Dare to Blossom Blog
September 2018 - Fresh Beginnings
Reflections: Fresh Beginnings
Ways to connect and Dare to Blossom
New edition of "The Essential Guide to Cervical Cancer"
Reflections: Fresh Beginnings
September - for many, a return to school, or to work, or other study after a summer break. A time of fresh beginnings: maybe new surroundings, new friends, new colleagues.
This week, (as I write it is the last week of August), I received one of those 'Facebook memories' telling me it was nine years since I began a new job on 25th August 2009. This was with Outset Cornwall, a new programme to provide 'business start-up support' in the county. In March that year I had been made redundant from a local college when an earlier version of such a programme had come to the end of the funding.
In all I spent twelve years doing that sort of work in the two organisations. It was a joy and a privilege, and a time of deep learning and some uncomfortable lessons too.
In June 2015 the second contract with Outset Cornwall ended and most of us were made redundant. I decided to focus on Dare to Blossom Life Coaching, which I had been running and developing all that time alongside being fortunate enough to be paid as an employee to be a business coach and trainer. Despite being offered work back with Outset Cornwall a year later when the programme restarted in a different form, I took the decision to create my own work, to follow my heart more truly than I found possible as an employee. Another fresh beginning.
A note to add here: I have also followed my heart in the jobs I have done over the years, for example, following my experience or cancer, when I moved into health research and took a cut in salary. Fortunately, many people are able to do change roles and follow their hearts in organisations, as not everyone is suited to self-employment. In my business coaching roles, even though one of the 'measures' was the number of people who started a business, I felt the coaching had been a success when someone realised that this route was not for them. In my private coaching, a key theme is to 'start where you are' and examine what can be easily changed to make wherever that is a more fulfilling and happier place for you, before embarking on any big changes.
When I look back on the three years and three months since then - so much has changed, emerged. So much has truly blossomed for me, and through my work, for others. As I prepare new offerings for September; as I continue to work on my new book; as so many ideas flow around me - sometimes all those potential new things, fresh beginnings, can feel overwhelming. And so, it can be valuable to look back, to see how far I have come. To notice how I did that: one step at a time. Sometimes those steps were sideways; sometimes backwards; sometimes retracing, back to a fork in the road and making a different choice. All along, the petals have been unfurling, row after row, layer after layer.
Compass Rose Speaks
'Compass Rose Speaks'
I am your Compass Rose. My centre point is Peace. Balancing, grounding.
Look up! Look North, to your Guiding Star. Your Purpose.
From the East comes the rising sun. Passion, potential.
South is the source of nature's powers. The flowing rivers, the rising tides, the ever-changing oceans. The wind that shapes the land. The power that is arising in you.
West is the land of the setting sun. Progressing forwards into the night. Anticipating the promise of a new day.
Return your attention to your centre point, Peace. Balanced, grounded.
I am your Compass Rose.
© Mary Lunnen 2018
The words are the voice of your guidance system, your inner wisdom. I speak this piece in every online Dare to Blossom Group, in every coaching one to one, at every workshop. I have been asked to share a recording of this.
You can listen on Soundcloud here.
August 2018 - The (rocky) Pathway to Power
Reflections: The (rocky) Pathway to Power
Ways to connect and Dare to Blossom
New art commission, and summer art sale
Reflections: The (rocky) pathway to power
This month I am deep in writing for the new book. Since July's newsletter the title has changed, from 'Stepping into Your Power', to 'The Pathway to Power'. The content and the form of the book seems to keep shifting too. Every so often I feel that I am stumbling along a rocky path. In truth, some of those rocks are boulders, too big to see around, or over, to the other side, to see where the path may continue.
As I write that, the phrase: "Maybe the obstacles in your path are your path?" comes into my mind. So, maybe some of the rocks I feel I am stumbling over are actually the parts that have the deepest message? For me, and for others when I find the courage to share. I keep being inspired by the words from one of the critical friends who read my first coaching book* :
"Dare to be you, stop hiding behind the coaching, challenge the readers to dare to be themselves."
