The gift of coaching

The gift of coaching

March 17, 2020
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This morning started with me getting a gift, the gift of coaching a wise woman, assisting her in finding insight and just-do-it-determination.

But… isn’t the gift hers then?

Well. Yes. That too.

But what I find true in most coaching sessions I do (when they are done… hm. How can I phrase this? When it makes sense for me to coach said person, when it’s truly a mutual agreement, and when there is absolutely no sense of me doing it just to be kind. Those coaching sessions!) is that they are truly a gift for me as well. I am reminded of my own wisdom, I am inspired by my client’s journey, and their struggles and bumps-in-the-road help me shine a light on similar aspects in my own life.

The synchronicity is palpable and that’s another signal that we are a good match. When what my clients are working on is a different shade of grey perchance, but still, close enough to my shade at the moment, I am kept on my toes. I do my utmost to keep just ahead of my client, in order to serve to the last drop of my capacity, knowing that at anytime my client will leap ahead of me, having me stretch farther, giving it my all to catch up and just, barely, pass them by again.

It means I do the work, and they do the work, and when we meet up, there are synergies, even though, don’t get me wrong, while I am coaching, I coach. I am fully present with my client and they are in the driver’s seat. My agenda, my needs, do not take center stage. But whatever I am working on at the moment is there. It’s present, and that presence is, to my experience, of service to the process.

(And I know coaches are not supposed to admit this. But hey. Perhaps that’s why I am not interested in having clients who are “way behind me” [don’t get me wrong here! There’s no judgment to this, just discernment on my part.] but rather those that are but a step behind me, helping me keep sharp and at my best. I would not have thought of this without these two questions coming from coach Dave: Who can I coach? And who do I want to coach? Great questions those!)

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Advent Calendar – December 21, 2019

December 21, 2019
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The magic of this place!
Kenya. Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge, inside Tsavo West National Park.
At sunset, with the view of the lit water hole.
As we stood there, birds came to drink, varying kinds of antelope, big and small animals of all kinds… and then, all of a sudden, an elephant.

It seemed so surreal.
Sure, I’d seen elephants earlier in the day, and yet.
Here, right in front of our noses, an elephant coming to have an evening drink, as we were doing the same, getting ready for dinner.

I FaceTimed my children back home in Sweden but they had a fairly lackadaisical attitude to it all. Desperate to share this with someone back home, I called my wives of sorts (yes, that’s what we call ourselves! There’s four of us and we’ve been a tightknit band ever since the days of the Twitter-born movement #skolvåren – which translates into school-spring – in 2013). And, as always, I knew I could trust them to match my wondrous state of mind, at witnessing this grandeur.

What a journey this trip turned out to be.
A journey of insights and new knowledge.
Greater understanding as well as gratitude towards life.
Friendships and new bonds formed with my fellow travel companions as well as our gracious hosts.
Laughter and singing and the occasional tear.
Erosion-stricken semi-arid lands, wildlife in the national park, a few hours of absolute relaxation at the splendid beaches of Malindi.
The plantations. The partner farmers.
The schools and microfinance banks.

A journey that is the result of a number of decisions made, starting with me buying my first trees in November of 2015.
Becoming an ambassador a year later.
Not really doing anything until yet another year had passed.
And then, slowly, getting more and more into it, simply because there’s so much about this that attracts me.

The path I’ve taken doesn’t have to be the path for everyone though. You can easily put aside a bit of your savings to buy trees – as a one-time-gig or monthly – and not think more of it than you do with your other forms of savings. But sitting here, getting to revisit Kenya again, thanks to this advent calendar, I am very happy that I did take on a more active engagement because this is not a trip that will ever be forgotten!

Advent Calendar for 2019: sharing pictures and stories/reflections from my trip to Kenya in June. I went to visit “my trees” and get a hands-on experience of the social entrepreneurship of the Kenyan forestry company that I buy trees through.

Full disclosure: I am proud to say I am both a customer and an ambassador for the company. If you are curious to find out more, let me know and I’ll gladly get in touch with you! Here’s my sponsored link: 

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Slow down. Ease up.

February 16, 2019
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As I walked through the door, exclaiming my back is killing me, D picked up on the message. When we sat down to work with the pain, he asked me: What did you feel as you stepped through the door?

I didn’t really have an answer, so he asked if I wanted to hear his impression. Yes, please tell me, I responded. What else could I say, being a Curious George and all that…

So he said, slow down. That’s the message I got, to slow down. Ease up a little. 

I’ve carried the message with me, this past week, using it as a baseline to reflect on what I am doing, in which areas, and how it all serves me. Or doesn’t, for that matter.

Coming to a realization that for quite some time I’ve been pushing all my own buttons. At the same time. Working on all areas, simultaneously. Pushing against the boundaries of my comfort zone… no, that’s untrue. I’ve been pushing against the boundaries of my stretch zone, going dangerously into the red snap zone… in many, if not all, areas of life.

I realized, as I took in the message I was sending but not picking up on, that I don’t have to work in all areas, everywhere, all the time. It is not only reasonable but actually wise, to heed the advice of the master of self-care, Pop the cat. Let myself rest, consolidate, push fewer buttons, letting come that which wants to come, given that I let go of that which has done its job.

So I breathe in. Hold it, for a few seconds. Then… exhale, letting go of a bit of the urge within, to be done. Knowing it’s not at the finishing line the reward of this journey lies. It is the journey itself. That is the reward. The growth. The expansion. The learning. That which is life. Living it. Loving it. Letting go to let come, and reveling in each twist and turn, each nook and cranny, falling through internal trap doors, one after the other. All the while being open. And gentle. Knowing my gentleness towards myself is that which ensures the openness, the willingness, the ability to step without hesitation into the next inch of the unknown.

As a direct result of the reflective process of this past week, I honored myself today.
Saying No to others. Saying Yes to me.
Slowing down. Easing up.

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