But what if you could? Or what if you did know?

Sometimes you just don’t know. Or you feel like you can’t.

What moves you from that, to exploring whether you could? Or to a place of knowing you can, and doing it?

Earlier this week my sister and I were hiking Lookout Mountain in Phoenix, at sunrise. I’m in Arizona in between conferences in the States, and as my family are in Arizona I get the double blessing of being able to work remotely and also fit in time with family too.

And as often happens when my sister and I get together, we got deep real fast, and spent our hike talking about life things and hard things and what we’re wrestling through and encouraging and challenging each other.

I was sharing some of the things I’m learning from my journey to better health, and questions I ask myself now that I’m more than seven months into that journey. One of the questions I’ve been considering is, how do I help people who say they want to change, but you can tell from how they say it that they’re not quite ready yet? 

It’s happened a few times recently. I have spoken to people at events, or in a shop I popped into, and we’ve talked about how I cut out sugar and am working on healthier choices and the results in my life because of it.

And I can instantly tell the difference between the person who says they love the sound of it and wish they could do it….and the person who says that’s amazing and they want to do it.

There’s a “that’s amazing you did it, or are doing it, but I don’t think I can” feeling from the person who’s not ready yet.

I can completely empathise with that situation. I’ve been there.

I’ve been in the place of wishing I wasn’t so overweight, discouraged, easily sick, wearied, struggling more than I knew I needed to be. And yet still ordering pizza and takeaway, skipping walks or exercise because i was too tired, feeling depressed every time I tried on clothes and nothing looked good.

And I would say at sometimes, I need to do better. I want to do better. I want to go walking and be healthier and say no and make good choices. I want to lose weight and I need to, for the sake of my life and health and business.

But I didn’t. 

I kept making unhealthy choices.

Why didn’t I? What is that moment, that trigger that switches you over from “i want to but i’m not doing anything about it” to “i want to AND i’m doing something about it”?

I don’t actually know. Even now, looking back, I can’t say why I sat in my friend’s living room and told her (for the twentieth time) how weary I was of it and how I wanted to change, and why the outcome of that conversation was different than every time before.

I don’t know what it was, probably because it was a combination of lots of things. It was me realising I’d need to go to a different level of clothes sizes (larger than the largest ‘standard’ sizes). Or standing on the scale and realising I was heavier than I had ever been in my life. Or recognising my age, and how it was only going to get harder and harder, and take longer, to make the changes I wanted to make. Or hearing my friend say, “Well, if you really want things to be different, you’re going to have to do different things” – and actually hearing her instead of nodding and saying yes, yes, you’re right…and then going back to ordering takeaway so I didn’t feel so bad that evening.

But one thing my sister and I discussed on that hike was asking the ‘what if it’s possible’ questions.

When you don’t know, asking, “but what if I did know?”

When you feel like you can’t, asking “but what if I could?”

When it all feels impossible, asking “how might I do this?”

And it’s not only asking those questions: it’s the attitude you have in your spirit when you ask them (or when someone asks them of you).

You can receive that question frustrated, angry, discouraged.

You can say “arghhh i hate that question, that’s so annoying”.

Or you can receive it with hope and interest, saying “That’s a really good question. Answering it will take me to a better place than I’m in right now, and I don’t like this place or this situation or this feeling or this struggle. So I’m going to ask it, and really enter into the answer.”

Again…I don’t know what moves you from a resisting attitude to a welcoming one. I really don’t. It’s usually the combination of a hundred different factors: but one of them is repetition. 

Keep asking the questions.

Keep wondering, “but what if I could?”, and keep trying to make that a positive open question (not an attacking or harsh one).

Keep wondering, “how might I approach this?”, and be willing to see multiple options instead of presuming there is only just one.

Keep wondering, “but what if I did know?’, and pay attention to the things that come to mind when you do.

