Friday, 6 December 2013

Madiba - How one man changed the world......

I have been surprised at the impact Nelson Mandela's death has had on me. I have been in tears many, many times since I heard the news.  One part of me was so happy for him that he is now at peace and resting in the quiet and another part of me longs for him to still be here to hold the reconciliation that he fought so strongly for.  I also realise as I write that this man changed me, changed me personally, he gave me the belief that one person can make a difference, that when you stick to your values and are willing to 'fight' for what is 'right' you can, and will have an impact in the world.

I was with a Coaching client this morning at 8am and what surprised both of us is that I needed to speak my sadness at the loss of Madiba before I could continue with the call. I was in tears!  I said I had been thinking, would I be willing to go to prison for all those years in order to take a stand for what I believed in, my initial reaction was, no, I'm not sure I would.  Then I remembered that he was actually taking a stand for his children and his grand children, he was determined that they would not have to live a life of in-equality and that was what he fought for.  Am I willing to take a stand for that, YES, do I have children of my own to fight for? NO, are there generations of other people's kids that are worth fighting for, god damn it YES.....  I often say to my Coaches in training - I want to thank you from the children of your clients, because that is the work you are choosing to do, to change and shift the generations to come.

So, for me Madiba took a stand for his people, all of us, not just the black people who of course were being treated very badly, but he took a stand for all of us, for the wholeness that comes from being inclusive, from appreciating everyone and everything in life.  We might not like everything and everyone and there is always something to appreciate.

For me Nelson Mandela stands for Freedom, for Life, for Change and for humanity.  I feel in deep appreciation that I was alive at a time where I could be influenced by such a huge figure and one who carried himself with such humility.  I remember reading 'long walk to freedom' over 20 years ago and being staggered by the fact that having completed his BA, he had no idea of his own personal history or that of his tribe.  This experience made me think deeply about my life and my history and the footprints I want to leave behind me for others to walk in.

Madiba you are an inspiration, you are the definition of Leadership and you model a beautiful mix of 'generative power' and 'generative love' to the people. A hearty mix that changes the world. See Adam Kahne's book 'Power and love' for the definition.  I felt the urge to write today, I'm glad I took the time to put finger to keyboard.  May the world send loving energy to Madiba so that his transition from his human overcoat to that of his spirit be easy and flowing, so that he continues to inspire and motivate us.

Thank you Nelson Mandela.  Tata Madiba!
These are my words

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

The importance of Coaching.....

I was commissioned recently or should I say challenged to write an article on Coaching and why it matters in one side of A4 only.....  this is what I came up with.  Enjoy Rx

The Importance of Coaching……

You will notice by the Title of this piece that we are talking a stand that Coaching is important.
We think it is important because it helps people to grow and we were put on this planet to grow, as human beings that is part of the evolution of the human race, to grow, it’s that simple.

So, how does Coaching make you grow?
Coaching is a journey of self-awareness, it is about being more conscious of who you are, by becoming aware of your value system, that is, the things that inspire and motivate you to live a life of Vitality.  It will also make you aware of  what you stand for, the things that you want to make real in the world, your legacy, the things you are passionate about, therefore helping you to become clearer about your purpose and the direction you want to take your life in.

In addition, to helping you to see who you are and what you stand for, it will also help you understand some of the limiting beliefs that you might have about yourself and about the world and how it works.  These negative energies can have us, either going around in circles or stuck in a place of lots of brain-mind activity.  These are the places were we use lots of thinking energy and can end up taking little or no action.  We refer to these activities as Gremlins or Saboteurs.

Fundamentally, Coaching is about having you step up to be a Leader in your own life; it is about stepping away from victim-hood and into taking charge so that you can create the outcomes you want.  In my experience Coaching is a gateway into personal Leadership and it will allow you to have more impact with less effort in every aspect of your life.

Coaching is also about freeing up energy that one can waste on negative thoughts, judgements or criticisms of yourself and those around you and moving that energy into positive, life affirming ways of being, with yourself, your partner, your family and your work.

Often these days we are ‘trained’ in the art of getting things done and this is indeed very important.  However, one needs to also make sure we are paying attention to who we are being, in the doing.  You know we are Human Beings and not Human Doings!

