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Showing posts with the label Shamanism

A Solstice Adventure in Northumberland

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“a sweatlodge in Northumberland" - Powered by Dall-E 3. For this year's summer solstice, I found myself back in Northumberland, immersed in a familiar yet ever-evolving fire and ice celebration that culminated in a powerful sweatlodge ceremony under the full moon. This wasn't my first dance with the solstices here – I had held the same roles, fire keeper, stone carrier, and holder of the space, during the previous winter solstice. Returning in the summer sun, it felt like we, the participants and the land itself, had book-ended the time in between the solstices. The event was a beautiful tapestry of contrasting elements. There was fire, ice, glass and arrow-breaking and the juxtaposition of these elements felt symbolic, a reminder of the delicate balance in nature and within ourselves. As the full moon rose on the Saturday and the long summer day was beginning to turn to dusk, casting an ethereal glow on the land, the focus shifted. My role transformed into that of t

Halfway There: Why Not Conduct a Mid-Year Review?

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“a pictogram of summer" - Powered by Dall-E 3. We are halfway through June! How on Earth did that happen? I can’t quite get my head around that one. It feels like the year has only just begun, and yet here we are halfway through… So, given this time warp, it's a perfect time to take stock of your progress, both personally and professionally. Here's how to conduct a meaningful mid-year review that sets you up for success in the remaining months. Taking Inventory Goals Revisited: Recall the goals you set at the beginning of the year. Did you achieve any? Are some in progress? Be honest about what needs to be adjusted or let go of. Highlight Achievements: It's easy to focus on what hasn't been accomplished. Celebrate your wins, big or small! Did you master a new skill? Take on a challenging project? Publicly acknowledge yourself or discuss it with a trusted friends or colleagues! Addressing Challenges Roadblocks and Obstacles: What

Unleash Your Inner Child and Learn Through Play

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“international day of play in a work context" - Powered by Dall-E 3. Why Play Matters for Adults on International Day of Play (and Every Day). Today, Tuesday 11th June 2024, marks the first-ever International Day of Play, a celebration championed by the United Nations to recognise the fundamental right – and importance – of play in a child's life. But what about adults? Should we leave building blocks and creativity behind? Absolutely not! Play isn't just for kids. In fact, incorporating playful elements into coaching, mindfulness practices and techniques like LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® can unlock a treasure trove of benefits for adults as well. Here's why: The Power of Play in Coaching Think coaching is all about serious chats and structured exercises? Think again! Playful activities can create a safe space for exploration, fostering trust and open communication between coach and client. Imagine using role-playing games to practice difficult conversations or buildi

Embarking on a Quest: The Hero’s Journey in Life or in Business

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“the business hero’s journey inspired by tarot" - Powered by Dall-E 3. This is an article that I have been cultivating for a while and finally today I feel is the day to post it. Joseph Campbell, a renowned professor of literature and mythologist, identified a universal cross-cultural story structure: the Hero's Journey. This narrative arc takes our hero from their ordinary world, through trials and triumphs, to a transformative return. This storytelling template can be a surprisingly insightful tool when applied to understanding whereabouts you may be in your own business or life process. Now without wanting to come across as overly “woo woo”, the Tarot also provides a rich tapestry of symbolism for this process, and woven together these two powerful tools can help you to guide you on your own quest. This article is not about fortune-telling - far from it - it is about using tools to help understand whereabouts you find yourself along the hero’s cyclical model. As

Rain, A Crow, and Falling Stars: Haiku Love Reborn

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“Rain falls down kissing the crow on the bright green grass, yellow stars falling" - Powered by Dall-E 3. Haiku is the traditional Japanese poetic form which captivates readers with its brevity and evocative imagery. I first created a created a haiku in the 1990’s and I have been mystified by their conciseness and beauty ever since. Yesterday (26.05.2024), I attended a haiku workshop called “Nature’s Meditation”, facilitated by Nora D’Ecclesis and organised by Thane Lawrie , and it was a truly empowering experience of our own individual sensory journeys on a dreich Sunday lunchtime. Surrounded by other members of the Aberdeenshire Soto Zen group that I attend (albeit on Google Meet) who were also interested in this concise art form, I learned about the power of observation and how to condense vivid imagery into a mere 17 syllables. The workshop fuelled my creativity and left me with a newfound sense of poetic achievement. After a great dive into the history of haiku and

Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week 2024

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mentalhealth.org.uk/mhaw In the UK this week, 13th – 19th May, it is Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme this year, chosen by the Mental Health Foundation, is " Movement: Moving More for Our Mental Health ". Physical activity is a powerful tool that can significantly boost our emotional wellbeing. Whether it's a brisk walk in nature, a dance session in your kitchen, or some tai-chi, getting our bodies moving can have a profound impact on our minds. Why Move for Mental Health? Exercise releases endorphins, natural mood elevators that combat feelings of stress and anxiety. It can also improve sleep quality, a crucial factor for mental wellbeing. Additionally, physical activity can be a form of mindfulness, helping us focus on the present moment and reduce negative thoughts. Finding Your #MomentsForMovement The beauty of this year's theme is that movement isn't a one-size-fits-all concept. There are countless ways to get active and improve your mental

VE Day: Remembering, Honouring and Building

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"A Picture of a Loving Europe" - Powered by Dall-E 3. Remembering the End, Honouring the Fight, and Building a Brighter Future Today is Victory in Europe Day, or VE Day. It commemorates the formal acceptance by the Allied forces of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender on 8th May 1945. This marked the end of the Second World War in Europe, a conflict that ravaged the continent for nearly six years. VE Day and Liberation Day: Two Sides of the Same Coin While VE Day signifies the official surrender of Nazi Germany, many countries also celebrate Liberation Day – a commemoration of the specific moment their own land was freed from Nazi occupation. Both days are deeply significant, representing the culmination of immense struggle and sacrifice. Why is VE Day Important? VE Day is a significant moment in European history, not just for its historical weight, but also for the lessons it offers us as we navigate our own challenges. Let's explore some key takeaways

Celebrating Summer's Spark: A Look at Beltane

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"Beltane 09 - May Queen" by *Debs* is licensed under CC BY 2.0. The sun warms our skin, the days lengthen, and a vibrant hum fills the air – summer is on the horizon! But before we fully embrace the lazy days and sunshine, many cultures around the world celebrate the transition into this season with fire, festivity, and fertility rituals. Today, we delve into the rich traditions of Beltane, a Celtic May Day festival that marks the beginning of which marks the halfway point between spring equinox and summer solstice. It hasn't escaped me that this article comes immediately after my Earth Day article. It truly is a time to think about this beautiful planet of ours and the joy and gratitude of finally bidding farewell to the cold winter and welcoming the lushness and fertility of summer, and those beautiful long Scottish summer nights. A History Steeped in Fire Beltane (pronounced "bel-tain" or "bol-tin-a") has roots stretching far back in Celtic

Happy Earth Day! Celebrating Our Planet and Taking Action

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"Celebrating Earth Day" powered by Dall-E 3. That's right, today, Monday 22nd April, is Earth Day! But Earth Day isn't just about planting a tree (although that's a great idea too). It's a global day dedicated to raising awareness about our planet's environment and inspiring action to protect it. Why Earth Day Matters It's a day to celebrate the amazing diversity of life on Earth and to focus on the pressing issues we face – climate change, pollution, and biodiversity loss, to name a few. Earth Day is a vital reminder that we all have a role to play in ensuring a healthy planet for ourselves and future generations. Here's why Earth Day is important: Our planet sustains us: A healthy Earth provides us with clean air, water, food, and resources. By protecting it, we protect ourselves and future generations. It's a global challenge: Environmental issues don't respect borders. Earth Day unites people worldwide to work toget

The Whirling Dervish of Life: When Disparate Worlds Collide

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"The Whirling Dervish of Life" powered by DALL-E 3. I have known for about ten years that two of my seemingly disparate worlds in two very different timelines had become very close. That well-known phenomena of six degrees of separation had become one and this had filled me with a joyful warmth in the knowing of this connection. However I never expected these two worlds to collide, and I certainly didn’t realise the deeply profound effect it would have on me. I needed to know more about this. I needed to make some sense of it and that is the basis of this week’s article. Life unfolds in compartments. We navigate the world of work, the haven of family, the solace of friendships. These spheres often feel distinct, each with its own rhythm and cast of characters. But then, sometimes, the universe throws us a curveball – a moment of intersection. It's like two planets on vastly different orbits suddenly finding themselves drawn together by an unexpected gravitational pu

