Tag Archives: coaching

Anticipation

Support for women in small or microbusinesses to help them identify their strenths

Right on the cusp of the Winter Solstice, there is not a lot of sunshine around in the southern most part of Australia. The soft, mist like rain soaking into the ground means that the soil will retain the moisture longer and there is an anticipation of lush new growth.

The spring bulbs have already pushed forth their leaves and a few “early birds” have blossomed. These bulbs have no expectations except to blossom.  The jonquil never expects to become a rose, yet within the core of its bulb it has the knowledge and wisdom of when to begin sprouting from its dormancy.  It doesn’t waste time worrying about the bulb next to it…. whether it is a hyacinth or a tulip or even onion weed… it just gets on with what it has to do and turns its face up to the sunshine when it flowers.

Yet some bulbs do better than others. They have the support of fertile, watered soil, adequate sunshine and good nutrients. Others may find themselves in a crowded position and could do with the support of a gentle gardener to place them in a less crowded place once in a while. Still others may find themselves overshadowed by a stronger shrub or bush and yet they still manage to put forth its leaves, even if this season they haven’t quite got the right conditions to flower.

And so it is, when starting out in your own business…..  There is an anticipation, a feeling of excitement as you begin your journey.  There is a delicate balance between anticipation and anxiety …. anticipation will allow you to let go of some of your expectations whilst anxiety binds you to them.  Wisdom is knowing  which is which.

Choose to be free of self imposed limitations by walking your talk and making wise decisions ……if you are having difficulty doing this look for support….you are not a failure if you ask for support and you will become stronger if you do so. The bulb needs the support of fertile soil, adequate water and sunshine, so too for you!

Are you in a crowded marketplace and need to move to more fertile soil?

Are you overshadowed by doubt or overpowered by others ?

You do have more control over your decisions than the bulb does. Acknowledge your personal power and reflect on your completeness. It may seem like hard work as you tend to your needs but the support of a coach or mentor will most often guide you to the path to your future.  Be open with them, they are not there to judge you, just as the rose does not judge the jonquil.  Check in with your feelings… if you are truly open to accepting support, then you will find that you are not defensive and effective communication will flow just like the winter creeks and rivers.

Take a moment to step out  of your own shadow and walk tall into the sunshine!

Spring Reflections

Trials are but lessons that you failed to learn presented once again, so where you made a faulty choice before you can now make a better one, and thus escape all pain that what you chose before has brought to you.

A Course in Miracles

How often do you audit your work life balance?

In business, one is encouraged to come up with  a plan which should be regularly reviewed …at least every 90 days. Achievable goals should be set and if they are not met , it’s OK to revise and tweak them so that a good outcome can be achieved. A good business plan will cover many areas, such as sales, marketing, networking and more. As the business evolves, so too does its needs. There is an ebb and flow of priorities in different areas.

For our personal lives too, we need to set goals so that we don’t just aimlessly drift into the sunset of dreams never fulfilled.  We may set a goal that  seems realistic at the time. Even setting what one networking person described to me as “a great big hairy audacious goal”.

All this is good,  but life will sometimes throw us a curve ball when we least expect it. The lessons to be learned when this happens are invaluable when we stop to reflect. Too much focus on a particular area will result in an imbalance in other areas unless we are diligent in maintaining a healthy work life balance. Many will be familiar with The Wheel of Life tool which is at the bottom of this post.

It’s important to have a positive mindset about any setbacks and ask ourselves the following questions.

  • What can I learn from this?
  • What could I do better next time?
  • What resources do I need to achieve the outcome I desire?
  • What goals do I need to set to achieve my outcome or vision?

Wheel of Life exercise

Enchantment

On a  recent visit to the retreat, I was enchanted with the spectre of a double rainbow over the labyrinth.  It was at the end of a hot and humid day and just as the sun was getting ready to slip over the horizon, the clouds parted and there was a most amazing light dancing on the tree tops. A shower in the distance provided the catalyst for a most amazing rainbow.

