Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Joy in the unexpected

As a manager, you will come up against the unexpected almost every day.

How do you feel, for example, when someone says "Can I have a quick word?".

Do you get a sense of dread or uncertainty that you may not be able to deal with what might come up? Or do you love the spontaneity of the situation and find joy in supporting someone in the moment?

My first 'Joy in the Unexpected' webinar is taking place on 10th July.

The live webinar is aimed at managers who would like to have some great tools in their toolkit to deal with unexpected situations; and to those people who have managers in their team who could benefit from getting confident with the unexpected.

By signing up below, you will be added to my Joy in the Unexpected mailing list. You will receive details soon about how to join in with the webinar on 10th July; as well as occasional emails regarding future projects, more tools for your toolkit, and useful insights from me about navigating your way as a manager in these times.

In between these communications, you can keep up-to-date with what I'm up to over on LinkedIn.

I look forward to seeing you for the webinar. 

You can register here.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

I'm really finding it hard to walk the talk on this one at the moment. I suspect I am definitely being busy for busyness sake - the need to "do" over rides patience and the inner knowing that tells me action now is likely to result in wasted effort and seeds that never flourish because I'm wanting to put them out in the ground before the last frost had been (usually June the 1st here in Scotland). It's virtual Chelsea Flower Show and so I'll be using gardening as a metaphor for our lives all week to sow seeds, dig deeper, and germinate ideas. Do follow hashtaglandscapingyourlife on Facebook or LinkedIn or even join me on Tuesday for a webinar looking as personal and team flourishing with insight from the garden.

You can also sign up for my Landscaping Your Life ezine and newsletter here.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

When you've got a lawnmover everything is a lawn


When we only have a lawn mower everything looks like a lawn. I might have mixed my metaphors a little here and borrowed from the hammer/nail analogy but when using gardening as a metaphor for our lives it begs the question what tools do we have in our potting shed, and which are most appropriate to use in the situation at hand? After all a spade, pruning shears, watering can and lawn mower all have very different uses and outcomes. In turbulent times it’s exactly this appropriate use of a wide range of tools that teams need from leaders and managers. One tool does not fit all - it’s actually dangerous and harmful. What tool will you get out of the potting shed today - and don’t worry if you have to look up how to use it - it’s better than sticking to the same tool because you know how it works. Join me for my webinar Landscaping your teams in turbulent times next Tuesday 19th May to gain additional insight as we explore this metaphor further. You can also sign up for my Landscaping Your Life ezine and newsletter here. hashtag

Saturday, 9 May 2020

What seeds are you sowing today?

What seeds are you sowing today - and do they contain the potential for your flourishing and the flourishing of this wonderful planet of ours and all it’s inhabitants?

Friday, 8 May 2020

Insight from the moon


Last night’s full moon is hidden behind cloud and yet .. It’s beauty is reflected in those very clouds, in the sea and the beach. Which has me thinking that when it’s cloudy and turbulent that it’s too easy to believe that no one will notice nor be impacted by our shine and therefore we give up and don’t even bother. Isn’t it however precisely in the darker times that light is needed even if reflected rather than directly seen? Do your thing, be unapologetically you and shine your light - it might just be what someone needs in a moment of darkness.

The previous night the insight had been a little different which is why I love nature so much it just keeps on giving.


Look at the reflection of moonlight on water and you’ll notice as you move so does the reflection - that is the reflection is actually a relationship between you and the moon not the moon and the water. Next time you judge another consider the reflection you’re seeing is about you not the other.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Look up to the sky


Look up to the sky and what do you see - my first vlog in a wetsuit from the garden! I heard Astronaut Ron Garan interview with One Young World yesterday where he spoke of using ‘planet’ not ‘globe’ to describe this wonderful place we all call home. Which then translates well known phrases into a ‘planetary pandemic’ or ‘planetary warming’ which feels different don’t you think? I’m sure this insight was at the back of my mind as I headed to my garden in my wetsuit this morning (as the RNLI have asked us not to swim). Look up to the sky and what do you see? Does the sky look different between all our viewpoints? Do the noisy birds flying through it’s many layers judge one part of it to another? Is one part of the sky more or less important than another? Are we the sky? Are we all parts of it? And perhaps because I joined David Whyte session this weekend on the courage of poetry I’ll end with a poem (of sorts). The sky Surrounding the whole planet Holding us safely within its embrace Trusting us with a precious gift A planet With riches and beauty For us to hold and treasure within our own embrace, and Use the trust wisely. hashtag

Saturday, 28 March 2020

I've written a blog on that for Unprecedented times

Over recent weeks, as I've delivered "soft skills and mindsets for unprecedented times" sessions, I have been heard to say "I've written a blog on that" - with over 500 posts on the purchasing coach blog and 200 here you'd like to hope so. 

Here's a list of just some of those very posts that I think would be helpful as we face what were unimaginable situations only a few short weeks ago.
  • Lessons from a Sycamore tree - about needing to bolster your foundations for your roots to hold on to.


An index of more logical and less unconventional posts to support mental, physical and emotional well being can be found over on my Purchasing Coach blog.

