D is for dogs in clothes

Back to my alphabet and D is for dogs-in-clothes. I was intending to make these posts about Compassionate Inquiry and at the very least life coaching, but this is just a rant. I can’t stand dogs in clothes. Or not so much the dogs, but the fact they someone has got them dressed. I can make an exception for shivering whippets in old fashioned quilted coats, or even a waxed jacket. But enterprising little westies in grubby acrylic arun-style sweaters with four sleeves and a bum hole, bulldogs in camo [...]

A is for Attachment and Authenticity

In response to overwhelming popular demand (at least three people have mentioned in passing that they miss my alphabet posts), I am resuming my A to Zs today. I've recently started a year-long professional training in an a therapeutic approach called Compassionate Inquiry, developed by Gabor Maté - you can read about it here: https://compassionateinquiry.com/. I am utterly gripped, absorbed and stimulated by this work - it's makes so much sense to me and is already transforming my work. With all the enthusiasm of the new devotee I expect many [...]

A to Z of Life Coaching #4

U is for unpick. Yes, on one level following on from the Sewing Bee theme, it's about the ready-and-willingness to unpick a seam, a hem, a wonky line of top stitching, important if you want to make anything of quality. Unpicking in life, though, is what I’m thinking about. The willingness to go back to a situation, consider the motivations, the intentions; what did you feel, what needs did you have, met and unmet; what went on for the other person? The willingness, sometimes, to return to the person affected and say, when you [...]

A to Z of Life Coaching #3

N is for needs, and in particular Maslow’s hierarchy of them. Depicted as a pyramid, broadly it’s based on the idea that every human being must have physical needs, such as warmth, food and shelter satisfied before you can start to worry about whether you’re in the right career. It’s a useful starting point for a getting ourselves to think and talk in the language of universal human needs rather than how we’d like everyone else to behave differently. The awareness of our and others’ needs is the starting point [...]

The A to Z of Life Coaching #2

H is for horse and in particular getting back on it. Sometimes we can leap onto it ourselves like a circus performer; and sometimes, perhaps more often, we need someone to stand beside us, with his or her hands cupped ready for us to put our foot in the cradle and be lifted, a little or a lot. The trick is to know when and whom to ask. I is for intention. Don’t quote me quoting someone else but I think Wolfram von Eschenbach said something like: Every choice we [...]

The A to Z of Life Coaching

Over the last few months I've been posting an alphabet of odds and ends, ideas, images, links, the occasional profanity.  I didn't want to lose them to social media so, before I start the next round (same alphabet, different words) I'm posting them in batches here:   A is for Alive and in particular for noticing what’s alive for us at any moment. Marshall Rosenberg, who gave us NVC, invites us to check and communicate our feelings and needs rather than speak in the language of blame, criticism, threat and [...]

2021-09-07T11:25:30+01:007 September 2021|alive, Bravery, Compassion, Daring, Enquiry, Goals|0 Comments

How to beat loneliness without actually seeing people

This time last year I was bragging about how much lockdown suited me. I was writing my novel, learning the guitar, doing puzzles and accessing the Hay Festival by Zoom.  I had the whole flat to myself, acres of time, a million things yet to watch, tons of books to catch up on, and all my clients via Zoom so I didn’t even have to keep the place all that tidy.  Smug, is the only word to describe my state of mind last April. Now, though, it’s fair to say [...]

The MyWay Code

We live in a rule-bound world, the last 12 months having demonstrated how quickly we are able to absorb new ones – sidling off the pavement if someone comes the other way, shopping in face masks, not visiting your parents at Christmas, social norms that we’d not have dreamed of a little over a year ago. Some of these rules are applied and others we apply to ourselves.  A Highway Code and a Myway Code. I have been known, when something is taking too long, to feel nearly sick with [...]

How we’ve all heard quite enough about cold water swimming

I was going to write a post called what I have learned from swimming in the sea in winter. Ten short points, nothing particularly original, a bit about endorphins, a bit about doing the thing you think is impossible and possibly a mention of brown fat. Then I saw John O'Farrell’s tweet (gently) mocking ‘yet another’ cold water swimming piece in yesterday’s Guardian, plus a string of like minded comments. So I didn't. I'd write about shame instead; referencing Brené Brown, wondering what shame does to us, how it differs [...]

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