Did I manage to capture the image? Sadly no…. one of the rare occasions when I had neither camera or smartphone with me.

Earlier in the day, I had shrugged off the lethargy and done a New Moon meditation and vision book page. The next step was to take the vision book into the labyrinth and meditate further on what had come to me.

As I came out of the labyrinth, I was reminded of the benefit of journalling the experiences, many abridged versions appear here in this blog. I remembered a comment from a reader some time ago who suggested that I include video. With that in mind, I walked slowly back to the centre recording the journey, which I would share, except that it seems that the iphone video is not compatible with this platform. The act of mindfulness in walking slowly and holding the camera steadily made for a different experience. The focus was not on myself, but how could I best film the pathway so that viewers would not feel dizzy or sick and that they could really get a “feel” for the rustic nature of this labyrinth.

It cannot be compared to the  pictures of the labyrinths in North America and Europe that are either beautifully paved or have lush green turf….  This is country Victoria coming into summer.. the weeds and the grass have turned to straw brown, the soil is drying and cracking and the patches of gravel are rust red and need to be stepped on carefully.  The mounded soil of the rings allows some long grass and other small hardy plants to grow, but there is no sign of life in the outer ring where the garlic was planted, except for 2 sage plants and a lavender plant that has just flowered. As each step is taken, there is a crunching sound… the dried up plants…. the opposite to the Northern Hemisphere which had record snowfalls on that same weekend.

So whilst the intent has been to share the New Moon experience with you, I can only do so with words and not pictures…. perhaps some enchanted things are not to share……

Postscript….. If you would like to do a virtual walk of the labyrinth, click HERE

 

The Labyrinth

LabyrinthI still haven’t managed to get a full picture of the labyrinth, my son suggested putting a card in his remote control helicopter and taking a photo with that, but that’s for another day!

This is after I dug out the lines to redefine the path and added some garden gypsum to the mounds created. The idea behind this is that the channels created will hold the moisture and keep the soil nearby easier to work with. Most of the area is heavy clay, so the gypsum will help break that down.

Originally, I wanted to put some coarse grade gypsum, used for driveways or around cattle troughs on the path, but there are some persistent weeds that would simply grow through the gravel.  The metaphysical properties of gypsum are interesting and it  works on the Heart & Base Chakras as well as bringing clarity to the person using it. Ideal for a labyrinth walk! I will enquire more about the coarse grade gypsum at the Elmore Field Day coming up in October.

You can see in the photo where I started to take a fine layer of soil off the path, but still the onion grass came up.  A bonus was that the five pointed purple flowers  were pretty to look at as I walked the circuit! They have now been replaced by Capeweed, which has bright yellow petals and a black centre.  Ideas for the future development of the path range from sowing lawn seed and getting a mower to maintain it or waiting until the soil softens again and hiring a mechanical tiller and digging it up to weed it more vigorously.

The plinth in the centre has a small depression in it, which I fill with water for the birds. There is a nest of Blue Wrens nearby and lots of fast moving little birds that I have yet to identify. It is offset slightly and one corner is orientated North.

After the gypsum was applied, it was loosely worked into the soil mounds and I set about peeling 6 bulbs of Australian Garlic. Some of the cloves had already started to sprout and as they lay on the tray in the sunlight, seemed to grow a little more each time I glanced at them. Once peeled, they went into a bucket of water and I planted them in most of the outer ring of the labyrinth. It’s just an experiment – if they grow – they grow and should provide yet another purple flower to look at around New Year. The bonus will be a crop of garlic with the labyrinth energy. Rain was forecast for the next day and if the weather report was correct, the area got some 13mm of rain after we left – just enough to water in the gypsum and the garlic.

