It was with a sense of excitement that I embarked on mentor coach certification recently and it is with great joy that I now begin to roll out Mentor Coaching for ICF Coaches more fully in my practice.
With the heightened talk of fake news and denied scientific reports, I am again appreciative of my solid scientific training where I was taught the importance of critical thinking and measurable competency based skills. When I took my ICF approved ‘Mentor Coach Certification’ through Invite Change, I was impressed with the rigor of the program and with the professional accountability and ‘elevation’ mentor coaching brings to the profession.
As coaches we are often asked how coaching is different than counselling, consulting or advising and while many of the skills overlap, at it’s foundation, coaching is inherently different. A coach relationship is really an equal partnership. The International Coach Federation (ICF) which is the globally recognized accreditation body for professional coaches says “The ICF definition of coaching is: Coaching is partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.”
Working as a mentor coach brings in an additional layer. Not only is the coaching partnership in place, there is also an inference that the mentor coach is attentive to the advancement of the skills and the professional practice of the ‘mentee’ coach. With this additional layer comes a whole new set of competencies, skills and ethics.
I had the great pleasure to attend a Coaches Conversation Cafe last night with a small group of coaches as part of the ICF Vancouver Chapter Cafes Series. As part of the conversation, we discussed the differences and similarities between coaching and consulting as well as some of the ICF Core Competencies. I was reminded and re-invigorated by the power and depth of ‘coaching’ as a communication technology.
Mentor coaching provides a safe and friendly container to sharpen your coaching skills and develop your coaching presence.
The Importance of Dreams
Allowing yourself the freedom, time and ‘white space’ to dream is vitally important to truly creating the life you want. Dreams become the vital ‘juicy’ energy that support exciting change and forward movement.
This process does not need to be fancy or require much preparation or supplies (although adding in a vision board can be a lot of fun); you can simply ask yourself the following question: If there were no restrictions of any kind, what would I do with my life in the next 6 months/ one year/5 years etc. Allow yourself to dream and dream big.
Dreaming is free, it’s fun and no one but you needs to be involved. The beauty of dreams is that you get to change them too because they belong to you! Taking any boundaries or structure off dreaming has been called ‘blue sky dreaming’ because there is nothing but the big blue sky to restrict you. Often dreaming leads to new ideas and can catalyse creativity and innovation.
Have fun with this my friends, it’s meant to be enjoyable.
The Importance of Personal Connection
I lost my mojo, my personal connection with my deep self essence for a few years. Upon reflection, it feels like walking out of a desert and seeing an oasis in the near distance. Shimmering, energizing and oh so nourishing, my essence draws me closer.
The reasons for the disconnect are many, multi-layered and complicated.
I strongly believe the period of ‘disconnect’ served an important purpose. In archetypal terms, I was doing deep ‘soul work’. I certainly smoothed out some rough edges of my ego.
The power of personal awareness and connection is one of the foundational tenets of the personal development movement and a thread woven throughout coaching. I can share that it sure feels great to be ‘finding myself again’ and I can’t wait to be writing more.
My personal spiritual connection has always been the anchor that keeps me grounded and enlivened. While in the past few years, I had my spiritual beliefs, the strong and steady spiritual connection had dimmed, it’s now back!
Wishing the highest and best for you today!
In Honour of My Dad and to mark our family’s grieving …
‘Carl Edward Johnson
Feb. 19, 1922 – Mar. 29, 2017
A few weeks after celebrating his 95th birthday, Carl Edward Johnson died March 29, 2017, in Surrey, BC. Not only did he not die in hospital, but wasn’t born in one either, rather on his parents’ homestead near Kinsella, AB, where he was next to the youngest of eight children. Growing up with little money and no electricity, Carl was exempt from military service to work on the farm, still ploughing with horses, and he recalled the best entertainment was when they could persuade his father Eric Johnson to play his violin or harmonica. He credits his mother Anna as a strong influence for patience and godliness, and his mixed Swedish Norwegian parentage for his string of Sven and Ole humour. Speaking dialect, Carl would say, “Out fishing, Ole catches a big one and Sven tells him, mark duh side of duh boat vid dis chalk, so ve come back here next veek!”
