Monday, 21 December 2009

What is your impact on your world....?

I've been toying with this question for weeks now, what is my conscious intentional impact.... I thought I understood those words... and I do in my head and yet I don't actually 'get' the impact I am having, even now when I think about some real examples I am frowning! So, lets see if we can dig into this a bit more. What is the conscious intentional impact I am trying to have?

Wow, that's a great questions, I noticed that I let out a huge burst of air from my mouth when I typed those words. Now I know what my clients feel like when I ask them a really powerful question... it feels like I have just 'nailed' myself and now I notice that I want to stop typing for fear of what is coming next.

OK here we go, my intended impact is to awaken people to the possibilities life has to offer when we are conscious and choosing our actions, knowing that there could be both an intended and an unintended impact of those choices. I want people to be inspired by my journey, I want them to want some of what I have created for myself, for themselves. I think I am doing OK on this front and it makes me happy to know that I can put a tick in that box. So, what else?

Well, I want to empower my clients to take risks to know that it's safe and scary to do so and that experiencing that whole range of emotion is what it feels like to be alive! I want them to know that they don't have to live the life that they have settled for, they can start to create the life of their dreams, right now, starting in this new moment.

You know I have a very clever Gremlin, he can make things much more complicated than they need to be. Lets just go with the first question - What is my impact on my world?

Well I inspire my colleagues to create the lives they want to live, I inspire coaches to take risks in order to be the best coach they can be, I am real, I am whole and I am broken all at the same time. So, my impact is Authentic, I do some great things and I mess up too, I don't have to try to hard to get things right all the time.... I have let go, I have chilled out and I have a lot of fun these days too. So, I guess the impact on my work colleagues is that they do see a transformation in me, at least the ones that have known me before I started my own personal journey of self discovery and awareness. That's a pretty cool impact!

Those that haven't known me during my own personal journey, I'd like to think that they see someone who had lived a life with many experiences and who has chosen the one that makes her happy and fulfilled, even if being happy and fulfilled is not easy! That's it, the impact I am having is that I show people it is possible to live the life of their dreams, if they have the courage to open their hearts, even if that means being rejected, in order to be fulfilled!

Wow, I got there in the end, and I know this is important and deep work for me because I am moved by that last discovery. I love my work!

OK So, as we move into 2010 what are the things I am choosing?
I am choosing to invest in collaboration (personal and professional)
I am choosing to have a bigger impact on the Corporate world
I am choosing to harvest my existing work investments
I am choosing to let go a one particular self limiting belief that holds me back.

As we move towards 2010 what is it that you want that is
a) new in your life
b) already in your life and you want to have more impact
c) where do you want to reap the rewards from past investments
d) what is it you are intending to say no to, in order to make room for new things (a)

Be bold, be brave and know that the only thing that is getting in the way of the life of your dreams, is the life you have settled for!

Wishing you joy and happiness over the festive season.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Creating change....

I notice as I write this Blog that it too has become a habit and at least it is conscious and I am choosing to do it. What is it to create the space in our lives to actually attract the people and the work and the experiences that we want? How many times do you tell yourself, I can't - because.. or what if this or that happens....or worse how many times to we play it safe, do we stay in employment or relationships because they are predictable, because we know what to expect from them, because we know how to do or's all rather dull really isn't it.

Wouldn't life me more exciting if we did the things we didn't know how to do? If we mixed with people we didn't know how to mix with, if we experienced things that we have never experienced before. It is true that we live our lives in patterns, as human beings we just do.... and there is something about the patterns that makes life 'easier', we don't have to think about it. Oh my God, if we don't have to think then we are unconscious - who wants to live and unconscious life where we just exist, repeating pattern after pattern every day, week, month and year.... that's not a life! It is an existence....

