Changing Seasons

There is a tree in my garden, a Japanese Maple, that intrigues me. It is a beautiful green tree in Summer and as Autumn approaches it is the first plant in my garden to herald the change of season. The leaves change to a breathtaking display of red, orange and yellow and this tree becomes the focal point in my garden as all the other plants slowly come around to the change of season that the maple is celebrating with such vibrance.

The leaves eventually curl and become brown and crisp, but they don’t fall. When the rest of the garden is starkly naked in its display of rest and rejuvenation for the coming year, the maple holds onto those leaves throughout winter, almost as if the change it so eagerly announced has now become a daunting task and it is easier to hold onto what it has despite the withered dried nature of what those leaves have become. It is only in spring when the new leaves start shooting that they eventually push the brown, dead leaves from the branch, forcing space to embrace the new season of growth.

In a similar way, I recently moved house. Despite all the logical reasons for the move, in those final weeks before the move I found myself holding onto all that old house meant to me, sad at the thought of not seeing that maple tree start a new Spring. But I packed the boxes, I booked the moving van and eventually took my heavy heart to the new house. What a revelation, once I slept in that new home! I suddenly discovered a whole world of possibilities that were not available in the old house. Suddenly I dropped my old dead leaves and started growing into my new space.

Have you ever felt the need to make a change, to welcome a new season and then just as quickly felt the scariness of letting go of what you know? Is it frustrating you that no matter how stuck you are, you just can’t seem to take the final step that will allow the change to take hold and be permanent?

Perhaps you need a coach to help you think through all that you are changing while you hang onto those old leaves. Set the milestones and small steps that need to be taken to slowly develop new buds. Sometimes we need to put the growth in motion so that when it comes time to push forward and reach out to a new season, dropping the old leaves is merely part of a process that is natural and exciting.

Start the process, contact a coach and find the vision of the new season you want to create, develop the steps to get there and that new season may be easier than you thought. If you would like a free sample session with me to find out more about how coaching can help you, book one by clicking here.

The gift and power of emotional courage

I spent a lot of time in my life controlling emotion, not feeling it. When I was 13, my parents were divorced and I tried to live the lyrics “I am a rock, I am an island” from my favourite Simon & Garfunkel song.

By the time I was an adult and going through my own divorce I could not tell you what I was feeling – I was angry or OK and could not find anything between. It took a long process to help me discover what I was feeling and then to tap into my purpose and start living it. Continue reading “The gift and power of emotional courage”

Hope is not a strategy and resolutions are not change

I believe New Year’s resolutions are a rather empty, guilty acknowledgement that things should change. After the excesses of the festive seasons and the realisation that all those grand schemes for the year have not materialised, we seem to shrug off the disappointment by promising ourselves that this year we will be better. Some of us manage to do it for a few days or even weeks, but by the middle of January we are back into the old routine and the resolutions are long forgotten by the end of the month.

Instead of making resolutions I prefer to give the urge for change and cleaning up my act a little more attention. Here are my steps to making a lasting change:

  1. Acknowledge where you are – what is the source of your guilt, frustration or need to make a change? What has brought you to this point and what choices created this situation? I don’t just acknowledge that I ate too many mince pies, I also think about how I feel now that they are permanently attached to my hips and the effort it is going to take to get rid of them.
  2. Visualise where you want to be – what would a day or a week in your life look like once you make that change? Is that picture inspiring? Does it immediately create reasons to go back to your old ways? If I am thinking of giving something up and I immediately visualise situations where I know I’ll break my promise, I know its time to reframe how I think about it. What are the good things I want from this change and how will they outweigh the benefits of not giving into temptation.
  3. Preparation – each new habit or change in behaviour requires some planning. If I’m going to eat more healthily it requires some menu plans, shopping for fresh healthy food and removing the left over Christmas cake and chocolates from the cupboard.
  4. Commitment – having an accountability partner helps keep you on track. Someone you can give updates of your progress to and who will hold you accountable when you are starting to slip. This needs to be someone who can remind you of your goals with love and kindness. I often think that its not so much the fact that I cheated that’s important, but rather why I did and having someone to help me unravel that before I do it again.
  5. Little steps – set small goals and challenges and as you tick them off it makes the big vision so much closer and more real.
  6. Hold the course – most people are adverse to change and the changes you are making sometimes have surprising affects on those around you. Holding onto your vision and your commitments when others seem to want to sabotage your efforts takes courage and fortitude. Have someone you can rely on to support you when everyone else seems to prefer the old you.
  7. Keep a record – plot your course, write a journal, keep a weigh in or exercise diary; whatever helps you look back and see how far you have come, how you felt through the process and can also help you keep growing the vision.
  8. Celebrate – celebrate the little victories in new and exciting ways and collect little mementoes to remind you of all that you have achieved.
    If this seems like something that you would like to try and you need a partner to help you build the plan and stay on the course, consider hiring a life coach.

Do a Vision 2018 workshop to set your goals for the year ahead or join one of my three month individual coaching packages to help you make lasting changes and shifts in your life or contact one of the other Collective Coaches to see how they do it.