It takes two people to create a pattern, but only one to change it.

“It takes two people to create a pattern, but only one to change it.”

Esther Perel, Belgian psychotherapist

Image from Vecteezy.com

Take a few minutes today to do a relationship review.

Closely examine the health of your most significant personal and professional interactions.

What word or phrase would describe the pattern of these engagements?

Where do you experience difficulties getting along and find yourself judging and being critical of others?

Most of us would love — from time to time — to have a magic wand to wave over others, to have them think and behave as we’d like.

Although we have no such power over anyone else, we do have the magic touch when it comes to our own ability to change ourselves.

EXERCISE:

Display Tuli Kupferberg’s quote, “When patterns are broken new world will emerge” in a well-trafficked place in your life.

What patterns can and will you break to have a new world of more successful relationships emerge?

“If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it.”

“If you surrender to the wind, you can ride it.”

—Toni Morrison, late American novelist

Image from Unsplash by Farshad Rezvanian

The word surrender usually has a negative connotation.

It often points to weakness and being beaten by someone or something much stronger than us.

Much of the time, many of us find ourselves fighting for a just cause — or against some other adversary — when our visions and values are in opposition.

Even the wind, on occasion, has us leaning in against its force, to head in a direction we wish to go.

There are far more things in life that we do not control that the things we do.

Riding the winds of change like a hot air balloon — or adapting ourselves to the wind as in sailing — can still take us to beautiful places with peace, freedom, and delight.

EXERCISE:

Where are you currently fighting the winds of change?

How would surrendering to these currents and letting them take you lead you to some wonderful places you never considered?

Trust your process preparation and gut

Trust your process, preparation, and gut. Be willing to bet on yourself.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Edge2Edge Media

Virtually all coaching relationships involve numerous types of transition. Although many of us resist change thrust upon us, we tend to seek out changes that align with our visions and values.

Given the events of the past few years, where might you be in the process of significant personal or professional moves? To what degree have these efforts prepared you to take the leap, confident that your bet on yourself is a good one?

EXERCISE:

Where is it time to place a bet on yourself knowing that your foundational efforts can be trusted?  Who are the people in your life that can and will support you to help guarantee you win?

the change was adjustment without improvement

“…. the change was adjustment without improvement.”

—Toni Morrison, late American novelist

Image from Unsplash by Firmbee.com

Where have things changed in your life over the past couple of years? Where have some areas improved, stayed about the same, or regressed?

Coaching encourages people to control what is controllable and be willing to break old patterns so new and improved results can emerge. If improvement is not observed with various initial adjustments, what then?

Do we simply accept and adjust to our new reality or go back to the drawing board to devise a new plan with changed behaviors where success and improvements can occur?

EXERCISE:

Where would an “If at first you don’t succeed try, try again” strategy offer you the progress you seek? Consider the support of friends, family members, colleagues, mentors or coaches to support you in making the necessary adjustments.

To truly listen is to risk being changed forever

“To truly listen is to risk being changed forever.”

—Sa’K’es Henderson, Native American elder

Image from Unsplash by Brett Jordan

Theologian Paul Tillich said, “The first duty of love is to listen.” With this in mind, how much love have you shown others with your open ears and heart?

Perhaps you’ve noticed what might be called self-love, in that many listen more closely to their own inner voices than they do to others.

Most people would agree that being an excellent listener is critical to quality relationships and a happy life.

Unfortunately, we often talk a good game and even attend workshops and seminars on this topic only to demonstrate our desire to be more interesting rather than interested.

EXERCISE:

How open are you to being changed forever?  What rewards will be available when you bring a new level of love to your listening?

Embrace the new year and take the time to be renewed and reborn

Embrace the new year and take the time to be renewed and reborn.

—Calm app Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Lukas Szmigiel

It is very common this time of year for many of us to review and reflect on the past year. TV shows and all types of media provide us with the top stories, photographs, and events that impacted and shaped us. How have you changed? What have you learned? What wisdom have you gained?

Instead of looking within, we may wish to look outside at nature’s mirror for guidance on living.  What can you observe regarding how our natural world reveals clear examples of ongoing growth, renewal, and transformation?

EXERCISE:

Sometime this week, get out of your home and your vehicle and step more fully into the natural world.

Take a walk, visit a body of water, look up at the sky and even try a forest bath.

What lessons are being offered to help you more fully embrace the year ahead?

Friday Review: Adaptation

Friday Review: Adaptation

How good are you at adapting to change? Here are a few adaption-related posts you may have missed.

 

“Human nature is like water. It takes the shape of its container.”

 

 

 

 

“You will not stop a steamroller by standing in front of it, but by letting it run out of steam.”

 

 

 

 

“Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction.”

 

 

 

“The glassblower knows: While in the heat of beginnings any shape is possible

“The glassblower knows: While in the heat of beginnings any shape is possible. Once hardened, the only way to change is to break.”

—Mark Nepo, Author of The Book of Awakening

Image from Unsplash by Clémente Philippe

Consider yourself a glassblower, shaped in the heat of your early years by many environmental factors. To what degree do you keep the fires burning to continue shaping yourself and your life into a work of art?

Where have you stopped in your development and perhaps become hardened and resistant to change? Where have the changes in your world over the past two years caused some cracks or broken you?

EXERCISE:

Where in your personal or professional life can you fire up the kiln of a new beginning to continue shaping a more beautiful life?

If you, too, are fascinating by glassblowing, consider visiting Chihuly Garden and Glass near the Space Needle at Seattle center. A visit here was ranked 1st of the 499 things to do in Seattle on TripAdvisor. An online visit may be a good place to start.

“A life well-lived is firmly planted in the sweet soil of moments.”

“A life well-lived is firmly planted in the sweet soil of moments.”

—Wayne Muller, Author of How Then Shall We Live

Image from Unsplash by CDC

This year has included many significant moments for myself and my family. Some landmark moments included the passing of my dear dad, the move from Michigan to Pennsylvania after 34 years, and the birth of our new granddaughter.

With the dramatic change in venue and our routines, Wendy and I have been paying even closer attention to all the sweet and sometimes sour moments that make up our days.

We see ourselves as gardeners carefully and lovingly planting many new seeds and tending to our plot of the world. We intend to sink deep roots into the sweet soil of our many blessings especially during this holiday season.

EXERCISE:

How mindful and grateful are you about your life?

How connected and deeply rooted are you within your various communities?

How might you better cultivate the sweet soil of each moment to live an even more richly rewarding life?

Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness.  Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.

“Confront the dark parts of yourself, and work to banish them with illumination and forgiveness. Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.”

—August Wilson, 20th Century American Playwright

Image from Unsplash by Benjamin Davies

Consider the following statement on a one-to-five scale in which one is absolutely not and five is definitely yes.

I have a clear view of where I am and where I am going in my life.

This statement is part of my discovery process to help determine a potential client’s readiness to move their lives forward with a supportive coaching relationship.

For optimal success, these relationships benefit significantly through the deep and thoughtful process of examining and wrestling with their limiting beliefs and habits. Through careful illumination and generous self-forgiveness, each individual will most likely realize far more of their fullest personal and professional potential.

EXERCISE:

What steps can and will you take to more fully examine your own demons to help your angels sing? Consider picking up a copy of the book Taming your Gremlins by Rick Carson as a way to open this door of deeper discovery.

To explore your own readiness for coaching, please consider filling out my free Coaching Readiness Assessment.