So, the first thing we have to do is to get conscious, right! Sounds easy doesn't it? And it is not.
We have spent years creating our behaviours our patterns our 'way of life' we have made decisions, maybe years ago, that are still having an impact on our lives today and will continue to have an impact on our lives tomorrow. So how do we change what we have manifested? Well the first thing we do is to simply notice, does the life you have created for yourself serve you?
Notice that I am not saying that it's good or bad or right or wrong (they are all judgements based upon what society or other people might think) Does the life you have created Serve you?

There are some very important words in that Question, 'the life you have created' and 'Does it Serve you'. Often we blame others or organisations, we become victims of circumstance rather than taking charge of our own lives and creating what we want in the world. Now, we all know that if it were that simple, we would all do it.... so what stops us?

Firstly, as I said earlier one has to be conscious, once we are conscious then we can notice if what we have created does serve us or not. If the answer is not, my guess is that there are some values that are not being honoured, so simply notice what those values are and once conscious then you can choose to do something differently in order to honour those values. Thats step two of course, making conscious choices (and noticing your intended impact along the way) - are your intentions good? Most of us have good intentions, most of us do not set out to hurt people or to make a mess - and we are human which means we make mistakes..... give yourself permission to make mistakes, you will learn lots and life will be much more exciting. We make decisions every day, in fact we make decisions every minute of every day, give yourself a break and let go of needing to be right.... more to write on this topic and that is another blog!

Once we are making conscious choices, we are clearly saying NO to things which create space in our lives for the things we want to say YES to. For example, if I am saying No to watching telly this evening that is because I am saying YES to going to Salsa. The YESES are meaningless without the NOs..... if we want to create something different then we have to say NO to the things that don't serve us. Of course, saying YES and NO to things and people that we have not said yes and no to before (or for a while anyway) will bring up emotions in yourself and other people, so stay awake (as Billy Connelly would say) and notice the impact of your choices. There is an opportunity to learn from your emotions, they are your bodys way of letting you know something, when strong emotions come up within us, it is our body that is trying to get our attention. Be with your emotions and don't try to fix them or make them go away, they have wisdom for you, if only you stay around long enough with them to notice what the wisdom is.

So, there you go, its that simple, get conscious, honour your values, be in conscious choice and be aware of your impact (intended/unintended) and live the emotional process of you life. Keep doing it every day, thats how to create change in your world and that's the way to have conscious intentional impact in the world.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Feeling Whole.....

It's funny, I know I am still waiting and yet I know now, that I am waiting for myself to process all of the Summers events, the breakup, the fitness boot camp, the acting classes the singing lessons - the huge lesson around knowing that I have to be in the moment and present to me, before I can be present and of service to others, to openning my heart fully to others and being available to be loved.... and its huge and I am still processing it all.

Whats great is that I feel great in my body at the moment, I feel so grounded and connected to myself and to those around me. Yet, I know I am processing, except - wait for it, there is something different this time. My body is processing and I am waiting for my brain to catch up - something significant shifted within me this summer and there is a wisdom in my body (that's the solid pole straight through my torso) which is a huge strength within me and I am letting go of trying to work out what is going on.

Oh my God, it just came to me, my body is waiting for my brain to acknowledge the huge journey I have been on - the huge personal development, the risks I've have taken, in my Job, in my relationships, with my family, with my heart. The fact I have let go of judgement and have been operating in this place for years now.... my body and my emotions are waiting for me to take a break to relax and to appreciate what I have, now, here in this moment.

Its funny because the only words that come to me are that I feel whole again, not that I was not whole before and not that I was broken before - I just feel like the journey I have been on has come full circle, 360 degrees, and, that the part that makes me feel complete is stretching my body to achieve physical achievements that I haven't done in years, finding Dance again and including that in my life has been soooooooooo fulfilling for me, it is so much a part of who I am and yet for years, I had excluded it from my life.

