Archive for the Newsletters2 Category

Running or Walking?

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flip_timeIt is now four weeks since Christmas Day and 28 days into the New Year.  And I am already beginning to panic that I’ll get to the end of another year without having achieved anything and by anything I do mean that illusionary ‘everything’ that I should have done.  It’s as if already the time has ticked away.  I can almost hear the chimes of Big Ben and I just know I better get on it or else.

So the question arises do I run or do I walk?  Obviously running will get me there quicker and as in my mind I am a Runner logically running it is.  But if I take a moment to consider the benefits as opposed to the disadvantages of walking I can already feel the calmness come over me.

Time is only relative.  A man made construct designed to give us a sense of where we are in relation to others in the same place.  It still blows my mind when I speak to friends living in New Zealand or Australia who are already in my tomorrow, very strange, very strange indeed.

The truth is I have over 300 days left in 2014 to achieve what I want to achieve and whether I choose to run in a blind panic out of fear of missing ‘it’ or walk purposefully in the direction I want to be heading  it is my choice to make, my dream to dream, and my life to create.

What will you create in 2014?

Happy New Year to you.

 

Christmas Time

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Time

It seems strange to be sitting here a week before Christmas trying to keep my mind focused on the task in hand whilst in the uppermost of my mind are the words “its Christmas!”

I love this time of the year, not so much the commercialisation of Christmas but more the time between Christmas and New Year, when the excitement of the day has passed and I slip into a very settled comfortable place in my mind where I begin to reflect on how things have been REALLY over the last year.  Its highs and its lows . . . but I digress!

That’s how easy it is for my mind to wander off into that place . . . I think that I must be very very comfortable there why I rush to it so . . . it is so familiar! and right now it is a week before Christmas.

It is important to stay focused on the task in hand;
food-shopping list, tick,
presents list, tick,
extra presents for the unexpected guests, tick,
TV guide! tick
ooooooooooooooh wine,tick!!!

What this day brings out in me is my organisation skills.  Unlike my mother and those of her generation I simply do not think it is reasonable to expect me to be able to cater for in excess of 15 people solo.  I am not super woman and so all I have to do on the day is check the timings for the meats and get them in on time and then wait for the rest of the food to arrive; Sister-in-law with the veggies, she simply loves parsnips, (me I don’t quite understand why the carrots are white!).  Brother with the Christmas pud soaked correction drowned in alcohol.  Brother-in-law with the duck and goose and other goodies (he’s a chef).  Sister with the other puds and the kids with their fancies.  Oh its all so so Christmassy I love it.

I know that not everyone celebrates Christmas nor are so fortunate to have family and friends to share the day with which is why our day is so full.  As soon as I have got the meats in I am off in the car to pick up some people who would otherwise not have anyone to share Christmas day with, my little bit of Christmas spirit and joy shared.   Although there are times, I wonder if it might be a little too much for our guests as we are a large family of 15 without them ooh well I’m sure it will be fine.

What will you be up to this time next week?

Whatever it is, I wish you very Merry Christmas.

 

Like Diamonds in the Sky

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fireworks_lamerce06-8262013

It fireworks night in the UK and over the weekend hundreds of events will have taken place celebrating a time in British history when a plot to blow up Parliament was thwarted.

Try as I might I cannot get excited about this.  Of course I love the pretty colours that appear in the sky overhead, I just do not like fireworks; the noise and smell of them.  I find myself year after year reluctantly joining in and going along to organised gatherings for fear of being called a party pooper when all I want to do is watch some rubbish TV and go to sleep early.

It’s not like any other time of the year for me.  Having prepared a few days ago for Halloween and the “Trick or Treaters”, again a custom I find very very strange but can see the fun in it for the children.  Children of all ages literally with the teenagers being the funniest as they just don’t quite understand that to get the “treat” they need to have participated by dressing up, not just turning their hoodie backwards and borrowing their younger sibling’s hat.  Yes I can see the fun in that.

