What If We Really Did Have ‘All the Resources We Ever Needed’?

What If We Really Did Have ‘All the Resources We Ever Needed’?

What If We Already Know?

 

If you’ve ever worked with a coach, or been around personal growth of any sort, even had a mentor, or a loving teacher, then you might have come across the expression that

The client (student) always has the answer they need.

I gotta admit that used to really annoy me when I was on the other end of it.

I just had to hear the phrase to immediately jump to,

If I have all the answers already then why am I still struggling to figure out X? Why isn’t the answer (that I’m supposed to know!) obvious to me??

It seemed like a cop-out to me — if there really was an answer then why didn’t the coach or the person I was talking to just tell me?

 

And, If It’s True…?

 

These days, though, I see this phrase very differently.

I don’t take it to mean that we have an answer, but that we have access to the place where answers come from.

Which has the incredibly powerful implication that, no matter what, we are always OK. There is nothing that can phase us or set us back or send us off track, or damage us.

 

…What Does it Mean?

 

Look at what this might mean for you…

What if…

…your clients, (substitute whoever’s in your life: children, partner, staff, friends or loved ones) are always OK?

What if…

…they have the resources, and the answers they need — not because they literally have them, not because of what they know, but because of who they are, who we all are.

 

It Isn’t the Literal, It’s the Potential…

 

The very thing that makes us alive is the same thing that gives us the capacity to think; to come up with new ideas, new solutions, or to be able to get a new perspective on our situation.

We all know from experience, answers don’t come from ‘worrying’ a problem like a dog with a favourite chew toy.

They don’t come from looking for a solution in what we already know — how many brainstorming exercises have you done only to have a fabulous new idea pop up in the shower when you’ve put the question out of your mind?

‘Having the answer’ means that we have the capacity to come up with answers.

And that’s something pretty powerful. Probably more powerful than you realise.

I’d love you to play with this idea this week, maybe there are places where you think you need a nudge? What if you dipped into your own ‘resource box’?

Let me know what you find there…

With love,

Cathy

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Catching Fireflies… (and the flickering of an idea)

Catching Fireflies… (and the flickering of an idea)

Ideas…

 

I’ve been with some friends this week, spending time writing and speaking to uncover our authentic ‘voice’ that we all have, but that some of us find easier to express than others.

One of the questions I’d had was about how to know which idea I want to capture in words, or in voice, or whatever form it chooses to take. It seems like I have a lot of ideas, and sometimes the wealth of them can be overwhelming.

 

…and Fireflies

 

Over lunch, the chatter turned to fireflies, a surprise sighting by one of our crowd a previous evening. We don’t have these sparks of light in insect form in the UK but I’ve seen them many times while travelling.

As my friend talked, I recalled an experience in Mozambique, in a remote lodge, in the years before WiFi and mobile phones, when there was nothing to do but sit and watch the fireflies flickering in and out of our awareness as we camped.

I remember being amazed by them. How is it possible a small creature can generate such beauty and inspire such awe. No single one of them less bright than another; some simply closer to the flame, easier to see, easier to catch if we had wanted.

 

Filtering?

 

My question came back to me: how to filter ideas, how to allow (or perhaps encourage) the ‘best’ ideas to rise to the top?

As I recalled the fireflies it struck me that the question was redundant; no one idea is brighter or less bright than another — some simply flicker closer to the net of my awareness, making them easier to catch, and capture in words, before they fly away, taking their light with them, back into the night.

With love,

Cathy

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What ‘Showing Up’ Really Means

What ‘Showing Up’ Really Means

I was with a client this week and he was telling me about one of the strategies we’d discussed that he shared with his team.

“Yeah, no-one had anything much to say.” He said. “I don’t think I’ll try it again.”

I laughed.

“Why would you only try it once?” I asked him, puzzled.

 

It Takes How Long…?

 

While he paused to think about that, I was reminded of a conversation with a philanthropist I know who’s been working in the country his foundation supports for the last ten years.

“It took us seven years to get any results at all,”

he’d once told me.

“If you were to graph our progress you’d see a very long, flat line, and then a sudden jump. Now we’re in all the schools in X. But it took us seven years to get there.”

