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Coaching

How long is forever

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“How long is forever?” asked Alice. “Sometimes, just one second.” replied the White Rabbit.

There are dreams lasting but a moment in which everything is suspended in eternity.

Get more of those moments. Don’t be afraid to dive deep with someone. Love intensely. Make that connection, take that leap, embrace the now. It’s all we have – the past is gone, and the future is promised to no one.

Change

Finisterre

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I took this photo yesterday on the beach and it made me think of ‘Finisterre’ by David Whyte: https://onbeing.org/poetry/finisterre/

“but because now, you would find a different way to tread, / and because, through it all, part of you would still walk on, / no matter how, over the waves.”

If you’re looking for something to read that makes you say yes! that’s exactly it, you just put into words exactly how I felt – have a look at Whyte’s poetry.

One of my other favourites is ‘Sweet Darkness’.

“Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet / confinement of your aloneness / to learn / anything or anyone / that does not bring you alive / is too small for you”.

Your world is so big and blue and beautiful. Go explore.

Personal development

Yoga and life

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28 June vs 7 July. I like yoga because it teaches you to quiet the ego and conquer the self. The things you need most in yoga are the same things that get you through life – balance, strength, and breath.

Change

Come, let us go and try it – why…

Fyodor Dostoevsky quote

As we look ahead to Monday, and as you take on whatever challenges and journeys this week brings, I want you to remember this. Don’t be someone who looks back at the end of their life, wistful that they never took a chance and never followed their dreams, and is filled with regret for wasted potential and opportunity.

You want it, go and get it. Make it a priority. Support is vital – you don’t have to do it on your own. But you have to do it.

Come, let us go and try it – why dream about it?

Coaching

Life, measured not in coffee spoons

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Are you making space for things in your life that truly excite you? (We’re not talking thrill-seeking, although I do like this photo from the Storm at this year’s Kenilworth Carnival.) Or, as T.S. Eliot’s Alfred J. Prufrock so memorably said, are you measuring out your life out in coffee spoons?

Coaching

What’s past is prologue, but the future is still…

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Shakespeare, he knew a thing or two. People sometimes misunderstand what Antonio meant by ‘what’s past is prologue’, taking it in isolation to mean that the past predicts the future. The full quote, however, says quite the opposite.

“Whereof what’s past is prologue; what to come, in yours and my discharge.” The past is written, but the future is yours to wield, subject to the choices you decide to make.

Make good ones. Each day is a new day with no mistakes in it yet.

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd

Change

The order of time

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I’ve been feeling melancholic lately. If I were to try to find a unifying theme in my thinking, it would probably be about how people, relationships and things change over time.

I’ve been reading a wonderful book by Carlo Rovelli called The Order of Time – it’s thoroughly fascinating, and confusing in parts, and you should go read it. It’s about how time is in us rather than us being in time, and how time flows differently in different places, and how the notion of the present evaporates in the context of the universe. Philosophy, poetry and physics all in one book.

There is something beautiful about old things.
The creak of a joint
History of a glorious past
Wrinkle of a life well-lived
Collected stories from a lifetime
And the rust of days gone by.

Some things, though, wear more acutely
Than time, oxygen and water.
Like gradual disconnections
The sharpness of sour truths
And how the beauty of a siren call
Ends, usually, on the rocks.

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd

Self-love

Love for imperfect things

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I’m writing a love letter to you, you imperfect, incredible thing. You’re uneven, and sometimes awkward, but there’s something about you that sings.

It’s your imperfections and your quirks and your cracks that make you human and infinitely beautiful. And so worthy of love. From you as well as everyone else. Not because of what you’ve achieved, or the way you look, but simply because you are you.

Coaching

Reconnection: A prescription for depression

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I’m curled up in a cosy cafe this morning thinking, reading and drinking chai. I’m thinking primarily about two people I’ve been in touch with recently who were seeking coaching, except I had to gently explain that based on the information they had given me, it was my view that coaching was unlikely to be an appropriate intervention for them at this time. So I signposted them to their GPs and various resources, explaining why they might first need to seek some clinical or psychotherapeutic help to support them in coping with daily life.

If someone is in need of therapeutic intervention, it’s important for coaches to recognise this and be clear about their ethical remit. Once someone is receiving the right therapeutic support, however, coaching can be a useful adjunct to support them in reaching specific goals in the present (focusing on achieving potential and improving performance, rather than the more coping-oriented nature of therapy).

I’m finding this book interesting (Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope, by Johann Hari). The blurb on the back talks about a ‘radical new way of thinking’ about depression and anxiety, but I’m not so sure – it strikes me as common sense to uncover and address the underlying causes, not simply seek to treat the symptoms. It’s why, in my coaching work, we focus precisely on some of the ‘prescriptions’ Hari writes about: meaningful work, meaningful values, and reconnecting to others and the natural world.

Perhaps, though, it’s been my own journey through and out the other end of depression that has taught me these things. So I wholeheartedly recommend this book to you, even though I am only on page 46.

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd

Coaching

The Johari Window

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Last week, I got some totally unexpected, utterly lovely feedback from two of my colleagues: that I had something about me that made people happy to see me coming and that I was one of their favourite people at work. It was so apropos of nothing that I asked them suspiciously what they wanted. Ha!

They also told me that I was really good at persuading people to do things they didn’t want to do. We had a good laugh about that – I don’t think I’ve ever thought about myself in that way before.

Reflecting on the encounter, it occurred to me that the Johari Window might be quite useful in illustrating these different awareness spaces and perspectives.

The Open space is the part of ourselves accessible both to us and to others. Our Blind space contains the things that others see but we are unaware of, at least consciously. We keep certain aspects Hidden from others. And finally, there are, as Rumsfeld opined, the unknown unknowns – the Unconscious parts of us that neither ourselves nor others may realise are there.

There are, I think, some interesting discussions to be had around how it may benefit us to bring things across from the Hidden space to the Open arena. How much of a role does transparency and authenticity play in the trust that people are willing to place in us?

And on the other side of the window – our blind spot might contain some happy revelations, but also some unpalatable truths. How can, or should, we profitably use others’ honest opinions of us?

– Written by Natalie Snodgrass Tan, Quiet Space Ltd