Friday, 30 July 2010

Is camping worth it?

I've seen some beautiful castles, fabulous sunsets, vast expanses of sand, huge blue skies.

We've had very heavy showers, blustery winds - worth it? YES

We have been allocated the darkest corner of the campsite that is in shadow every evening when everyone else is BBQing in the early evening sunlight. Worth it? - YES

Take the 4 1/2 hour journey to Seahouses and looking forward to the same back again, followed by the struggle with what felt like an oversized kite for over an hour as we erected the tent. Worth it? - YES.

Open up the tent one morning only to be showered "I'm a celebrity get me out of here" style by earwigs who'd decided that our tent would provide great shelter from the elements. Even now I shudder. But yes, even that WAS worth it.

I've forgotten everything else for 5 days. Even my NLP workbook got pushed to one side.

Camping really is a great way to get away from it all.

Here's a great place to stay.

Best Man Friend and Special Friend bought me this book for my birthday.  Its a fabulous representation of the area.

The Northumberland Coast

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Vivid dreams

I don't remember my dreams very often, in fact I don't often move much in my sleep at all. But I remember dreaming that His Royal Doggyness was about to knock over a glass of water in the lounge so I reached out to grab it and felt his wet mouth and teeth close around my hand.

I woke with a start, sat bolt upright and called out.

Hubby was equally freaked by the whole incident, not by my calling out - but by the fact that I'd gone to grab his throat - oops.

We're off camping again today - Northumberland. We've never been. Its not quite as hot as it was when we went to Wasdale, and it was more than just a little breezy when we put the tent up - quite a trying time when we'd spent a 5-hour journey to get here, but we're here now and have seen a fabulous sunset too.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Looking Back - Changing my coach

In my continuing saga of my journey so far, I’d only had one session with my coach, when she contacted me to say she was leaving the organisation and as such our coaching would have to end.

What a disappointment!!!! This seems typical of what happens in my life.

She did however say to me that she knew of someone who had just finished their coaching training and would have a vacancy for some new recruits.

I knew the girl from way way back and had always found her pleasant. So I agreed with a little hesitancy. It was not because of who she was but because changing coaches right now was not on the top of my agenda.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

If you want something bad enough

Perseverance pays!

A couple of conversations and an email to the London Office Manager and a word in my Grandad Boss' P.A.'s ear as I know he's busy today and he's approved my overlap in holidays with my Boss so I can do my coaching course. Yippee!

It just shows if you want something bad enough - you will get it!

And to top it all off, I now have a full weeks holiday to look forward to.

"The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't".

~Henry Ward Beecher

Monday, 26 July 2010

I'm scared

I'm still wrestling with my name. So much so its making me grumpy. Hubby says I should try and forget about it for a bit and it'll come to me.

Had lunch again with Best Friend. She's still smiling so, so am I. Half an hour for lunch goes so quickly. It seems as though we say "hi" and then "bye" and that's it. We definitely need to make more time. She told me about an old school friend whose done some free life coaching courses. I hope she's not going to set up in my home town. I already know one life coach in the town and am not sure there's enough clients for the two of us - let alone three.

Still, one of my core drivers is credibility. I've looked into the free courses available and I don't believe you get any credibility in relying solely on those.

But the whole concept is scaring me at the moment.

Friday, 23 July 2010

In need of a name

I need a name for my business. In a way I'm frustrated about it. I loved the concept of Green Shoots - it summed up everything -

the need for new growth, change, hope - everything you could want from a life coach.

BUT - its already in use. I knew that when I decided to use it. Its a life coaching company in York. In my heart I'd decided it didn't matter. I'd call myself Green shoots life coaching or Life Coaching at Green Shoots. But now my head has taken control. Reality has come into play. If I'm Green Shoots, then anyone looking for my coaching service could get confused with the existing Green Shoots. That won't help me. I'd set out to get clarity and a uniqueness about my business. I can't do that if there are two of us.

So here I am - my blog Green Shoots won't change. But my website and business when I set them up will be called something different. And perhaps that's right. It will represent a new chapter in my life and Green Shoots (blog) is a stepping stone. So, new chapter, new name. But what?

So, get your thinking caps on people. And even if you don't normally comment, please please please take the time to suggest a name to me. But remember, it needs to reflect positive things, goals, hope, new beginnings, health, life, new steps etc etc etc.

I look forward to reading all your suggestions.


Thursday, 22 July 2010

Looking Back - Finding My Coach

Last week I told you about my realisation - that everything that I was coaching other people about _ I needed to deal with inside me too.

My organisation is full of coaches. People who have done the same course as me – Coaching for Success and people that have done the more advanced training.

