The cult of busy

When we’re lost in the story of what we think “busy” means we find ourselves in judgement of others or being judged. Frustration, upset, anger, suffering. When we see through it, we’re free to act from love.

Photo by José Martín Ramírez C on Unsplash

I laughed yesterday at the synchronicity of life. I’d just finished recording another podcast episode* with Gary Bridgeman & Natalie Nuttall and went on a call with Andrew Smith.

Andrew told me he’d been working with a group in business recently about ‘the cult of busy’ and how they’d told him being busy was like a ‘badge of honour’. I burst out laughing! These words were literally the title of the just-recorded podcast. Word. For. Word! read more

What are you resisting?

We get lost in ideas that we fix as facts and truths. Resisting reality. It’s uncomfortable — thankfully — because then we have a chance to see through the illusion.

River flowing towards you, white water rushing over stones, green trees lining the banks.
Photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash

What are you fixing as true, definite or absolute?

Is it the ‘fact’ that person’s really annoying? Is it the ‘fact’ you’re no good at X, Y or Z? Is it the ‘fact’ that nobody ever gets work done to the standards you think they should? read more

My big awakening moment

Stories of awakening and enlightenment are getting further into the mainstream these days, which is great — more awakening beings on this planet will give us a much higher chance of not sending ourselves and the planet extinct — but there can also be misconceptions about what this all means. In this piece I share a big waking up moment I experienced, and the truth of what awakening and enlightenment really are.

Photo by Yeshi Kangrang on Unsplash

First my story

I started working with Piers Thurston in August 2018. In our first session he blew my mind with what he shared, I left with the ground seeming shaky and uncertain — and I trusted him with where this was going.

Two conversations later, on the 23rd of August, I was taking a shower, running through what was happening that day, thinking about what time I’d be home that night & how it would be good for the kids because I was going to be home early, having been late the night before. read more

The start of my waking up journey

There was nothing fundamentally wrong with my life, in fact I thought it was good. I only started this exploration for the benefit of my clients. Little did I know what I would discover and uncover for myself.

Photo credit: Mark Gilroy

In 2017 I read a book called Buddhism Plain and Simple and it had a profound impact on me. I saw that the essence of Buddhism that the book described was like coaching plus plus plus! Like coaching beliefs on steroids. I knew that, if leaders saw this for themselves, they and their teams would be off and running. read more

A new year, a new decade – no should’s

Image of water with a quote about not needing to celebrating new year in any particular way. No rights and wrongs. What happens is what happens.

We’ve constructed new year’s eve on 31st December.

But what if you’re Jewish or Chinese or Pagan?

Then we’ve constructed the idea of new year as a time for reflection, for celebrating or mourning what’s passed, for looking ahead to what’s next.

What if we knew that we didn’t have to do any of it? read more

Uncertainty can feel shaky but there’s a reason for that

With changes afoot in my life I momentarily got caught up, believing the scary movie in the thought-reel of my mind. All perfectly designed to wake me up.

Uneven ground road sign

Things look uncertain.

I just had a meeting that’s confirmed a significant price of work with a client is coming to an end after Q1.

I left the meeting (later than planned) and got a flat tyre, currently waiting to be recovered.

Two kids are at home alone, first time on their own together (they’re known to argue!) for longer than intended. read more

The rules, they’re killing us

How the intellect is taking us away from clarity, brilliance and the perfect next step.

Image of traffic in Kathmandu
Image credit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Gy3kRVUvx0

My mum recently got back from a holiday in Nepal. She was telling me about the experience of crossing the road in Kathmandu. Two things struck her.

The first was that the drivers decide the lane system. With no markings on the road, no lane information signs, no overhead illumination in greens and reds about which lines are open and closed. The drivers just drive in a way that makes sense based on the volume of traffic. Six lanes heading into the city in the morning, just one heading out. The opposite in the evening. It just makes sense. And they don’t need a formal system to tell them to do this. It just works. They’re connected. They’re not in their heads. read more

Stressful thinking doesn’t mean a thing

What level are you working at to try and solve stressful thinking? Is it making the difference you hope? Is it adding in more to-do’s, should’s and complexity to life?

Man on sofa with his head in his hands
Photo by Nik Shuliahin on Unsplash

Over thinking leads to..

Stress

Leads to

Poor sleep

Leads to

Inhibited cognitive function & IQ

To try and change we can work at the level of:

  1. The immediate problem — work longer hours, trudge through the to-do list, have exasperated conversations with colleagues and bosses. Use caffeine to stay awake, grab quick-and-easy-processed-food, some alcohol at night to shut off & wind down.
  2. The next problem down — the sleep — create the perfect sleep environment, have consistent bed time & wake up times, lavender, pillows, heavy blankets.
  3. Or the next — the stress — walks, meditation, exercise, change jobs.
  4. Or the next — the thoughts — switch the negative for the positive, recite mantras, practice helpful beliefs.

None right or wrong. It can make sense to do these things because it can seem really real that stressful thoughts need fixing and changing and getting rid of. They feel yucky. Why would we want them? read more

I need more balance

Needing balance shows up in various guises in clients’ worlds and yet each and every experience of ‘out of balance’ has the same origins.

Stones balanced on top of each other with orange sunset sky in the background
Photo by Bekir Dönmez on Unsplash

I wrote recently about leadership and said I’d write a linked piece about balance because it’s such a common feature of experience and something that was more than a one-liner.

The out-of-balance problems I hear from clients tend to show up as:

Leading the team vs doing my work

Strategic vs operational read more

Leadership for the whole of me and the whole of you

I just listened to this podcast and my reflections were beyond the wordcount of any social media post! I’d love to hear what you think too.

The conversation is an interview with Mike Vacanti on Teresa Quinlan and Rhys Thomas’s podcast TNT ESQ and there were three big themes that jumped out for me.

  1. Whole-listic leadership
  2. Bringing people with you
  3. Healthy attachment

Read on…

  1. I love the concept of ‘whole-istic’ leadership. Confirming Daniel Goleman’s findings all those years ago that the most successful leaders were those who deployed all the categories of leadership that he defined.

What I really see in this is how you can’t ‘do’ flexibility with leadership styles effectively from the intellect. You can’t come to each situation, pause, refer to the boxes and pick which to use for this person in this situation. read more