STOP and Breathe

Uncategorized Oct 13, 2017

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...

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A Personal Journey to becoming a Coach by John Young

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.

 

 

My personal journey began with my own experience as a coachee.

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.

 

The Turning Point

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...

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Life is....

Uncategorized Aug 29, 2017

Life is… Learning, connecting and growing a life you love living.

Life is…a dream;

…a struggle;

            …like a box of chocolates;

            …a journey;

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...

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On Becoming a Coach

On Becoming a Coach: a personal reflection on the Coach training journey by Stuart Sandeman, Executive Coach | Personal Coach | Artist Mentor

 

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...

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Only 994 Miles to go. by Raymy Boyle


I’m what you call an off/on jogger – and for the last 6 months it’s been mostly off. I realised that when I have something to aim for, I can usually sustain a regular running routine. Last year, I trained for and then completed the Edinburgh half Marathon – which was great!  For the 3 months leading up to the run at the end of May I more or less stuck to my training programme and enjoyed as much as I endured the run itself. And then….. I pretty much stopped running.


Having set a goal and achieved it, I had no reason to run, no motivation to get out even though I know how good I feel when I’ve done a few miles. So, this year my goal is a bit different – to run 1000 city miles in 2017. That’s approximate 20 miles a week (allowing a couple of weeks off). To keep my interest up I also want to cover as much of Edinburgh as I can, to run down streets and through parks that I haven’t even been aware of and to notice new things...

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A Story of Hope – the Fourth H Word by Michele Armstrong

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.

 

 

The Guesthouse

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...

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It's About Time

 

How many times have we promised ourselves that we’re going to do something, to start something or maybe even to finish something we started a while ago and then…….for some reason we never seem to get around to it.  Something gets in the way, the busyness, distractions, procrastination – all underpinned by that feeling of not having enough time.

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...

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Beyond the Summit... a new way of doing business.

The Challenge

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...

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ILM's Edge Magazine Interview with Michele Armstrong.

Neuroleadership: What is it and how it can help you to become a better leader
 
Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:21 AM In the first of our blog series on neuroleadership, Edge chats to Michele Armstrong, managing director of Acorn Principle Plus, on how neuroleadership can benefit managers.


Can you give us a brief overview of what the term neuroleadership actually means?
Neuroleadership was a term coined by David Rock, CEO of Results Coaching Systems, in 2006. It grew out of a need to understand more about how we could be better leaders to be more effective at leading others and ourselves by engaging with what our brain tells us about being human. It emerged at a time when, thanks to an increase in research technologies, neuroscientists were able to observe live human brains (for example by using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scanners) and discover many insights about how our brains work.

The field of neuroleadership explores the neural basis of leadership and management...

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From humble beginnings come great things

Uncategorized Jun 07, 2016

While out walking in the glorious April sunshine, I was reflecting on my past, my present and my future - not at all in keeping with the spirit of mindfulness which usually accompanies me on my walks. 

My past - from humble beginnings... Who knew, when this picture was taken, what lay ahead for me?  Who knew, almost 50 years on, what my life story would hold. Looking back over the years I am grateful for this life I've led, for the people I've met along the way and for the world of learning that has helped me shape my future.

In August, 2015 Julie Beck wrote an article called, "Life Stories".  She wrote:

"A person’s life story is not a Wikipedia biography of the facts and events of a life, but rather the way a person integrates those facts and events internally—picks them apart and weaves them back together to make meaning. This narrative becomes a form of identity, in which the things someone chooses to include in the story, and the way she tells it, can...

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Life Is... A Guide to the 28 Steps

If you believe that Life is what you make it then this guide will show you the way