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Down With Frogs

Follow Eden’s funny, dark, smart, occasionally tragic stories about the frogs you have had to kiss before you find your Prince or give up looking.

A different view of dating and break ups, Gruger writes women’s stories in the way their might speak to their closest girlfriends.

With stories including Fishing Socks and Sexy Boots, Meeting the Parents, Why On Earth Are They Single? The Reason I Don’t Eat Pork Chops and Day Out At The STI Clinic

“I laughed…I cried…a great read, thoroughly recommend”

“A fabulously funny read”

“I couldn’t put it down”

“Five star”

Inspired by…Teresa

Teresa_Dukes_Home

Today I am sharing why I have been inspired by Teresa Dukes of Dukes Consultancy. Teresa, is a trainer (over 25,000 people to date), an international speaker (USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Germany, Switzerland, Abidjan Ivory Coast, Johannesburg, London, Dublin, Barcelona, Bangkok and Thailand…I know right?) and Teresa has successfully coached National Speech Champions. In between all these accomplishments she found time to co-author the #1 bestselling book ‘World Class Speaking in Action’; and her second co-authored book ‘Women on Success’ is out March 2020… And breathe, yes, this woman’s got some energy!

Dukes Consultancy

I have been inspired by you because... you were the first female professional public speaker that I had ever met! and the way you told a story was captivating. Hearing you really got me thinking about the validity of my own stories, and made me realise that I could speak in my natural voice, an insight which has given me so much courage.

How did you get to where you are now: In 1999 I was working as an executive secretary in one of London’s prestigious utility companies, and was trying to find a way to advance my career into management; it proved difficult because of the perception managers had of the secretarial role, and I was held back by my lack of confidence in my ability to speak effectively not only at work but everywhere! This allowed people to control my future, my path, and my dream all because of my lack of courage to stand up for myself.

It was time to change from a shy timid secretary who followed others, to a strong, confident leader who people wanted to hear speak, and who people would listen to when she did. Joining and walking through the door of a speakers’ club for the first time was one of the hardest things I ever did – but it has also been one of the most rewarding.

Fast forward a decade, after amazing personal growth and promotions in my corporate career, it was time for me to take an even bigger step and became the founding Director of Dukes Consultancy – ‘Helping you Be Heard, Understood and Remembered’. I was now my own boss! who would have ever imagined that?

So, what made the difference? How did I go from a shy, timid secretary to running my own company helping others overcome their obstacles in confidence? Working with someone who not only believed in my abilities and potential, but who wanted to help me unleash them and make them real. In my case this just happened to be my boss, he took me under his wing and guided me through the pitfalls of promotion. It took 18 months of coaching and a lot of hard work, my journey took me down many different (sometimes very unexpected, sometimes hugely rewarding) roads; but together we broke down the perception of my previous secretarial persona, built my confidence and self-belief to a new level, and gained the acceptance of my peers. He helped me be heard, understood and remembered, and we are still in touch today!

Having a mentor who had been through a similar experience, and was willing to help me realise my potential was a powerful step in the right direction, and made me passionate about doing them same for the people I work with through my training and coaching.
Piece of Wisdom to share: The first step is the hardest, but as soon as you take it you will never look back. Look at people who have accomplished what you are aiming for. Look for resources that help you reach your goals. Identify a coach who is willing to help you on your journey. Set your goals and act - start making them a reality.

Resolution for 2020: I don’t make resolutions, I set goals! My three for 2020 are to publish a third book entitled: ‘Presenting at your Best in 26 Steps’. To increase the love of storytelling in business presentations; and to spend more time with my grandchildren!

Dukes Consultancy - Helping you be Heard, Understood and Remembered

TTFN Eden :-)

Best job ever

“Have you ever wondered what is the best job title in the world? (besides body oil application assistant to Tom Hardy)

Well I saw a badge a couple of weeks ago, that surely must be the one, and was blown away – no careers advice service ever told me this was an option.

Did you know that you could be a ‘Cheesecake Creator’ – me either, until I met Chetal Patel from Sopwell Pantry. Best job in the world, Chetal Patel your new best friend

Not only does this lucky woman get to make and test her own wares, she also creates her own flavour combinations for us to enjoy, inspired by her travels around the world.

Hmm Chetal is it wrong that we all want to be your best friend?

Say Hello to Chetal

TTFN Eden :-)

Flourishing and wellness

Another day another inspirational woman crosses my path, am I extra lucky? Maybe, maybe not, I have just got over my fear of being intimidated into hiding from strong women, running towards them so I can listen to their wisdom instead. I was really fortunate to hear a presentation given by Marie of Flourish Fit and Well recently about blue zones (the areas in the world where people achieve the most longevity, and how they might be achieving this). Never having heard about this before my mind was spinning with the ideas that Marie shared, do you know about your healthspan – the years you will have your health, versus lifespan – how long you are likely to live? It seemed to create a more accurate picture of how you can expect your wellbeing to pan out, by showing how your current lifestyle will contribute to how long you will have to live with ill health or manage health conditions in later life.

