Helping leaders, creatives and changemakers bring heart and wisdom to their work.

Hi, I’m Pauline

Want there to be more heart and wisdom and less burnout in the world? Me too! Let’s make that happen.

What brought me here

Having twice come back from the edge of burnout and seen countless others push themselves over the edge, I’m very aware of the factors that contribute to overwhelm.

Many people come for coaching believing that they are the problem, suspecting that maybe they haven’t got what it takes for the job.

I’ve found that this is rarely true.

I’ve now spent over 20 years coaching leaders and know there’s something that can be done about most of the issues contributing to overwhelm and the road from there needn’t inevitably lead to burnout.

But if your coping strategy is to put a brave face on and work harder, then it probably will.
And now, with a pandemic adding to the pressure, ‘46% of UK workers feel more prone to extreme stress than last year’ March 2020’ mentalhealth.uk.org

It’s a lot.

It IS a lot, and as important as our individual suffering is, at this critical point in our human history, so is our collective society’s suffering.

In order to have a world and society fit to live in, I believe it’s going to take all of us, all of our efforts, woven together to create it.

You matter, your unique contribution matters, the world needs you and we can’t afford to lose you to burnout.

A blend of traditional and new, fresh ways of working

I’m an Accredited Executive Coach and member of the Association for Coaching. I have a certificate in Training and Development, Advanced diploma in Management Development and am a licenced Myers Briggs practitioner.

Alongside those, from my interest in how the mind, body and spirit work together as one, I’m a qualified Holistic Massage Therapist (not practising), hold a Certificate in Holistic Spirituality and Spiritual Companionship, studied the Stanford University course on Love as a Force for Social Justice, and most recently trained in the use of Art and Images in Coaching as a way of bypassing the ego and accessing the unconscious…

Here lies the juicy, surprising innovative stuff that you didn’t know you had in you!


When I’m not working

In top place there’s a tie… Reading and dancing, five rhythms dance as well as ‘hands in the air’ kitchen dancing.

Lovely smells… basil oil for cleaning the bathroom!
Good food and wine and also crisps.

More about my influences and inspiration
Sir Terence Conran

For showing post war Britain the possibility of beauty rather than only utlility
For running a business where design and profit were equally important
For being willing, when I asked, to come and meet Habitat Youth Training Scheme trainees.
For the best kedgeree recipe I have.


Gabrielle Roth

For the lightest spirit I know
For five rhythms dance that you can’t do wrong, can only do your way
For encouragement to keep exploring your way till you’ve seen the very edges of it and push on out even from those edges



For economics as though people mattered
For the schumacher society


Thorwald Dethlefson & Rudiger Dahlke

For The Healing Power of Illness
For telling me what our symptoms are telling us

Thomas Moore

For embracing the darkness. How to be with yourself on a dark night of the soul


John O Donohue

For the softest Irish soul and fellow celt who wrote amongst many others Divine Beauty, a gentle but urgent call to awaken.


Scilla Elworthy

For being an inspiration, for wanting to be ‘powerful in a way that is not in itself abusive’ and for rolling her sleeves up and getting into ‘how and by whom nuclear weapons decisions are made worldwide’


Marshall Rosenberg

For founding nonviolent communication which provides a model for changing lives and consciousness everywhere.


Julio Olalla

For making listening to your body a credible thing to do with ontological coaching.


Julia Cameron

For The Artists Way which has the power to bring my flagging spirit back to life in 12 weeks


Nancy Kline

For ‘Time to Think’, the most human management process and writing about management I’ve read


David Whyte

For guts in the workplace and in poetry


Eckhart Tolle

For the ultimate clarity in our reason for being


Margaret Benefiel

For ground level research in what spirit looks like when it is present in the workplace


Isabel Briggs Myers

For providing a way of looking at personality preferences that encourages the best from people, viewing preferences as gifts and to look for where those gifts would be valuable rather than where they’re not valued and are viewed as weaknesses requiring correction or improvement. Ah. What a relief.


M Scott Peck

For turning my head early on with ‘The Road Less Travelled’

Iris Murdoch
For blending philosophy and fiction like no other
The Sea The Sea probably still my favourite for the meals concocted in amongst the philosophy


Gabriel Faure

For his requiem which takes me to other places
This is the recording I have


Giuseppe Verdi

For his requiem which also takes me to other places
This is a one and a half hour live version


Keith Jarrett

For losing himself in performances like The Koln concert


Arvo Part

For ‘Alina’ the adult’s lullaby


Buena Vista Social Club

For making age no obstacle


My Auntie Madge

For her light spirit in an otherwise dreich north east Scotland. Whilst others trudged, Auntie Madge sprung, whilst others bleated, Auntie Madge fairly sang (metaphorically speaking). She had the capacity to lighten the mood of every room she entered. She also loved her husband, as he did her. They were a joy to be around. And fun.
She had the capacity for finding pleasure in everything.

“You created a reflective space for me to really appraise my circumstances. I’d never have done that for myself… The way you work is unique, it’s certainly not off the shelf. It enabled me to make my instincts conscious and also to appreciate the contribution I make. That’s priceless. No matter what my challenges were at any given time, you had a perspective, tool or technique that was appropriate, helpful and that shifted things.”

J. M. Head of Service Excellence BUPA

“Working with Pauline facilitated a desperately needed, deep and profound change in my life. She had insights into my situation like nobody had ever done before and was able to pierce straight to the core of issues and guide me back to myself. Her gentle, intuitive, humorous and compassionate energy never failed to reach my heart and I always left our sessions feeling deeply grateful. I recommend her to anyone who wants to get in touch with, and live a life expressing, their deepest nature. ”

T.G. Author

“I had a growing awareness that there were things about myself that I needed to deal with. I’d tried lots of things, different coaching techniques and models of thinking, but never got to the bottom of the issues. I got more than I expected from our coaching. Now people are remarking on the new me. I know this work has released not a new me but the real me and with it, a lot more drive. Your coaching has a light touch with deep impact.”

J.M. Management Consultant, Cambridge

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About Pauline

Pauline Esson has spent over 20 years working with hundreds of leaders to help them get out of worry & overwhelm and become confident leaders that are capable of making the difference they want to make.

Holistic Spiritual Companion