Category: Creativity

Travel Notes – Create and Renew – Time for ME

By , January 17, 2011 12:50 am

My New Year’s Promise…

By , December 30, 2010 1:37 am

I’m in the process of de-cluttering my office in readiness for the start of 2011.

It’s amazing what you can accumulate in such a small space over the year! I can very easily accumilate piles of papers, especially as I’m on the road so much.

During de-cluttering I came across some old drawings and watercolour paintings I’d done in the 1990’s. Of course, I had to stop, grab a cuppa and flick through the sketch books and papers! It was a little like uncovering some buried treasure. Each drawing brought back some very happy memories. I’d forgotten just how  relaxing this hobby was. I used to get lost in the detail of each picture as I was drawing it. This filled me with joy.

I’ve not done any drawing for at least 15 years now. Today my creativity is channelled through designing my coaching programmes and workshops.

So here’s the thing…

I’ve made a decision…

2011 is the year that I dedicate a little time each week to drawing again – Starting next week!

I’m so excited to be re-newing my interest in something that I really LOVE doing.

…And if I get stuck – my Dad is on hand to help me (He used to be my art teacher!)

What one thing will you promise  for yourself in 2011?

Travel Notes – Snow Kitty!

By , December 1, 2010 2:26 pm

Get Aligned with YOUR Vision

By , November 6, 2010 6:21 pm

Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

Albert Einstein, Nobel Peace Prize Winner.

“Can you come coach me in my office? Something awful has just happened. I can’t believe I’ve been so stupid. I’m going to lose my job in two weeks time!”

As I walked to John’s office, I had no idea what had happened, but it sounded VERY serious.

I found him slumped in his chair, head in his hands, sweating and looking very uncomfortable. Normally he was an assertive (occasionally aggressive!) and passionate leader. He had just come off the phone with his CEO who had asked him to present his business strategy to the global board of directors in two weeks time.

So what was the problem?

John was recently promoted to a senior position in the company. He had delivered presentations to his team and peers many times.

He was scared of ‘formal’ presentations and had developed a limiting belief over several years. When I arrived at his office, he had already allowed his imagination to create vivid pictures, sounds and feelings of how badly his presentation would be received. They would question his ability as a senior executive. He would be seen as a fraud and lose his job. The following tape constantly re-played in his head:

As he was presenting the other executives glared at him in disbelief. He could hear them whispering ‘how did this guy get to this level without knowing how to present?!’ ‘He’s talking rubbish!’ He felt stupid, vulnerable and exposed.

John was visualizing his failure. The voices in his head were working overtime. He’d sub-consciously set his goal to lose his job in two weeks time!

Here’s the thing…

One of the most under used powerful tools that we have is our ability to visualize things in our mind. We’re often very good at visualizing the negative stuff and then creating our self fulfilling prophecy of doom.

You also have the ability to visualize success because it actives the creative powers of your sub-conscious mind. Seeing your goal already successfully completed.

Have you ever seen a car that you really liked and then found that you keep seeing that model everywhere?

Our mind doesn’t think linearly, it thinks in pictures.

Creating mental pictures of what you want really focuses your attention on your intention. It becomes real in our minds.

In the car example, what was happening was that the ‘want’ of this car activated your subconscious mind. Your mind filter or RAS (Reticular Activating System) opens up to notice the car that was previously unnoticed. Energy goes where attention flows – so the car is everywhere!

Visualization is a powerful tool because it enables you to see your intention (destination). It strengthens your focus and clarity on your end result. It attracts you towards the people and resources that you need to achieve your success.

I coached John to help him visualize success and build his confidence. He changed his intention from ‘I’m going to lose my job in two weeks time!’ to ‘This is the best presentation I’ve ever delivered.’

1.    Get clear on your vision – what do you want?

2.    Set aside some time EVERY DAY to visualize your goal already complete. 10 – 15 minutes a day is all you need. Create a ritual first thing in the morning or last thing at night before you turn off the light. Keep your vision of success on your radar.

