Author Archives: coaching-i-am

2018 – The Art of Surrender

The Art of Surrender

“Let what wants to come, come
Let what wants to go, go
If it is mine, it will stay
If not, whatever is better will replace it.”
Tosha Silver

The Art of Surrender
Have you ever had to surrender or have you chosen to surrender?    What were the circumstances?  How did you feel when surrendering?  Did you feel empowered or dis-empowered in the process?

 The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines surrender as……..”to yield to the power, control, or possession of another upon compulsion or demand,
 to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favour of another and  to give (oneself) over to something (such as an influence).”

So, is the act of surrender weak and passive?  I don’t believe so.  There is a process and it can be empowering.

The Process
When it comes to surrendering, I am not advocating giving into another person’s authority or giving in to a bully, for example.  For me, surrendering means reaching for my desires……. and……. dreaming of and creating a life that is in all of my possibilities……..  BUT……without always having a deadline and more importantly without being attached to the outcome.  When it comes to the outcome, I allow room for play.

For me, surrendering involves being in the moment and attempting to be only there – being fully present.   Then, rather than having the knee-jerk reactions to daily events, I give myself a moment for my higher-self or intuition to take the lead.  Do I always do this?  No, I often fall back into my old habits, but awareness is the key to getting back on track.  I am getting better at this process day by day.  The benefits for me are less chaos and greater inner peace.  But, let me show you how an expert does it………….

The Surrender Experiment
With surrender being a topic of great interest to me, it often shows up in my thoughts and also in my discussions with others.  So when The Surrender Experiment, a book by Michael A Singer, showed up for me last Summer, the timing couldn’t be more perfect.  The results of this experiment were truly astounding.I believe that Michael Singer is the absolute master when it comes to the art of surrender.  He gives himself over, unreservedly, to the flow of life. Even as a young college student, Singer had a strong commitment to a spiritual practice involving yoga and meditation.  I have no doubt that this served him well in his experiment.

What does the experiment involve?  In not giving in to his own preferences, Singer simply allows life to flow through him and to him – (which is not really that simple at all).  What flows to him is beyond anything that he could have possibly imagined.    He is always appreciative and grateful for whatever shows up, considering it all as a gift. (Although opportunities appear to show up miraculously, he does work very hard to give the best of himself.)  As well as being appreciative for the opportunities –  it all as a great learning experience. 

“I would eventually learn that everything in life has something to
teach you and that it is all for your growth.”
Michael A. Singer

Synchronicity
The synchronicity of all that unfolds before and for Michael Singer is extraordinary.  In the process of surrendering, the right people, resources etc. show up in his life at exactly the right time.  I should point out that he is not striving for more than he already possesses.  Perhaps, that is the key.  He is perfectly content where he is at any given point in time.  When opportunities show up it comes as a huge surprise to him.  The manifestation of these ‘things’ appears to be effortless on his part.  That is the part that I find so extraordinary – always believing that I had to constantly push and strive – often against the flow of life.

In saying ‘yes’ to whatever life leads him to, the author is lead to profound lessons,  deeper connections, new ways of serving and extraordinary success in business.  

This success manifests itself initially in the form of a teaching role, a meditation centre,   a successful building business a billion-dollar medical software company and more.

The Twist
There is a twist – isn’t there always?  This certainly satisfies the sceptic in me.  This twist involves a massive FBI raid, a drawn-out legal process based on completely unfounded accusations. But even this has a positive outcome and more lessons in surrendering and growth.  Needless to say,  Michael Singer is cleared and then goes on to release a book. He becomes a New York Times bestselling author of  ‘The Untethered Soul’ before releasing, The Surrender Experiment, several years later.

Other Views
So, that is one take on surrender, but what do others have to say?

“One misconception is that surrender means passivity,
but in actuality,
it is the opposite: Surrender simply means that you allow
your Higher Consciousness to show you when to act and when to be still.
You can learn to detach from the outcomes
and just let the right action flow through you.”
Tosha Silver

“Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to
 rather than opposing the flow of life.”
Eckart Tolle

“Dream big – dream very big. Work hard – work very hard.
And after you’ve done all you can, you stand, wait and fully surrender.”
Oprah Winfrey

Final Words On Surrender
In letting go and surrendering more to the flow of life, I still find myself looking over my shoulder to see what I left behind.  Surrendering has been an uncomfortable and uneasy process at times. But, it feels so necessary and it is what I feel I am being called to do.

Why?  Because the old ways just weren’t working for me anymore.

In the past, if I desired something I would take action and push until I would make a dent and then find the opening.  But more recently –  when I pushed – the world seemed to push back harder – knocking me off balance so much so that what I was desiring seemed to elude me.  I felt as though I was being guided to a new way and surrendering was the portal through to the other side.

What I draw from my own experience and that of others is……. to master the art of surrender I require patience, courage, gratitude, appreciation, trust and absolute faith. And I need to be open to the lessons that life is bringing to me.   The process of surrender involves learning to rely on my own intuition, gut instinct, inner being or whatever else you wish to call it, shutting out the external noise AND believing that something else will always unfold for me, for my (own and others’)  greater benefit.

Until next time,
Clare xxx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Desire Map for Business

The Desire Map for Business

One of the things I enjoy about being a licensed facilitator of The Desire Map is learning about the ways, other facilitators, from around the world, use The Desire Map.  It seems not only is The Desire Map being used personally, but it is just as practical when used professionally, in business.   It makes perfect sense to me.

So in this week’s blog, I take a look at The Desire Map for business.  

The Desire Map is all about getting clear on how we want to feel?  From that space, we then create our goals and plans.   So,  it’s all about getting back to how we want to feel in our business. What is our why?  

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with
some 
passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
Maya Angelou

How do I want to feel in my business & Why?

When you start out in business, your why can be pretty clear.  It might be one or more of the following –  freedom to do things your own way,  self-expression,  a means of bringing a product or idea to life, the ability to work from home around your family’s needs, it might be to create greater financial security etc..