 

New Look

There must have been something in the air – certainly change……

I’ve changed my personal website as well as this business one and feel like I am starting to get the two more aligned. I’ve even imported all my old posts from a Blogger account that I started posting in …way back in 2008 … to this one and am thinking that towards the end of the year I might even migrate the blog here to my personal website. Not sure what Mr Google will think of that….

July has seen me reviewing old business plans and I was really surprised when I dug an old one up from 2009 and discovered that my plan back then was really ahead of its time. This time, as I review it, I have decided to run it past a person with a more positive outlook and entrepreneurial attitude than last time. In fact I might even listen to my own intuition and not give away my personal power…..

A dream is just a dream…. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline……

Needless to say, there has been some serious planning with 90 day goals set over the last few weeks, both business and personal. I’m happy to say that most of the goals I have set for July have been achieved and there’s still 3 more days to go!

GoalsUsing the SMART model makes it really simple to test whether the goal is realistic or not and of course that is the key. Set achievable goals and  not only the does the conscious mind do a “happy dance”, but the brain creates new pathways, the subconscious mind stores the positive experience to be applied to other future projects…..

Woman at Work

expandCoaching is underway and I have re-visited my values.

This time I approached it a little differently and have set the intent to break through old beliefs that no longer serve. Astounding really, how we can unconsciously hold  on to familiar patterns of thought and not realize how that no longer works if we want to make changes.

Coupled with the coaching, I’m doing a marketing course and apart from looking at the ideal client, re-visiting my niche and looking to get my message much clearer than in the past. I now realize that I have  been a “Jack of all trades” ( or should that be Jill?) and even though I LOVE  doing the Reiki, Polarity Therapy and Homeopathy, it is really the Hypnotherapy that is the passion. Seeing clients literally change in the chair as they access their subconscious and resolve long-term issues is the reward.

There is also the realization that these therapies are just tools to be used and can be applied as needed to empower clients. Less focus on naming the therapies and more on getting resolution for the client. Sometimes it’s difficult to see the wood for the trees… and even though I have done a coaching course and can self coach, a fresh set of eyes will reveal the obvious.

Managing time better is another priority as  I reduce the number of projects on the go. It’s all about planning and being more effective as well as setting goals for the future. This will be important as in a couple of weeks I will take possession of a 40 acre property in Northern Victoria. Scheduling the time to maintain it and develop it into a workable retreat will be a challenge, but one I’m up for!

Another project has come to a closure and this will result in a book which will be released in early December. I am a contributing author to a book about women’s health and wellness by some well known Australian identities. I look forward to sharing more news about that very shortly and of course if you want an idea for a Christmas present………..!!

Work Experience

Planting seedsSetting up in a Hypnotherapy or Coaching practice takes time. Do the study, then some more and then a steep learning curve on how to market yourself and perhaps find a niche.

“Find a niche an inch wide and a mile deep” was a comment made in one lecture I attended.

All well and good, but a couple of years after graduating, I was still looking for that niche like the proverbial needle in a haystack. Around me were fellow students who seemed to have easily and effortlessly slipped into their niches …Past Life Regressions, Lives between Lives, Style Coaching, Relationship Coaching, Business Coaching, Weight Loss, Stop Smoking… and the list goes on.

The bookshelves are groaning with the weight of recommended reading. The printer spits out marketing letters on a regular basis. I have sat down and written about my ideal client so many times I feel like we are conjoined twins…..

Yes, the clients are coming, but for a variety of reasons.

Mostly for weight with an underlying theme of stress.

Now that’s something I understand!

Perhaps I have stumbled upon my niche, except it doesn’t look an inch wide… more like a mile wide and a bottomless chasm deep.

The interest in stress started when I was still teaching. I noticed that if I kept an appearance of calm, then the students seemed to respond better. Combining a teaching job and parenting 2 young children meant that my meditation practice was made up of incidental moments rather than a half hour session at any one time. Breathing at the traffic lights, mindfulness when on yard duty – appreciating the moments of nature… a leaf…. an interesting cloud….

