Friday, 31 August 2018

Nature as our coach

If nature is your coach she doesn't have words only landscapes to communicate to you with.  Landscapes that, if you use them as metaphors for your life, have insight, solutions, suggestions, truth and wisdom contained within them.

Today as I reflected on the above insight I invited the landscape I was in to be my coach, which resulted in this video:

Coaching Question from Nature: How can you blow away the clouds or even rise above them so you can appreciate and accept your essence and light in the world?

These videos and all the vlogs in the Landscaping Your Life YouTube playlist offer such coaching from Nature.

One from last week also resonated with many people over on Instagram:

Coaching Question from Nature: How can you ensure you connect with all that you have in common, rather than what divides and separates you from others?

If you can't see the wood for the trees, are stuck in a rut, up a creek without a paddle, are treading water, or out on a limb, or perhaps feel like a fish out of water the recently published Can't see the wood for the trees offers coaching advice from the very landscapes contained within these sayings.

Which means if you're stuck in a rut - the rut will have the answer, if you can't see the wood for the trees it suggests the wood will have much to say - after all as David Wagoner in his poem Lost suggests "The wood and the trees ... are not lost .... you must let it find you."

More on stockists of the book here

Alison Smith
Landscaping Your Life

I've written a post today over on my Purchasing Coach site about what more traditional coaching is, and how it works.

Monday, 27 August 2018

Story: The wave

In today's blog I share a short story I wrote that others have found to be insightful, and which strays beyond my normal offering - the essence of which aligns with everything I do.

Love was a wave and she was a very lonely wave. She had travelled the globe in search of something more than the life she had. Surely there must be more to life than rising and falling and being dictated to by the bright glowing circle in the sky. 

She’d tried to ask other waves if they felt the same as her but they never stayed around long enough to give her an answer. From watching them she thought they looked satisfied enough. The sounds they made when the wind whipped them against the cliffs in far flung places certainly sounded like enjoyment to her. Although she did wonder about that as she’d never had the courage to actually have a go herself. Instead she chose to hang back and watch as other waves moved forward and took the momentum. She had tried to change her shape like some waves so that she may take the surfers into her very centre and yet she hung back scared of hurting them. She’d also tried to do that thing with the air to make her very edges all white and foamy. But she withdrew fearing she’d not be able to go back to how she was. She also envied those waves who had the confidence to carry large ships towards their destination in their wake.

It was on one such day when she’d really had enough. She really was useless she felt and couldn’t do anything all the other waves could. Either she didn’t have the courage, the experience or the expertise. She also didn’t have anywave to ask questions and share it all with. It was in this heavy and depressing mood that she felt her self dragged down. Dragged deeper than she’d ever been before. 

Deeper, darker, colder. 

If she had felt fear in the past it was nothing to how she felt now. Down and down she went,.

Deeper, darker, colder. 

Her thoughts slowed right down, as if time itself was starting to move into slow motion. 

Deeper, darker, colder.

Until she finally came to a stop. She couldn’t see anything, she couldn’t feel anything and she was struggling to think anything.

She realised she was very tense and tried very hard to relax and allow some space between every fibre of her being. As she did this she realised that she felt a little better. So for the next few  - she didn’t know what they were -  they could have been seconds, minutes, hours, days or even weeks. So all we can say is that as time passed she felt lighter. 

She practiced very hard allowing space in-between every fibre of her being. She couldn’t do it all at once. She had to pick some part of her and concentrate very hard on that part and just breathe and allow space inside. It was as if part by part she was getting lighter and brighter, and was it her imagination or was she feeling a little warmer too?

What she found however was as soon as she started to wonder about what was happening, how it was happening and try to make it go quicker she started to feel the cold, she started to emanate less light.  Each time she then had to take a breath and start all over again. Slowly working her away around each part of herself. 

Over time she was able to hold on to this lighter and brighter state for longer. She found she didn’t have to concentrate quite so hard and could still manage to maintain this lighter and brighter state.

Finally she managed to be the lighter and brighter state. It was as if she had changed. It was as if she was no longer the wave trying to be brighter, trying to be lighter she was simply a bright and light wave. She puzzled over this for some time. She felt like she was still herself but she somehow knew she was different. The added brightness and added lightness had in some way changed her.

Of course what she had failed to notice was that once she was this different state she had also started to rise. Until finally she neared the surface and noticed her own lightness reflected in the water around her. She came to the surface and took a deep breath and allowed the rays of the sun to warm her. 