It was within days of making the decision that I need to get a coach, that I by chance ran into somebody who’d been on the Coaching for Success training course with me. She told me, she’d done the more advanced course so I seized the opportunity (something I don’t very often do).

She quickly agreed and we commenced the sessions.

I found myself doing it in secret, pretending that the coaching sessions in my diary were for coaching other people. I didn’t want to tell my boss. Boss never seemed to get his head around people stuff. He’s a real Techi, get on with stuff kind of person. It makes him very straight forward to deal with but not very good when you want something a bit more personal.

But still I could see solutions to all my problems coming together.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

My house is a pig sty but I don't care - I'm bowled over.

Yipee - its Friday - and I'm off! (remember there's a slight time lag on my blog - otherwise you'll be starting your weekends early).

After running around doing a few jobs to try and stop my house looking totally like a pig sty, I reply to an email I received yesterday. The email took me a little by surprise. A nice surprise! Its great to know there are some generous people out there.

I've been contacted by a fellow coach. I don't want to name her and embarrass her, but she was drawn to my blog and me as a result of a number of similarities, particularly around our profiles and as a result wants to help me.

Its help I disparately need. She has her own coaching business and is further forward than I am in. I know nothing of setting up a business.

Hubby was very sceptical and made me google her and her business, her web designer in fact anything he could think of to verify that she is genuine and she is. I'm bowled over.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Don't Quit Poem

This is a fantastic poem, author unknown. I was given a copy of it at one of the Springboard sessions I attended. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you're trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don't give up though the pace seems slow--
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor's cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out--
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you're hardest hit--
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

- Author unknown

Touching and Heartfelt Poem for Motivations - Don't Quit Poem on 11 x 14 inches Double Beveled Matting (Black on Gold)

Monday, 19 July 2010

Excuse me, that's me disappearing under all that paper!

Met an old colleague for lunch today. It was a sobering reminder that people at work are still very unsettled. She may actually have to be interviewed for her own role - ouch! I don't know how organisations like ours actually get away with it.

A colleague in our London office just handed his notice in too. He thinks that London will eventually close down. I guess that could be a self-fulfilling prophacy as more and more people jump ship.

We've also had an OD (Organisation Design) announcement today.  So all those people who didn't have jobs have now gone through the first stages of being placed in a job.  No one seems happy.  They've all been 'placed' so not everyone has been placed where they wanted to be, and we have hardly anyone else left in our team and no-one from the Manchester office - that means more work coming my way!! Heck!!

Friday, 16 July 2010

Time Flies (when you're having fun)

Time is simply flying at the moment. I keep putting off writing my journal (the very thing that feeds my blog) - so if I'm not careful I will end up posting blank pages!!!

Yesterday I met Best Friend for lunch. She seemed really positive which is fantastic so her depression is possibly under control. We chatted and it was as if nothing had happened. This might work for her, however I need to understand more fully what went wrong. It feels like there's a void there. Perhaps with a little normality and time she may share with me some of her darker times.

Best Man Friend and I had a good chat too - about Logos. He's given me tonnes to think about. I hadn't considered how much thought goes into designing a logo and business image - guess that's why I'm training to be a life coach not a graphic designer. I had thought I was almost there - and despite everything else I've chosen this great name - Green Shoots - and I'm now wondering if it is unique enough to stand out on its own on the internet.

Am faced with another choice. Do I
      Sit it out as Green Shoots or Green Shoots Life Coaching (as opposed to Green Shoots Coaching) and  hope I can create a big enough footprint for myself?
      Am I risking loosing both my business identity, her business identity and some of my business in the process?


Thursday, 15 July 2010

Looking Back - Realising I needed coaching

Going back in time again, and following on from last weeks post:

I had been coaching people for a number of months. Its really strange. You can spend a lot of time with people who want to address their own issues. They know what they want to deal with but don’t know how to deal with it.

Sitting opposite them, exercising my listening skills, showing them support and encouragement is easy. It’s a fantastic experience watching them grow and learning to understand how deal with their issues.

But its very easy to associate with their issues and think – “that’s me”. I knew I had confidence issues, I knew I had to deal with them. I have all these new coaching skills – so why can I so easily help other people and yet not apply this skill-set to myself?

So that’s when I made the decision to get myself a coach......

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Loosing Momentum

Things are falling back into place again. London Boss has said that London Office will cover any ad-hoc tasks that come up during the two days holiday that clash with the Barefoot Coaching Course when Boss is also off.

Barefoot Coaching are holding me a provisional place.

I have lost momentum trying to raise the capital for my course.

I have started to read the NLP workbook for Dummies. Probably not the most sophisticated NLP book, but a very nice straight-forward introduction to NLP - and it offers some great definitions. If I want to have this read before I go on my coaching course then I need to read 1-2 chapters a week.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming Workbook For Dummies

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

NLP - The Map Is Not The Territory

My Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP) learning has lead me to understand a little bit more about why Best Friend and I have had this little mis-understanding.