Coaching will help you to connect with your identity more, help you to trust yourself more and therefore help you to be calmer and more confident in yourself and your abilities.  When one trusts one-self, it gives out an energy that is compelling to others.  You know what it feels like to be in the presence of someone who ‘has presence’ vs someone who does not.

By trusting yourself, understanding your value system and having a view of the purpose and direction you want to take your life in, it will give you clarity, it will help you to decide where to put your energy and how not to waste it.  When you get clear about where to put your energy, it will help you to make more powerful choices about your life and it will help you to be present to the experiences are having, as opposed to regretting the past or making things up about the future, which is what your Gremlin or Saboteur would have you do with your energy.

Coaching will also improve your emotional intelligence and help you to use your energy in more impactful ways. Emotions are just ‘energy in motion’, they are meant to move and flow, and working with a Coach will train you in ways to use your emotions in a powerful, life affirming way; for the benefit of yourself and those around you.

I believe that everyone who wants to be emotionally healthy should have a Coach, it is like hiring a personal trainer.  The bottom line is that Coaching helps you have more impact with less effort. 

Friday, 24 May 2013

What a great Metaphor nature can be......

Just a short post to share a little story with you....

I was gardening a few weeks ago, you know clearing flower pots and preparing for Spring and Summer planting.  I came across a pot which had Lilies in it, and was disappointed to see only one left.
When I looked closer I noticed that actually there were two Lilies in the pot but one of them had got itself caught under the rim of the pot and was growing sideways along the rim at a right angle.

The flower was strong and I could see how hard it had been pushing along that rim in the darkness, desperately looking for the light.  So, I did the best I could to release the flower from being trapped in the rim of the pot, of course, not wanting to damage it in anyway.  I eventually managed to release it, with a lot of care and attention, knowing that I couldn't release it without a few scrapes and scars.

As I look at the flower now, it is strong, twice as strong as the Lily that didn't get caught up and trapped in the rim of the pot.  It has a few scars on its leaves and a bend in its stem which is hardly visible.  I also notice that the new growth is beautiful and green and you would never know it had been trapped for that long, never knowing if it would get released.

I see the flowers starting to form and I know that they will be beautiful and bright and there will not be any sign of the history, that had this plant follow a path that it was never meant to take.

So, as I share this story with you, I am reminded of what a metaphor it is for my own life.  I was trapped for many years, in the belief that we were separate as human beings, in the belief that we are conditioned to compete, and living in a world that is fashioned in a way that people think they have to be significant and in order for that to be true, it has to be at someone else expense!  The belief that we had to separate ourselves in order to be number one and win... In a world where we get trained that wealth equals happiness, in a job that didn't show my talents, in a life that was not fulfilling, not really - I mean on the surface no one knew, except I knew, in my heart that there was more to life than that.

So, I pushed on in the dark, in the paradox of not knowing and really knowing that I could find the light.
Thanks to some very fine Gardeners, you know who you are, I managed to release myself from that trap, to stretch myself and to risk reaching for the light.  I got a few scars along the way, my bruises healed and my core got strong again. 

I found a world where co-operation is key, where we can learn from nature and the universe, after all it has been around a lot longer than we have! The basis of nature is co-operation and democracy, it is within our DNA, it is how we are made.

Nature teaches us to use only what we need, and to leave enough for others to survive, it teaches us that when one plant or animal dominates it usually leads to extinction.  Lets learn from the world around us, that we are living things, who are a part of nature and can collaborate and co-operate with nature and each other to ensure the survival of all.

My life is fulfilled and my direction and purpose is clear, my commitment is strong. Just like the Lily!
Keep your eye out for metaphor's that speak to you.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

How are you doing energetically?....

I meant to post this months ago and never got around to it..... so here we go....

It's a New Year right! Are you full of excitement about the possibility of what this next year will bring?
Are you setting your intentions, in order that you clearly and consciously create the experiences you want to create during 2013.
You know, if new years resolutions alone worked, then us Coaches and Leadership trainers would be out of work.
So, how is it for you? Are you directing your energy into making that resolution become real or will it just sit on the 'shelf' of good ideas along side all the other new years resolutions?  Are they really resolutions or are you just 'in love' with the idea of them?