As time goes on, and the reality of running a business sets in,  it can be easy to lose sight of your why.  You can be so busy trying to manage the many facets of your business and feeling stretched in so many ways and constantly striving for success.  In all of that striving, accessing how you want to feel can be a challenge. Taking time to step back, take stock of where you are and re-examine how you want to feel can be an opportunity to put you and your business back on course.

In his book, Already Here, Dr. Leo Galland speaks about living in a world where accomplishment rules.  For example…….” what have you done? how far did you go? how high did you go?”  Judgments are made every day based on this criteria.  This approach extends not only to work but to leisure and recreation as well.  This way of living……….being a quantitative approach…….” creates emotional and spiritual poverty”.

So how can you take a different approach?   The Desire Map turns goal setting on its head and asks how do you want to feel and then create goals from that place.

When it comes to your business some of the following questions, can be useful to consider – to take stock of where you are at present-

What are my top 5 current commitments/obligations in my business?

What do I think that I have outgrown in my business?

What goals need to die in order for me to feel the way I want to feel in my business?

What dreams have I let die in my business, that I would like to resurrect?

What do I think is too big for me in my business, for me to ever get it?

What do I think is now beneath me in my business?

My Experience

I have been involved in a family business and in my own small business, for more than 10 years.  I have also been employed in small,  medium and larger businesses, for many years.  So, I have experienced life and business from both perspectives.  

Above – a children’s play area and a safe, warm and welcoming space for women
experiencing divorce.    Me pictured with my young daughter and nephew,
in business/practice co-created by me, in the 1990’s. 

Some of my whys for being in business were….. wanting to work around the needs of my young family, working close to home,  having a workspace custom designed that supported me bringing my children into the workplace, taking time out to be involved in my children’s school, and being able to express myself in different ways within the business. 

And how did I want to feel in the business?
Creative, Innovative, Inspired, Challenged, Fulfilled, Free.

Being self-employed and being involved in this business allowed me the freedom to assist in my children’s classrooms with reading and early numeracy programmes.  I was also able to put together art programmes and facilitate these, with the assistance of my mother, in my children’s primary school. As a creative woman, these activities provided a creative outlet for me.   Of course – there were trade-offs  – which included working late into the night when my children were sleeping and often working weekends – but for me – I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

 

Art programmes and children’s art in my children’s primary school.

 

 

More about The Desire Map

I have been facilitating small and intimate Life Design 101 featuring The Desire Map Workshops now for  3 years, since the licensing programme opened up.  It is not always possible for me to run workshops throughout the year, so I offer one-on-one and group virtual workshops.  This means that you can work with me, online, from wherever you are in the world – all that is required is an internet connection.

If you would like an outline of Level 1 and Level 2 of my Life Design Workshops featuring The Desire Map, whether for business or personally, you can find out more in the link below.

LIFE DESIGN FEATURING THE DESIRE MAP IN BUSINESS

Until next time,
Clare xxx

 

 

 

 

Wrapping Up & Moving Beyond – Life Design 101 featuring The Desire Map Workshop

Photo Credit –  Eli Defaria

“Do something today
that your future self will
thank you for.”
Sean Patrick Flanery

Another sneak peak into a Life Enhancement Coaching/The Desire Map Workshop – Level 1

Dreaming, Planning, Wrapping Up & Moving On

This is a further sneak peak into Life Design 101 featuring The Desire Map Workshop (Level 1).  If you want to check out the previous sneak peaks you can go to The Altar, Meaning & Connections  and  Discovery.  These sneak peaks are to help de-mystify The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte and  the workshops I offer – as a licensed facilitator and life enhancement coach.

In this week’s blog, we take a sneak peak into block 6, the final block of the level 1 workshop. This block focuses on dreaming, planning, wrapping up and moving on beyond the workshop.

 

Photo Credit –  Kristina Flour

The final block of the workshop  is all about supporting attendees
with a plan of 
action to put to immediate use.

It’s one thing to feel all warm and fuzzy in a workshop, but another for attendees to take that inspiration as well as their core desired feelings and keep up the momentum, in the days, weeks and months that follow. This is where my roles as facilitator and life enhancement coach come into play.

The final block opens with a declaration of deserving. Following this, there is a session on helpful people and resources as well as looking at how attendees will give of themselves to keep feelings alive.   (This will involve solo  work in workbooks before  attendees come together for group discussion).  It is also in this session that attendees are encouraged to explore, create a plan of action and…. to dream.

 

Photo Credit –  Ella Jardim

By way of support, other areas will be explored and  tools and strategies will be offered to assist attendees.  These areas  may include information on overcoming fear, limiting beliefs, neuroplasticity, overcoming negativity,  the power of intentions and the use of positive affirmations.

Finally, as the block draws to a close. attendees will create positive declarations
and then the altar will be disassembled before the end of the workshop.

 

Photo Credit –  Thomas Hafanef

As a special gift  to attendees, of this workshop, I am offering the bonus below-

***SPECIAL BONUS****

30 minute follow up phone, Skype or Zoom session – 2-4 weeks after workshop
to keep the feelings alive and goals on track.

******

Ticket numbers are limited.


A small number of Early Bird Tickets available at the cost of $149.00. 

********

***ALSO PURCHASE YOUR EARLY BIRD TICKET AND GO INTO THE DRAW TO WIN DANIELLE LAPORTE’S BOOK – WHITE HOT TRUTH & BONUS COACHING SESSION WITH CLARE LAVENDER.  TOTAL PRIZE VALUE $100.00 AUD. 1 PRIZE.  ONLY APPLIES TO EARLY BIRD TICKET HOLDERS***(Drawn a week prior to the event and the prize will be available to the winner at the workshop).

********

If you have any questions concerning the workshops, I offer, please contact me at clare@coaching-i-am.com.

If you would like more details on this workshop, please click here.

If you would like to book into this workshop, please click on the button below to take you to the Eventbrite booking link.

Can’t make it to the workshop but would like to be coached one on one?  Contact Clare at clare@coaching-i-am.com and she will be in contact.

