivating balance and a little more zen in our lives with Lucy Gallaugher



Finding balance can sometimes be really challenging in our lives.

Having a family makes it even harder to dedicate time for ourselves to recharge and breathe and just have a more calming experience.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Lucy Gallaugher who gives examples on how we can try to strike a balance in our lives through rewriting our brain and using a different language with ourselves and the world around us. Fascinating! 

Check out my next workshop with this inspiring woman!

Tell us a little bit about your journey and how you’ve come to arrive here.

Throughout my life I have always had a passion for helping and caring for people. In high school, I volunteered to work in a daycare centre for young adults with severe learning disabilities and I found that I got so much joy from doing it.

There was one particular lady who had not spoken for 15 years; as well as having incredibly debilitating learning difficulties she had been abused for years as a child. She communicated her feelings by fixing her sleeve cuffs at varying speeds and I always sat down and chatted to her. After being there for a few months I was the first and for a long time the only person that she chose to talk to.

I was hugely affected by the voluntary work I did, especially with that lady in particular – I was untrained and very much out of my depth but I went with my gut instincts, which turned out to be right and I guess that’s when I realised, somewhat unconsciously that not only was helping people a passion of mine, it felt very natural to me.

From there I did what most young driven people do, I got my education sorted and I followed more lucrative passions working in both a corporate environment within sales and in the media world as a television presenter. On reflection what is interesting now, given my vocation is that throughout both those careers I trained people, mentored them, managed them, coached them and they were the parts of my job that I thrived within.

What I discovered amongst all the chaos and loss of oneself in becoming a mother one thing it can show you (if you are able to see it) is how incredible we all are at throwing oneself into the unknown and getting through successfully. For me it gave me the breathing space I needed to fully commit and up-skill in certain areas, in order to follow my career goal and that’s when I decided to make the move.

I focus on both the corporate and personal world of people, but primarily on women. I firmly believe we need to be strong for each other and learn from each of our own individual strengths, we need to support our community as women.

It is not just about empowering women, its about giving women the tools to empower themselves in a face to face, safe, non judgmental environment. Its about offering professional support to women and not leaving a woman alone to try to put a band aid over their wounds by using advice from words on a page of a self help book.

What an NLP practitioner actually is.

An NLP (Neuro linguistic programming) practitioner is a qualified, professional coach, mentor, therapist that listens to your story, to your challenges/struggles (which truly can be anything from personal issues, relationship problems, career concerns and much more) and hears your needs.

Following this we would then put together a bespoke plan and work with you to get ‘your breakthroughs’… leading the way to becoming the YOU, you want to be, deserve to be and getting the life you want to have. We do this using tools and techniques that assist you on your journey. An NLP practitioner looks to break un-resourceful habits/patterns that are forcing you into a life that is not a happy, free or a true one for you.

Fundamentally we work on positively resetting peoples values, behaviours and habits, changing how they communicate with themselves and others in order to overcome any kind of struggle; from being at a loss of what to do with their life, lack of self belief and confidence to assisting someone who has a great life and wants to work out how they can get more from it, we are all on our own journey. We work on gaining a clients’ own happy balance in life, providing them with the tools to smash their goals. NLP is quick and incredibly powerful.

A few daily rituals you would suggest women to include.

I like rituals that are quick, I spend my day changing nappies, chatting (a lot) stacking dishwashers, washing, drying and putting away clothes, cooking, cleaning (occasionally drinking tea or if I’m lucky a wee glass of wine in the evening) and providing educational conversation and activities from dawn until dusk for my kids, so I like things that are reasonably quick and I tend to break them up throughout the day and do them on the move, because as you all know whether we work full time, part time, full time at home, as mothers we never stop!

1. The 5 smiles

I visualize – I always wake and go through my daily to do list, it makes me feel calmer and more organised and what I include in my daily list are 5 smiles (which I visualize), these are 5 things in the day that I do that will make me smile by making someone else smile. It’s amazing the feeling you get when you know you have made someone feel loved, cared for, or that you have made someone laugh. It can be by doing anything from, making your husband or a friend a cup of tea, to making a mental note to relay a funny story and I visualise the outcome. I see the person laughing or smiling, I hear their laugh and it gives me/you something to really look forward to. I’m a big believer in paying it forward is good for your own soul. I think it also forces us to focus on something positive outside of ourself.

2. Declaration

What ever your number one drive is, make everyday a focused day by making a declaration and repeating it with happiness as often as you can. It really keeps momentum behind your goal. Goals don’t need to be huge i.e running a marathon or an ultra run (although for some they might be), they can be something that seems small to others but is huge to you. I had a client that was under confident at public speaking and this included at dinner parties, or networking events, her declaration was ‘I am confident, articulate and full of interesting things to say in a public environment, on stage and off’ beneath this she set herself mini goals, to start with it was simple things like striking up a conversation with a shop assistant, or a person she didn’t know whilst out. The declaration helped her overall focus and the mini daily goals built her belief and confidence up for the declaration.