Carl left home to study in Camrose, AB, where he met and married Renata Wenzel in 1944. He worked as a carpenter and went on to Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon, SK, in 1948 where he built a small house for his growing family. Ordained a pastor in 1951, Carl served parishes in Strasbourg, SK, Dawson Creek, BC, Camrose, AB, Burns Lake, BC, Ft. St. John, BC, New Westminster, BC, and Scandia, AB, before retiring in 1984. Always a faithful servant of the church, he was eager to ‘put the most charitable construction’ on what others did, and to bring people together.
Three children were born to Carl and Renata along the way. Carl and Renata made their retirement home in New Westminster, BC, and traveled across Canada, the United States, and to Israel and Germany, places they’d only imagined most of their lives.
After 52 years of marriage, Renata died in 1996, and Carl remarried to Gladys Davidson in 1998, bringing together 3 adult children from each family, along with spouses and grandchildren. Carl and Gladys lived in her house in Burnaby, BC, and enjoyed travels with the motor home they bought together until illness took them to Rosemary Heights Seniors Village in Surrey, BC, in 2010. Carl adjusted gracefully to his declining abilities, but macular degeneration took away the lifelong pleasure he found in reading. Still, he always had encouraging words for his family and those around him.
Carl is survived by his youngest sibling, Mary Finseth of Tofield, AB, by his wife Gladys Davidson, and by his and Renata’s 3 children, Daniel Johnson of Houston, TX, Tim Johnson of Abbotsford, BC, and Zoey Ruth Johnson Ryan of Tsawwassan, BC, and their spouses Diane Persson, Bev Weidman, and Wayne Ryan. Also grandchildren Nils Johnson, Britta Hollrah, David Johnson, Drew Johnson, Kaitlin Ryan, Savanna Ryan, and Delaney Ryan, and great grandchildren Sophia, Isabel, Annette, Zell, and Madz.
Carl Edward Johnson, a life lived long and well, from farming with horses to fisher of men to the 21st century as the oldest of anyone in the history of his family.
Visitation at Kearney Funeral Chapel New Westminster, April 6, 6-7 pm. Memorial service to be held April 7, 1 pm at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, 930 Cumberland St., New Westminster, BC with a reception to follow. All are welcome to attend. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Carl’s honour to Surrey Urban Mission or Canadian Lutheran World Relief.’
My youngest daughter is in her final year studying anthropology and archaeology and in a recent class on ‘rituals and meaning’ said that ‘funerals’ and the grieving period is a key ritual around the world, crossing all cultures and religions. While we all grieve differently perhaps, it is an important time for family to come together to remember and say goodbye.
Happy International Women’s Day as women all around the world celebrate the large and small gains we have made towards being granted identity status, equality, reducing violence against women and children, improvement in healthcare for our families and access to education to name a few.
I remind myself of the quote by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich “well behaved women seldom make history”, which is a wonderful play with words, however, as I understand it, is Thatcher’s ‘tribute to the silent work of ordinary people’ (wikipedia). And isn’t this sentiment relevant in these times? It will be the silent work of ordinary people, not only women, coming together to organize and organize some more, to push forward, to challenge, to not remain silent.
So, yes, today is a wonderful day to remember and celebrate all the work of the women who have gone before me who have fought for the rights I have today and to understand that as our world grows smaller, conversations including intersectional theory will become more important. To inform my thinking in this I am happy to say I have three fabulous daughters, one of whom particularly is my mentor. She even accompanied me on the Vancouver Women’s March a few weeks ago. So, today is also a wonderful day to acknowledge and celebrate all the women and girls who follow us, who are our future and our hope!
Walking Toward the Sun
As my 60th birthday nears, I’ve been engaged in frequent conversations about ageing and how I’m going to ‘mark’, celebrate or recognize this transition time. The stale language of ‘over the hill’ has never worked, however, this morning on my beach walk, ‘walking toward the sun’ seemed like ideal phraseology.
‘Walking toward the sun’ implies that each day is fresh and new as indeed it is and while life is a continuous journey, one’s life can be re-imagined each morning.
I feel energized by the sun and nourished by the moon. I walk towards the sun and am drawn towards the moon. While certainly Ageing and the cycle of life is in play, these words and images feel much better than imagining I’m on a continuous downward slide.
Using ‘sun’ as a destination is also kind of intriguing for me.
