No I haven’t come out in a rash having inadvertently picked up the wrong bottle in the shower!

This is the reaction I’ve received from my friends, acquaintances, colleagues at work to my decision to become a Life Coach.

By and large these reactions have mirrored their views on me going to Life Coaching in the first place!

Mostly I’ve received encouragement and general amazement that I’m eager to put myself through a fairly challenging learning process.

I’ve been challenged on what I’m learning. Which is excellent as it focuses my mind and tests out the theories before I put them into practice. This has been done with humour and grace and in a very positive way. I’ve found some questions tough but that is also good. They need to be. I need to be sure of my answers.

But I’ve also been met with distain and been belittled by one friend. Someone who I had a shrewd suspicion wouldn’t be at all pleased with my new career path – mainly because she had fairly strong words about me going to life coaching in the first place. However, I was determined to see the best in her and hoped she would be pleased for me so I waited to tell her until I was sure I could present my plan without being defensive – to give her the best possible chance to be the lovely person she can be! Sadly it didn’t work!

 I got a cursory “Oh” and then a rapid change of subject. So rapid it was rude.

Anyway whilst I was doing a little research earlier today I discovered that her ex-brother-in-law (who I also discovered holds a Master NLP Practitioner Certificate!!), her husband, son and her have set themselves up as a little company offering Executive Coaching!!!!! I do remember her mentioning it a few months back .She was full of the idea and how they had pooled all their amazing expertise and how successful they were going to be! And interestingly she looked to me for recognition on how brilliant it was..!!!

So suddenly Coaching, which she so disapproved of for me, is now wonderful when it involves her family!! I feel this says rather too much about her insecurities!! So as I value her friendship I’m keeping off the subject. She clearly dislikes me infiltrating on what she sees as her world!!

I do expect to lose some friends doing this. Those that feel un-nerved by what I’m doing and what they feel I may see in them as a result. So far it doesn’t seem to involve too many of my friends. But if I do lose some it is a price I’m prepared to pay.

Conversations with my Life Coach

“A conversation with a coach is unlike any other conversation” (Stephen Hedger)

It’s taken me way too long to really appreciate the full significance of those words.  Yes clearly this is the case. But it is much deeper than that!  Really??!

Yes because a conversation with a coach is a special type of two way exchange.  The client deep (in my case) in her turmoil. The coach has to listen – and by that I mean really listen to reach the core of what that turmoil is.  How else can he know which tools to use to help. And it was this that was basically giving me the heebie-jeebies!   I’d convinced myself that I am not a good listener.

I’d failed to keep my focus on Stephen’s statement!  A coaching conversation is totally different.  I will be there to listen and really listen.  Not to sit and take notes (gosh I found that irritating when I went to see a psychologist during one of my failed attempts in the beginning to get help).  And I suddenly realised the significance of the ice-breaker session we did at the beginning of that NLP Course I attended.  Something I was finding difficult to explain to one of my friends who, quite rightly, queried what had been achieved by such an in-depth exercise!

I now believe we were being encouraged to LISTEN. Really concentrate at a level  of attentiveness which goes way beyond what any of us would probably do normally.  Because those of us who want to become coaches will need to reach this level of attentiveness so we really hear what the client is saying – and so be able to use their words – not to paraphrase, or put our own spin on them.  What is interesting is that even two weeks later I can still remember quite a lot of what the others in my group said and in some cases the words they used. I can’t remember their names – but I didn’t need to – we were all wearing name badges.

And during that session I had no desire whatsoever to interrupt any of the group.  I had no desire to help them out  – I wanted them to be able to do it for themselves (which is what we’d been asked to do) and I found myself silently egging them on to achieve it.  I didn’t interrupt!

I’m just kicking myself on how slow I am for the penny to drop!!

A year!

I’ve now been living in my little rented cottage for a year.  So much is different from the trauma of a year ago and yet some of it is the same!  I’ve gained readers here on my little blog. I’ve lost readers – those whose lives have changed for whatever reasons.

The way I write has changed!  The focus hasn’t though!

Do I still think about Alex?  Clearly yes or I wouldn’t pose the question.  Do I miss him?  Yes and No.  I’m honest.  No point in not being!