She looked around her and could see many waves all with the same lightness and same brightness as her. She felt an acceptance from them that she had never felt before. An acceptance for who she was and not what she could or couldn’t do.

She stayed with the other waves for many moons. She did many things she’d never tried before. She especially enjoyed the rushing into caves and being dragged back out with the momentum of those around her. She even had time to perfect the tender holding of surfers as they danced within her very core.

After one particularly exciting day she started to feel different. She started to feel even brighter and even lighter. As if even the very binds that were holding every part of her together were being pulled gently apart. Having been in the deep, dark and cold place before she didn’t consider this scary and even felt some excitement about what was happening. And so she simply allowed the transformation to take place. Until it was as if she was everything and everywhere all at the same time. There was certainly more ease, even more light, and bright just wasn’t the word for it. She just was, and realised that she had always been all that there is - LOVE.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Publication of Can't see the Wood for the Trees

Today is the day when Can't see the wood for the trees: Landscaping Your Life to get back on track is available to download and, if you're lucky enough to be in the US, available to buy a hard copy too! (Unfortunately we'll have to wait till 20th Sept here in the UK to get our hands on one.)

The premise of the book is we use many sayings to describe our current stuck situation, for example: 
  • Stuck in a rut
  • Can’t see the wood for the trees
  • Up the creek without a paddle
  • Like a fish out of water
  • Out on a limb
  • In at the deep end
  • Treading water
  • Going round in circles
  • Missed the tide
and yet, often fail to recognise that the solution is contained within the very words we're using.

Which means:
  • If you’re stuck in a rut, you’ll find the solution in the rut.
  • If you’re up the creek without a paddle, the options available are the same as those for how to get out of the creek, and may or may not include finding a paddle.
  • If you’re like a fish out of water, you definitely need to get back in the water.
  • If you’ve got your head in the sand the one thing you need to do is take it out of the sand.
  • If you’re out on a limb you either need to step back on the limb, or let go of the limb.
  • If you’re treading water, you need to find a way of stopping doing that.
  • If you’ve missed the tide you need to remember there’s another tide in less than 13 hours.
  • And so on
The reason this process is effective lies in the fact that if we're stuck the likelihood will be that we've been stuck for some time - and our story, the ifs, musts, buts, shoulds, oughts, nevers, and cants will be keeping us that way. 

It's as if with every telling of the situation we talk ourselves into being even more stuck!

That's where metaphors come in, specifically the ones hidden in the very words we using.

You'll have heard that a picture paints a thousand words, well in the book I suggest a metaphor paints a thousand pictures. Which means when we use a metaphor to describe our current situation we have 1,000,000 words available to help solve the problem. 

For example, when the current situation feels like we can't see the wood for the trees about the metaphor is the wood and the trees. And the metaphorical solution is found by deciding what you would do if you were in a wood and can't see it for the trees. 

As this image demonstrates there's a number of options.  

Once you've fully explored the metaphorical options it's then about translating these options into real life.

For example, how can you cut some of the trees down, or get more perspective, or get a better overview of the situation, or perhaps it's simply about taking any route out and regrouping and deciding what's next once you're out of the wood?

The answers may sound obvious now, and yet they were hidden by the content and story we were telling ourselves.

When using a metaphor it's as if all those reasons we're stuck get put to one side, the barriers to the solution are demolished, and solutions are allowed, even encouraged, to emerge. 

In the book there's many other Landscaping Your Life (LYL) tools and techniques, that I've used for the last 20 years with clients, that help you get back on track. You'll also find a number of video blogs on the subject on my LYL YouTube playlist.

The book is available from and NobleWHSWaterstonesDeep BooksInner TraditionsIndieBoundFindhorn Press and other book sellers.

For trade orders please contact your local Simon & Schuster distributor.

I've love to know what you think.


Alison Smith
Landscaping Your Life

The LYL answer to any situation we're stuck in lies in going with the flow - but not quite as you think it might.

PPS A more logical look at the solutions can be found today on my Purchasing Coach page. 

Sunday, 19 August 2018

Feeling disconnected from others?

It's easy to buy into the separation and disconnection from others - in this vlog I suggest the antidote is to look to the ocean 

Alison Smith
Landscaping Your Life 
Landscaping your life uses nature as a metaphor for our lives - which means corners turned, ruts stepped out of, tides, woods, clouds, rivers, fields, and so on all hold the potential for a solution to get you back on track.