Hmmm, Wow, I love the way this blog serves me, I always learn when I put fingers to keyboard, some times more than others and what's fulfulling about blogging, is that I hear from some of the people that read my blog that I have inspired them into action, or helped them to understand themselves more and even just helped them to be open to processing emotions that previously they had been denying or blaming others for! Amen to whoever invented blogging.

Amen to getting so low that I knew I had to change something in my life, Amen to the journey I made the choice to take, Amen to not being attached to the outcome, Amen to being completely present to the journey, Amen to not waiting for others to create the circumstances I want in my life. Amen to falling out with friends in order to create a better understanding between us, Amen to deeper relationships, Amen to meaningful conversations, Amen to being able to treat everything as a learning opportunity.

Amen, to fun, laughter, singing and dancing, and one last Amen to physical, emotional and logical integration.

For now, I am complete....

Its me again, I had to add this bit. So, I went to a new choir last night, it was lovely we sang songs and had fun and generally do what all us human being were meant to do which is be in community with each other. Then we got to the end of the session and all the lights were turned off and the teacher lit a candle in the centre of the room, she then began to sing.... wait for it
AAAAAAAAMMMMMMMEEEEEEEENNNNNNNN - I couldn't believe my ears, call it coincidence or synchronicity (I'm going for the latter) yet it was like the whole choir were repeating the Amens I had written in this blog earlier yesterday. I was moved, the hair all over my body was standing on end - it was like a reinforcement of my discovery and a celebration of my journey. I am blessed - thank you!

Monday, 24 August 2009

What am I waiting for.......

So, What a great inquiry that I have been sitting with now for almost 6 weeks.

This is how it came up, 3 coaches sitting at a table in Covent Garden and what do we come up with? We come up with the inquiry, what are we waiting for and give ourselves until the start of September to come up with something.

Well, I first started in a place of, ok well there is a Puppy, I've always wanted a puppy and have been known to stop strangers in the street to stroke their dogs - so that was one thing, and then there was the whole question of do I stay in London or what am I waiting for in order to move to my new place in Devon?

Then I went to the place of, you know, actually I am not waiting for very much. I have created a life which means I do the work I love for a comfortable living, I spend 2 ish weeks a month in Devon or London and visa versa, I travel a lot and to Spain in particular. And yet there is somthing missing.

I have had something stirred up in me within the last week or so, Assisting the leadership programme and doing Dance Camp is really shaking me up a bit - what is that.... its like a burning straight through my body, like a Red hot poker running straight down my throat and right through my body, exiting between my legs. Its like a calling forth, or a there's more here.
Or a 'What am I waiting for', like its all too easy, like its all too comfortable, like its all too cozy!

Yet, I know that I have jumped though hoops to make my life spontaneous and unpredictable and exciting and frighting too at times.... so what is this? I don't get stressed any more, I don't worry about money any more, I am really comfortable in my own skin, I trust myself, I know who I am and what I stand for. My life is spent stretching and finding new bits of who I am.... and yet something IS missing, I am waiting for something, now that's interesting, I hadn't thought of that inquiry in that way. Maybe I am waiting for something, genuinely, really waiting for something that will give me a sign as to what's next or what my next step might be...

OK I'm going to sit on that one for a while and see what shows up....
Until later....

Friday, 24 July 2009

Letting go.... all over again

I feel sad today. Very sad and very alive all at the same time. Yesterday evening I had a conversation with my partner about our relationship and we decided to 'let go' of each other.
You see, right now we are not serving each other, we are not there for each other, we don't spend quality time together and we are not honouring or respecting each others values. Sigh...

And we love each other, its so hard to write this from such a deeply hurt place, the emotions are so raw for me today and I ache inside for him right now.... God the sensation is so strong it feel like something is pulling down on my heart, like its creating more space inside me! I don't know.

There are a lot of things I don't know today.... the world looks different somehow... and here is what I do know, I know I am alive and living my emotions fully, I know that I have said (more or less) strike that, most of what I wanted to say to him.