Until next time, 

Clare xxx

Clare Lavender is a mother, creative entrepreneur, a mosaic artist, an accredited life coach, and facilitator of workshops on personal development, The Desire Map (by Danielle LaPorte) and mosaics. As well as offering workshops, Clare offers one on one sessions to women.  These are available to women all around the globe.
In addition, Clare has also created her own ‘Daring, Divorced and Divine’ coaching programme for women. This programme is aimed at inspiring, empowering and supporting women to move on to greater well-being following divorce.
In 2013, Clare was privileged to be invited to be part of a compilation book, ‘In the Spirit of Abundance’.  A number of inspiring authors including best-selling authors, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen from the highly successful ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ book series, were involved, as well as Brian Tracy,  Arielle Ford and local Sandy Forster.
Clare has a strong business background, having worked as a PA/EA and Practice Manager.  She is also trained in human resources management.  Clare has worked in several small to medium legal practices in her local area as well as ‘temping’ in larger practices based in Sydney.  Clare assisted in the set-up and management of  (a family business) and one of the first specialist family law practices in the region before moving on to work in a more creative field.
Clare is a Reiki practitioner.
If you are interested in any further information, working with me one on one or joining a workshop please contact Clare at clare@coaching-i-am.com or visit coaching-i-am.com.
© Coaching-I-Am, 2017

 

Discovery -Life Design 101 featuring The Desire Map Level 1

“Go out in the woods, go out.
If you don’t go out in the woods
nothing will ever happen and
your
life will never begin.”
Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Another sneak peak into a Life Enhancement Coaching/The Desire Map Workshop

Discovery

This is a further sneak peak into Life Design 101 featuring The Desire Map Workshop (Level 1).  If you want to check out the previous sneak peaks you can go to The Altar and Meaning & Connections.  These sneak peaks are to help de-mystify The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte and  the workshops I offer – as a licensed facilitator.

In this week’s blog, we take a sneak peak into blocks 3 & 4 of the workshop.  These blocks focus on Discovery – a big important chunk of the workshop.

Photo Credit – Jeremy Bishop

If the last session was all about getting our feet into the raw earth, this double session is all about digging deep and getting our hands dirty………. in the best possible way.

These are the segments where workshop attendees start to desire map.
The question as attendees are guided through the workshop is……
how do you want to feel in key areas of your life? 

Discovery starts with a small group warm up session and then it’s time to start with the new work.  This will be time for solo reflection and time for writing in your Desire Map workbook. (The workbook will be available for you at the beginning of the workshop).  

 

Anything goes here.   Dream big.  There are no right or wrong answers.
This is all about the freedom to explore.

 

Photo Credit – Dayne Topkin

This is where workshop attendees get to the heart of the matter. Working on the way they want to feel and playing with…… and finding core desired feelings. At this point, this is free flowing……… not just singular words, but finding phrases…….whatever works best.

This is all based on the way ‘you’ want to feel…….not what you believe you should be feeling or what you believe you are expected to be feeling.
 This is all about leaving history behind and starting anew.

 

Photo Credit – Annie Spratt

Following the solo work, there is a brief break before we come back into the group for a little sharing and free flowing discussion.  

It’s then time to start reviewing words and phrases to choose words that most reflect our core desired feelings.  At this point we explore pattern recognition helping narrow down the words that best meet our core desired feelings.

By the end of the Discovery blocks, workshop attendees will have broken their list of words down to 3 or 4 representing their core desired feelings.  It is suggested that these be used and tried on for size for a few weeks.

 (There is a bonus session following on from the workshop for attendees
to review these core desired feelings.)

After a little more group discussion, this will bring the Discovery blocks to a close.

The final 2 blocks of the workshop then follow on.  These blocks include declarations, dreaming, planning, support beyond the workshop and wrapping up.

If you have any questions concerning the workshops, I offer, please contact me at clare@coaching-i-am.com.

If you would like more details on this workshop, please click here.

If you would like to book into this workshop, please click on the button below to take you to the Eventbrite booking link.

Can’t make it to the workshop but would like to be coached one on one? Contact Clare at clare@coaching-i-am.com and she will be in contact.

Until next time, 

Clare xxx

Clare Lavender is a mother, creative entrepreneur, a mosaic artist, an accredited life coach, and facilitator of workshops on personal development, The Desire Map (by Danielle LaPorte) and mosaics. As well as offering workshops, Clare offers one on one sessions to women.  These are available to women all around the globe.
In addition, Clare has also created her own ‘Daring, Divorced and Divine’ coaching programme for women. This programme is aimed at inspiring, empowering and supporting women to move on to greater well-being following divorce.
Clare has a strong business background, having worked as a PA/EA and Practice Manager.  She is also trained in human resources management.  Clare has worked in several small to medium legal practices in her local area as well as ‘temping’ in larger practices based in Sydney.  Clare assisted in the set-up and management of  (a family business) and one of the first specialist family law practices in the region before moving on to work in a more creative field
Clare is a Reiki practitioner.
If you are interested in any further information, working with me one on one or joining a workshop please contact Clare at clare@coaching-i-am.com or visit coaching-i-am.com.
© Coaching-I-Am, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where Are You Now? – Life Design 101 featuring The Desire Map Workshop

“Gratitude is the single most important ingredient
to living a successful fulfilled life.

Jack Canfield

A further sneak peak into a Life Enhancement Coaching/The Desire Map Workshop

Meaning & Connections

The opening/introduction of the workshop and the creating of the altar,  all form part of Block 1 of the Life Design 101 featuring The Desire Map Workshop. This was covered in the previous blog.  In this week’s blog, we take a sneak peak into Block 2 and specifically, Meaning & Connections.

Photo Credit – Beth Teutschman

Having kicked off our shoes in Block 1, we now begin to feel the raw earth beneath our feet, metaphorically speaking, as we move into Meaning and Connections – Block 2.

Meaning and Connections – begins with a brief ‘limbering up’  or ‘warming up’ session to support attendees in tapping a little deeper into their feelings – specifically moving from the head into the heart. 

From warming up to digging deep –  this session will focus on exploring where each of the attendees is – in terms of gratitude and dissatisfaction – in major life areas.

Photo Credit – Andrew Neel

The 5 key life areas considered, being –

-Livelihood & Lifestyle
-Relationships & Society
-Body & Wellness
_Essence & Spirituality
-Creativity & Learning

This session will involve group work and some solo work in the The Desire Map workbook.  (The workbook is provided to attendees at the beginning of the workshop).    