Here I am, ten years later, responding to that challenge. Thank you if you read this.
*(Dare to Blossom: Coaching and Creativity, signed copies are available direct from me)
Reflections: my style of coaching is not for everyone
Reflecting today on why people choose to work with a life coach, and how they select the person they wish to help them.
My style, developed over the last 15 years, is not for everyone. If you want someone lively and talkative, you may prefer a coach who is more 'directive'; one who gives you homework; who challenges you robustly.
This piece, which I unearthed in a journal from 2015, may describe a little of what you might find if you do choose to talk to me. And, you can do that for a "get to know each other" chat at no cost other than your time and attention. Details of that to follow.
"Mary is gentle yet tough, patient yet persistent. She has called on my help often: in times of illness, bereavement, fear. She has learned that she really does have the wisdim within to deal with anything.
July 2018 - Procrastination or Stepping Up?
Reflections: Procrastination or Stepping Up
'Compass Rose Speaks'
Workshop 7 July in Cornwall
Concessionary coaching place during July and August
Procrastination or stepping up? As I sit in a shady spot in my garden during our current glorious June weather, I have been reflecting on this. We are now past the solstice - past midsummer here, past midwinter if you are in another part of the world. Half of 2018 has already passed by - time for action?
For the whole of this year I have been saying, to myself, and to others (including on my email signature) that I have a work in progress, a new publication for 2018. As I have just observed, half of 2018 has gone, so if I am to achieve the goal I have set myself, I need to get a move on, as the saying goes. My intention was to be writing sections all year, as the groups I work with on the slow steady version of unfurling the Dare to Blossom Power Flower have been flowing through the seasons.
My inner critic has been shouting at me that I have done 'nothing', and yet, that is not true. Not only have I been writing steadily (just maybe not in a file labeled 'book draft'), but I have an immense library of unpublished writing, not to mention other work in blog archives and the like, on which I could draw.
In a recent meditation, flying on the magic carpet ride visualisation that I so often facilitate for others, I realised, or, rather, was shown, that the flower symbol has much more depth and richness, and potential, than I have noticed so far. The simple graphic of the flower with a centre point and four petals has proved potent and powerful, for myself, and for others.
June 2018 - Flow
The Midsummer 1:1 Coaching Programme, Events, and TalksReflections: Flow
My first thought for this month is about how cyclic my experiences are. Does this happen for you? Over the last few weeks I found myself struggling, maybe trying to fight against the flow of a metaphorical river. Busy, busy - promoting the workshop in Devizes on 16th June, worrying that no one had booked. Writing new material for the fourth annual June Global Midsummer Magic Carpet Ride Circle that opens on 18th June.... and worrying if anyone would be interested.
Those of you in business will know how your work, and your income, ebbs and flows. Smiling at myself sharing those words, and how vulnerable it feels.Choosing to change my focus to how much I am enjoying the flow of the regular Dare to Blossom into Joy Mastermind group:
In April we focused on 'Purpose': in June we move on to 'Passion' (in the Dare to Blossom Power Flower that you will have seen here). During May we have simply been spending time together, occasionally in our private Facebook group, and regularly every Friday morning at 9.00 am.Each week, I draw three cards for each of us, and lead a Magic Carpet visualisation.
Last time my three cards were:
A timely reminder to take a pause in the 'doing' - to simply be for a while, to return to meditation and the magic carpet visualisations. People in the groups I work with receive extraordinary insights and practical prompts for action - and recently I have not allowed myself the time to do this myself.
And to surrender - to surrender to the flow. To allow myself to enjoy the beautiful early summer weather here. To sit on the rocks on the headland and watch the waves breaking below. To allow my eyes to feast on the amazing show of wildflowers on the cliffs this year: the cold spring seems to have brought them all into flower together. To hear the cries of the kittiwakes nesting on the rock ledges by the imposing arch of 'Porthmissen Bridge'. To watch the fulmars wheeling in the thermal currents.