3.    Intensify your visualization of success by adding sensations. Use the senses to bring it to life. What does it look like? What does it sound like? What does it feel like? What does it smell like? What does it taste like?

4.    Create a Vision Board – A Vision Board is a great visual tool to collect pictures of the things that you want to be, do or have. For example, a new car, a trip to the beach, a new home, a pet or a relationship, be healthy, lose weight etc… You glue each picture to a poster board and put them up somewhere you can see them daily. Through these pictures you get to enjoy your desires and bring them closer to you. It’s amazing how powerful this exercise can be. If you want to read more sign up for Christine Kane’s free guide in her Create Your Life Kick-Start There’s a box at the top right hand side of her blog!

Visualization really works!

It makes your brain achieve more. You can use this every day to improve your performance and make you more successful.

“Get aligned with your VISION and PULL your success to you!”

Christine Kane, Mentor to Women Who are Changing the World

Getting Wrong Right!

By , August 14, 2010 1:57 pm

“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.”

B C Forbes, Founder of Forbes Magazine

There are many times in my life when I’ve believed I got it wrong. Here are a few of them:

  • I didn’t prepare for something as I should have done.
  • I made a decision and the outcome was much less than I expected.
  • I misunderstood a situation and responded in an inappropriate way.
  • I got a different reaction to what I’d expected.
  • I felt that I could have done much better.
  • I didn’t listen to and be guided by my intuitive self

In others words – I screwed up.

If you allow feedback from others to compound the situation, you hastily retreat into shame and self-pity. The committee in your head continues to re-run the situation over and over: “If only I’d…” as if this might change the outcome! Instead it magnifies the pain and makes you feel smaller and even more of an idiot! We invent stories of what people might be saying or how they might be reacting as part of this internal beating.

We doubt our abilities and motives. This alone can be enough to kill our dreams.

Shame and self-pity makes you want to lock all the doors, pull down the shutters and never show your face again.

“How stupid am I for even trying in the first place? I should have known…

  1. …better to have challenged things.”
  2. …that I wasn’t really all that good.”
  3. …that people would have reacted the way they did.”
  4. …that they wouldn’t listen to me.”
  5. …how stupid my idea was.”

We can all add more to this list from our own experiences!

Here’s the thing…

Your ego hates you for getting it wrong!

It tries to punish you for not listening, for daring to be different and for taking a risk. “I told you so!” Shame enters your head and takes over the show. When this happens there is no room for confidence or self-belief and they sneak out of the back door while shame is dancing centre stage to your ego’s tune. All the attention that shame is getting just helps to magnify and intensify the pain.

Here’s another way of looking at getting it wrong:

You did it!

You stepped into your power and took a risk for something you were passionate about and believed in.

You may not have done something perfectly, but you took action and did it. You went for it!

Remember the following:

  1. You were brave enough to try and to step up – this is great!
  2. We ALL get things wrong and make mistakes because we’re human. Humans are naturally imperfect!
  3. Sometimes when you try new things you face ridicule and opposition from others. This often comes before acceptance. Your ideas might be seen as a threat to other people’s comfort zones.
  4. Sometimes getting it wrong is an essential part of the journey to getting it right. Without the wrong, you’d never have stumbled upon the right. How many of us actually were able to ride a bicycle perfectly the first time we rode it? I remember falling off many times but I was determined to do it!
  5. Wrong is a rich source of learning. Growth happens when things go wrong. New shoots form. Learning is like a light that restores energy, allows growth and helps your confidence and belief to return through the front door!
  6. EVERY successful person screws things up and gets things wrong from time to time. It’s okay…it helps you to be more successful. Success is all about persistence, taking some risks and trying things out.

Here’s how to get wrong right:

  1. Take the ownership and responsibility to learn from any situation. What have I learned here? What would I do differently next time?
  2. Choose not to listen to your ego because it’s not telling the truth.
  3. Embrace the humility of being human – sometimes we screw up – it’s okay!
  4. Shame will pass – Allow some time to wallow in the emotion. Give it a time limit. Then stop and allow time for learning and growth. Choose to step into your power again.
  5. Continue to believe in yourself even though you may feel doubt and confusion. Go back to your intention and get clear again.