Photo Credit – Jan Kahanek

 There is no feedback or commentary on anything shared in this session.
Anything shared is to be witnessed only.
There is no critiquing and there is no judgement.

Following the solo work, attendees will return to the group.  There will then be some discussion and sharing. Attendees are encouraged to share with the group, but sharing is optional.

The aim of this segment of the workshop, is to stir up feelings to get clarity about attendees’ desires.  Getting clear on what we don’t want (through working on dissatisfaction) often can assist attendees in knowing what they do want.

There is a strong focus on appreciation, during this workshop segment.

As we discuss appreciation, Clare, as the workshop facilitator, will  also  present an additional segment on gratitude.  This will include how the practice of gratitude can bring about significant positive changes to daily life.  The aim is to support attendees moving on beyond the workshop.

Upon completion of Meaning and Connections, there is a short break before we embark upon Discovery, being Block 3. 

Photo Credit – Alisa Anton

If you have any questions concerning the workshops, I offer, please contact me at clare@coaching-i-am.com.

If you would like more details on this workshop, please click here.

If you would like to book into this workshop, please click on the button below to take you to the Eventbrite booking link.

Can’t make it to the workshop but would like to be coached one on one?  Contact Clare at clare@coaching-i-am.com and she will be in contact.

Until next time, 

Clare xxx

Clare Lavender is a mother, creative entrepreneur, a mosaic artist, an accredited life coach, and facilitator of workshops on personal development, The Desire Map (by Danielle LaPorte) and mosaics. As well as offering workshops, Clare offers one on one sessions to women.  These are available to women all around the globe.
In addition, Clare has also created her own ‘Daring, Divorced and Divine’ coaching programme for women. This programme is aimed at inspiring, empowering and supporting women to move on to greater well-being following divorce.
Clare has a strong business background, having worked as a PA/EA and Practice Manager.  She is also trained in human resources management.  Clare has worked in several small to medium legal practices in her local area as well as ‘temping’ in larger practices based in Sydney.  Clare assisted in the set-up and management of  (a family business) and one of the first specialist family law practices in the region before moving on to work in a more creative field
Clare is a Reiki practitioner.
If you are interested in any further information, working with me one on one or joining a workshop please contact Clare at clare@coaching-i-am.com or visit coaching-i-am.com.
© Coaching-I-Am, 2017

 

The Altar – Life Design 101 featuring The Desire Map Workshop

“One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do
in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul.”
Clarissa Pinkola Estés

 

Sneak peak into a Life Enhancement Coaching/The Desire Map Workshop

 

Creating the Altar

Early on in the Life Design 101 featuring The Desire Map Workshop, we create an altar.  I start off with candles, flowers, crystals and a few treasured pieces of my own. I then encourage my beautiful workshop attendees to add something of their own.  

Often, this will be just a word.  A word that has significant meaning or simply a word that sets the intention for the workshop.

The word might also express the attendee’s overall expectations of the workshop.  This assists me in ensuring that I meet those expectations, as best I can.

Sometimes attendees choose to bring an item, rather than a word to the altar.  This item will have great meaning and is something deeply treasured.

It is at this time, that those present can also introduce themselves to the small workshop group.

Photo Credit – Lesly B Juarez

 Purpose of the Altar

The purpose of the altar is to  create a sacred space.  The altar represents a space of beauty and connection.  This ritual also helps set the tone for the workshop.  The process of contributing to the altar, supports meaning and encourages the practice of mindfulness.

In creating the altar, everyone has the opportunity to be seen, heard and has the ability to contribute.

The altar will remain in place for the duration of the workshop.  It will be dismantled following the declarations and celebrations at the end of the day.

 

Photo Credit – Kira auf de Heide

Benefits of Altars & Rituals

Creating a personal altar can support you moving beyond the workshop.  You can take from the workshop, your core desired feelings and have these as part of your altar. This will ensure that these stay with you and become part of your focus, as you try them on for size over the weeks following the workshop.

You can create a personal altar as a ritual and a means to express your creativity, goals, and values.

In the book, Hidden Riches: Unleashing the Power of Ritual to Create a Life of Meaning and Purpose, the authors explain that, “rituals are the “secret weapons” of the world’s most accomplished people-from sports stars to corporate executives to world-class performers”. 

Developing your own personal rituals allows you to be mindful and can bring you to a state of greater awareness.  Personal rituals can be tailored by you to suit your needs at any particular time.   For example, rituals can support you in feeling calm and balanced in difficult times, by bringing you to the power of the present.

I offer these suggestions as a way of keeping the feelings alive and your intentions on track,  as you move on beyond my workshops.

Photo Credit – Honey Fangs

If you have any questions concerning the workshops, I offer, please contact me at clare@coaching-i-am.com.

If you would like more details on this workshop, please click here.

If you would like to book into this workshop, please click on the button below to take you to the Eventbrite booking link.

Can’t make it to the workshop but would like to be coached one on one?  Contact Clare at clare@coaching-i-am.com and she will be in contact.

Until next time, 

Clare xxx

Clare Lavender is a mother, creative entrepreneur, a mosaic artist, an accredited life coach, and facilitator of workshops on personal development, The Desire Map (by Danielle LaPorte) and mosaics. As well as offering workshops, Clare offers one on one sessions to women.  These are available to women all around the globe.
In addition, Clare has also created her own ‘Daring, Divorced and Divine’ coaching programme for women. This programme is aimed at inspiring, empowering and supporting women to move on to greater well-being following divorce.
Clare has a strong business background, having worked as a PA/EA and Practice Manager.  She is also trained in human resources management.  Clare has worked in several small to medium legal practices in her local area as well as ‘temping’ in larger practices based in Sydney.  Clare assisted in the set-up and management of  (a family business) and one of the first specialist family law practices in the region before moving on to work in a more creative field.

Clare is a Reiki practitioner.

If you are interested in any further information, working with me one on one or joining a workshop please contact Clare at clare@coaching-i-am.com or visit coaching-i-am.com.
© Coaching-I-Am, 2017

 

 

 

What the **** is a Life Enhancement Coach?

