Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The mixed blessing of redundancy

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

When facing redundancy it is very hard to keep hearinig others tell you what an opportunity you have, and I know not al circumstances are the same, but I thought I would share this email from a recent Stepping Off client:

“The time spent with yourselves over the last few days have been very thought provoking……….. my frame of mind now is that N….. G…. have done me a massive favour by shutting the site otherwise I would have trundled on in the same job until I reached 60, and then I would have done nothing afterwards apart from extreme pottering! At the age of 51 discovering things about myself that have always been there but not recognising them has been quite an eye opener. Additionally being able to discuss the pros and cons of my ideas with business professionals has given me the confidence to move forward. Your hospitality was first class, immaculate bedroom and bathroom and lovely food, the whole Stepping Off experience was faultless and has fully prepared me for the next chapter in my life. I will keep you updated and hopefully we will meet up again sometime in the future.

Thanks again for all your help, kind regards Rob.



Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

What a day… solstice, eclipse, selenelion – and then an earthquake!
How many signs do we need that it’s time for a shakeup?
Wishing you the best Christmas you can possible imagine and wonderful things for 2011.

Lives are changing!

Friday, October 29th, 2010

On the day we hear from V that she has handed her notice in and is heading for Thailand to follow her dream we also received a postcard from a couple who came on a course earlier this year and left determined to take action and move – and they have!

It’s so easy to let time go by while we wait for the right moment to make the change; there is almost always a good reason for deferring big decisions; there are usually enough things to do keeping our heads above water without thinking about the distant horizon…

But sometimes you just have to go for it!

Our Stepping Off programmes are designed to give you the time and space to discover WHY you want to make a change, why you have itchy feet or why you feel dissatisfied.  Understanding the drive for difference provides the energy to make the change… if you think time away with two  supportive but challenging people could help you create a future that is right for you, please get in touch.

“Stepping off was excellent value for money. I was made to feel very welcome and felt very much at home.  Home from home – without the chores! The best thing was having the time and space to explore who I am, what I want from my life and how I might get it.  I now have a plan.”  Anne S More testimonials

Make life better

Friday, October 30th, 2009

You don’t have to downshift or change careeer or make huge changes to improve your life – small changes can bring big rewards. Here is another thought on how to improve life and start living more….

Tolerating the intolerable!

How long are you going to put up with all those little things that drive you mad?

How many times in the past few months have you done something that you haven’t wanted to do;  gone somewhere that you have haven’t wanted to go to; or even  spent time with people that you don’t really have much in common with or whose company you don’t really enjoy?

Are there things in your life that irritate you?  How long have you tolerated the catch on the door being broken or put up with someone else’s pile of ‘stuff’ gathering dust in the corner of the room?

How many times are you going to put up adhering  with traditions – just because that is the way it has always been – like the round trip to spend time with the in-laws or having the traditional ‘family’ Christmas  when inside you are screaming to have for once Christmas  on your own? Ok we all have to do things that we don’t want to and many times it is because we do things for other people’s benefit. 

I am not suggesting that we become selfish, heartless or hurt other people but here are some things in our lives that we do tolerate needlessly and how much better , calmer and happier could we be if we stopped just tolerating them and made a decisive move to either do them with good grace or stop doing them all together.

Life is just too short to go on putting up with things that irritate, depress or just drive us mad.  So go on – break free and stop tolerating the intolerable!

One Life Live Show

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

What a great weekend we had last week at the One Life Live show at Olympia, London. We met so many wonderful people – all looking to do something different with their lives. I applaud them all.  There they were getting up and taking control of their lives, designing a future that fits them, rather then sitting back and letting life ‘happen’!

Thank you to all those who came to meet us – whether you were looking to downshift, wanting to start again or were looking to live differently after redundancy I hope chatting to you helped in some small way.

Thank you also to all those people who came to hear my speech on “Finding a Future that Fits”.  Great audiences and really tremendous feedback from you all – I so hope some of the hints and tips will be of help.

Georgina and I really enjoyed our three days. after the show we met up with friends and enjoyed a long evening eating pizza and drinking a little wine.  It was so good to catch up.

On the Saturday we could again be found having a little wine and then back to our great friends in Harrods Village who so kindly put us up  – for a little more wine and a wonderful risotto.

Staying across the river was so easy for us – a gated community meant we could leave our car parked safely, and we had a gentle walk across Hammersmith  Bridge every day to Olympia. The river Thames looked great – with people rowing, joggers on the tow paths, blossom out and a real sense of spring in the air.

We had a successful show but found that people in this economic climate were very much more cautious than last year and far more considerate about what they were spending their money on. I think that the numbers were down on last year but still it appeared busy and there was lots of very different things for people to do and see.

