People who know me know that I love learning. In fact, my thirst for learning often takes me into weird and wonderful journeys of discovery such as: why we do the things we do, even when we don’t want to, what we are capable of under extreme circumstances and how the thoughts we think have the power to change the very shape and structure of our brain.
One of the most life changing areas of learning fell into place when I read ‘The Coach’s Mind Manual: Enhancing Coaching Practice with Neuroscience, Psychology and Mindfulness’ by Syed Azmatullah. This connected a string of unrelated events that, when I put them all together, led me to an amazing discovery that increased my self-awareness and broadened my capacity to support others with similar challenges at a feelings level.
Making the Connections
The seemingly unrelated incidents were, in their own rights, situations that had a profound impact on my life experience....
My first run, on January 1st 2017, was a slow 6 miles down the Almond River and along Cramond prom. I did the same run yesterday (although a bit quicker – I’m still a plodder but my pace has improved over the year). As for covering as many of the streets, roads and paths of Edinburgh as I could, I discovered parts of this amazing city I would never have found and a new appreciation for places I’d taken for granted.
Oh, and a real sense of just how hilly it is!
When was the last time you were able to sit back, allow your mind to be at ease and just breathe?
For me it feels like I was wrestling with getting the balance right in my life for ever; working long hours, juggling work projects and making rapid fire decisions to keep moving things forward in my business.
And yet, it wasn't that long ago that this picture was taken. In fact I have a series of me-time pictures taken throughout the year that disputes the image my mind is holding of a stressed out, over-whelmed work-a-lot. It amazes me how much our current reality impacts our ability to see our life as it is, in the moment, without judgement.
Taking time for reflection is something I do regularly. As a coach and trainer, I encourage the people I work with to invest in themselves by giving themselves the gift of time; time to show themselves a bit of kindness and self-care.
So I decided to S.T.O.P* and consider where this confusion of the mind was coming from and notice how I...
Introduction by Michele Armstrong - As a trainer of professional coaches, I am priviledged to walk alongside many great people as they embark on their journey to become better equipped to support others in realising their ambitions and dreams. One of our most recent coaches-in-training blew me away with the depth of learning that he encountered on his journey, that I asked his permission to share his personal reflections in the hope that they may inspire you to begin your journey.
I would have described myself then as a lost individual trying to make ends meet, trying to please everybody and be everything to everyone. This left me in a sad state, feeling trapped, stressed and pressured.
I was browsing Facebook one evening and saw a post from a learning coach in search of a case study for 12 weeks. If I am honest I never knew what coaching was or what it was...
Life is… Learning, connecting and growing a life you love living.
Life is…a dream;
…like a box of chocolates;
Many years ago, my husband Raymy and I were walking in Paris when I noticed a man and a little girl coming towards us. Their conversation was very animated with his hands and face expressing frustration and her body language – crossing her arms and stamping her foot down hard – reflecting her words, “Daddy, that’s not fair”.
In a moment, the man’s expression went calm and he replied, “Darling, life is not fair”. At this point, we passed each other and I was left with my own thoughts.
The phrase struck me, “Life is not fair”, and I pondered over it many times. If we believe that life is unfair, does this make it...
Fully absorbed in a hedonistic lifestyle as an international DJ, coaching was not a profession I gave much airtime. I believed it was an American fad represented by sickly sweet, upbeat motivators claiming to help people get rich, happy and healthy. It wasn’t until I experienced the loss of a loved one that I found solace in various self-help techniques, including coaching. During that time, my best friend was training to be a coach and it was through his sessions I began to understand its value. After only a couple of sessions I experienced a huge positive shift in my life and my perception of coaching took a radical U-turn. Through this experience I decided to embark on my own coaching journey to help others create positive changes in their lives.
The start was extremely daunting. With an intense weekend of training and a...
In considering the theme of #Advent Blogs 2016 – Heights, Hearts & Hollows, my mind was filled with so many thoughts I wanted to share under each of these topics. I spent a few days sitting with my mind full of ideas, then started to get all my thoughts out onto paper by journaling freely, until the story began to emerge. At times words would pour out in a flood and confuse my senses; at other times I would stare at a blank page in the way I imagine Ted Hughes might have done as he waited for his Thought Fox to appear.
The following poem by Rumi (and other poems I find inspiring) let me view my experiences from a different position; a place from which I could look back on the hollows (instead of from within) and upwards and onwards to new heights – enjoying the promise of things to come.
This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected...
Which is nonsense. We have the time we have and we make choices about how we use it. What if we thought about time in the way we think about money – how much importance we place on looking after our finances, to not squander it, to carefully plan how we will use it. Of course we can sometimes waste cash but I think generally we value money much more than we do time, given how cavalier we can be with our hours, minutes and seconds. Apparently it was Benny Franklin who said time is money but it’s not. It’s so much more important.
It’s no surprise that as we get older...
You may already know that on the 23rd July, 2016, my husband and I set ourselves a 100 Day Challenge.
If you know that, then you are probably aware that we set ourselves the challenge of building a place to work and launching a new business by 30th October, 2016.
You may also know, that this challenge came about after the untimely loss of our daughter which resulted in her two young children coming to live with us full time and changing he trajectory of our life path. As well as dealing with the shock (and ongoing shockwaves) of bereavement, we were hurled into what felt like a new dimension and everything we knew to be 'normal life' seemed to dissolve. We needed to work out a new way of living that would meet the diverse and changing needs of our newly-formed family.
Sometime after the two year mark, we looked at each other one day and decided to get started building a new life for ourselves; the life we wanted to live. The process we went...
If you believe that Life is what you make it then this guide will show you the way