I have a desire within me that I could not fulfil in relationship with him, (I love that I just took ownership for that, I typed 'that he could not fulfil' first time around!) I am learning as I type, that I have a yearning that is incomplete. To side track I pulled an Angel card out of the deck the other week and it was entitled 'soul mate' and it encouraged me to give my relationship up to the Angels in order for them to work with me to find out if it is my 'soul mate' or if I had to make room in my life for my Soul mate to show up. I notice I took a very deep breath just then.

So, what I am noticing now is that maybe that's the space that is now left within me, maybe letting go of the emotions and the energy it takes to be in an unfulfilling relationship is what is needed for me to make the space and energy to be in a loving, caring, fulfilling and meaningful relationship in the future... who knows, who knows about the future!

Right now, I know we are incomplete, there are more words that will be spoken, there are more tears to cry and there are move hugs to be had and I will go to my grave knowing that at least I had the chance to love and be loved in my life and by an amazing, wonderful human being. You know who you are and I'll never stop loving you....and all I ask of you is to love me enough to let me go. I'm crying again....

All I know now is that my makeup is all over my face and I have a train to catch in less than an hour. So the as the real world takes over again, I will be with my sorrow and sadness and I'll try not to look like a weirdo on the train!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Letting go.....

I notice as I search for the title of this blog that I am trying too hard to 'get it right'... so the title is about right. Interesting at my singing lesson on Tuesday that my singing teacher told me to relax and use the rest of my body to support my voice and that i was trying too hard. Where else does this show up in my life (I thought). Well, when I ski, I know that I use my muscles to make up for my lack of technique, maybe skiing could be easier too!

Then of course, I realised that this shows up all over the rest of my life, or at least it was a pattern in the past... (I also notice at this point that my Gremlin has a habit of always finding fault with me and always searching for where I could be better at things. So, I caught it and realised that actually this is an old pattern.....).

I have to say, just to have it pointed out to me around my singing has opened up a whole new area of self discovery for me. What I will say at this point is, after an hour of making silly noises and pulling funny faces, of zzzzing and nnnnngggging the tune, I then actually found my real voice and it was amazing..... it was like finding more of me, it was like being fully in touch with the essence of me and expressing it, out loud! Wow! And it was WOW!

I found the whole thing very moving. My teacher said I was very brave, to let go of all the things that were habitual and trust her. You know it didn't feel brave and yet it was about trusting myself and letting go of the old habits in search of something (I didn't know what) that would be more fulfilling!

Now who knew I was going to type that last line..... Isn't that what all my work is about, isn't that the essence of what we are all searching for..... I am quite struck by that discovery.

What is unfolding for me now is a true gift, I am noticing that in the past i would not have gone for singing lessons, due to the fear of being exposed and getting it wrong. So, I have moved such a long way to get to this point. What I notice now is that, it is only because I have done so much work in the other areas of my life, around letting go, that I was able to let go in my singing lesson! Isn't that amazing.... and there are other areas I have been working on that the singing will act as a great metaphor for.

I think of when I first decided to write a 'blog'. God, I was brave to write it straight from my heart and in a way that created learning and insight for me and as I have said before I know that I was letting myself be exposed to potential judgement or criticism - which is still the case.

What I also know now is that I have had some amazing feedback about my authentic style of writing and the insight that my posts have provided for people - I would never have had that level of feedback if I didn't take the risk of 'getting in wrong' or if I tried too hard to get it right.

The same is true in my singing, now that I am starting to really and truely believe that I can trust in myself I am leaving myself open to experience all the wonderful things life has to offer!

And I am still work in progress! I said to a client this morning, don't step over or ignore the things you are goood at just because they come easy to you! As the words came out of my mouth I know that they were in service of both my client and myself...

So, I guess the next post will be something about owning my gifts and coming from a place of humility....

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Looking in the Mirror....

