About Penelope Overton

Penelope is a life coach helping people uncover their questions, find the answers and get back on track. Her professional experience as a lawyer, a small business owner, a mediator and writer, together with her fair share of life’s ups and downs, means that she brings a uniquely practical, empathic and acute listening to the intricacies of your particular situation. To find out more about Penelope, click here.

No is for No!

N is for No! I went for a swim this morning, around 6.45, catching the low tide. The waves were crashing a bit, quite strong, following one quite quickly after another. There was something rather sweet about it. It reminded me of an obstreperous toddler stamping their foot and shouting no! then fortifying their view with downright refusal to cooperate on bloody anything. The sea was like that. Bolshy, almost knocking me over, pushing me west if I didn’t stand my ground. Except I could stand my ground, or I [...]

2024-03-10T09:33:34+00:0010 March 2024|A to Z of Life Coaching, acceptance, coaching, life coaching, no, respect, sea swimming|Comments Off on No is for No!

M is for Murmuration (but really La Mer)

M is for murmuration. Isn't it wonderful? But this is going to be M is for mer. As in la mer. The sea. Sea swimming. I hear a collective sigh. Not again. You get it. Swimming in cold water is amazing, give her a biscuit. But I was wondering, what is it about this cold sea swimming thing that works for me? Oh yes, bragging opportunities, being at one with nature (if Brighton beach constitutes nature), the build-up of brown fat, camaraderie, (though I tend to be on the antisocial [...]

2024-01-10T13:40:28+00:0010 January 2024|A to Z of Life Coaching, alive, Bravery, coaching, coaching skills, courage, Daring, fear, murmuration, personal development, winter swimming|Comments Off on M is for Murmuration (but really La Mer)

L is for Life Coach

I loathe the term Life Coach. I use it because it’s the only way people can find me. Why don’t I like it? Snobbery, mainly. Because it sounds flaky and uneducated. Because a Life Coach is just a poor person’s therapist. Because life coaching is all about goals and accountability, and I don’t usually work that way. Because Life Coach is a job for people who aren’t qualified for anything else. Because of this Life Coach. Because Life Coach sounds like I’ll have a whole lot of tools and a [...]

K is for King

I could have done something about how flexible we are, getting used to King Charles after Queen Elizabeth, calling top barristers KCs not QCs, referring to a Queen consort not Prince Phillip, getting our heads round who's got what in terms of dukedoms and principalities, new Edinburghs, new Waleses. But I’m not. I’m tired today (I did the night shift at Samaritans so my reserve is low). I’m just going to say what a load of absolute bs the whole royalty thing is. The pomp and nonsense of a coronation, [...]

2023-03-24T11:20:17+00:0024 March 2023|A to Z of Life Coaching, change, coaching, Compassionate Inquiry, coronation, king|Comments Off on K is for King

J is for Judgment (again)

J is for judgement.  I did judgement last time, but it’s a big subject so I’m going to do it again. Once, many years ago, I was training in mediation and practising active listening, doing rather well, or so I thought.  In this practice session, one of the parties was telling me how he had decided to deal with a matter with his manager, and I was telling him how great that sounded, how he’d acted with courage and integrity, all that kind of thing. The trainer told me I [...]

2023-03-17T07:09:48+00:0017 March 2023|A to Z of Life Coaching, active listening, judgment, kindness, Uncategorised|Comments Off on J is for Judgment (again)

I is for indecision, intuition, instinct and impetuousness

I is for indecision, instinct and intuition. And impulsiveness. Quite often a client will tell me that they are wracked with indecision over something. Shall I, shan’t I? If I do this, then that will happen, but if I do that, this might. And quite often what they’ve tried already, and what they want to do with me is make a list, pros and cons. I have wasted hours, days, probably weeks and months engaged in this kind of activity myself. There’s a lot to be said for indecision, as [...]

2023-03-13T13:23:50+00:0010 March 2023|A to Z of Life Coaching, active listening, Gabor Maté, impetuosity, instinct, intuition|Comments Off on I is for indecision, intuition, instinct and impetuousness

H is for hindsight

H is for hindsight, which is, as we all know, a wonderful thing. With hindsight (or even taking the trouble to listen to anyone other than the Tory base and their own fanatical desire for power) Truss and Kwarteng would have avoided crashing the economy and making a bad situation a whole lot worse; with hindsight, those who voted Brexit would have seen that the promises of Johnson and Gove were nothing of the sort; with hindsight, the government might (arguably) have responded more quickly and appropriately to the early [...]

2023-03-13T13:24:27+00:009 March 2023|A to Z of Life Coaching, coaching, Compassionate Inquiry, hindsight, Hope|Comments Off on H is for hindsight

G is for Guess

When I was six I won a game of ‘guess how many sweets are in the jar’ at my dad’s office party, by cheating. Somewhat pathetically, rather than guess my own number, I copied the number that before mine on the sheet. Only I copied it down wrong. I’ve always felt slightly guilty about that incident, but I’ve managed to turn that sort of guessing into a job. Very often, in the course of a session, I will make a stab at guessing what my client is feeling. I don’t [...]

2022-11-01T11:58:01+00:001 November 2022|A to Z of Life Coaching, active listening, Compassionate Inquiry, curiosity, Enquiry, guess, listening, question|Comments Off on G is for Guess

F is for Feeling

F is for feeling. Something we all know quite a lot about – right? Well, you’d think so, but my experience is that quite a lot of us don’t. We find feelings hard to identify, hard to name, hard to stay with, hard to rely on. It’s partly a language problem. In English, we get used to putting ‘that’ after ‘I’m feeling’ which turns ‘I feel’ into ‘I think”. Thinking isn’t the same as feeling. Thinking happens in the mind, feeling happens in the body. It’s partly that we’re not [...]

2022-10-12T10:31:16+01:0012 October 2022|Uncategorised|Comments Off on F is for Feeling

E is for Enquiry

At last, after an unexplained (and inexplicable) gap, I’m back to my alphabet.  E is for Enquiry. I’m not talking about the judicial kind, that purports to find facts and then seeks retribution, compensation, apology and changes in the law (though I understand the purpose and importance of these if they’re conducted well). No, I mean enquiry as opposed to assuming you know the answer already; enquiry as opposed to being too frightened to ask; enquiry as opposed to believing your opinion is the one that matters, along with winning [...]

2022-09-28T13:52:54+01:0028 September 2022|A to Z of Life Coaching, Compassionate Inquiry, curiosity, Enquiry|Comments Off on E is for Enquiry
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