Leaving teaching for a couple of years, I went to a job where I was able to observe how people with learning difficulties reacted to stress. An interest in how the mind adapts to stress grew from here and CBT based Adolescent Counseling beckoned. Back to teaching and full-time for three years. This time the universe threw me a curved ball. Being back in the classroom with a different perspective on student learning was fabulous, but the staffroom was toxic and not entirely from the black mould growing around the school.

But that’s a whole different story to be told later…

I left.

I took time out.

I studied some more and graduated with a Diploma in Clinical Hypnotherapy and a Cert 4 in Training. I didn’t complete the Medical Intuitive course I thought was my next journey.

I went and sat in the Simpson Desert.

Then I went back to teaching part-time and a small client list part-time. Coaching studies to augment the Hypnotherapy and I was just muddling along. I didn’t have anything specifically wrong with my health, but just didn’t have the energy that I used to. Palpitations were becoming more frequent, but I dismissed them as a result of the coffee I was drinking. I didn’t notice that I wasn’t meditating any more. I was asked to speak about women and stress for a local council’s Women’s Network.  Scroll back through some of the older posts and you’ll find that speech somewhere and the events that transpired a few months later!

So now it seems that my niche found me, rather than the other way around.

How curious is that?

I’m presenting a workshop next month with the topic “From Stress to Strength – Building Resilience for the Small Business Owner”  and I’m preparing for that with a bit of work experience…

Yep!! I’m STRESSED!!

Just getting in a bit of practice….. some good stress involved this time with the imminent arrival of a grandson…some bad stress with a blind, diabetic aging dog that has to be let out to pee 2 -3 times a night.

Sleep deprivation is not good for stress management!

PastThe body mind connection is letting me know I need to manage the stress a bit better, so the emWave is getting a good workout several times a day.

Last night was a case in point. I dream. Colour. Action… always vivid. Sometimes so full of action I am tired when I wake up. Sometimes, not very often now, the events are too vivid & I have been known to wake with a blood curdling yell. That didn’t happen last night, but I woke as I threw off the covers and went to confront some intruders that weren’t there and who came through a doorway that wasn’t there….. it took quite some time to convince my conscious mind that they and the doorway didn’t exist.  This time the dog waking and going for a wander down the street at 2am was just what I needed as the activity in going looking for him helped to dissipate the stress hormones and I was able to get back to sleep relatively quickly.

A couple of emWave sessions before starting writing showed that I was entering into “Coherence” fairly easily. More sessions scheduled this morning before the afternoon clients.

It’s all about putting yourself first, to better serve clients.

It could be called Work Experience!

Mapping Your Resources

possibilityCreating your own treasure map is possible…. When you map the resources you have and identify what you need, then you are better equipped to start your journey.

Have recently completed a course to become a Professional Supervisor, I came across a great exercise in the textbook we had to read and have used it in some sessions I have already taken.

You need a large sheet of paper and lots of coloured pens or textas. If you feel so inclined, you could also have on hand some old magazines, scissors and glue – to create a collage – very similar to vision boarding.

In the centre, draw a representation of yourself – it can be a symbol or a picture but make it large enough so that you can draw or write symbols/diagrams or words that represent your INNER resources. If there is no room, that’s fine – just attach them to the original drawing.

Next, think about all the things, people, events that support and sustain you, yet are external to you. Place them around the symbol/picture of yourself.

  • Are they near or far,
  • evenly spaced or grouped,
  • are the links strong or weak?
  • What is missing?
  • Do they lift  you up or weigh you down?

Use as much colour and texture as you feel necessary.

Take completely different colour and draw symbols or pictures of things that BLOCK you, or are in the way to fulfilling your dreams.

It could be FEAR – when it comes down to it, we all have fears and the three most basic fears are:

  • Fear of not being loved
  • Fear of not being good enough
  • Fear of not belonging

and these are what hold us back.  Fear of not being good enough can lead to a fear of failure and yes, even fear of success. Strange but true! Many people have a fear of success, because they think that in being successful they may lose friends and therefore no longer “belong”.