I am a Mental Health First Aider

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@MHFAEngland Over the last week or so I have been listening to the podcast series “ Exploring Mental Health in Coaching ” by the Association for Coaching. I think in I am right in saying that pretty much every single episode mentioned Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). Mental Health First Aid is essentially first aid for mental health concerns. Just like regular first aid equips you to handle physical emergencies, MHFA teaches you to recognise signs of mental health issues, provide initial support, and guide people towards professional help. In June 2019, before I started my coach training and after I had gained my MSc in Mindfulness , I attended the Adult MHFA Two Day course and became a Mental Health First Aider. This equips me with the skills to provide first aid to people experiencing mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and psychosis. As a Mental Health First Aider, I am able to offer support to those in need. Even though I live in Scotland, the course was delive

The Four Pillars: A Unique Approach to Transformation

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"themes of coaching, lego serious play, mindfulness and shamanism” powered by DALL-E 3. In this exploration, I want to bring together the four pillars that underpin my approach to personal and professional transformation and development: Coaching, LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®, Mindfulness, and Shamanism. These seemingly disparate elements might surprise you, but together they form a powerful framework for self-discovery, growth, and achieving your goals. Let's delve deeper into each pillar and how they could contribute to your journey: 1. Coaching: Your Trusted Guide Coaching forms the foundation of our work together. As your coach, I'll act as your supportive guide, asking thought-provoking questions that help you gain clarity on your goals and challenges. Through active listening and personalized guidance, I'll empower you to tap into your own strengths and resources to navigate your path forward. 2. LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®: Reimagine Your Possibilities Get ready to u

Shamanic Coaching: A Spiritual Path to Wholeness

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"Thailand, Sala Kaew Ku Sculpture Park" by Nick Kenrick. is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Shamanic Coaching is a unique spiritual method rooted in ancient shamanic principles, distinct from Western psychology or other modern systems. It's not derived from a single culture but draws upon core shamanic practices, thoughtfully adapted for contemporary life and society. Focus on Spiritual Growth, Not Psychopathology Unlike traditional therapy, shamanic coaching doesn't aim to treat mental health conditions. Instead, it serves as a spiritual counselling method with the ultimate goal of life enlightenment. The focus is on helping you discover your inner spiritual power and wellbeing and the wisdom to navigate life's challenges successfully. Key Aspects of Shamanic Coaching: Ancient Shamanic Techniques: Shamanic coaching incorporates practices like drumming, guided meditations (known as journeys), and connecting with spirit guides or animal spirits. These tec

Spring Has Sprung: A Time for Growth and Renewal

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"Spring has Sprung" by Javcon117* is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. As the days lengthen and the world bursts forth in vibrant hues, we find ourselves stepping into the season of spring. This time of year is a potent symbol of renewal, growth, and fresh starts – a sentiment that resonates deeply within the world of coaching. Just as nature awakens from its winter slumber, spring invites us to shed the layers of the past and step into new possibilities. As coaches, we witness this transformation first-hand as our clients embark on journeys of self-discovery, goal setting, and personal growth. Spring Cleaning for the Soul The invigorating energy of spring inspires us to declutter and refresh. This can translate beautifully into the coaching space. We can encourage our clients to: Reflect on their goals and aspirations. Have their priorities shifted? Are there new dreams waiting to be unearthed? Identify limiting beliefs or negative patterns that may be holding t

Beyond the Keyboard: Where Do We Find Our Zen?

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"Zen Meeting Room, Japan" by stefanx80 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. In my previous post, I surprisingly delved into the world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – a world where data analysis and cleanup can be a source of both joy and creativity. But as I found myself wrapped up in the digital realm, it's important to remember: our lives extend far beyond the keyboard. So, where do you find your zen, your place of genuine peace and fulfilment? For me, the answer might (or might not) surprise you. Yes, I find a certain satisfaction in the logic and problem-solving aspects of data analysis. But true zen comes from stepping away from the screen and connecting with the real tangible world. Whether it's spending time in nature, losing myself in the world of LEGO, or simply enjoying quality time with loved ones, these moments of unplugged presence are what truly recharge me. And also this is possibly why I am transitioning away from a being a full-time IT consultan