G is for Guess

When I was six I won a game of ‘guess how many sweets are in the jar’ at my dad’s office party, by cheating. Somewhat pathetically, rather than guess my own number, I copied the number that before mine on the sheet. Only I copied it down wrong. I’ve always felt slightly guilty about that incident, but I’ve managed to turn that sort of guessing into a job. Very often, in the course of a session, I will make a stab at guessing what my client is feeling. I don’t [...]

2022-11-01T11:58:01+00:001 November 2022|A to Z of Life Coaching, active listening, Compassionate Inquiry, curiosity, Enquiry, guess, listening, question|Comments Off on G is for Guess

F is for Feeling

F is for feeling. Something we all know quite a lot about – right? Well, you’d think so, but my experience is that quite a lot of us don’t. We find feelings hard to identify, hard to name, hard to stay with, hard to rely on. It’s partly a language problem. In English, we get used to putting ‘that’ after ‘I’m feeling’ which turns ‘I feel’ into ‘I think”. Thinking isn’t the same as feeling. Thinking happens in the mind, feeling happens in the body. It’s partly that we’re not [...]

2022-10-12T10:31:16+01:0012 October 2022|Uncategorised|Comments Off on F is for Feeling

E is for Enquiry

At last, after an unexplained (and inexplicable) gap, I’m back to my alphabet.  E is for Enquiry. I’m not talking about the judicial kind, that purports to find facts and then seeks retribution, compensation, apology and changes in the law (though I understand the purpose and importance of these if they’re conducted well). No, I mean enquiry as opposed to assuming you know the answer already; enquiry as opposed to being too frightened to ask; enquiry as opposed to believing your opinion is the one that matters, along with winning [...]

2022-09-28T13:52:54+01:0028 September 2022|A to Z of Life Coaching, Compassionate Inquiry, curiosity, Enquiry|Comments Off on E is for Enquiry

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 [...]

2022-02-05T17:48:46+00:005 February 2022|A to Z of Life Coaching, Authenticity, dogs|Comments Off on D is for dogs in clothes

C is for Christmas

C is for Christmas. With our minds we make Christmas, and with previous Christmases we make our minds. Might be worth bearing in mind around 4.20 tomorrow afternoon.

2021-12-24T15:02:25+00:0024 December 2021|A to Z of Life Coaching, Buddha, Compassionate Inquiry, Man's search for meaning, mindfulness|Comments Off on C is for Christmas

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 [...]

2021-11-29T12:02:42+00:0029 November 2021|A to Z of Life Coaching, Attachment, Authenticity, Compassionate Inquiry, Gabor Maté|Comments Off on A is for Attachment and Authenticity

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 [...]

2021-09-13T15:08:24+01:0013 September 2021|A to Z of Life Coaching, nonviolent communication, question, unpick, verge, why, xenophobia, zebra|Comments Off on A to Z of Life Coaching #4

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 [...]

2021-09-10T12:56:32+01:0010 September 2021|A to Z of Life Coaching, needs, ostrich, question, Ranulph Fiennes, relationship, transitions|Comments Off on A to Z of Life Coaching #3

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 [...]

2021-09-07T11:35:08+01:007 September 2021|horse, intention, judgment, kindle, list, Man's search for meaning|Comments Off on The A to Z of Life Coaching #2

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|Comments Off on The A to Z of Life Coaching
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