 

Don’t Do It for You

 

My client wanted to understand more about why his team didn’t resonate with his experiment.

“Yeah, but if they didn’t like what I was sharing, why would I keep doing it?” he asked.

“Why is it in any way relevant what you think?” I asked.

“We keep showing up, day after day, without expectation or attachment. That’s what love is. That’s what gets results. That’s what ‘doing the work’ means. As long as you have enough of a feeling that you’re doing the right thing, why would you stop? Because you don’t feel appreciated? You might never get any thanks but how is that relevant?”

 

Commitment Is Showing Up

 

I went on to share a conversation I’d had with my youngest teen the previous weekend. He was just back from a day out with his friend.

ME: “Do you want any food?”

HIM: “No thanks mum.”

ME: “Did you eat anything today?”

HIM: “No.

ME: “if I make a sandwich, do you think you could eat some?”

HIM: “Yeah, probably.”

He and I have had conversations like this, oh, several times a week, maybe even several times a day, for the better part of his eighteen years. By my rough calculations that’s many thousands of conversations where I’ve offered, or just made, something for him to eat without any expectation of gratitude or appreciation.

On that occasion I got a smile, a cuddle and an empty plate. But often I don’t get anything.

Sure, he’d be fine if I didn’t make him food, but it occurs to me to do it, and so I do. I don’t do it for me.

Just like the philanthropist who kept his projects going for all those years with no results, tweaking and adapting and making the changes he thought would move them in the direction he thought would make most of a difference.

Because it felt like the right thing to do.

Because he could.

 

Keep Going Until You Run out of Time

 

Why would we stop doing what feels like the right thing to do? Even if it doesn’t get the results we want? The first time, or indeed, ever?

My client laughed.

“You think I should try again, then?”

“Oh, that’s up to you!” I replied, “I just don’t see any reason why you wouldn’t.”

With love,

Cathy

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A Simple Fix to Gain 5–10 More Productive Hours a Day

A Simple Fix to Gain 5–10 More Productive Hours a Day

Energy Saving Stickers

 

I dropped my youngest son at university yesterday and his halls of residence were plastered with stickers saying, ‘Turn it Off!’ and ‘Save Energy!’

It got me thinking about how those new smart meters we have are supposed to alert us to our energy usage because we see them whirring away, and we act to turn something off — thus saving energy.

 

What Do We Notice?

 

The principle of first noticing, and then acting, is pretty straightforward. There’s no us being told — how often do our instructions fall on deaf ears! But, if there is a strong enough incentive, then alerting someone to something like energy usage should be enough to create the desired change.

If we value the pay-off (saving money, feeling good about saving the environment!), if the solution is easy enough to implement (flicking a light switch), and, if it seems to get a result (we notice, or have pointed out to us, the savings on our electricity bill), then it will probably make sense to take the action to create the change. These small changes then become habits, and, thus, larger change happens.

 

The Energy in Your Mind

 

It’s like that with the energy we burn in our brains; the constant rumination of thought that becomes so familiar we no longer notice it.

Like the background noise of living near a road, we tune it out, and we forget how quiet the world can be until we go to the mountains and rest in the peace of nature. We become so accustomed to the voice in our head, we don’t even notice it’s there. Except when we do.

It’s there until it becomes such a drain, and we feel so exhausted we can’t think straight. That’s the equivalent of the kitchen light shouting at my teenage student, at whatever top volume a light can get to, “turn me off!!!!!”

What does it take for you to notice the metaphorical noise in your head? A random experience of silence that makes you aware of the contrast? Or that the volume gets turned up enough to drive you to breaking point?

 

A Simple Question

 

Let’s look at this in specifics. For you.

Answer this question if you will:

What are the top three things that you think about most days?
They’re probably relatively minor but, go ahead and list them. Take a minute if you need to…

.

.

.

Mine are moving house, walking the dog, and a new project I’m working on. Well, on that last point, I’m spending more time thinking about it than I am actually working on it. Obsessing it, you might say. Sound familiar??

All day, every day, my thoughts are full of those three things. They shift, obviously, over time.

