Anna Rae-Jones’ practice as a life coach and group facilitator has come out of her own journey of work, education and personal development over the last 25 years and even earlier throughout her childhood.
The majority of her career history has been in caring professions:
First of all in teaching, as a play leader and in care work for young people with learning disabilities.
Then an Occupational Therapist (OT) assisting people with long term illness and disability. She worked with people experiencing mental health issues, long term physical health conditions or life limiting illness. Her work as an OT helped to facilitate ways for people to maintain their quality of life by carrying out personally meaningful activities (occupations). She worked with individuals 1:1 short, medium and long term and ran rehabilitative groups like confidence building, stress management, energy conservation, cooking, art and ceramics, reminiscence or health/lifestyle awareness.
Later she became a team manager and developed services for the NHS and Social Care giving her valuable experience of leading and managing people in the workplace and of the differing pressures for teams, resources and the groups they served. So as well as working with individuals, Anna developed an interest in looking at team dynamics and wellbeing in the workplace.
Work life balance switcheroo time
In 2012, on becoming a mother and needing to care for her young son and husband with health issues, Anna chose to follow a side step into Horticulture. The outdoors, nature and gardens have always been personal favourites, so the learning was packed with passion.
On completion of an RHS level 2 diploma in Horticulture, she gained an apprenticeship as an ornamental gardener and subsequently continued to work at the Gardens at Highgrove, for the Household of TRH the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall until 2017.
During her time working hard outdoors for hours in the garden, she experienced the true benefits to be gained from direct contact with the natural world. Anna realised the depth of her ability to remain strong and resilient whatever life brings and to keep in balance. A strength heightened by being out on nature.
Anna was also lucky enough to work as part of a team which had great camaraderie, to work hard and be focussed and on task, while finding things to smile about even in the howling wind and pouring rain. Could it be the environment led people in the team to feel happier? Anna believes absolutely, yes!
The interest sparked towards the health benefits of nature led Anna to study Therapeutic Horticulture with an organisation called Thrive and to research environmental and eco psychology.
Onwards and alongwards into everyleaf
The seed of an idea began in the garden, a desire to help others again to find their own direction, their own inner voice, better balance, wellbeing and let nature, creativity and play help the process.
So taking her next step into the future, Anna left her garden job in 2017 to pursue her coaching career. She currently runs her practice from Stroud, Gloucestershire in the UK.
Anna is also busy and committed to:
Being a parent to a young and lively boy, a step-parent, wife, daughter, sister, friend and colleague.
Working at becoming a better human being and citizen, towards fellow humans, other creatures and our home planet. It’s a lifelong WIP (work in progress)!
Leading an inspired, fun, creative, authentic life and encouraging others to do the same. Another worthwhile WIP.
Working hard at following a career path from inspiration, in service of others.
Being a member of the local community of Stroud, Gloucesterhire in the UK for the last 12 years. It’s home.
That really is enough to be going on with.
The wonder, huge mystery, whole system and magnificence of the natural world.
Love, where other people do great things, even if that thing is to do something simple and small like making a hot drink for others when they’re thirsty.
People’s ability to change, adapt and cope with difficulties with grace and dignity.
People who do, think and share remarkable things for the sake of others.
People (especially her closest ones) and nature.
Whiskers on kittens and raindrops on roses. Seriously they are on the list, along with all the other little details, that can cheer us up like being given an unprompted hug, watching a bird on the feeder or the smell of fresh laundry.
Laughing and being daft, being outdoors, all the creative arts and music.
Silence and time alone.
To spot lost things
To know what people need
To patiently untangle knotted stuff
To find something positive or funny about any situation (especially ones that don’t seem to be that way)