So, I continue my life as a day and a journey filled with fiery light and soulful nights.
Mindful Self Compassion for Health Practitioners
It is my great honor to share information about an upcoming workshop in Nanaimo, BC, facilitated by two skilled and experienced friends.
March 31, 2017
hosted by Compassion Inspired Health
I have had the experience of contracting Victoria and Carolena to present a similar workshop to a mixed group working in the non-profit sector and the response was overwhelmingly positive.
Recently in a conversation, ‘self compassion’ was described as ‘applying salve to a burned out soul’; doesn’t that resonate for many of us who have been working in the helping professions?
Please feel free to share this widely and wildly!
Taking some time in Mexico for renewal with long time female friends and planning for the next phase of life and business. Gotta love the Los Cabos ‘surf shack’ brunches. ‘Buzzards’ serves a fabulous Eggs Benedict with shrimp and avocado, I’ll be back for sure!
Conversations That Matter – Conversational Intelligence
We have had a lot of deep and powerful conversations in our home this weekend and early week, discussions that matter. It’s been quite the weekend and I find myself waking up again, even this Wednesday morning feeling drained, with my heart broken, awash with emotion. Emotions that bounce around between sadness to hopelessness to incredulousness to patriotism and back to sadness, then again to hope as I see my grandson.
In my almost 60 years, I have never experienced such observable racism and xenophobic actions so frequently displayed and with such chilling and heart breaking consequences.
I am so proud to be Canadian and although my knowledge of Canadian political ideology has needed some ‘refreshing’, seeing the leaders of all political parties, all faiths and Canadians all across the country come together to support the families of the Quebec City terrorist attack victims brings tears to my eyes. It is in acts of ‘coming together’ in spite of differences, to talk from a place of ‘curiosity and inquiry’ that ultimately elevates thought and connect hearts.
We are in times of world political upheaval and uncertainty. We are all being challenged to move beyond the construct of ‘competition’, ‘either/or, ‘winner/loser’ to the constructs of community, ‘we’ and ‘both/and’ in both our personal and professional lives. In my opinion as we engage in powerful and intentional conversations anchored in higher paradoxical thinking, we elevate our minds, connect our hearts and show up in a different way, in compassion and empathy, with a fierce resolve to forward movement but in a ‘new way’.
For me, the discussions occurred in my family, primarily with my daughters, all three of whom have a slightly different perspective and are mighty skilled at sharing it! Friends and the friendship relationship can enhance your journey and provide a wonderful environment for deeper exploration and learning as well as just plain fun!
Here are three ways to make sure you have powerful conversations:
- Make eye contact
- Listen really well, give pause, don’t interupt
- Speak from your heart
Enjoy your day my friends and remember that the world is truly filled with good people and we get to choose who we engage with and how deeply we do this!
Inspired Living: Where Is Your ‘Just Enough Place’?
Are you one of those people who is always striving to do better, who would feel dissatisfied by ‘just enough’? Are you striving to be better, get better; achieve five year plans, learn the next new thing and so on? There is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of ambition, in fact, it helps you get things done, however, it needs to be balanced with an equally dynamic and seemingly mutually exclusive energy of ‘I am enough, I know enough, I have enough’ or what I, as a life coach call, your ‘just enough place’.
If the balance isn’t there, if you move beyond your ‘just enough place’ frequently enough, people can become highly wound perfectionists, never satisfied with their life. On the other hand if one totally misses the ‘ambition or life long learning gene’, life is devoid of forward growth and learning. The concept of ‘just enough’ then, is integral to life balance and fulfillment.
The concept of ‘just enough’ is also woven into many spiritual traditions, where ‘living lightly on the earth’ is valued and the notions of discernment and generosity are also highly valued.
Again, it’s calling for the use of higher thought, for the ability to hold two seemingly mutually exclusive ideas and ways of being in mind and action … just for today, I am enough, I will take just what I need, I will eat just enough to satisfy my hunger, I will share any extra I have … while working with heartfelt and heart centered intention towards your goals, anchored in clear and strongly held values and guiding principles.
Be mindful and play with these ideas in your own life and see what unfolds. Here is another article on the topic you may enjoy.
life, leadership & mentor coaching to set your heart on fire and soothe your soul