Follow me


Morning walk. I stood and watched the ferry come in and the sun lighten this little edge of the world.
Been going through old photos and letters - the last of the boxes i had stored at my sister’s house in america. 

When I first moved to Scotland, I only planned to live here for a few years and then go back. Then after a few years I wasn’t ready yet…then I got my residency…still not quite ready….then started a business…then Scottish citizenship…bought a house …finally accepted this is my home and I wasn’t moving back. 

And with every visit back to the states I would go through more boxes, more photos and letters and memories. I’d keep some and throw others away; take photos out of frames and give away the frames; and as time went on I was able to distinguish between the ones I definitely wanted and needed to keep, and those which were lovely at the time but didn’t need to be saved anymore.

Over twenty years on and this past trip I went through the very last of the boxes. I joked to my sister that I’ve now officially settled into Scotland 😆 

This photo of me and my Gramps is a fave and definitely a keeper. Most of the photos and letters I’ve kept are those of family - parents, grandparents, sisters, nieces and nephews. And as much as I love taking landscape photos, I noticed that 20 years later it’s the people photos I am more likely to keep. Thankful for the traditions and patterns of seeing family every year or so since moving to Scotland. They’re small things - baking Christmas cookies and going for walks and going for road trips - but it’s the time together and the continuing family jokes and the memories which remain. And a few photos.

My grandfather (and all my grandparents) have now passed on, but I remember with fondness sitting around at their kitchen table, eating fresh vegetables from the garden, playing scrabble, laughing and talking and drinking coffee.

It’s the small things, and the rhythms of family, which last. ❤️ 
#family #memories #grandparents #oldphotos
Made fresh mince pies for the first time ever. Over twenty years in Scotland and I’d never tried to make them from scratch, so I figured…now is the time! I’m doing lots of thanksgiving baking (yes, we stretch it out here so I’m still prepping!) and decided to buy the ingredients. 

Dried fruit…mixed peel…lots of spices…and Venezuelan rum :) I made up the mincemeat last night, and then today put it in the little pastries and even cut out the wee stars to go on top!

I think I can safely say they’re the best mince pies I’ve ever had. Fresh out of the oven sprinkled with icing sugar and with a glass of said rum alongside :) 

Now we are curled up with a Harry Potter marathon, with plenty of mince pies AND a thanksgiving feast still to come. Happiness! 

#mincepies #homebaking #maryberry #maryberryrecipe #happythanksgiving #happychristmas #harrypotter #hpmarathon
Oh hey, it’s me. 

And a new updated KLR brand and website! 

For the past six months or so, while I was finishing my book content and the final edits from my side, we have also been working on an updated KLR brand and website, to distinguish from the PF brand and site. 

It’s a tough job, when you’re the business owner and have been for ten years. And the book you’ve written is for the kind of clients your business serves, so it feels like a PF project.

But I’ve also been working for years to figure out (and help others see) that PF is far more than me. I’m the owner and MD, and I’m involved in sales and speaking and writing, and yet our clients primarily work with the team. There are 18 beautiful humans delivering great creative work every day from PF (soon to be 19!) and as I always say to potential clients, you definitely want all of them working on your creative projects. They’re structured and organised and talented - 19x more talented than just me. 

I’ve still got my own skills. And my own identity. It took us weeks to dig into how we represent “Karen L Reyburn” as a personal brand, with an audience of clients and friends and accountants and non-accountants and witches and wizards and family members and creative humans. 

We settled on “Leader, writer, creative, coach”, because those are the areas I love the most and want to lean into more as PF grows. And as I write more books and keep being my own self. 

If you’d like to be on the list to get “Karen’s notes” by email every Saturday, or to be on the waiting list for the book (coming May 2023), the link is in my bio. 

And I’d love for you to head over to my new site (karenlreyburn.com) and let me know what you love or anything you notice and wonder about! 

Stay strong, stay creative, and keep going. 

#karensnotes #staycreative #justkeepgoing