The object of identifying the fears and the resources both within and around us it to allow us to work on building new and stronger resources. We have a choice – we can “feel the fear and do it anyway”  (as Susan Jeffers so succinctly put it in her book) or we can choose to feel the opposite…. appreciation. I wonder what feels better!!

Going back to your resource map … what treasures have you discovered?

What tools, people or things do you appreciate for having got you to where you are now?

What do you need to move forward?

Is your inner compass set right to get you to your destiny?

Well, you are the mapmaker in this case… so look to your inner resources and review them. Cast your eye over your external resources and blocks and decide what to keep and what to change. Dig deep enough in the centre and you will find gold.

7 tips to re-ignite the passion in your teaching

Can you remember a time when you really enjoyed teaching?

Before the mountains of marking and the pressures of report writing began to contribute to your feeling of overwhelm and stress?  Take a moment to imagine that time and recall when you were totally satisfied with your teaching career.

Stress is a symptom of the flight or fight response and manifests in different ways for each individual and rather than let the stress control you, here at BrightLight we have identified some strategies that will enable you to develop a greater resilience to the stress you may encounter in your teaching environment.

1. Listen to your body

You may suffer from headaches, low back pain and insomnia amongst other things. This is your body’s message to you that it is time to take stock of your lifestyle. Go through the checkbox below to see where you can make some improvements.

Tick the box if your answer is Yes
I get enough sleep
I drink at least 8 glasses of water a day
I eat a good breakfast
I never skip meals
I exercise at least 30 minutes a day
I have regular medical checkups
I have regular alcohol free days
I do not smoke
My weight is in the healthy range for my age and height
I have had a restful holiday in the last few months

If you have ticked Yes to all the answers, then congratulations! – give yourself 10/10, a pat on the back and a gold star! You are well on the path to sustainable teaching practices. If you have ticked 5 or less answers, then perhaps a review is in order.

2. Switch your mind off

This is easier said than done for most people.  Once you start thinking about “switching off” then what do you think about? If I asked you not to think of a pink elephant, you would have to first think of one in order to not think of one…… wouldn’t you?

Meditation is the ideal way to switch off. Giving the brain some time out with any form of meditation – it can be guided meditation or visualization, Zen practices, blue sky mind meditation, stillness meditation, Yoga mudra, even prayer is a form of meditation. The type of meditation, the location and the time you take is not important, what matters is that you do it. The paradox is that if you think you have no time “to do this stuff”, is that it creates space to do more and with more focus.

3. Work in real time

When you work in real time you are better able to prioritize.  You can then allocate yourself quality time for correction, report writing and preparation.

  • Schedule  all your commitments in your planner or diary on a regular basis. This includes your personal commitments, including attending to your health and wellbeing and family time.
  • Look at each day in isolation and focus on completing each task you have set yourself – every day.
  • Write a “to do list” and tick each item off as you complete the task.
  • Have a “Just for today “ mindset. Just for today, have no worries, do what you can with no recriminations.
  • Learn to say “No” or set a limit to events or situations that will over commit your valuable time and resources.

4. Talk

Choose a trusted person to talk to.

This could be friends or family, but there are occasions when you may want to run something past an independent listener. This could be a therapist, colleague or a mentor. You might even want to consider coaching. Whoever you choose, it is crucial that you have trust and rapport with them.  If there is no-one at all you feel you can turn to, then use a journal to write down your thoughts.

