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Summer is waning, what are your reflections?

Memories of long ago…

At the beginning of the summer, with the possibility of carefree days of vacation—camp, friends, sometimes a bit of travel—the idea of having to complete a summer project for high school felt like a burden. By the time the summer was over, with the project completed, I had a sense of accomplishment. As it was a time filled with fun and a bit of work, which was usually (mostly) of my own design… it was really not so bad after all.

What was your project this summer?

Was it making it through every day endeavoring to stay afloat —mentally, emotionally, and maybe financially too?  I hear you, these remain trying times.

Were you, your family, or friends touched by sickness? Members of my family and my circle of friends have been affected. Most have recovered but not all. 

Did it include thinking in new ways or maybe taking on new work? My work has changed in many ways—I miss being in the room with my participants and yet love the connections I am making across the continents too.

How are you feeling about what has changed and what remains the same? I am curious to know.

My summer project has blossomed into a coaching circle for women. 

Roots of Resilience grew out of my desire to synthesize my academic background, training in coaching, and experience across the fields of positive psychology, mindfulness, Appreciative Inquiry, Compassion, communication, and NVC/compassionate communication.

I started this project after listening to many of my women colleagues around the world talk about feeling tired, depleted, and sometimes pessimistic. I designed this circle for the folks like them and like me—women whose strengths feel buried by a combination of unforeseeable circumstances.

These have been trying times and I believe they will continue to be so for the near future. I believe it is a time to come together, share our knowledge and skills, and build them together so that we all emerge stronger, more resilient. Would being a member of a circle with women provide the foundation and the impetus to regain your resilience— to tap into your perhaps dormant knowledge and skills, and build on them?

If this work interests you, as a member of the circle, or individually, please learn more about it here. And if you are one of my colleagues who is an IFVP member, I made the offer at our annual conference this year and I will provide a discount for you. As a field, we have been hit hard by this pandemic. Scholarships are also available to those desiring to join the circle.

Please contact me with your questions. I am offering this experience in one-to-one coaching sessions too—for anyone who feels drawn to this inner work (and play).

Visualizing your future—what are you imagining?

Looking toward the second half of 2020 causes me to pause… so much has changed so fast. I relish the opportunity to sit with markers and paper to savor and learn from my experiences.

  • How are you making time in your busy life to reflect?
  • What’s the nature of the journey you’re experiencing?
  • How are you dancing with the realities, and the possibilities contained within the changes you have experienced?

In the beginning…

My year started at a breakneck pace, it was exciting! By early March, my professional and personal lives had settled into a rhythm, and my plans for the year were unfolding. Friday the 13th of March was the day NYC shut down for business, and the last day of in-person training programs for me until… who knows?

As I make the time to discover the good in what has happened—both what was planned and what happened serendipitously over the past 16 weeks, I realize that there have been BIG developments!

  • How have your working relationships changed?

My bikablo work shifted from in-person to live, online sessions with my colleague, Jill Langer from Canada. What a delight that has been! I won’t overlook some of the initial questions, the challenges, and the ramping up to get comfortable with all the platforms and devices we’re using… I prefer to focus my attention on the new experience of working with a partner and the pleasure of developing stronger relationships with learners because we need to communicate more often.

Many members of the Bikablo global training team decided to teach, share ideas, and practices about online work. I would never have had so many interactions with my colleagues without the stimulus of the pandemic. These meetings have led to new methods, greater collegiality, and last Saturday’s Global Jam with a dozen co-hosts from around the world—an event that we co-created in less than four week’s time!

That experience, shifting from colleagues collaborating with the purpose of fine-tuning our methods to event planners, was a HUGE transformation in dynamics and group structure… happily, we weathered a bit of turbulent water and everyone enjoyed our inaugural event—participants and co-hosts alike! As we’re now talking about more events together, I feel confident we will grow into these new types of relationships—it’s fantastic!

Our final activity in the Bikablo Alumni Global Jam-What are our ideas for hope & inspiration?

  • What are you learning—formally and informally?

Back in January, I started a 45 session coaching course, and, after a dozen sessions, I asked to become part to group that had started work to develop a feedback system that works for the facilitator and the participants. (Don’t even get me started about how this process has put the cart before the horse…) This experience is/continues to be really interesting and challenging for me—I am an outsider! I am the only person who has an instructional design background and I am the newest to the field (of nonviolent communication) of the folks in the group of about six to eight regulars… I speak a different language and, perhaps even more glaringly, I have a very different style and pace of facilitation/using processes to move to solutions. The experience has afforded me the opportunity to be both in the moment, and outside of it. It is challenging work!

I’ve also filled my plate with courses that I’ve wanted to take for a long time—Developing an Appreciative Mindset (David Cooperrider Institute), Compassion Cultivation Training (Compassion Institute), Appreciative Living Learning Circle Facilitator Training (Jackie Kelm) and, (coming up in July) the vAIFT/virtual Appreciative Inquiry Facilitator Training (Center for Appreciative Inquiry). It’s so much fun —and so much work!

  • How are you growing?
  • What’s the good that you have experienced?
  • How will you work with the difficult times, using them as guideposts for a different future?

I am experiencing a difference in my thinking and interactions with colleagues and family as a result of my learning and practice. Integrating these areas of knowledge, watching the changes and growth in my relationships with myself, with others, and myself in relation to others, has been fascinating! It’s been good and challenging, and I know it keeps me on the path to more conscious communication.

  • Where are you visualizing for the second half of 2020—what do you want?
  • Which of your strengths will support you in creating the future you desire?
  • What questions excite you?
  • Where will you focus your attention?

All of these experiences, plus my interest, training, and work in the fields of positive psychology, mindfulness, and several other fields are leading to the creation of a new coaching program. It is quintessentially me—to learn, practice, do, and create new offerings for my clients. I am thrilled to be on this path!

Please reach out to me with questions that arise for you, or if you seek for a partner in exploring what your future holds.

Making Time to Be Here Now

As I sit down to write this week, I am filled with swirling thoughts and emotions. While I want to share my ideas and questions around my work, to connect with you and be of service, I am also keenly aware of the heaviness in my heart.

I love to focus on what brings me joy and areas that challenge me in my work yet I need to honor this moment in time. I am not just my work. Even when I am working, I bring all of me to everything I do. So I am going to pause now because it feels right.

Perhaps sharing some of the resources that I use to be in-the-moment/present to challenging times, and finding my way through, to tap into the strength to make change—personally, interpersonally, and societally—will be of interest and support to you. Here are some of my tried-and-true, and also a few newer-to-me gems.

Books

  • The Healing Power of the Breath, Dr. Richard Brown and Dr. Patricia Gerbarg
  • The Joy of Appreciative Living, Jacqueline Kelm
  • Dynamic Relationships, Jacqueline Stavros & Cheri Torres
  • A Fearless Heart, Thupten Jinpa
  • Radical Compassion, Tara Brach
  • Nonviolent Communication, Marshall Rosenberg
  • Authentic Happiness, Martin Seligman

Magazine and Sites

More Resources

I also use these tools in my work and personal life:

  • Points of You card decks:  The Coaching Game and Punctum—for reflection and insight
  • www.zentangle.com—for peace, calm, joy, beauty

 

It’s my hope that you will add your favorites—books, sites, podcasts (I didn’t even go there!), card decks, and more— so that I may expand my cache of resources. 

If you are curious about any of these resources, please contact me. I am passionate about their impact on my life.