Before I launch into this next Blog, I want to thank those of you who are reading and expressing your appreciation of my experiences and how it helps you learn. Learning is a big value of mine - thank you all.

So, where am I now, well...all sorts of things going on for me and I notice that when I went to write I was unsure of what to write about and then it hit me - I have been hesitant to look in the mirror that is being held up for me to see the great impact my work is having, and I also notice that I am unwilling to clearly look in the mirror and own my anger too. It is becoming clearer to me that both of these things are at the opposite ends of the scale of my identity, if we were talking process coaching you would say, one is right up the tube and the other is right down the tube and it is different than that and here's whats different, I can be in the experience of both of these extremes and I do regularly. What I am taking about here is OWNING both of these parts of me, really owning my greatness and really owning my anger at being lonely.

I notice that I am feeling sick in my stomach having just typed or owned up to being lonely.... my gremlin is telling me, quick delete that bit, what will they think of you when they read it. You're not supposed to be lonely, you have it all, a great Job, a wonderful personality, a huge heart, a loving family..... you're not supposed to be lonely. And yet I am, I am lonely for love, for my own heart to be loved and in love, for my knight in shinning armour to sweep me up in his arms and take me away to the kingdom of love. I notice that when I don't own this part of me then I end up reflecting the anger on to those around me who I want to spend time with and who don't have the time to spend with me that I would like them to.

So I am going to own my anger and forgive myself for feeling this way! It's OK (oh I notice my 5 year old smiled when I typed that) she is the one that lonely, she really want to be looked after and played with and she is also very very sad right now... breathe. This is not complete yet, I don't know what this is but I do know it is something to do with the paradox of fully owning my happiness and my sadness at the same time.....

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Staying connected - when you want to run away....

So, I am feeling like I need to express some of what is going on for me around 'not knowing', I am finding it hard to stay connected and be present to these experiences when sometimes all I want to do is run away. There is a paradox here, of course because being present allows me to have the experience without judgement or fear and also its hard to be without the safe container of knowledge that I have learned to rely on...

I took on a challenge the other weekend and I know I exposed myself to judgement, if not criticism by doing so.... you know how people make assumptions given the circumstances and based upon their own lives and then reflect that onto others.... that was exactly what was going on. Now, here's what I noticed, my impact was much less predictable, (I am learning as I type) and this is where the learning is for me, its about my impact as a leader. My impact was different and the feedback I got was contradictory, one person said one thing and another said the opposite, hmmmm, I did get hooked on that for a while and..... I guess now I know that there were times when I didn't 'stay' in the experience... and that's OK too because I am just learning how to be with this stuff....

What I am learning is that if I am present and connected then my impact is much greater, so the stretch for me is to stay present and connected and be with my uncomfortableness as I experience the new experiences..... Wow that's big for me! I am frowning as I type... and I know its true. I had a great example at my singing lesson on Friday, and my teacher put it beautifully, she said - singing is a whole body experience, and you have to be in the experience to full be able to use your body to support your voice..... so every time I sang a 'duff' note my brain disconnected and I squirmed, and she just encouraged me to stay present and connected even if I made a mistake.... yet again wanting to 'get it right' is showing up.. and of course it does because that's how I have trained myself over the years, to get it right......

I love how I can notice all the places in my life that this stuff shows up, and not limit myself to thinking that its just about my coaching or my leadership. As human beings we are creatures of habit and what ever shows up in one part of our lives, also shows up in other parts too and to be honest there is more learning for me from the Singing lesson that the other experience, why, because I am less attached to being a great singer. So, I'm noticing that I have attachment and connection collapsed together or maybe I am starting to distinguish between the two. So, where I am pointing myself is to stay connected to the experience (and the people) and to not be attached to the outcome. That's hard for me, don't get me wrong I do get it logically and I notice that physically and emotionally it feels very strange in my body..... time for a break and to breathe some....

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

The magic of not knowing....

