Meet Dr Montagu

I wish all my website visitors a heartfelt and very warm welcome. You may not be a regular reader of my blog, so I will tell you a bit more about myself and why it is my mission to connect women with the power within themselves to create the lives they want.

My Past

I used to be a medical doctor. I worked as a general practitioner. I loved my job, I really felt I was making a difference in my patients’ lives. I worked hard, earned a good salary and eventually paying off the mortgage was becoming a real possibility.

Until disaster struck. I developed a debilitating eye disease. Both my eyes were affected. I had more operations in those first 5 years after diagnosis than I care to remember. I ended up blind in one eye and with only a limited amount of vision in the other eye.

My medical career was over before I reached my forty-fifth birthday.

Strangely enough, no longer being able to do the work I love was not the worst of what had happened to me. Much more devasting was what the tragedy had done to my self-esteem. I had lost all confidence in myself and my abilities.

Rebuilding my self-esteem to a level where I was capable of contemplating starting a new career was hard. It took a long time. I was often plagued by doubts. I often felt like giving up. I was uncomfortably made aware of how different I now looked when saw the shock on my friends’ and family’s faces when they saw me. In all honesty, I felt like crawling into a dark hole and never coming out again.

Convincing myself that I could still make a valuable contribution to society was the biggest challenge that I had faced in my entire life. Restarting from scratch, training for a new profession I could continue to practice even if I should lose my sight was the hardest thing I had ever done.

My Present

Today I run workshops and I write books helping people build or rebuild their self-esteem. In the south of France, where I have always dreamed of living. On a little farm, in an ancient French farmhouse, surrounded by vineyards, sunflower fields, woods and meadows, in the foothills of the mighty Pyrenées mountains. I live here with my husband and our six horses.

I know, though, what it feels like to lose your way and to lose all confidence in your own abilities. I know what it feels like to be overwhelmed by fears about the future. I know what it feels like to be so stressed that you think your head is going to explode.

It is not an experience that I ever want to relive, but I am grateful for what I have learned. I now know how to cope with stress, I even know now how to use stress to my own advantage. I know how to create a life worth living, no matter what the odds. And I am grateful that I can share what I have learned, my knowledge and experience, with others.

Apart from the personal empowerment workshops and the books, I also write a blog and a monthly magazine. It is heart-breaking how many people have such low self-esteem that they remain stuck in dead-end lives when they have so much to give! My mission in life is to show my readers and workshop participants how utterly amazing, unique, powerful, gifted, beautiful, strong, generous, appreciated, valuable, talented, brilliant, admired, respected, courageous, special, caring and lovable they really are.

My Values and Beliefs

I believe a truly purposeful, meaningful and fulfilling life is about contribution to the greater good of all.

My Credentials and Qualifications

Find out more here.

As I am always advising my workshop participants and my readers to make lists of their strengths and weaknesses.  I thought it would only be fair if I followed my own advice:

My Strengths:

These days, I describe myself as a “reformed MD.” I retrained as an equine-assisted experiential learning coach. Yes, my personal empowerment workshops are co-hosted by six supersmart, utterly gorgeous and never-clean-for-longer-than-10-minutes horses. We also host walking and wine tasting workshops here at our 200+-year-old farmhouse.

We can only accommodate a small number of people on workshops every year. That is why I started writing. I realised that by writing books, I can share my knowledge and experience with a lot more people than I can by presenting workshops.

So I am actually a writer by default. I never intended to become a writer. I wrote my first book, Horse Riding Confidence Secrets, in 2012. It has a very narrow niche market, so it has been selling happily ever since without me having to do anything to promote it.

Last year, I wrote three more books, mostly putting the information and training I provide during the workshops in writing. Self-Confidence made Simple – French Women share their Self-Esteem Secrets for Women who want to live fulfilling, purposeful and prosperous Lives introduces several confidence-building hacks favoured by the assertive, independent and smart women of this country. Mindfulness and Meditation in the south of France discusses mindfulness as well as several alternatives to traditional sitting meditation, such as writing meditation, walking meditation, music meditation and working meditation. My book Secure Your promising, purposeful and prosperous Future is due for publication on the 3rd of March this year.

When my books were published, I discovered I had to do all the marketing myself. I now have a “writer’s platform” that includes a mailing list, a Twitter account (@EquineGuidedMD) with more than 12 000 followers, a blog with more than 12 000 followers, a Facebook page, Margaretha Montagu’s Workshops and Books, a growing collection of Pinterest boards at Margaretha’s Muse and a LinkedIn profile.

To entice readers of my blog to subscribe to my mailing list and monthly Mpower Me e-magazine, I wrote my third and shortest book, You ARE Good Enough – a 10 Step Strategy to stop Sabotaging Yourself. I give it away free to new subscribers to my mailing list.

You can claim a copy of your own by clicking here.

My Weaknesses

I love Scottish butter tablet. The only reason I do not weight 30 kg more than I do, is because I live in France for a large part of the year and you can not buy butter tablet here. I have tried to make it myself and luckily, I failed miserably.

I am obsessed with singing, as in opera. I sing. Maybe not opera yet, but I am taking weekly lessons from a famous locally-resident soprano, Cécile Fornerod, in the hope of eventually being able to sing some of my favourite pieces, like the Habanera from Bizet’s Carmen. In the meantime, I sing in a couple of local choirs and I enjoy it enormously.

margaretha-and-charles-liddell-graingerI am one of those thoroughly despised dressage divas. When my horses are not involved in equine-assisted experiential learning or equine-guided meditation, the poor things learn dressage. With me on board. I am quite passionate about classical dressage. In fact, this is how I met my second husband, Charles Montagu LG. He was introduced to me by a mutual friend, the famous dressage trainer and author, Sylvia Loch.

If we are ruled by eleven animonsters today, it is because we can not resist dog, cat or horses in need of rescue. Our three cats (make that four, we have just rescued another one) and our dog are all rescues. So are two of our six horses.

I am a morning person. It does not matter what time I go to sleep, I wake up very early. Not as in wake-up-and-go-back-to-sleep, but wake up as in wide awake impossible-to-fall-asleep again. In the summer, it doesn’t matter so much, as it starts to get light from 5h30 onwards, so I can go outside and pester the horses. But in the winter, when it is pitch-dark till 9h00, I have several long hours to fill someway or another. So I write: blog posts, books, articles, e-mails, website pages, reports…you get the idea.

I run. Five days out of seven. I have done so for more than 15 years now. Initially, I ran outside, but as my sight deteriorated, I started running on a treadmill – so much better for my knees! I fine tune most of my writing while running.

My Strengths and Weaknesses as seen through other people’s eyes:

My Books

My author page at Amazon is here and my books are listed below – click on the link to find out more:

Medical Disclaimer

books1

Guided Personal and Professional Growth – Reformed MD, assisted by six talented Horses, hosts Stress Management Mindfulness Meditation Workshops in the south of France