Pick yourself up, dust yourself down and get back in the saddle again knowing that you are bigger, bolder and wiser.

Getting it wrong can be quite liberating if you allow it as part of the natural process of success.

“Difficulties are opportunities to better things; they are stepping-stones to greater experience….When one door closes, another always opens; as a natural law it has to, to balance.”

Brian Adams

The Power of a Smile…

By , July 25, 2010 6:08 pm

This weekend I decided to take some time out to relax, hike and restore my energy.

It’s so important to include rejuvenation time into a busy life. I’ve just returned from a 12.5 mile hike in the beautiful woods of North Dorset. I’m now chilling out in an 11th Century water mill listening to the abundance of water cascading down the River. This place is amazing for the soul.

I’ve spent the whole weekend in the wonder of nature. Nature ALWAYS makes me smile. The wildlife is wonderful here.

There REALLY is something about the healing nature of smiling…

I came across this poem written in Damien Hughes’ Liquid Leadership book and I wanted to share it because its a perfect summary of my weekend.

Smiling is infectious

You catch it like the flu

When someone smiled at me today

I started smiling too

I passed around the corner

And someone saw my grin

When he smiled, I realized

I’d passed it on to him.

I thought about that smile,

Then realized it’s worth,

A single SMILE just like mine,

Could travel round the earth.

So if you feel a smile begin,

Don’t leave it undetected.

Let’s start an epidemic quick

And get the world infected.


Author unknown

Here’s a smile from me to you for the week – pass it on!

‘Swallows and Amazons’ – Freedom Friday

By , July 17, 2010 12:46 pm

You know… adults don’t have enough fun!

What happens to us as we grow up?

Our daily roles and responsibilities make us forget that life is also meant to be fun. We go about our daily duties, settling and surviving from one week to the next. Our inner child stays locked up inside us. Our adult runs the show and life can become a little dull. Things are expected of us and we learn how to behave to be successful in those many roles.

On this journey we can forget to take time to use our imagination and have some fun. After all having fun is for kids right?!

Here’s another way to look at this…

It’s great to take time away from all those responsibilities and roles that we have to play in our lives and re-awaken that kid inside us. That kid is still there waiting for an opportunity to ‘play out.’ We just don’t allow it very often.

Yesterday was ‘Freedom Friday’…

This is exactly what we did on a canal boat day out. We let out 17 inner kids to play with water and REAL boats!

You can’t MAKE someone have fun or tell them to have fun. All you can do is to create some space and add a few ingredients and then allow it to just unfold organically.

This is exactly what happened on our two little boats yesterday!

Here’s our recipe for re-awakening the child within:

1. Hire two 12 seater narrow boats

2. Add 17 proessional training consultants and support staff – who are usually 100% committed to working hard for their clients and ready for a day off!

3. Buy water pistols and Super Soaker pump action water guns – Place them all in one boat!

4. Add a sprinkling of pirate hats, captain hats and eye patches! – Plus optional pirate accent!

5. Moor up for a pub lunch!

Mix together and allow the day to unfold…

Think about it for a moment…

What happens when you give someone a Super Soaker pump action water gun?

They’re going to use it – out comes the inner child!

Our adult team of professional people turned into an amazing fun loving group of kids. Me, for sure, I returned to a 12 year old tom boy and was jumping from boat to boat trying to grab water pistols and avoid getting completely soaked (I was pretty poor at both).

I was no longer a 40+ year old, I was my inner kid again playing out with my friends!

It reminded me of the children’s books by Arthur Ransome and especially Swallows and Amazons where children had loads of adventures sailing in the summer holidays! I unashamedly was actually ‘playing out’ with my friends!

It wasn’t our business team day – It REALLY was Swallows and Amazons! Something shifted for me – we weren’t just colleagues anymore we’re all friends.

…Just for a few hours…

A few hours later we all got back into our company cars and drove back to our adult lives.

It was wonderful…

Take time out to just have some fun.

Even if just for a few hours!

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