Firstly, you can't imagine how funny it is for me to write this title and mean it. I have been the woman who knows it all, who has an opinion on everything, who always needed to know, or predict, what was next and how I would get what I wanted in my life - like there was only one way, my way.... In some ways I can't believe I am writing about this, it is true, that it is news to me, that this is the way I have lead my life mostly (up until now). I didn't realise it of course, because it was a habit, it was the way I had always lived my life and it did serve me in so many ways. Most importantly of all, it worked, or so I thought!

Now, of course, I realise that there is magic in not knowing, in surrendering to the unknown and waiting to see what shows up, and how things play out, its about giving things the time and space to find their own way..... letting go I think they call it. And yet, how hard it is to let this happen, when all I have known all my life is 'my way' of doing things, my way of being! What I do know now is that by doing what I have always done, the way I have always done it, that has kept me small. I am not prepared to play small any longer!

There have been a number of situations in my life recently where I have specifically decided to do something, and with someone and made plans months in advance to do these things, only to find that for whatever reason external factors have messed up my plans so that I can not have the experience I had planned to have. So, I can either blame them for that or I can ask myself, OK so, what if, I was meant to have a different experience, with different people, what if this is what the universe has in store for me.... do I surrender to this experience, not knowing what it will be, or do I walk away, because its not the experience I had planned?

So, what I do is say OK, if that is not what I was supposed to experience, I will let go of that and leave the space to see what shows up, what indeed I was meant to experience. Well, and this is where the Magic happens, opportunities beyond my wildest dreams have shown up! Different experiences to help me grow, to stretch me and help me be more of myself. Opportunities to do some of the things I have always wanted to do (like acting training) have shown up too. There is a huge paradox here of course because as a leader in my own life and the world, it is my role to make things happen and to have them happen in a way that honours my values, keeps me in conscious choice and being present, in the moment and living the emotional experience of my life. All great words right, and when I try to live those words I realise it takes years to really embody this material, it takes minutes to understand the logic and years to really live into the emotional and physical embodiment of those words..... this is the magic of letting go and not knowing! and the Magic of trusting myself that I will grow with the experience to be a more fully rounded human being!

The Magic is leaning into my full range as a human being, to allow authenticity to grow within me and to allow my authenticity to be the catalyst to enable me to embrace the experiences that will be uncomfortable, or risky or where I can't predict the outcome! All for the sake of being more of the human being I was put on this world to be!

Being present to the journey without being attached to the outcome! As I type these words I notice it makes me shiver!

Friday, 13 March 2009

Learning to Live from the Heart

I love my life! Thank God I found this work and this material. I was going to say, it saved my life and that's not true. What it did was enabled me to live more fully - to be conscious and intentional and to become more conscious every day!

So, how did I get to this place from the place of being heard! What a journey.... I guess what I am noticing is that sometimes we just don't know how to do things, right! We don't know how to listen when we are triggered, don't know how to take risks when we can't be with failure, don't know to be open an honest when we fear conflict. Sometimes we just don't have a point of reference! Wow, I remember saying something to my glorious coach in a conversation and she said, I don't know where to put that.... I have no point of reference and I thought Wow! - no point of reference, hmmm now that's something to sit with for a while! And so it happened, today coming back from the gym (in the car park, believe it or not) I thought, that's it! That's what I have been facing, in being heard and seen, in having my voice heard in the system, any system. Yes I can speak out (my friends know I am not shy) when I feel safe and confident and yet what do I do when I don't have any experience of the circumstances I am faced with. How do I know what to do....

Where this is going next is so simple, it is to say, 'I don't know how to do this' and then ask for help, from the person you want to be in relationship with or the system you can't be heard in! The words that came to me were 'I don't know how to be in a relationship with you, so if you really want me in your life then, you are going to have to teach me!' I am smiling as I write this!