A Life Enhancement Coach can support you to take inspired action to reach your goals.   But what’s more, a Coach can also support you in becoming more conscious, mindful and grateful, empowering you in the process.

A Vision

Have you ever had a dream or a vision for your life?   You start to dream big and envisage the way it will unfold. But there is something holding you back?   Maybe you experience a hiccup or minor set-back and you stop dead in your tracks?   Why?  Because you begin to invest in fear………… doubt yourself…………, second guess yourself…………… question your worthiness to have what you desire…… or  you begin to listen to the naysayers.

A Secret

Sometimes, this vision is something so precious to you, that you dare not share it with anyone, for the fear of  it being dismissed or worse still ridiculed.  It then becomes your little secret, tucked away safe from the world.

But what if your dream could be explored, or even better still, have the opportunity to be realised?  

Winds of Change

Sometimes, people engage a Coach, because the winds of change have swept through and their life no longer resembles the one with which they were so familiar.  Change can bring about the greatest challenges and your deepest fears.     This is where a Life Coach, or as I prefer, a Life Enhancement Coach can offer you genuine but objective support.  It means that you don’t have to go it alone.  A Coach can help you charter a course through unfamiliar waters.

What a Life Coach is not…….

A Life Coach is not a Psychotherapist or a Counsellor.  Therapy can often focus on past trauma and issues.  Often  with therapy,  the starting point and focus is on the why.

What a Life Coach is……

When it comes to coaching, the focus is more on the how.  A Coach can support and guide you in moving from your current reality to your desired future reality.  In the process, you clarify goals,  identify and work through any obstacles or sabotage that can hold you back.  These obstacles and sabotage can come in many forms.  Fear, confusion, doubt, limiting beliefs and overwhelm are some prime examples.

Goals

Goals don’t necessarily relate to success and achievement in the traditional sense – certainly not as we have come to perceive them in the western world. Sometimes, what you might be reaching for……….. is a sense of greater well-being and a better relationship with yourself.  There is no greater success than self-acceptance and  inner peace.

Or perhaps it is a bad habit or a recurring limiting belief that you choose to work through and overcome. It is all part of becoming the best version of yourself.

As you work on the inner world, the outer world will follow suit.

Do Coaches use coaching services?

Yes, I believe so.  I certainly do.  Friends and family can offer so much support, but sometimes you need more.  This could be objectivity and accountability that those closest to you can’t always offer. As a Coach, has said to me,   “You don’t go to a hardware for milk.”

What can you expect from me, as a Life Enhancement Coach? 

Generally, when it comes to life coaching, I make the following assumptions, based on the work by Cherie Carter Scott, Ph. D, who founded the first coach training programme back in the 1970’s.

  The first assumption is that as a client you have the answers to your challenges. 

The second assumption is that as a client, you possess the personal power to make these answers a reality.

The third assumption is that as a client, you can have your visions, dreams or goals become a reality.

How is a Coaching Session Conducted?

Coaching sessions can be conducted face and face however, many sessions are actually conducted by phone or Skype for example.  There have actually been studies undertaken that concluded that non-face to face coaching is highly effective, if not more effective than face to face coaching.

What should you look for in a Coach?

If you are looking to engage the services of a Coach you are making a commitment to yourself.   There is an awareness that you are now ready to take this step, so finding the right Coach to work with is very important.

A professional Coach will be committed to you as a client.  When it comes to communication, your Coach should ask about your vision or ideal outcome.  Your Coach will ask open ended questions, pick up on clues, recap at least once per session. The Coach will acknowledge when there is confusion and work with you to clarify this. There will be an awareness and understanding of your needs during your session.  Your Coach will be able to empathise with you and will be non-judgemental at all times.  Objectivity will be apparent, yet your Coach will have a genuine interest in you.   You will feel supported, but not directed by your Coach as your Coach will believe in your abilities.  You will leave each coaching session with a plan.

Discovery Session

As a Life Enhancement Coach, I recommend and offer a Discovery Session.  This is an initial  ‘getting to know you’ coaching session.  My Discovery Sessions flow more or less as a regular coaching session, based on the principles as outlined above.

A Discovery Session enables you to, firstly sample a coaching session with me.  Secondly, this session is to determine if we would be a great coaching ‘fit’, which is so important,  should you wish to continue with coaching.    The session allows me to get a feel for how I might best support you and it offers you the opportunity to gain some clarity.

From July, 2017, I have opened up times on Thursdays and Fridays, for Discovery Sessions. Discovery Sessions run for 45 – 60 minutes.  These sessions will be offered via phone or Skype.   For the months of July,  August and September, 2017, the cost is $70.00 AUD. For initial enquiries, please contact me, via email at clare@coaching-i-am.com.  I will then send you a link to book an appointment.

 

The Distress of an Affair – Is there a way through it?

 

the distressI stumbled across a TED Talk recently. The title, Why Happy Couples Cheat.  The presenter was psychotherapist/relationship therapist, Esther Perel.

Introduction – An Affair is a Robber

I was immediately drawn to the speaker and her topic.  She could have been talking to me personally about my own situation.   You could say that this is a matter very close to my now, fully restored, but previously shattered heart. 

One of the presenter’s opening statements was, that “an affair can rob a couple of their relationship, their happiness and their very identity”.

For years, infidelity, to me, was a word containing far too many ‘i’s and with not one ‘u’ to be found, the word reeked of narcissism.  If the word was self-serving, then the experience was self-demoralising.   It seemed to me that infidelity meant that one person in the marriage could have their cake and eat it too.  The other partner, however, was left with an empty plate and the remaining crumbs of what had once been a sumptuous dessert.

So why do people cheat, especially happy people? How has the impact of infidelity changed in the digital age? Can a relationship survive infidelity?

Death by a Thousand Cuts

According to Esther Perel,  if affairs in days gone by were painful,  affairs in the modern digital age are  traumatic.  In fact, she describes current day affairs as  “death by a thousand cuts.”

Perel points out that in this digital age, infidelity has never been easier to take part in.  It is also harder than ever, to keep it a secret.