But fireworks night . . . I don’t get it.  I can remember a time when I did get excited about fireworks night, when we’d huddle together waiting for our sparklers to sparkle and watch the fireworks one by one leave the safety of the tin to be taken to the end of the garden, to be lit and explode with a flurry of colour and sound, like diamonds in the sky.

And these points in the year were not focused so much on the event but on the people Aunty Betty, Uncle George, Cousin Ann, the list was a long one being part of a very large extended family.  20 people or more for any day such as fireworks night was a big deal and a chance to catch up with each other.

Perhaps it is this that I miss.  That sense of being part of something bigger than myself.  That sense of knowing that nothing would ever change, that we would always be as close as we were back then.

In reality I can’t remember the last time I saw Cousin Ann and her parents are no longer with us.  That large extended family is now huge with so many many relatives that most venues would have difficulty housing us if we should choose to get together as we did when we were younger.

How interesting!  I can now feel my excitement returning.  Fireworks night reminds me of times gone by . . . of all the times this day has happened and the family and friends I’ve had fun with.  It’s just different now and up to me to create new memories.

Happy Guy Fawkes Day!!

I am me

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footprints
At a recent networking event, I was surprised to meet a woman who did not seem to want to network at all, but did seem to want to provide the rest of us with an insight into how challenging life can be when we don’t fit into a certain acceptable “norm”.

What struck me was how brave she was to be stepping into an environment that was totally alien to her with the beliefs that she had that no one would want to know anything about her because she didn’t do anything.  She went on to explain that she is a carer for her disabled child, had a medical condition herself and that she had realised that she was not seeing or talking to other people on a day to day basis and so had decided to come along to the networking event as a first step.

It was painful to watch her flinch and withdraw as another attendee proceeded to tell her that she should be more open and less defensive as she came across as angry and threatening and not open.

The whole interaction reminded me of that saying about us creating exactly what we fear the most; in effect a self-fulfilling prophecy.  She was afraid that people would not be interested in her and so told us directly that we will not be interested in her, which resulted in someone telling her that they were not interested in her.

My experience of her was different to that of my fellow attendee.  I was in awe of her courage, realness, integrity, authenticity and grace.  I was drawn to her like a moth to a flame.  What I saw was what I got.  She put on no airs or graces.  She simply said I  am  me!   That was it.  Pure genius I thought.

When was the last time that you dropped the act, stepped away from the façade that you’re so good at presenting and simply introduced yourself as . . . yourself?

A lesson in humanity I think.

Ligthing the Fire Within

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fire in the darkI attended a coaching workshop a few days ago that had me seriously considering what it is about the word Coaching that makes the world and his mother think that they can be a coach or go out to inspire others to “be their own coach”!

I think with hindsight the clue was in the title Be Your Own Coach!  I had read it as, “I will teach you how to be your own coach”, and being the kind of person who is both inquisitive about anything to do with coaching and a believer that there will always be something for me to learn from another great coach I went along fully expecting to leave with a new found appreciation for coaching.

An hour and half later I was the second person out of the door and paused to sigh the deepest sigh of relief with my fellow attendee at having got out.  We made eye contact and began chatting about how terrible the session had been.

Now don’t get me wrong I’ll be the first person in the queue for any new found approach, new angle on an old favourite or simply watching an artist at work and so I reflected on what had happened with my coaching hat on.

First off there was no PowerPoint ready to support the speaker, unusual I thought and obviously not compulsory. What did speakers do before PowerPoint?  I assume use a flipchart and the speaker did not use the flipchart until asked to write the questions up by another participant.  Unprepared or inexperienced?

Second off the presenter sat rather than stand and did not make much eye contact with anyone in the group except for the one man who had foolishly declared himself to be a coach here to brush up his skills.  Defensive would be the word I would use to describe the response.  Perhaps it was this that had distracted or unnerved the presenter!

Third off we were given a handout with the GROW model on it that looked like this:
G = Grow
R = Reality
O = Options
W = Will
The presenter did not notice the error until we all had the handout and it was being read to us!!

So what is GROW?  Well we were told that it is an acronym used to fix our terrible relationships.