Moving is something on my mind now, and it takes various forms. When we were looking for a house, it was all about looking for a house. Now it’s all about telling myself I should be packing and therefore, even when I’m not doing those activities, I think about them.

Not all the time. I’m actually a relatively chilled person and I spend a good part of my day writing and talking to people, enjoying the gorgeousness of the woods, playing with the dog and sitting with him, just appreciating how cute he is and what a bundle of love he brings to our lives.

 

Thinking Isn’t What You Think

 

The doing isn’t all at a frantic pace; it’s often very relaxed and enjoyable. And, sometimes my ‘thinking time’ is productive — or, at least, it’s enjoyable, a kind of playful musing.

But the time I spend thinking is mostly unproductive.

Especially those parts where I think I’m planning and problem-solving, but I’m actually just going round in pointless circles thinking about problems that don’t exist, or, at least, that exist only as I create them in that moment.

Like the dog chasing its tail, it really looks, in that moment, as if there is something to solve. But there is nothing more than the stories i am whipping up in my head.

It can look as if this is productive time, sorting things out, playing through ideas, but I want you to notice how much time you spend thinking about those one to three things that are top of your list, versus how much time you actually spend doing.

 

Let It Go

 

And, what’s the solution?

What’s the simple fix that can give you back five to ten hours of productive time in your day?

What’s the simple energy boost that will leave you feeling alive and refreshed and will actually set you to do the stuff you want to do?

Stop thinking about those things.

 

It’s Really That Simple!

 

Yup, it’s that simple.

Or, if you find that a little tough, if those problems look a little too real to you, then notice that you’re thinking about them and ask yourself whether there’s any action you want to take, in this moment.

Is there something to do now?

If the answer to that is ‘no’, then why not let that thought go. It will re-surface when it needs to, without you having to ‘hold on to it’ and remember to do anything.

Honestly, that’s how the mind works! It’s knows what we need in any moment, and it’s fantastic at just-in-time delivery.

When you realise how much energy you can save, turning off those noisy thoughts, it will become as obvious as turning off the kitchen light when you walk out of the room.

With love,

Cathy

 

P.S. In case you didn’t catch it, last week’s podcast dove into the question of are we silently suffering even when we think we’re getting it all ‘right’? Could this apply to you, or anyone you know? It’s tailor-made for those of us who think we live an enlightened life, who think we’re eating healthily, being a good boss, and yet we still find those niggles, physical and mental, surface to poke holes that assumption. If this sounds like you, or anyone you know, I’d love you to forward to them. Thanks!

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Perspective: What We Look at Changes… or Does It?

Perspective: What We Look at Changes… or Does It?

What We See

 

I posted a couple of pictures from my morning walk on Facebook this week. It’s a walk I do most days, or at least some version of it, when I take the dog out. Normally I don’t take the phone, so I added the comment, “Village walk. Same as most mornings only I took my phone out today!”

A friend posted a question, partly in jest, picking up on my comment that it was the same scenery I saw most mornings,

Cathy…does it look the same most mornings though?

I laughed at his question because he knows, as I do, that, of course, the village is what it is; it’s there every morning! Sure, there might be some variations of weather and light, seasons and colours. But my perception of it is coloured by how I look at it — not how it actually appears.

 

If We Look!

 

On this particular morning, a distant tractor had caught my eye and I got my phone out to take a picture. It wasn’t great, and I thought I could do better, so I kept the phone out to see if there were any other images I could capture, and I got a couple of shots of one of the farmhouses which show some of the typical ‘English village life’ scenery.

What I noticed, which is why my friend’s comment had made me smile, was the only difference between this morning and other mornings, was that I’d had my eyes open to the beauty of the world around me — and I was looking for something to represent the awe and grace I felt as I went on my walk that glorious late summer morning.

 

What Are You Looking For?

 

No, the view isn’t always the same, even though the ‘thing’ we are looking remains the same. But, when we look for the beauty that’s in front of us, we are sure to see it; it’s already there, we just need to open our eyes to it.

Wishing you a beauty-filled week,

With love,

Cathy

 

P.S. We released a new podcast episode this week: why taking control is killing you — an alternative look at ‘toughing it out’. If you have topics or questions you’d like us to talk about in the podcast, please let me know!

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