This is something I will be looking into and working on a lot more over the next few months, and when I do work out my HS v LS figures don’t worry, I will be sharing them, no matter how scary they might be…One of the things that Marie was quick to point out, is that all changes for the better are worthwhile, and her hand out ‘a week of health habits’ has got my ball well and truly rolling. 7 hours of sleep I can do, I have more issues waking up than I do dropping off, having the dubious accolade in my family of being ‘most likely to sleep through a war’. A minute of movement is easy to achieve with two dogs, so I am ok on that one, and my allotment means my half a plate of plants is an easy one, but healthy fats and perfect proteins I am not even sure what they are. If two minutes of mindfulness means being quiet and being rather than doing, then nope; and the only water I drink first thing in the morning is that which dilutes my coffee. Fortunately, when your bad habits are as bad as mine then the only way is up!

TTFN Eden :-)

It’s the future

Hey all, as you probably know by now I am working hard on my next book 'Laughing at Myself' which hopefully will come out later this year or in January 2020.  That feels utterly bizarre, 2020 is a futuristic time and now it's nearly here, must be a sign of getting old.  Anyway, so L-A-M is coming along well now, half the stories are ready for the editor (sorry Steph) and the other half is in final draft, just need a bit of tweaking for me to be happy enough with them.

This time last year I was rushing around like a lunatic the editor was on the phone for hours, the cover I wanted wasn't available, and it dawned on me that I had been so busy writing that I hadn't done enough marketing to let anyone know that Down With Frogs existed.  It was a baptism of fire, but what a lot of lessons learnt, and a lovely spreadsheet (yum spreadsheet...) that told me what to do when was born.  This time I have taken the lessons and worked more 50/50 on marketing and writing, and I haven't even looked at my beautiful chart, so I am guessing that by the next book (title currently unknown) I will be organised enough to use the chart and not have to think so much about having to do certain things by certain times, as the spreadsheet will run my life.

What an amazing life this is, I write stuff down that comes into my head and you read it.  #dreamcometrue, apparently hash tags have had their day - hey nothing wrong with being 5 to 10 years behind the times....

TTFN Eden :-)

Doner Kebabs & heart attacks

Another day, another Doner, my confession to you is that I live in London, and I have never actually tried a doner kebab, never even been tempted not when drunk or when insanely hungry.  There may even be people reading this who have never even seen one.  Let me explain, imagine how you would draw a leg of lamb for a medieval banquet - bear with me, and then imagine it upside down, and that it is all light brown and wet look shiny.  Finally imagine it rotating, slowly.  This is a Doner kebab.  It is a marriage of meat scraps welded together with fat, doesn't that sound appetising? Husband said that his friend used to treat himself to one after a hard weeks work, I asked which of his friends this was? 'Oh you don't know him' he said, 'he died of a heart attack'.

Why am I explaining this to you? because today I am having the wealthy cousin of the aforementioned Doner - the Chicken Shish, chunks of chicken breast, peppers, mushrooms and onions on skewers and grilled over a barbeque grill.  So I am able to tell myself that grilled meat, and vegetables, especially when served with salad is a healthy option.

This is very much like life as a whole, in any situation you can make whatever choices you wish, but remember that the treat you believe that you deserve for your efforts can be what ends up killing your spirit (if not your body).  Maybe the real treat is looking after yourself, being your own carer and cheerleader - at - all - times - people - at - all - times.

Take you of yourselves

TTFN Eden :-)

Deafness and accents

Auntie Elda is a lovely person, I think, I say that I think because although I have known her my whole life, I haven’t actually been able to understand anything she has ever said. She has a beautiful, musical Southern Irish accent, it sounds gorgeous, but is absolutely impenetrable thanks to my dodgy hearing.

I think she must think I am quite ‘special’ too, given that I always just nod and agree with everything she has ever said to me, I imagine her going home and saying to my Uncle ahh poor Laura such a shame.

The one upside to this, is that Auntie Elda has always called me by my sister's name, so at least she thinks it is Laura who is the idiot.

Words in Progress Posts

TTFN Eden :-)

Down With Frogs

Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.
Surprise for the first time in my life I am early! Down With Frogs was due to be released on 28th August - but here is it today! 

Click on the blue button above to buy direct from my publisher

This collection of stories contains the humour, heartache and hope of the modern romantic relationship; Told in my easy conversational style.

Both the ebook and the paperback have been designed with a larger font, and wider spacing to be helpful to the dyslexic reader and those with literacy issues. I believe in inclusive - not exclusive

Enjoy! and please don't forget to tell your friends

Now available at Lulu.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple

---  Paperback coming soon --- 

TTFN Eden :-)