This year I spoke on the main stage which was fun, many more people and I really felt that I was able to offer something tangible to those who were looking to do something different with their lives.

Jo Hampson on the main stage at OlympiaOn TV again as SWAT TV were filming all the speeches and will be doing a feature  some time soon. Look out for it as there will also be an opportunity to win a signed copy of our book ‘Life Swap’!!

Now we have come home and are really looking forward to working with all those people who booked in for our courses at Stepping Off.

Our first One Life Livers are coming up this weekend – can’t wait.  We have had a lovely quiet winter which has been just so enjoyable but I am ready to get back into harness again.

Busy few months ahead – we are already booked up for every weekend until June with both our courses – so will catch up when I can.

Enjoy life!

I'm not good

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

Here I am again. 

I am afraid that two weeks has gone by and I haven’t written a thing – more due to technology then laziness as I had written a long bit but hit the wrong button, hadn’t saved it in draft and lost it – Still learning!
Anyway two weeks since our  TV programme – what fun it was, despite the fact that we were on with Carol Thatcher and David Cameron – (make of that what you will!) And despite the fact that the BBC managed to edit out almost every reference to the fact that we run food smoking courses and workshops for people who want to change their life – both our websites went mad with visitors. So we are gearing up for a busy year.
In addition we had loads of emails from old friends and ex-colleagues who saw us on the programme and tracked us down. It was lovely to catch up and hear all their news.
We have also had more enquiries about more TV appearances – so watch this space!!
At the moment we are gearing up for the One Life Live Show at Olympia 13-15  March where Stepping Off has a stand. We always meet great people there and many of them book to come on our workshops.  Have a look at the website – it is a great show.     Busy writing my speech as I am speaking in the main theatre on both Saturday  and Sunday – but more of that to come.

Exciting news… TV Tuesday!

Friday, January 9th, 2009

Back in October (when I should have been honing my blogging skills!) we here at Stepping Off were visited by Carol Thatcher  and the BBC’s One Show.  We are being re-visited again on Tuesday 13th January for a quick live shoot to introduce our feature about downshifting, Stepping Off and Smoky Jo’s!

The week beginning 12th January The One Show are apparently running five short stories about folk who have changed their lives.  With yours truly, they are looking at Smoky Jo’s – our other business.  

Having left the police, downshifted and bought a Smokehouse, which we ran for three years,  we then sold the smokehouse and set up Stepping Off – aiming to help other people change their lives as we had done (only making fewer mistakes!)

However we missed our smoked food – so we started to smoke our own food at home.  One day over dinner when we were serving a home smoked chicken our guests pleaded with us to teach them how to smoke food.  This turned into us running food smoking courses in a little business called Smoky Jo’s.  That’s me – I am Smoky Jo!

Well, the TV people were very interested in our lifestyle and how it  evolved but filming Stepping Off really wasn’t  going to make visually exciting TV.  However….taking Carol Thatcher out to catch a trout, making sausages with her and then helping her smoke it all was much more up their street.  So that is what we did.

So don’t miss us – Tuesday 13th January at 7pm on BBC 1 – The One Show 

Spot the old trout!

Spot the old trout!

Catching up…

Friday, January 9th, 2009

I perhaps did not try blogging long enough to enjoy the activity, but I have been suitably chastised and encouraged by blogging friends and am about to try again… watch this space….

How did it all start

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Well – looking back I am not really sure when it all started.  I do know that for a couple of years I was beginning to be disillusioned with my work. I still really enjoyed it and found it very stimulating but is just didnt seem to be enough any more.  Perhaps it was too much rather than not enough – because work took up all my time which left me with not enough time of me.  Time – the holy grail.  Time is the one thing that we all crave more of – and it is the hardest thing to get.

I had what we call some ‘Life changing moments’.  Moments when something would happen and it felt like being hit by a brick. Something would be said or something would happen which would make you reel backwards and think Whoa! this is not how it is supposed to be (what ever ‘it’ is).  Then you would begin to think ‘It is time to get out’ or ‘I no longer feel as though I have control of my life’.

Once that starts to happen it is very hard to undo the thoughts.  Little thoughts kept creeping into my mind – ‘I dont have to put up with this nonsence’ (There is always something silly going on at work) or ‘I wonder if I could do something else?’ or ‘I wonder what it would be like not to have to commute 3 hours a day’…. and so on.  So slowly I found my mind slipping out of work mode and day dreaming about doing something else or living differently.

It rather all came into focus when I decided to go on holiday.  My partner and I decided we were just too tired and stressed to plan a holiday abroad – I didnt want to cope with airports, flights, delays etc so we decidied to hire a narrow boat for two weeks for some peace and quiet. And that was just about the last straw!