When an affair is discovered, modern technology will reveal the hundreds of messages and photographs shared between the adulterous couple.  Not only that , but the desires expressed and the moments illicitly shared, are all there in real time, in ways not possible in the past.  In this way, infidelity exacts such an emotional toll. “Affairs are psychologically exacting”.

Is Modern Day, Romantic Love Realistic?

It seems that in days gone by, as the TED talk Presenter explains, an affair challenged our economic security.  Today, an affair is more likely to threaten our emotional security.  This is because not only do we now marry for love, we are idealists.  We have a romantic ideal that one person can fit the bill.

I am the One!

As it is now, there is one person.  This is the person we marry who we turn to fulfil an endless list of needs.

So, if I am chosen as a marriage partner, I am expected to be the greatest lover, the best friend, the best co-parent, the trusted confidante, the emotional companion and an intellectual equal. As the chosen person, I am the one person to fulfil these needs.

“I am chosen.  I am the one.  I am it.  I am unique.  I am irreplaceable.  I am indispensable.

BUT infidelity tells me I am not.  Infidelity is the ultimate betrayal.”

Infidelity -The Ultimate Betrayal

The reason that the betrayal is so damaging is that for the cheated on partner, it threatens the very sense of one’s self.  As Perel explains, this is manifested through thinking such as…….

“I thought I knew my life, I thought I knew who I was, who you were, who we were as a couple, now I question everything.”  An affair brings up questions surrounding trust……..”Can I ever trust you again?  Can I ever trust anyone again?”Definition of an affair for blog

 

 

 

 

 

If We Can Divorce So Easily, Why Cheat?

If we are living in times when it is so easy to divorce, why will a partner cheat?  And if a partner has everything at home, then why do happy people cheat?   Why does a partner risk everything in their relationship to cheat?   These are the questions, Perel raises and the answers might not be what you think.

A Yearning

To answer the questions, from the therapist’s  experience, it seems she is suggesting that passion can only last so long. Perhaps passion has a “finite shelf life”.  But quite often,it seems, that  infidelity “is an expression of longing and lost”.

There is often a yearning for amongst other things, “an emotional connection, freedom, autonomy, novelty and sexual intensity.”   In fact an affair is much less about sex and far more about desire, according to Perel.

At the Heart of an Affair

The therapist goes to point out that, if the truth be told, at the heart of an affair there is desire, but not the obvious sort of desire.   The desire is an actual “desire to recapture lost parts of ourselves or an attempt to bring back vitality in the face of the loss and tragedy”.  So in effect,  “it is not our partner that we are turning away from but the person that we have become ourselves”, according to Perel.

Why a Partner Might Cross the Line?

From her experience, the therapist has discovered that those who have affairs feel alive.  You see, it seems that death and mortality often live in the shadow of affairs.  It is not uncommon for her, in her work,  to hear of stories of loss from her clients/patients.  It may be the loss of a parent, a friend, or receiving bad news from a doctor.  This will often bring up questions such as “Is this it?  Is there more?”

Why People Divorce?

As Perel explains, in the age in which we live,  it is considered our entitlement to pursue our desires.  We all have desires and our present day culture sends us the message that we deserve to be happy. She suggests that today we divorce, not because we are unhappy, so much, but because we could be happier.

Can Relationships Recover From an Affair?

Despite the fact that desire runs deep and betrayal also runs  deep,  from Perel’s experience, relationships can be healed.  Not all relationships survive, some will survive narrowly and other relationships will be able to turn a crisis into an opportunity.

How Does a Relationship Heal?

It seems when an affair is exposed it often allows a change in the status quo of a relationship. This is actually an opportunity for the ‘cheated on’ partner to change things that haven’t been working so well for him/her in the relationship either.  Perel points out that an affair can actually open up communication for a couple in ways in which they haven’t experienced for some time.  Also a fear of loss can rekindle desire.

Personally Speaking

For me personally, this TED talk brought back so many memories.  What was so surprising, is that I could watch this and recall the memories without any emotional charge. I could be a mere observer rather than reliving every heart wrenching moment.  Believe me, this is truly amazing!

There was a time, when watching this, would have triggered so much pain and discomfort for me.

At that time I faced this crisis, I didn’t think I was going to survive and move beyond it.  It just didn’t seem at all possible.  Now I can write and speak about it – scarred but no longer bearing the nasty wounds.

My own marriage did not survive infidelity.

Despite entering couples therapy, I found it  incredibly hard going to move beyond infidelity. Rebuilding trust seemed impossible for me.  The fact that my husband appeared to be a repeat offender,of course, offered next to little hope.

Anger & Frustration

I do recall that communication did open up for us a little, but once again lack of trust was an impediment. Questions would run through my mind like is the affair over?  Is it really finished?

I was extremely vulnerable, cautious and guarded.

Let’s just say that I was extremely pissed off  with the situation.  It was going to take a great deal of patience to move past this stage of anger.

I was just as frustrated as I was angry.  I remember asking why? over and over again.  It simply made no sense to me.  To my knowledge, these romantic dalliances were relatively short-lived, so I couldn’t understand how you could put a long term relationship, not to mention a family, children and a home we had created on the line. For what?  Who actually gained anything from the situation?

I would often think if my partner had wanted to leave, could he not have just told me?  It would have been a less extreme and hurtful way of going about it.  In reality, it doesn’t make any more sense to me now than it did then.

Replaying images

Replaying images over and over in my mind, of my partner in adulterous’ trysts, was  a form of extreme self-torture.  In fact,this was probably more painful than making the initial discovery of an affair. This, of course, was the worst thing I could do to myself, but for some time I found myself unable to stop.

One of the important parts of the healing process, that Esther Perel mentions, is that the perpetrator needs to acknowledge their wrong doing.  This to some extent was my own experience but the essential factor was that the affair must stop.  This is definitely a ‘no brainer’.

An important point that Perel makes is that it is important that “the perpetrator needs to hold vigil for the relationship and that he/she needs to be the protector of the boundaries.”  I understand that this was the perpetrator’s responsibility to bring up the topic of the affair as the other partner will be obsessing about it.  This makes sense and sadly this appeared to be missing from my own experience.