NLP has a number of presuppositions (assumptions) and I hope to write about more of these during my journey.  However there is one entitled "The Map Is Not The Territory".  This goes on to say that we are all operating on different maps of the world,  so we see, hear, feel different things to other people in the same situation.  We all tend to do what we think is right in a given situation, however because it is unique for each and every one of us, what feels ok for one person is seen differently by another.

So here I am with my own map that states that if Best friend needed extra support, she knows that I am here for her, when all the time her map might show that if I know things are completely right I should show her extra attention.  Doesn't that make life difficult?  Well, yes in a way, but it also provides the answer - its opk that we're different, we just need to understand that we're different.

If you want to know more about Maps and territory - I have found a useful website -

nlp training scotland

In the meantime - make sure you're holding your map the right way around. ;-)

Neuro-Linguistic Programming Workbook For Dummies

Monday, 12 July 2010

Over the Moon

Best Friend emailed me last night and expressed very clearly where she was coming from. She also explained that she knows she can push people away at the very time she needs them.

I probably could do with some time to look into depression and understand her troubles a little more - I'll add that to the very long to do list I have right now. So if anyone has any experience of this I'd love to hear from you.

I am however over the moon that the friendship is savable, though I think it will require a bit of work on both sides. The lesson in here is that putting your anger aside and concentrating on what matters really is the best thing to do.

Friday, 9 July 2010

Over-coming setbacks

I delivered the letter to Best Friend's desk this morning before she started work. (Call me a coward but i prefer to think of it as I'm not putting any pressure on her to read it there and then!) - Honest!

She finished work about 6 hours ago and as of now I've not received a text or email or phone call or anything. It might be that this is just part of the course, alternatively it could be that she's taking her time to take it and and respond in the best way possible.

I'm probably being unfair. She is by nature a bright wonderful person and the Best Friend I've seen lately is depressed. the true Best Friend that I know and love will take a caring reaction to this.

I decided today to ring Barefoot and tell them I'd love a place on their course, but had a sudden feeling of doubt - so I checked the dates and 2 days fall into half term when my Boss is off. There's only 2 of us in our team so it makes it a bid tricky. Guess I will have to speak to my caring and supportive Grandad Boss and hope that he's still feeling generous.

Someone told me recently that setbacks are there to challenge us and to test our resolve. If you succeed in overcoming that setback then it proves that you wanted to do the thing badly enough in the first place.

I guess that applies to both situations - wish me luck!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Looking Back - Coaching People

Its been a while since I posted one of my looking back posts, so I thought you might like to see the next stage of my journey. Previously I talked about the Coaching for Success course

I loved coaching those few people. In all I coached 4 people. It seemed that although each one of them very different individuals, all four of them had deep routed confidence issues. But each one had to be handled differently.

M was in a new job and thrilled to be there. Yet she was coming up against people and situations that she didn’t know how to deal with. I expected that we needed to explore some confidence tricks. She shocked in one session. She stated she’d realised as a result of our sessions that the job wasn’t what she wanted and she was going to speak to her manager about going back to her old job.

OMG! I was horrified. Had I done this? Was her manager going to come after me with an axe?

Actually what happened was her manager was very sympathetic and listened to and helped resolve some of the issues she was facing, giving her the support she needed. She’s still in the job and very happy too. And she gave me some great feedback.

I guess what actually happened was that the coaching allowed her to explore what was in her control to deal with. And she dealt with it in the way she needed to which was having a very frank discussion with her manager. Without the coaching she might never have faced it.

It made me proud!

See previous looking back post

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Back to work with a bump

Well, back to work with a bump. Don't you just hate it when that happens!!!

The office was stifling, so the window blinds were shut. On a plus side, Best Friend finally agreed to meet me for lunch. She sounded much brighter and more positive and I thought 'Great!' - I have a best friend back again.

We sat outside on the grass and I enquired about the pain she's had recently in her life. The answer I got back was uncharacteristic sarcastic and related to other friends who had been more supportive than me who had helped her through the bad times. Shock - I wasn't expecting that. All I've ever wanted to do was help. When have I ever not been there when she's asked for help. In fact at times over the past few weeks I've felt pushed out, unwanted even.

She walked away leaving me sobbing on the grassy slope just outside work.

I came home and wrote a letter to her. The letter was entirely written from my agenda. It talked of my anger and hurt. It discussed my reactions to the way she'd dealt with me (oops slipping into "effect" there.) I guess what actually happened was in her depressed state she became insular. She didn't notice she was contacting me and only noticed my lack of contact. In the last 8 weeks I've had so much on, with creating this Blog, thinking about, researching and choosing a coaching course and starting my business planning that I've let a lot of things slip, friends as well as the gym.