As an aside, I have been reading the book 'how we decide' by Jonah Lehrer and I believe this is part of the unfolding for me. If we are trained to learn from our mistakes, by not making them again and we are rewarded (chemical reactions in the brain) when something good happens - surprise, surprise we avoid the stuff that doesn't feel good and therefore we make our lives smaller and smaller, only doing the things we know how to and not taking risks or stepping outside our comfort zone. This is how the majority of the human race lives their lives, by playing it safe and by playing small! (I notice I get a physical hit in my stomach, when I type these words, I guess I have more work to do here!).

So, where am I going with this - you know, I'm not sure. I do know one thing, I know that (thanks to my lovely friend Linda - you know who you are) this blog was part of me finding my voice and part of me being fully seen and heard. I have always wanted to write and I know my spelling is not great and I am not very well 'formally' educated, no degrees or anything, or so my Gremlin used to tell me, and yes, I have never done it before, so I have no point of reference.

Here's the exciting part, I just did 'it', I set up my blog and noticed that writing really helps me process - and I do have a little experience actually. I remember when I first got a coach, I found that when I would write an email to her before our sessions about the topic I had been working on, then all of a sudden, I started to make connections, things started to unfold and became clearer. So, I guess if we all start to pay attention to the things that work for us, the things we get enjoyment from, the things we are inspired by then its much easier to be heard! Bye the way - my singing is getting better too! Thank God! (He is getting a lot of thanks today....)

When I was in my coaching session with my Glorious coach the other day, I named, time after time in the last month, where my voice was heard, where I found my voice, and what I noticed is that when I speak from my heart not only do I get heard but also I am being a more full expression of myself. That's just really landed for me. Being more of myself.... Wow! Giving myself permission to be more of myself. I am shocked and excited by this.

I have had the most profound week of my life and the content is not important, what is important is that I just realised that to be a full expression of myself, I have to welcome the things that, up until now I have 'mostly' avoided. So, I am asking myself, what is the gift in being disorganised? Where is the gift in rejection? What happens if people don't like what they see or hear? If I am living my life from my heart and not my head (I have nothing against heads, they are very useful parts of the body, if a little over used) if I am not thinking and analysing everything and the potential outcome of everything, if its a risk or what might happen blah, blah, blah, blah.... When I am living from my heart life kind of feels easier and simplier and more powerful somehow!

I took a huge step this week in living from my heart and the response was incredable, amazing and life changing.... I am so proud of myself for the way I have showed up fully this week. (Now, I have tears in my eyes), I now have a reference point of how to show up more fully and from my heart! (I am laughing as the tears roll down my face)... I guess today I realised what people mean when they say to me 'you have a huge heart'.... Wow! I really didn't expect to get this learning from writing this blog! I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have enjoyed writing it.

Monday, 2 March 2009

The Voice of the System

So what is the 'voice of the system'... what does it mean, what do we create when we become a partner with another person, set of people or business. What do we consciously invite into our lives? When are we conscious and intentional about the things that we create with others or even the change that happens in our own lives when we invite others to share it.

Take me as a classic example, I love to collaborate with others, I love to have other people in my life and I love to be open and honest with the people that I invite into my life, for the sake of my collaboration with them. What I fail to do, is, to be conscious about, what it is they want, I check that they want to play and yes they do. However I don't ask them, how much they want to play, or how long they want to play for or do they want to play as much as I want to play or what does play look like for them, to help me understand if their version of 'play' resembles my version. No, not really, I rarely have that conversation.

What I am starting to notice is that when I invite others into my life I create something with them, which is a mixture of me and them. So, if I am very organised and I invite someone or an organisation into my life that is not, then guess what, working or playing with them will be less organised than it is when I am alone. Because this is what we create together. Now here is the interesting bit, to create relationship and understanding we have to be open to each others differences and we have to own what we create together, whilst still being individuals as well as partners. So the voice of the system needs to be heard and the individual voices that create the system have to be heard too... interesting.