If you have a specific problem, you might find it useful to respond to the following:

  • Describe the situation that is worrying you.
  • What specifically do you fear might happen?
  • Rate the likelihood from 1 to 10 that it will happen. (10 being most likely)
  • What evidence supports your worry?
  • What evidence does not support your worry?
  • If it did happen, what action could you take?
  • What is the worst thing that could happen? (be as realistic as possible)
  • What is the best thing that could happen?
  • What is most likely to happen?
  • Are there any useful actions you can take now?
  • What would you tell a friend who was in your situation?
  • Re- rate the likelihood that your fears will be realized (from 1 to 10)

5. Live with purpose

The first and most obvious question here is why did you become a teacher? Are you living your dream or did you choose it because it is a “safe” place to be? Nothing wrong with safe in most circumstances, but if you are not living a life congruent with your values,  then eventually there will be conflict. Internal conflict can manifest in illness and this can range from minor niggles to serious and life threatening conditions.

Living your life with purpose also means modeling purposeful behaviours to your students and that includes purposeful activities.

Homework for homework’s sake or finishing off work that you expected to be finished in class, is not purposeful – it is busy work that stresses students – especially if they haven’t fully understood the concepts taught in class – often that is why they don’t finish what is set; it stresses their parents – who have to supervise the process and it ultimately stresses you – as you have to spend time marking the homework.

Before you set the next lot of homework, ask yourself the following question “What’s the point (or purpose) of this?”  If there is no purpose, then why are you doing it?

You can live your life purposefully if you set regular goals.

The best goals will aim to give you direction and have an end which will give you an outcome.  Making your goals simple and specific will enhance the process.  Whatever goal you choose, make it meaningful to you.

Apply your goals to all areas of your life and act as if you have already achieved them – you may be pleasantly surprised at what is happening!

A realistic goal is one that you will achieve easily and effortlessly. It’s not about having winning the Lotto as your goal, or losing those 10 extra kilos in only one month.  The secret to goal setting is to set a new one each time you have achieved the last.

Put a time frame on when you want to achieve your goal. Realistically, how long will it take you to shed those 10 extra kilos permanently? 10 weeks, 10 months? A series of timed, well formed goals, moving you forward to what you want is one of the most effective ways of living with purpose.

6. See opportunities not problems

Is your glass half full or half empty?

Let’s look at a scenario. It’s your busy day. Timetabled on to teach every lesson but one and yard duty at lunch time, a student comes to you with a pressing problem just as recess starts. Do you have a positive or negative reaction? Time to check in and see if you have the energy to work with the student in a positive manner or get them to return after you have re-charged with a break. It’s OK to say “no”, however you may consider the following:

  • This student doesn’t often ask for help and this is an opportunity to  give them some needed attention,
  • You can stay on track with your diet and avoid that cholesterol laden cake or snack in the staffroom at the morning tea
  • You have preparation time coming up after recess and you can spare the time as you have set yourself achievable goals for the day
  • Yard duty will get you outside, walking is exercise and you really could use the time productively with this student.

7. Look outward

We can spend a lot of time navel gazing if we choose.

If you are the centre of your universe, what is peripheral to you?

Are you spending a lot of time caught up in the daily “teacher stuff”?

If all the presentations you attend are all about teaching, then it is time to step outside your circle of certainty and take a look around.  I’m sure you will have heard the old saying “all work and no play makes Jack (Jill) a dull boy (girl)”.

How well balanced is your Wheel of Life?

A well balanced wheel may have numerous spokes, all contributing to the overall strength and helping to maintain equilibrium. Yoga, meditation and massage or Reiki are all excellent stress busters, but you might want to consider pursuing an intellectual passion as well.Participation in outside interests and workshops in non teaching related topics can only be beneficial to you and your teaching journey.

BrightLight Specialized Education offers personal and professional development programs that will enable you to live an extraordinary life.

Contact us to arrange your complimentary 30 minute session to discuss your needs.

Our programs and workshops can be tailored to the needs of your organization.

Call us to discuss how.

  • Short courses in Living an Extraordinary Life
  • Weekend and holiday workshops for teachers
  • Goal setting programs
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Reiki & Homeopathic Education
  • Meditation

…. and more………