Recovery of Self-Identity

I think the greatest cost of infidelity is to one’s own self-worth.  I disliked the person I became in the face of infidelity.  I felt  a victim, down-trodden, insecure, undesirable and needy.  Not at all a good way to feel about yourself.  This was one of my greatest resentments.

The vital point that was raised in the TED talk was the recovery of the aggrieved partner’s sense of self-worth.  It is so important to surround yourself with “love, friends, activities that bring back joy, meaning and identity.” From my own experience this is just as important if you stay or if you decide to go.  If you go, you may find that you need to find new friendships, not all may remain.

Healing

Upon discovering my partner’s infidelity and then the separation and divorce, my immediate focus was on my children’s well being and on my own healing.  My healing was essential to me because of the pain and distress I was experiencing.  I didn’t have the luxury of a great deal of financial security, but nevertheless I made healing a priority.  It was vitally important to me to be able to continue to be the mother that I wanted to be and to be the person I wanted to be.  I could lose the old identity, but it was imperative that I retained the true essence of me. At the heart of it, was that I wanted to be a better person for the experience, at some point, and not come out of it for the worse.

Growth and self-discovery

Personally speaking, experiencing infidelity and then divorce can truly rob you of your self-identity. But there is also an enormous opportunity for a new identity.  Through the hurt and betrayal,  as Perel puts it, there is “growth as well as  self-discovery on the other side”, even if it is hard earned.

Final words

If you are reading this and you are currently in this situation, then my heart goes out to you. You may be swept up in a maelstrom of emotions as you attempt to process the experience and comes to terms with it.   I understand the extreme exhaustion in dealing with such intense emotions whilst trying to keep up appearances of normalcy.  At this time, ask for what you need.  I sought assistance through counselling, rested whenever I could, took long walks often and surrounded myself in nature.  Massage, reiki and meditation also helped me enormously.

There is life beyond infidelity, whether you choose to stay or whether you decide to go.  It is now my belief that some relationships fail because they were meant to fail, and others can be revitalised, but it takes an unwavering commitment from both parties.

Clare Lavender is a Mother, Creative Entrepreneur, a Mosaic Artist, an Accredited Life Coach, Facilitator of The Desire Map Workshops (by Danielle LaPorte) and Facilitator of Mosaic workshops.

(This means that I facilitate, create, and deliver one-on-one personal development, life coaching programmes and art therapy workshops for women. I am also pleased to have created my own ‘Daring, Divorced and Divine’ coaching programme for women aimed at inspiring, empowering and supporting women to move on to greater well-being following divorce).

If you are interested in any further information, working with me one on one or joining a workshop please contact Clare at clare@coaching-i-am.com or visit www.coaching-i-am.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In The Spirit of Abundance – A book to inspire, empower and support.

In the Spirit of Abundance canva

 

About the Book

In 2013, I had the opportunity and privilege to take part in a book entitled, In the Spirit of Abundance.  The sole theme of the book obviously is that of abundance.  One theme, perhaps, but abundance can mean different things to different people at different times in their lives. Abundance can show up as  freedom, wealth, good health, opportunities, doing fulfilling work and so much more.  This diversity is so clearly depicted in this book.

As Sandy Forster states, in the foreword of this book, “abundance can be defined in many different ways.  If you were to ask a thousand people what their definition of abundance is, you would (sic) a thousand very diverse answers, each of them with their own definition of what abundance means to them”.

This book for me is both positive and uplifting. We all face challenges at some point or another and there are times when these challenges seem insurmountable. If you are in this place, you can take comfort in knowing you are not alone.  Others have gone before you and have come through to the other side, and while it can seem hard to believe, they are actually stronger and so much greater for having had the experience. This is what this book is all about. The personal stories shared, offer hope. 

Best-selling Authors

As well as the personal recounts, there are contributions made by several best-selling authors to the book.  Sandy Forster, who compiled the stories is one such best-selling author.  Sandy’s journey took her from living on welfare, with two small children, to becoming a millionaire and a best-selling author.

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen make a contribution to the book, with a chapter based on habits and how they really work.  Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen are best-selling authors and probably best known for their hugely successful Chicken Soup for the Soul, series of books.

Brian Tracy is another best-selling author, having written over 70 books including, ‘Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time’.  He is also a global leader in self-development.  His contribution to the book is on the topics of changing your thinking and on the importance of being an optimist at all times.

Arielle Ford is yet another best-selling author who has written 8 books.  Her latest book, ‘Turn Your Mate into Your Soulmate:  A Practical Guide to Happily Ever After’, is due for release in late December, 2015.  Arielle’s chapter featured in this book, is about finding a soul mate/life partner.  She outlines the top 10 things to do and to remember to attract a soul mate into your life – no matter your age.

My Experience

Being part of this book brought up so many feelings. It brought up fear in ways I couldn’t have imagined.  My mind went into overdrive.  Was I ready to share anything about myself in such a public way?  It brought up feelings around worthiness. Who was I to be in this book?  I am no-one special  This sort of experience happens to women every day – how will my story make a difference?

In the end, I went with my gut feeling which told me to go ahead.  I stepped out of my comfort zone.  I felt the fear, but decided to contribute to the book despite that fear.

Once I began to put together my chapter I wondered how I could get my story across in a mere 1200 words? I had built up a life of which I felt certain, over the course of almost 20 years. Now it had been completely dismantled.  There were so many layers, so many feelings, and so many words.    How could I possibly condense that into 1200 words?  I would need that number, just for the introduction.  But I did it. I got the words down onto paper. I just went with it.  It was actually a cleansing experience.

When the book was published, the fears arose all over again.  I wondered if my contribution was good enough?  In my mind, the other co-authors had more to offer.  They had come through the storm and found success.   I, on the other hand, had managed to find abundance in the form of courage and strength to let go, but my success or what I defined as success was still a work in progress.  

I think the greatest concern for me when the book was published was that I wanted to protect those I loved.  I didn’t want to cause embarrassment or any hurt – not that there was anything damaging in my words.  But there had been enough hurt.  As it turned out, my ex-husband had been involved in affairs during the course of our marriage.  Along with the affairs, came a web of lies, deception and betrayal. Nothing good can come from living a life in that way and nothing did.  The exceptions were the lessons that it brought and the wonderful children that came from the marriage.

