Friday, 9 January 2015

Learning from nature

I have a regular personal training session in the local park in Kirkcaldy and was amazed today when my trainer took me to this group of trees. Beneath the trees the council have place stones in a circle that say:

"Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven"

Wow - on sooooo many levels because:

  • nature is being used as a metaphor
  • nature is being used as a reminder of the endless need for communication.
  • I've only just finalised the details of a workshop 'overcoming business challenges naturally'
If you have a challenge in your life you'd like insight on why not use nature as your teacher? You simply have to:
  • Think of the issue
  • Put the issue to the back of your mind
  • Go out into nature and notice what you notice
  • Return and tell the story of your journey in nature (to yourself, in writing or to others)
  • Reflect on what nature has to teach you about what to do differently in the issue you first thought of
  • Take the necessary action
  • Let me know how you get on :-)  
What situation can you use this process to provide insight on, and when will you take the step into nature in order to allow it's wisdom into your life?

Alison Smith

Landscaping Your Life
Inspiring change inside and out

Thursday, 1 January 2015

The first Landscaping Your Life session

Landscaping Your life is a tool I use in my coaching and facilitation with clients. Since its conception in April 2000 there's been many different ways that landscapes and nature have been used to obtain insight on situations whether for teams, boards of management, leadership teams, individual managers or personally.

In this post I'd like to go back in time and return to the first time I ever used it - which involves choosing a picture that best describes the current situation and then making changes to it until it's just right. (you can do this in your mind but using real pictures and cutting them up adds something to the process).

I can't tell you how you'll know 'it's just right' but you will know. It's as if as you make the changes your mind makes sense of the original situation, and the changes you make to enable it to become clearer as a result.  

Here's an example.

I pick a picture that describes the current situation

I then decide what to add or take away from the picture

and then realise I need to cut even more away 

That's better - and then add something

and again

and again

You may end up with very little of the original picture left - there is no right or wrong - it's as if you've gone on a journey from where you are, to where you want to be, and your mind will now make sense of what that means in reality. Of course you may never know what it means - you may just feel differently and the situation may just change.

Have a go yourself and notice what you notice - and let me know how you get on. Just a word of warning I've found for 99.99% of people it's useful for the landscapes to be on earth rather than out of this world. That is the normal rules of gravity apply. 

I know a number of those early guinea pigs who still have their end landscape, even 15 years later, and it's on view in their office as a reminder of the insight they gained. A sign I always think of a truly profound process - even if I say so myself :-).

Individual coaching and group facilitation sessions using Landscaping Your Life or other tools are available - so do please get in touch if you've been grappling with a challenge for some time and would like a different perspective. +44 (0)7770 538159.

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