Riding the wave.
That’s what I’ve found myself saying lately when people asked me how I am. And the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
I’m not talking CoViD-19 here, though it’s obviously very much on my mind as we’re heading into the second wave all over Europe (with a month of lockdown here in the UK starting this week), me missing my best friend’s wedding in Denmark this weekend and the chances of seeing my family this year looking pretty bleak.
No, I’m riding a different kind of wave and the metaphor fits: I’m in my element, I’m having fun, I’m in flow a lot, and I’m making big moves. But it’s also quite demanding, the wave is pretty huge, and if I’m not careful it might swallow me (I’m working with a tracker now! Everybody who knows me will appreciate the significance of this). It’s that level of stretch in which you’re super productive, slightly overwhelmed but with little time to really look back and think about it, alongside glimpses of excitement and joy given the magnitude of what we’re pulling off here right now.
Now the thing about surfing is that you’re never in a wave for too long. You tend to sit on the beach studying the waters first before you paddle out. Maybe you talk to a few locals or do some research on the spot. You start with smaller breaks before you head out to surf the big stuff. So when you do paddle out you feel ready. And I certainly look forward to sipping on a cold one after this (part of the) ride is over and we’re launching early next year (CoViD permitting). But right now I’m in the thick of it and it’s exhilarating!
If you’ve been following these nuggets or have talked to me recently you’ll probably know what I’m talking about: our new online training programme in integrative coaching for which I’ve gathered many of the world’s leading experts in my industry. It’s a dream coming true. Though with the CoViD wave rising simultaneously as well as a number of to-be-expected unexpected challenges along the way, it certainly keeps me on my toes.
When I do come to rest momentarily between sets, I find myself immensely grateful for being part of such a strong, open, honest and human team. I can clearly see each of our complimentary sets of strengths at work while being grounded by shared values. It’s just fantastic to see how, with the right mindset, any challenge can be tackled with a positive attitude. Thank you Itai and Ian, you’re amazing! And I wish you that you’ve got the right people around you and/or a similar mindset to ride your own wave this winter, CoViD or otherwise.
So that’s me this month, and probably for the rest of the year, riding the wave. Apologies if you’ve heard less from me than usual. I’ve been out surfing. However, I didn’t want to miss the chance to catch up with you so, as always, here are a few (shorter) Nuggets of what’s been going on for me this month, bits and pieces that I’ve come across or thoughts that have been on my mind, as well as a few fruits of that energy. If any of it resonates, make it swing! I might be quite busy, but I do always love to hear from you 🙂
What part of me has been longing for
I feel good these days. I don’t like the word “busy”. I refer to it as “having my plate full”. Not “more than I can chew” but definitely full on. So no regrets there, but I’ve had a moment a few weeks ago coming out of a meditation when I thought back to a conversation with a friend who told me about the “old geezers” in his neighbourhood who always sit outside in the same spot, drink their tea and “chat shit”. Day and day out. Same shit, different. Just being there. They seem content, happy, doing nothing, just being there. I do believe that human beings crave meaning and purpose, but I also believe that we are the ones who choose what is meaningful to us. It reminded me of an Alan Watts quote I came across:
In a recent episode of the Tim Ferris Show, Naval Ravikant described this state of “just being there” really nicely. When just being there becomes the time you’re looking forward to the most in your day (especially if you can do it on your own) then you free yourself of all the pressures of having to do something all the time.
Now of course in a world where most of us are tied to responsibilities and commitments this can seem like a utopic ideal, and I don’t think anybody would realistically desire not to do anything ever again, but developing the ability to just sit there and be with yourself for some time, or, indeed, to sit around doing nothing chatting shit with your mates, that’s one of the best skills we can develop. Naval said it took him 60 days, one hour each day, to commit to just sitting there and letting your brain “empty the inbox” and do whatever it needs to do. After that he felt free and started to really look forward to it. Getting into meditation takes time, but anybody can do it. And it’s the foundation to being able to free ourselves from out perceived need to always be productive. Now back to work 😉
What might be a historical step
2 years ago in November Libby Davy and I organised the first online symposium on Coaching & Psychedelics in an effort to explore how coaches may support clients who seek the help of psychedelic journeys to gain insights, growth and personal development. Following some productive exchange with other professional coaches and a growing community of now over 250 members, we’ve founded an official Interest Group at the start of this year under the umbrella of the MIND Foundation for Psychedelic Science. 6 months of work with bi-weekly meetings we are now in the process of founding a Professional Section and working actively towards creating resources int his area such as ethical frameworks, coaching methodologies, academic articles and more. If you’re a coach and your interested in joining, reach out and I’ll send you more information.
What’s real? What’s funny?
Deep fake technology (as unsettling as I find it with regards to its potential to fuck with people’s perception of facts and reality) opens up a whole new level of satire! This one‘s from the ever-brilliant creators of South Park. I can’t quite get over Mark Zuckerberg as a scammy dialysis salesman and I’ll be amazed for some time at how incredibly accurately the technology captures the essence of Tom Cruise 😀
What took off
Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of… sound familiar?
Well we’re still missing the animation centre piece still to pay proper tribute, but the new website is already both presentable and packed with lots of value for coaches of all levels. For the past few month Marcie and I have been working hard in collaboration with the excellent and wonderfully creative Daniel O’Cock from Vie Design to launch RocketSupervision.com into orbit. What started with a simple facelift of the old site, quickly developed into a new brand and a whole lot more. Now we’ve got a bunch of resources on there and created a number of sub-brands, which I’m sure you’ve either noticed already or will soon start recognizing.
It’s been a productive month with content on the shelf such as a deep dive with Programme Leader of the MA Existential Coaching Sasha van Deurzen Smith, a deep dive into Coaching & Psychedelics with psychedelic integration coach Isabel Santis, a journey through music and integration from Grandmaster Flash to Paul Wong as part of an IMEC/Mental Health For All event as well as kicking off the Existential Offerings Podcast with Natalie Fraser. However, since my wonderful intern Melanie moved on, there’s a bit of a queue on the content front, so bear with me please.
How to embrace the inevitable? The wonderfully energetic Essi Auguste Virtanen invited me as a guest for the season finale of her podcast “Moving Dialogues”. Click the image to listen to a sample and to access the full episode.
How can we navigate the BIG questions in life? Recently I was invited to speak to the wonderfully curious crowd at Scrum Alliance’s Agile Coaching Retreat. The recording has been released now alongside all the others. The line up was really excellent so it’s worth checking out the other talks too.
If you’re a coach who’s just starting out, good news: we’ve had a good few episodes of Talking about Coaching on the shelf and have published one a week since my last Nuggets. Enjoy!
Catch me live in November
- 3rd: Coaching Lab with Ross Nichols, ambassador to the UK chapter of the International Coaching Federation, showcasing a live ICF-style coaching demo.
- 14th-15th: Accredited Certificate in Positive Psychology for Coaching – My popular introductory weekend is back, once more online and hosted by the good people at Animas Centre for Coaching.
- 18th: Coaching & Psychedelics Drop-In Session – For coaches interested in exploring how coaching and psychedelics may work together to create insight, growth and change. We meet here at 6:30pm UK time.
- 24th: How far can coaches go? – Webinar & Workshop hosted by the London Coaching Group
- And don’t forget the Coaching Lab with the amazing Liz Goodchild on the 1st December! This one’s a real treat as I’ve been trying to get Liz to come to the Lab for 6 months. If you don’t know her, check her out!
That’s it. If you’re reading this, I appreciate that you’re still with me and I hope you enjoyed reading my Nuggets. As always, if any of it resonates, make it swing! I’d love to hear from you 🙂