Now is the time.   I have walked a fine line between speaking my truth and protecting those I love. My children are now young adults.   It is time for me.  It’s time to take ownership of my story – without shaming or blaming.   As Brene Brown states, “you either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.”  I choose to walk inside my story.

Information on ‘In the Spirit of Abundance’ can be found on my website,www.coaching-i-am.com.  You can purchase the book, for AUD $15.95 (plus postage) at my Etsy store.  Here is the link www.etsy.com/au/listing/261139554/

Clare Lavender is a Mother, Creative Entrepreneur, a Mosaic Artist, an Accredited Life Coach, a Licensee and Facilitator of The Desire Map Workshops (by Danielle LaPorte) and a facilitator of Mosaic workshops.

(This means that I facilitate, create, and deliver one-on-one personal development, life coaching programmes and art therapy workshops for women. I am also pleased to have created my own ‘Daring, Divorced and Divine’ coaching programme for women aimed at inspiring, empowering and supporting women to move on to greater well-being following divorce).

If you are interested in any further information, working with me one on one or joining a workshop please contact Clare at coach@coaching-i-am.com or visit www.coaching-i-am.com.

 

 

More Than Meets The Eye

More than Meets They Eye

Bringing Women Together
For about the past eight years, I have been running mosaic workshops  for small groups of women (and from time to time, children). My workshops cater for those at the beginner and intermediate levels. The workshops attract women with a desire to create something for their home, garden or as a gift for a loved one. Whilst the women learn new skills, the workshops also provide women with an opportunity to meet other women. It is a way for women to come together for a shared experience.  But there is something deeper happening here.

At the start of the workshop, there are the usual introductions and some chatter, but as the day wears on, the women become very quiet. The reason for this is because they have become so engaged and engrossed in their individual projects. Time and time again, over the years and during the course of these workshops, I have heard the comment, “this is so therapeutic”. It seems to come as such a surprise for the women working alongside each other, who have often met for the first time. It appears an unlikely and unexpected benefit of this type of workshop experience.

Having heard the “this is so therapeutic”, comment so many times,  it has come as no surprise to me, that colouring books for adults, which seem to have almost emerged overnight, have gained rapid widespread popularity. They now appear to be among the best-selling books in Australia.

Colouring Books
Colouring books for adults are not only popular, but also omnipresent. They are displayed en masse with so many choices of styles and designs.  I can find them taking pride of place in my local book shop, art shop and newsagency. They are also to be found,  near the check-out at the supermarket, tempting me as they sit alongside my favourite chocolate bar. The inner-child in me wants to throw herself on the floor right there at the check-out and have a massive tantrum because she can’t decide between a Mars Bar and the Colour For Me adult colouring book.

So why are these colouring in books so popular? It appears that there is more happening here than meets the eye.

I recently listened to an interview on ABC radio featuring Dr Stan Rodski, who is a Neuropsychologist and Neuroscientist. He is also a creator of several adult colouring books designed for anti-stress. It seems many Australians are turning to these and other colouring books for adults, as a way of relieving stress and anxiety. According to Dr Rodski, the colouring process is a great form of relaxation for many.  It seems to be also a simple means of escaping the digital world.

Relaxation Alternative
Dr Rodski, made mention in the interview, that he had been treating patients effectively with the colouring method in cases where traditional relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation had not been beneficial. The benefits of colouring can be measured by the changes in the rate of the heart and of the brain waves. 

The technology is now available to measure the changes that are taking place in the heart and brain.  During the colouring process, the heart rate and the brain waves slow down, resulting in the alpha state of consciousness being achieved. This is the normal resting state of the brain and the much needed state to maintain balance and well-being. (You can find more about Dr Rodski research and his colouring books by following the link below.)

So back to the mosaic workshops and why do I think that they prove to be so therapeutic?

In many ways working with mosaics, at least the way I see it, is a combination of colouring and putting together  a jigsaw puzzle. Mosaics looks quite simple, but although not a difficult activity to master, it does take more concentration than might first appear. Workshop participants can follow a book or pattern, but I encourage people to work more intuitively.

I basically encourage people to more or less feel their way when working with their piece.  I believe that in working in this way, workshop participants discover that the therapeutic experience kicks in.  It is at this point where participants are fully engaged in the creative process but are also in a very much relaxed state.

I will make a suggestion and guide people if they are stuck in the workshop, with the use of colours or design, but there is really no right and wrong way. That is the beauty and simplicity of mosaics. The way in which I mostly assist in my workshops, is to give advice on the cutting and the use of the appropriate materials, including the substrate, sealers, adhesives, grout and additive so that a completed mosaic project will see the distance. This is especially necessary when the piece is to be placed outside, where it will be exposed to the natural elements.

Mosaic Workshops
My upcoming workshop is a Mosaic Mandala Workshop.

I am not sure why, but I have been particularly drawn to mandalas. I have also developed a deep interest in the Native American medicine wheels and their medicine bags. All three are tools which share a commonality in that they have been used for rituals, insight, protection, healing, harmony and balance.

Perhaps for me, the interest I have developed, is a natural progression from the life coaching and personal development workshops I have been facilitating this year.  The actual inspiration for this workshop came from a good friend of mine when we were having a discussion about these particular things.

In my next post I will touch more on the use of mandalas and on the upcoming workshop, but for now I would make the comment that the pieces I have seen being created in my workshops, to date, have been beautiful and unique.   I am convinced, however, that there is much more going on than just plain aesthetics There is a calming, mindful and relaxing effect very much happening behind the scenes.

There appear to be more benefits to creativity than can only be appreciated on the surface. This is purely based on my own opinion and in my own experience. I have no scientific evidence to support this claim and the benefits of taking part my creative workshops, is based only on my own anecdotal evidence. Whether it be a birdbath, table top, garden pot, stepping stone, plaque,  house number, mirror or frame being brought to life with mosaics,  I do however, firmly believe that there is more happening than merely meets the eye.

Links
www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/booksandarts/the-adult-colouring-in-craze/6738080
www.colourtation.com Dr Stan Rodski’s colouring books and research