You may also find this Landscaping Your Life YouTube playlist helpful using nature as our coach  - turn the sound down a little for the first vlog ;-)


Also see my LinkedIn profile for an extract from Can't see the wood for the trees - Landscaping your life to get back on track to help you see the wood at these unprecedented times.

Do let me know if something I've written resonates - and do please also share this index with others who you think might benefit.

If you'd like to be kept up to date with what I'm up to you can sign up for my newsletter here - the Easter newsletter entitled the death of normal is now available.

Monday, 23 March 2020

Keep hold of your float?


Don’t forget to find your float this week.

Some external help to support your resilience, and keep your head above water.

I’ve shared a lot over the last week about #keepingafloat, and was reminded when I went swimming yesterday that keeping afloat is easier with a little external help because:

  • Swimming to safety may by beyond us at the moment.
  • Treading water can be tiring after a while.
  • Floating requires trust and faith in inaction which is often lacking when stressed, and certainly when faced with unprecedented and unfamiliar events.
Which is where the float comes in - a little external buoyancy to hold on to as you’re buffeted by the waves.

Look after you, and take time with your float with week.

Much love

Alison xx

And I've appreciated the positive responses to my equinox newsletter this week - you can sign up here 

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Keeping Afloat

This is the second of what is going to be a series of vlogs about helping us tap into our inner wisdom and keep afloat at this time.

To do this I'm sharing insights from a coaching tool I use in coaching and workshops. It’s called the frameworks for change coaching process * & involves exploring the words on a series of cards to help us to tap into our inner wisdom.

An inner wisdom that is able to connect us to our inner calm.

Today’s insights to keep afloat are

  • Insight: You let go of some old trappings, nice going.
  • Potential setback: Setback by feelings of superiority in the current situation.
  • Insight: An opportunity to give truthful feedback, be honest with all that are involved.
  • Mentor: Strength
Reflect on your own thoughts about these cards, and I’ve shared some thoughts on the video and here's some additional thoughts too.

Insight: You let go of some old trappings, nice going.

The one thing that will help us cope better in the current situation is looking after our mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing.

Now is the time therefore to stop doing what we know does not serve us – if ringing a specific friend always leaves you angry or frustrated then stop ringing them, if a particular food makes your energy slump stop eating it, or if a certain exercise always makes you tired could you swap it for something that uplifts you? 

Potential setback: Setback by feelings of superiority in the current situation. 

Superiority can lead to us thinking “this won’t happen to me” or “I’m better than them” and can potentially lead us to cutting corners in the belief that we are infallible. Washing hands, keeping our distance, and following guidance is for all of us not just everyone else.  

Insight: An opportunity to give truthful feedback, be honest with all that are involved.

It was hard deciding to own and acknowledge my own jitteriness here. Especially as I understand that a positive and optimist mindset is paramount in supporting us to get to the other side. That said, not owning how we’re feeling is not supportive. Once acknowledged rather pushed down and away it’s easier to deal with whatever is coming up for us at this time.

Mentor: Strength

We all have inner strength and it’s when times are hard or difficult that we discover how deep our strength goes.


Dig deep, connect in, recall someone who is a role model for strength, remember times when your strength was ever present – do what ever you can to connect into that steel and strength within. 



I'm posting on LinkedIn , Facebook and YouTube daily so pop over there to have a daily dose of insight to help keep you afloat. I'll only be sharing occasionally here. I posted the first Keeping afloat vlog over on my Purchasing Coach blog.

* The process, the insight, setback and mentor cards used here are from Frameworks for Change © Innerlinks - www.innerlinks.com.

You can get a less businessy set of very similar cards online from Amazon or in person as Findhorn Phoenix shop - the cards are called Intuitive Solutions (Amazon UKAmazon US).

Friday, 13 March 2020

Commit to shorter steps


As paths we’re able to travel feel shorter and shorter with every passing day please don’t give up on the destination.

Commit instead to awareness in shorter steps.

Celebrate your ability to spend time finessing your sense of direction and to sense and trust that inner compass.

Monday, 6 January 2020

Do something different




After her breakfast my cat, who is 21, has a habit of meowing loudly until I lie down on the sofa for her to sit on me. When I’ve been away for a few days the meow is even more persistent and loud. If I foolishly head for my home office first she’ll sit in the lounge and meow until she gets my attention, or she has been known to come to the office to meow. After a few years of this routine, and after a while of sofa nap sitting, I’d extricate myself from under her and then wrap the throw around to make a warm and snug basket-like structure for her. She’ll then sleep there for the rest of the morning. Of recent weeks I’ve noticed the speed with which she curls into a ball once I’m gone, and now wonder if the meowing is a means to get the warm basket-like structure, not the nap sitting in between as it started off as. This is how our habits are made, reactions to stimulus that over time can become more and more elaborate and unconscious routines. It’s only by bringing these habits into conscious awareness that we can get insight about their efficacy, and have choice about our future action. It’s why this month I’m doing something different every day - to bring into conscious awareness habits that may be hindering my progress.

#letsgetzagging