You can use this Coaching Companion as a stimulus for reflection and fresh thinking about what it means to you to bloom and flourish. I suggest that you spend a bit of time on it each week, starting with the journaling questions, and working through it at your own pace. A review and reflection session at the end of each week can help you consider the learning, and how you can apply it going forward.
What does bloom mean to you?
Like many of you, I have been taking a break over the summer to spend some time relaxing and being with my family and friends. I have also taken some time for personal retreat and reflection and hope you can do the same for yourself. My theme is all about blooming - I am inspired by my garden and nature all around so I have a bit of a flower thing going on here! :-)
When I think of times I have felt blooming in my work over the years I have some wonderful experiences to draw on when I have felt growth, and knew I was at my best. Naturally some of these are when I have had 'conventional' success as a senior leader in public service and achievements I made in those roles. That felt good and fulfilling. I also choose to reflect on how I have bloomed since then, without the organisational status or trappings that go with this. As a consultant, charity trustee and coach. It makes me realise that we continue to experience growth and bloom in different ways that are equally fulfilling.
What comes up when you think about your own blooming seasons? I invite you to take your reflections outside into nature and get additional wisdom from our connection with the natural world. This could be your garden, park, under a tree or if getting outside in ‘nature’ isn’t an option, ponder over a quiet cup of tea or coffee, somewhere cosy or with an inspiring view.
What do you need to bloom at your best?
What do you want? and what don't you want?
How can you nourish yourself and be nourished to bloom?
Take a few moments to reflect on what seeds you will plant now for future growth
I have been inspired by fellow coach Claire Bradshaw to take even more inspiration from nature and the outside world in my coaching practice, and my own reflections. I love her Outdoor Coaching Cards, and here is one of my favourites - it really speaks to my current theme of blooming and nurturing to be our best, and how we continue to grow from one season to the next. A few things that I am doing to plant seeds for my future growth:
I am participating in a day retreat in September to focus on getting clear about the future direction of my coaching practice
I have signed up for a French conversation group – just for fun!
I am re-organising my home study to create some space for craft work and have a neater workspace.
I am starting a new yoga class in town
What are your thoughts on the question?
What makes your heart sing and keeps you strong?
Flowers may be transient, but the plant needs to be strong - The gladiolus is known as a
flower that is symbolic of strength. The word gladiolus comes from the Latin word gladius, which means sword, and the leaves of the gladiolus are shaped like swords. When I think of personal strength, I think of the values that are at our core - the qualities that really matter to us - as these hold me strong. A lovely way of looking at this is to think about wh
at makes your heart sing! Here are some questions for you to ponder on what makes your heart sing and how that can build your personal strength:
What makes your heart sing? List as many things as you can - some of mine would be walking in sunshine, spending time with my family, completing a piece of work or task that I know is me at my best, laughing with a friend, learning something new What do you notice?
Are there any themes about what makes your heart sing?
Choose your top three things and consider what do these bring to your life to make your heart sing.
What is the one thing you are going to do to make your heart sing lounder?
I couldn't let reflections about the summer and how we can bloom at our best without sharing one of my favourite poems, read by the author. The Summer Day by Mary Oliver. It speaks of purpose, and the joy of nature. I hope you like it!