I believe as leaders and coaches we get hooked on deep democracy (all the voices of the system being heard - you, me) and don't spend enough time looking at or listening for the the voice of the system itself (we). In my case above that would mean that the disorganised voice (you) and the organised voice (me) creates a voice of the system which (us) which is both organised and dis-organised - Wow! If we own the fact that we are both organised and disorganised then we can do something with it. However if our individual voices are the only thing that is heard, (and sometimes we are so in our own stuff that we don't hear the others voice) then the impact can be to separate us rather than bring us together. We have to move from a place of 'who is doing what to whom' to a place of 'what is trying to happen' in the system. When all the voices of the system are not heard and this happens, in particular, with the unpopular or marginalized voices, then issues recycle themselves. When issues recycle themselves it is a clear indication that all the voices have not been heard. The opportunity here is to celebrate the diversity of being human and acknowledge and appreciate each others differences! Easier said than done!

Similarly, when I invite a partner to work with me then I invite the things into my life that we create together by being in relationship with each other. We would never go into a business relationship with anyone without a contract or a document of understanding or even simply a discussion about our intentions..... so here's the dilemma, is it not true that our personal relationships are more important than our business ones and yet we spend less time designing our partnerships and our alliances with these people, or should I say I do.......

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Being Heard

So this is interesting, because as I write this blog for the first time I don't even know if I can publish it. Given the topic about being heard its interesting to think that these words may not get heard and I will continue anyway.

Have you ever been in a situation where you think you really articulated things really well to someone else, and then days, weeks or even months later they had a completely different understanding than you of the situation and on what was said?

That's where I find myself over the last couple of months, the content is not important, what is important is that I am learning there is a time when I loose my voice, when I am unable to speak my truth and when I withdrawn from communication.

Right now, I know I don't understand what is going on, so I am not trying to. I am staying with the feeling (which is one of confusion) and seeing what unfolds for me.

Its hard not to notice when clients bring their topics to me which reflect what is going on in my life and I do believe that Coaches and Clients are attracted for the sake of both their learning. More on this in a later blog.

So, when more than one of my clients talk to me about feeling judged and criticised and feeling like they must do anything to stop this happening. I can relate to that. Of course, this was how I lived my life for many years, not feeling good enough and wanting to do everything in my power not to get found out..... my God that seems like a lifetime ago and yet it was no more than 3 years ago.

I'm also reminded of how my loved ones didn't know how to communicate with me, without shouting or worse and so there were very long periods of silence. Long periods of being ignored or worse spoken to in a way you wouldn't speak to your worst enemy.... withdrawal, that was what I was trained to do, ignore and put up or shut up!

So, How do I find my voice again, well in some really simple ways. I'm learning to sing, I love to sing out loud and I do it all the time now but nothing beats Choir practice on a Tuesday night, I sing out with out fear of anything, Wrong and Strong as our teacher encourages - its so much fun.
So that is one way, another, I just realised is to learn a new language and to have more people hear me, to practice with others some better, some worse and not to be attached to getting it right.

Now here is the core of the learning for me - I loose my voice when I can't find the other person right.... (What this means in English is, if I believe the other person is in the wrong then I find it hard to articulate what goes on for me.... What I am learning as a write this posting is that, its not that I loose my voice, I do try and try and try again and then when I fail to be understood, it is then that I just give up and walk away! I'm sure there is more to come....) Delete inset.....

So the learning for me upon reflection of this topic is not that I find the other person wrong, the learning for me is that, when I have exhausted all my communication tools and still I am not being engaged with - it is then that I don't know how to proceed, it is then that I give up.
So, if I feel that the other person is not engaging with me, or if they withdraw from the dialogue or I feel criticised or Blamed, it is then that I find it hard to engage back. What do you say to someone who doesn't want to listen to you and who withdraws or disengages with you? I know I have a real desire to be understood and I also know that to be understood, there has to be a person who wants to understand.....