Here is what I know, I know that as I get older I have to pay attention to my energy levels, they are not what they used to be when I was in my 20's and 30's.  My whole body is changing, and as you all know, our bodies change, at a cellular level every 7 years.  I have just started my 8th cycle of 7 year cycles and I can already tell that this one is different.

For example, my fitness does not last as long as it did. I used to be able to take 3 or 6 months out of the gym with little or no impact, not now my friends, I have to stay 'on it' in order to ensure that I look and feel healthy.  I noticed over Christmas the lbs were starting to creep back on again after a period of about 4 months were I made little or no time available to keep my health and fitness in the forefront of my consciousness.  I knew it was happening, and yet, I allowed other things to become a priority.

Something strange happened when I was out for a run this morning.  I should back track, sorry.  I was inspired by my niece to go for a run with her on 30th Dec.  I'm not a runner, I never have been, I love being out in nature, I'm not even bothered by the rain.  Bottom line is that running and me have never been buddy's.

So, off I went with her and ended up doing to 2 mile run, it didn't kill me and I stopped when I had to (usually going up hill) and it was OK.  I actually felt pretty good when I got back.  So, I have done the same run every morning since then, that is 6 mornings last week.  I feel pretty good about it too.

Anyway, what I noticed on morning of the third run was that, the old Gemlin voices came back, oh! is cold, oh! maybe you could go for a long walk instead! Blah Blah Blah...  What I did was new to me, I just decided to shift that energy, simply move it from my head to my heart, using my breathing (it does take practise) and guess what happened.  My heart-mind said, yes its a beautiful crisp Winters day and your body will love you, even more, if you take it out for that run.  It was magical.

As I was out on my run I noticed how much easier the whole thing felt, and how I was in more of a 'can do' attitude to the whole experience.  Something has shifted in me.  This might not sound like a big deal to any of you, let me tell you that I have tried to like running for the last 30 years and all the time I was self talking, 'just a little further', or 'you can stop when you get to x', on and on the head noise went, until this week when I managed to quiet it down, how much more enjoyable the runs have been.  I have run further and for longer and enjoyed them more..... as I said Magical!

So, if you are like me and want to make some of those intentions for 2013 real, please start to notice where you are putting your energy.  Is it into the excuses of why you shouldn't do the things you have set out to do?
Is your energy in your Brain-mind which talks a lot about what you will do, which makes you an expert having lots and lots of information but actually you never get around to do anything.
Or is it coming from your Heart-mind which knows how to nurture and care for yourself and knows that health and fitness is the key to sustainability and longevity.

I have been physically fit for most of my life and reasonably trim, although I had a big wobble when I hit the menopause for a couple of years.  What I know is that my body and mind respond well to exercise and I am a happier and healthier person when I engage in it. We also know what when we move we shift our energy too and with practice we can shift it by choice.... honestly!

I am also aware that I have just bust wide open my biggest excuse for not exercising when I am away from home. There's no gym for me to go to.... now I don't need a gym!

I guess the other thing I noticed is the before my 'break through' I was doing the running by pure will power, forcing myself to go, now I am doing coming from a place of wanting to run and enjoying it.  I am doing the same thing (running) and yet I am being very different in the doing and it is so much more fun this way!

Where are you getting in your own way?
Where are you saying you want one thing and then doing something else?
Where are you in denial?
Is your energy in your head, creating a lot of noise or head-talk as I like to call it?
What will it take to step up and put your energy firmly into the life you want to create, rather than the one you have?
I believe that anything is possible, you just have to want it enough (I'm not talking about material things) and be willing to make the effort to make it real.  You have to want it enough to use your Will Power to make it happen.
Enjoy exploring, or simply noticing where this resonates with you.
If this doesn't resonate with you, well good for you. I'm in awe!

Bye the way for the record one of my intentions for 2013 is to feel fit and healthy and if I can lose a few pounds along the way, all be better!
Happy New Year everyone Rx