So, I moved back into 'cause', made a choice and took control. I metaphorically screwed up the letter and wrote a shorter one. A letter that reminder her that I had and always would support her, and an apology for getting it so wrong. I wrote this into a beautiful card from Tree of Life and will leave it on her desk tomorrow.

The image at the top has been published with the kind permission of The sentiments are great.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

NLP Cause and Effect

I've been reading about cause and effect in NLP.

Its a basic principle assuming that every 'Effect' has an underlying 'Cause'.

People operating in a 'effect' state are allowing actions outside of their control to effect them and therefore start to loose control of their situation. An example for me might be:

"Its my Boss' fault that I lack confidence"

If I were to change my state to "cause", I would acknowledge that I choose the state of no confidence. I can choose to be confident or choose to consider that just because Boss has given me feedback on one aspect of my work it doesn't mean I'm bad at my whole job.

Moving into the "cause" state gives you empowerment and choices.

Check out the link below if you want to understand more about it.

NLP (The Pocketbook)

Monday, 5 July 2010

See, I do know how to make a decision

Wasdale is still gloriously sunny. I've not really given Barefoot Coaching any more thought, apart from every time I kick off my shoes and walk barefoot across the grass outside my tent. Maybe I've done all the thinking that I need to do. Either way my whole experience with them has been a positive one. Every time I think about New-U I get doubts. As I've said before they're a great company and I am sure their training will give me a skill set I can use as a coach, but it doesn't feel the way that I feel when I think of Barefoot. And I always said the training had to feel right.

Then their is all the stuff about the ICF accreditation and the lack of transparency around this. I just don't know what I'd be up against. So there it is. Day 2 in the Green shoots tent and my mind is made up - Barefoot it is. They've proven they can deliver. In a horse race I'd always back the dead cert.

Now I can go back to enjoying my last 2 days of Lakeland pleasure.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Observer day at Barefoot Coaching

I've been looking forward to today for ages. Today is my observer day at Barefoot Coaching. I get to go along to one of their workshops, sit back and observe the training. Its an excellent opportunity to see if they live up to their hype.

So my earlier than normal alarm goes off at 6am. It is of course light so that aids the getting up process.

I've planned what I am wearing. The dress code was whatever comfortable means to you. I've always found that I perform and interact better when I'm smart but I didn't want to be too business like. I've chosen a feminine brown/pink skirt. Not too casual, not too smart. With a simple camisole top and tie/bolero cardigan.

I am very nervous, but I think this is more about doing the busy drive along the A50. I set off at 7am, having asked the universe for an uneventful, but timely journey. I need to be there by 9am but have never done the journey at rush hour before. My worst fear would be to arrive late.

My journey is indeed uneventful. Within an hour I've reached the services on the A50 and am nearly there. So I make use of the facilities then move on to a lay-by close to the venue so that I cam compose myself and I am still 25 minutes early, but at least other people are beginning to arrive. Thank you universe.

Barefoot coaching is everything I imagined and more. I knew the other delegates would be friendly and people focussed but I wasn't quite prepared for exactly how touchy-feely they were.

Barefoot's approach to business works. The whole idea of letting someone sample a days training just smacks of having absolute confidence in their own product. It certainly worked for me. I also got a chance to try a sample of their coaching tools too.

I've come away with a very strong feeling that this is the course that I want to do. Its a combination of what they've shown me today in a very honest open (one of my values) way and the fact that I am still struggling to understand how the relationship between New-U coaching and the ICF accreditation works. The costs involved are less than transparent.

We're off to the lakes tomorrow morning for a 3 day camping break at Church Stile Camp-site in Nether Wasdale. The weather report is good. We know the camp-site is great having been twice before - so there will be lots of walking and chilling involved. A good time to allow me to reflect on what I've seen - just as a backstop - lets face it I wouldn't want to make a hurried decision would I?

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Oh Great I'm a Hippo!

Had my half-year appraisal at work which enabled me to have a frank discussion with Boss.I was able to explain to him that I have no aspirations at work beyond my current role, and for the first time ever it felt OK not to have aspirations of promotion. This will allow me to start my coaching business and gain fulfilment from helping others. Frankly I don't get any fulfilment from staring at databases and spreadsheets all day. I love my job because it challenges my mind, pays well and offers me some flexible working. That's not fulfilment!

He described me as a "good solid analyst" - I think that's his clumsy way of complimenting me. Personally I'd have used words like reliable and consistent, but he doesn't find giving praise easy so I graciously accept whatever he offers.

By the way I googled Good and Solid - the image is what I found. Oh great I'm a Hippo!