To be fair I could have forgiven all of these things, if for one minute the presenter had shown any passion for the subject matter.  If she had tried to engage us in our process, or simply tried to impart any knowledge rather than tell us why what we had written (as she looked over our shoulder and read aloud each person’s personal notes) was not right.

Coaching is a facilitative process designed to enable the coachee to find the fire within, that place where there are no barriers, obstacles or uncertainties only possibilities, opportunities and adventure.

Perhaps I’ll get in touch with the presenter and offer coaching to improve their presenting skills, surely it can only improve!

Getting Your Feet Wet!

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As I write this I am amazed to be still basking in the sunshine of what is turning out to be a glorious summers day.  But there’s a part of me that is a little hesitant to make plans just in case it rains after all this is the British weather we’re talking about and everyone knows the weather men get it wrong ALL of the time. . . don’t they!

Being willing to take risks is something I’ve become quite good at; brave, courageous, inspirational are words I’ve heard others use to describe some of the things that I’ve chosen to do. . . and it hasn’t always been like this!

Can you imagine constructing a wall so high and so thick that no one can get in?  Have you ever felt so scared you couldn’t even think of coming out from under the duvet much less leaving your room or going out of the house?

Everything I said and did was about getting by, making do and keeping safe!  So much so that I hadn’t even noticed that I had withdrawn from the world.  I’d made myself invisible and the world was invisible to me except if I wanted something!  Then I’d go out to get it and retreat! So what changed?

I did or more importantly my relationship with myself changed.  I became aware that I have an impact on people.  I became aware that my walls impacted on other peoples walls.  I became aware that my ability to get to know people impacted on their ability to want to get to know me.  I became aware that my willingness to risk being seen by people impacted on their ability to see me.

And there are many many people who had a hand in that transformation.  People who simply accepted that I was where I was and shone a light for me to follow out of the darkness.  They believed that no matter how long it took that I would find my way.  I took a risk and dipped my toes into the water, and felt the ripples of acceptance return.  The rest as they say is history!

We all know that there will be hard times as well as good times in our life, and even though you might be worrying about it remember that there is always always a way out.  Life is simply a series of impacts or connections.  Connections that we make with people on a daily basis.  How memorable these connections will be is up to us.

Being willing to make new connections is a risk.  Taking risks is a choice you make to trust that you will be o.k.  Are you ready to get your feet wet?

Forthcoming Events
THE POWER OF SELF ESTEEMThe Power of Self Esteem, a course in self esteem enhancement ~ a six week course open to anyone who wants to enhance their self esteem in a safe and supportive environment.  You’ll learn what self-esteem is and what self-esteem is not and how to access your true self-esteem any time you want.

For more information; powerofselfesteem@be6ckton.co.uk
020 8820 0773

Confidence

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Beckton Gasworks Pier No.1 by squib_pig

As I write this, we have recently gone through weeks of snow and unusually cold weather. I cannot remember the last time I’ve seen as much of the white stuff.

We’ve now started to return to the warmer and wetter weather we are used to, the big thaw is underway and even though a rational observer would acknowledge that we officially have at least another 10 weeks of winter and the possibility of many more cold days and night, the birds around my home have decided to declare it an early spring. The trees are alive with the calls of robins and other birds preparing for their mating season.

I have to admit I love their spirit. I love the way they shake off the trials of yesterday and at the slightest sign of warming get back to living their life, doing what they were meant to do in the world. I love the confidence they have in life.

And there are people just like that, people who simply choose to live their lives having the confidence to believe that no matter what happens they can handle it, and it will all work out just fine.

We all know that there will be more winter days ahead in your life and business, and even though you might be worrying about the colder days to come, take a leaf from the robins’ book.  Life is short; don’t wait any longer to create more of what you want.

Do more of what you love and are called to do. Laugh more, dance more. Get a dream that inspires you and most importantly surround yourself with the support to get you there.

Confidence is a choice to trust that you will be o.k. each and every step of the way, whatever path you choose to take, life has a plan for you.