3. A meditation

It can be tough to do this everyday as we lead busy lives – as daily as you can muster and certainly I insist clients of mine make a point to do this everyday for an agreed period in order to grow their unconscious muscle memory. Its time for just you to switch off and relax and can be time where the focus is on everything you are looking to gain.

How can we manifest love, peace, and joy in our lives?

I feel passionately and firmly that the power of NLP gives us all the skill sets and tools, through sessions and techniques (be it pattern breaks, smarte goals, declarations, hypnosis, anchoring to name just a few) we need to do all of the above. NLP teaches us how to communicate effectively and positively with ourselves and our world, it teaches us how to set goals, overcome difficulties, have sensory acuity in order to make better decisions, take action and ownership and not only manifest these things around us, but to manifest them within ourselves so we become love, become our peace and joy and even more than that, once we have become all those things not only will we feel it, we will project it and from here we can then share it with the rest of the world….and so the seed grows.

Tell us some of your most loved ways to spend the day with your family?

Gosh there are soooo many things I love to do..mm… well we really love to travel and head away for weekends, often to Waiheke which is a really special place to us…that said I also just love our typical weekends, which tend to start really blummin early as our girls think sleep is for the weak. So we are up early and usually after shovelling a quick banana into the girls and packing them into the buggy we head out for a big walk along the waterfront, stopping in for brunch at one of our favourite cafes and after a bunch of fluffies a cup of tea and some yummy breakfast we always stop in at the kids playground…I have to say even after being in NZ for 8 years, I still feel there is something really wonderful about being at a playground with your kids, that’s by a beach overlooking a volcano…I feel so grateful to live in such a gorgeous country. After the playground we’ll head home for a swim (only if its warm), usually another family will come round and my husband Sam will crank up the BBQ….well that’s the afternoon sorted…post clean up usually we will grab a blanket, or duvet and we have what we call ‘family snuggle time’ where we read stories, chat, watch a movie, drink tea (that’s just me), eat popcorn and generally just take time to hangout together. Its something we started doing when my little one was born and its definitely one of my favourite things to do.

What is your definition of self care and how do you make time for it?

NLP really did change how I approached ‘self care’ and for me a lot of what I do is automatic because it’s a language I have learnt to speak. I also attempt (not always successfully as you other mums will appreciate) to make time for myself, in all sorts of ways; with friends for a chat, taking up a new project, or doing a course. I found this invaluable for my self esteem, happiness, purpose…. In addition I am a multi tasker and an active relaxer, so when I have got a S.M.A.R.T.E plan to put together, or I’m working through something I need a bit of clarity around I tend to do it whilst I am driving, or on the cross trainer, whilst out walking, or doing the weekly shop (this is only when I do the shop without the children).

I’ll also set thinking time aside in bed where I am structured and give myself say an hour and that’s it. I definitely work well with boundaries. I do meditate more on a weekly basis and I visualize a lot. What I have learnt is ‘self care’ is unique to the individual and what NLP reveals is what works for you.

What has motherhood taught you so far?

How love is ever growing, ever evolving and how family is the best thing in the world….. and can also be pretty stressful, requires flexibility, sensory acuity, insane amounts of good communication, ability to run on nooo sleep, a ton of patience and a good sense of humour and I just love it.

It has also made me very aware that for lots of us mums out there it is bloody tough, it’s a thankless task and you can totally lose who you are, you zone into ‘mum mode’ give everything away and leave nothing for yourself, you can spend everyday rushing to get through work, driving to and from daycare, washing, tidying, picking kids up from school, or spending everyday running around after your children, getting moaned at on and off all day long…whatever your life it is chaotic and can be draining and exhausting.

You forget all the good things about you as a woman, self-worth can go, further more, happiness, freedom and purpose, all the things we perhaps used to feel and certainly all the things we want to feel and its this side of motherhood that I want to help people shift – it is not a parenting workshop it is a workshop for you as women. So what has motherhood taught/shown me? Well, motherhood has shown me aside from soo much love and joy that there is a gap in the accessibility to learn the skills of self-care for people doing the greatest job in the world, being a mum. It has taught me that women who are mothers are losing their identities and are facing a whole host of struggles alone, without the tools to help themselves overcome their obstacles and this is something I feel very strongly about changing. Everyone deserves to feel their own authentic value and create a life they desire and I want to empower women who are mums to do just that.

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