Anyway in honour of my year here in this wonderful little home.  This building which has somehow protected me these last 12 months when protection is what I needed.  Protection from myself as well as from the all the pain,  I’ve thrown together a rather bad attempt at a few poetic lines!!!

A year is so much more than the days it contains
A year passes fast and heals – though some sadness still remains.
A year moves us from where we were to this place of here and now
We blink, it happened. It’s surprising to question “How?”

So be careful, dear friend, the one who visits here
Time moves fast – soon it will be now again –  this time next year.
Although we wish what happened hadn’t been the way it was
We must grab time and use it – Not say “I can’t….because….”

I assumed so much that wasn’t true

And no this isn’t a rush backwards to what I assumed about my marriage or Alex.

This is about me!  A topic I  clearly don’t tire of!

I assumed I was unlovable.  I assumed I couldn’t survive without Alex.  I assumed that despite all I was doing I would never get over the loss of the man I believed was my best friend.

These assumptions were profoundly limiting to any chance I had of a brilliant future of freedom.  Freedom to be the best version of me!  I was convinced they were true.  And that conviction made me needy, scared, vulnerable (in a bad way – not in a liberating feminine way).  Thanks to Stephen’s coaching (gosh don’t I keep dishing out praise in his direction!)  I overcame these limiting assumptions.  Very liberating!

Since finishing my Life Coaching sessions and starting on my exciting ‘road’ to becoming a life coach myself I’ve often wondered how he did it.  How did he trigger that change in me?

I think he made me question each assumption I had about myself and turn the assumption round to the opposite.  So how?  Well short of asking him and him telling me clearly I have no idea!

So how about this:

Every time you find yourself facing a limiting assumption question it.  Look at it from every angle – including how other people might see this assumption and then tell yourself it’s not true.  And finally say to yourself “If I knew that how would life be?  What could I do?”

Daydream the idea!  It doesn’t matter what the limiting assumption is – turn it round and have a lovely time enjoying the freedom to explore the infinite possibilities of the opposite!

I may have confused you!  If I have then good.  As a certain LC would say (and does frequently!).  Confusion is good!!

Confusion gave me the idea of becoming a life coach even though, initially, I put several limiting assumptions in my way  – all of which I managed to feed myself examples of ‘truth’ to back them up:

I’m a bad Listener
I always interrupt people
I’m too Old
I’ll be hopeless at creating rapport……..
and loads more I won’t go into!!

These assumptions turned round became

What if I become a good listener then what does that do?
What if I shut up!
What has age got to do with it?
I am popular and people do find they can talk to me!

Feeding myself positive assumptions, liberating ones, also makes me feel so much better!  I can actually feel the difference.  I sit up straighter. I smile to myself.  All good stuff as smiling releases the endorphins.  Endorphins are good little bu**ers!!

So on a personal front I am also lovable, not too old (sex doesn’t have to stop at 60! – Just think of that all of you who are in your 50s!!) and I’m also feminine and fun!

I accept I may need a dating goal!  And when I do it will be to go out and have fun!  Because having an intention to make it more than that would be wrong and probably far too heavy and intense.  That can happen when the right man comes along and will happen when it does – as a natural progression of falling in love.

(And I still live in hope of the internet dating at least dishing up some dates – especially as I’ve just been made a ‘featured member’ on one of the sites I’m on!!)

Hypnosis – now there’s a thought!

I’ve just been giving this another ‘go’.  When I bought a couple of the downloads as mp3s the other day I also got ‘given’ a free download on Self-hypnosis!

Well I tucked myself up in bed (OK I know it was early – 7.30pm! – but I thought I better be comfortable!), clicked on the download and as it were, did as I was bid!

I remember concentrating and focusing on the object and not feeling at all as if my eyelids were getting heavy – in fact I had to make a conscious effort to shut them.  I listened to another 30 seconds or so and then discovered the download had stopped – no sound at all just silence!  So I clicked on Play again and followed the instructions again. Same result.

Except it’s now 8.30pm!!!  So I appear to have lost an hour.  And I’ve just realised that the download had stopped playing because it had got to the end.

Now the question is – did I fall asleep.  Or did I go into the deep trance that was suggested.  And as I can’t remember a thing about it I have no idea!

It’s all very interesting!   I wonder what effect this is going to have!

I think the only way I’m going to actually find out more is by downloading the actual scripts as clearly the mp3 download works too well!!