It’s the end of the year! Existentially, any ending is a reminder of time passing, a time to reflect on where we’ve come from and where we’re heading, an invitation to evaluate how we’re living our lives and an opportunity to recognize how we feel about the path we’re on and to change course if necessary.
2018 was a big year from me filled with significant change, courageous decisions, lots of learning, falling, standing up, hope and frustration, success and disappointment, big plans, some big results, some off-the-mark expectations, plenty of new amazing people that I’ve met and, as a result, tonnes of growth.
I got (legally) married and we’re planning our big day in Mexico, I presented at conferences in Vancouver and Budapest, finished my first book (now ready for pre-order), started running my coach training weekends privately, produced my first online course, decided to leave my university job to be able to dedicate more time to existential coaching, finished all the training for my Diploma in Coaching Supervision, launched 5 supervision groups and my new website, hosted the world’s first symposium on Coaching & Psychedelics, moved house, DJed at the 6000-capacity Robotika stage at Boomtown Festival, celebrated the end of my single-hood in Amsterdam and traveled to locations in Vail, Mexico City, Berlin, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Tallinn, St Petersburg, Stockholm, Zurich, Brussels and Rome.
I live and I struggle, I celebrate and I suffer, I love life and it challenges me to the core, I lost friends and I made new ones. Change is constant and it’s as exciting as it is scary. I embrace life this way and choose to keep making courageous decisions for 2019. What made my heart sing along the way is to hear how I was able to inspire students, readers and those I came into contact with. Earlier this year I started this mailing list and while it was intended to send out little nuggets of inspiration, bite-sized and easy to skim through, I found a lot more pleasure and meaning in sharing my thoughts with you than I had anticipated. So I’ll be keeping this up and hope you keep enjoying them. Thank you for your messages of encouragement, gratitude or critical engagement. It’s amazing to know that so many people appreciate hearing what’s going on in my head and in my life.
My message for 2019? Stay true to what you believe in, keep it real and think a little more deeply about stuff! And above all, live life courageously! It’s usually the choices we don’t dare to make that we’re more likely to regret when our final year is approaching its end.
But as always, here are this month’s “nuggets”, bits and pieces that I’ve come across, that were on my mind or that have happened in my life. If any of it resonates, make it swing! It’s all about starting conversations and making people think.
What I’ve been thinking about – Narcissism
What’s a healthy balance when it comes to narcissism? We all are narcissists to some extent. Human beings wouldn’t have survived if we didn’t put ourselves first fundamentally. But when does this become a problem for us and those around us? Trump powerfully put narcissism on the map again. But the other end of the spectrum often gets overlooked. I’ve recently coached a “recovering people pleaser” and she regularly struggled with her tendency to put others first. While very pleasant on the receiving end, it’s not particularly healthy and often backfires as some people pick up on the lack of self-respect or inability to assert appropriate boundaries. Who heals the healer? Who helps the helper? I see amazing people suffer because they insist that everybody else is more important than them. Yet they’d be stronger helpers if they were in a good place themselves. So where’s the balance? And how can we recognize and adjust these tendencies?
What I’ve published in December
On Being Human in the Age of AI –
In Australia’s Coaching Life Magazine
Have Yourselves a Merry Existential Christmas
A Christmas blog I’ve written together with fellow existential life coach Marcie Boyer
10+ Ways to Live Positively Existentially – Or: How to love life when life kicks you in the gut
The full-length version of my new blog series
What I’m wearing – Existential Apparel
I’ve always liked to show who I am through what I’m wearing. Growing up with HipHop culture and street art, prints on t-shirts and hoodies were a prime choice for doing this. A sudden bout of inspiration resulted in something of a clothing line, which I recently added to my website. If you have any love for existentialism, you can now wear your philosophy on your sleeve. And if you know any existentialists, why not get them a meaningless present that reminds them of their own mortality and the fundamental nothingness of existence while also saying “I love you”? 🙂
What boggled my mind – Jordan Peterson
I’ve had one of those “Jordan Peterson moments” again. I generally like the guy and a lot of what he puts out there I applaud. But every now and again he goes and completely baffles me with some of the things he says. Here’s him more or less denying climate change.
I can’t say I reviewed all the evidence or read 200 books about it, but to my knowledge pretty much all credible scientists agree that it’s real and that it’s caused by human activity. Did the Canadian Gas & Oil lobby get to him? Hard to believe given his integrity. Has he misread the literature? That’d be weird given his intellect. Are all the other scientists just creating panic for no reason? That doesn’t make sense. I’m struggling and went and asked the Facebook hive-mind for their take on it. An interesting debate followed but I still haven’t made up my mind. What do you think?
What’s on the horizon for 2019?
January is a busy time for coaches as lots of people are motivated to make changes to their lives. If you or anybody you know is serious about this endeavor and willing to invest in professional help, don’t hesitate to send them my way. I’ve got a few slots open still and offer free consultations.
- You can now pre-order my book An Introduction to Existential Coaching.
- I’ll be launching my online course Positive Psychology for Coaches
- I’ll be launching a new Life Coaching Skills Certificate for wellness practitioners in collaboration with the Dan Roberts Group.
- I’ll be guiding the learning journey for students of the brand new Positive Psychology Practitioner Certificate, created by the wonderful Itai Ivtzan and featuring an incredible line up of almost all the big names in positive psychology. Check it out!
- I’m looking forward to recording more conversations with inspiring people about existentialism, coaching, life and what drives some people to be so fucking cool! I aim to publish one per month myself, but if you host a podcast or write for blogs and magazines, I’d be thrilled to be your guest or interview partner.
- I’ve got another 6 part blog series in the bag waiting to be released.
- I’ll be running a few events for the Association for Coaching, the Weekend University and others and I’ll be running more London-based coaching training such as this one and this one in January.
And last but not least – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
I’m celebrating my first Mexican Christmas and New Year with my new extended family. We’re sending you much love and hope you get to be around loved ones yourself and spend these last few days of 2018 in good spirits.
As always, I’d love to hear what inspired you this month (or this year), what you’re reading and what you’d like to see me share in the future. I’d also love to know which kind of nuggets you’re most interested in and which ones you’d like to have more of or less of. It always warms my heart to hear the stories of what this or that thought or article has triggered in your life.
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