Saturday, February 13, 2016

SURPRISE. From the downs to the ups.

Surprised when I less expected it.
From someone I never thought of.

About: From the downs to the ups. Giving without boundaries. There is someone out there. Hope.

The other week was an intense emotional week, full of sadness and paralysis (no doing really anything of great value). I felt like in a low phase. The questioning of the next steps, the current situation and somehow a kind of tiredness of having worked hard on myself and with clients on their personal & professional journeys. I have already noticed that February is a month of reflection and slow down for me personally. It is when I need to step back. I feel I need a break, I need to take fresh air and detach from the daily routine. All went very well so far, and bang bang, here come the low. Out of the blue. I should know it from experience by now: “the higher the highs the lower the lows”. But still I am not really fully prepared for the lows and just fall into it as it would be the first time. Still need to practice on the attachment principles learnt.

The surprise I really got, and that I never expected, came from a client I coached half a year ago with her whole family. Wife and husband lost their job, and their two sons, in their twenties, were both unemployed too in a region with economical difficulties. So the whole family was suddenly at home without work. That was a pretty low phase for all of them. A tough situation if I would compare it to some of the more “luxury coaching” or “nice to have coaching” we need on our developmental journey (and they are very important too, don't get me wrong ;) . I supported them with all my competencies, my ideas, my energy and my heart. Yes, you heard well, my heart. Indeed, I think my presence, being really fully with them, understanding them, following up on them instead of keeping my boundaries, or "just doing my job"or keeping distance from this depressing situation has given them a little something. Potentially the hope that, somehow, someone is there. The hope that a better future is possible. The hope that we are not alone.

And exactly when I felt in a low phase (for me subjectively) last week, the wife sent me a little written note of hope, out of the blue. It was a big surprise to me, she was suddenly giving me the little hope of light I had given her/them apparently half a year ago. Although we are not in contact any longer since a couple of months. I was just amazed reading this note, and so thankful. This brought the light back in my heart instantly. Just by knowing someone out there is present, is having a thought for me. Just that. Nothing more. This woman helped me bring back the little sparkle of light and life. I stood up again after many tears of joy and relief. As it comes it goes. The lows were as quickly gone as they arrived. And this coming from someone I had not expected at all. And that was the beauty of it. 

There is someone out there. Who? I don’t really know, and it does not really matter. There is someone out there for you.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

DARING: " I am just an ordinary guy, with nothing to loose."

This post is about Daring new ways, Speaking up the truth, Taking your Life in your hands again.

„I am just an ordinary guy, with nothing to loose.“
Lester Burnham, from  the movie “American Beauty” of Sam Mendes (1999), when he quits his job. (1min 40 sec)

Lester Burnham, a man on his early 40’s, has an ordinary life or better said, his life is boring and he even says he is almost already dead. In French we could call that Boulot-Metro-Dodo (this means Work-Public Transportation-Sleep), a not very fulfilling daily circle. He is working in an agency, having to please his customers, being rather false than authentic. One day, he has just enough of his life and just decides to quit his habits and his job (ok, he is in mid 40’s, so perhaps the mid-life crisis is calling him somewhere). As he says, he has nothing to loose. This drastic change, from day to the other, has an incredible impact on Lester’s life, learning to enjoy small little things (smoking, listening to music, working without responsibility, etc.) but also on his whole family life (his wife quits him, daughter leaves the house,…). He also finally speaks up what he feels and thinks, what he would not have done before to fit into the “system,”, to go with the social rules. This of course leads to some confrontational discussions.

I love this movie and this particular scene where, Lester, is courageously, without any fear or worries is “quitting his job”, without shame, without choosing the diplomatic words (it is very straight forward, even if it can appear a bit vulgar at first glance). He tells his truth to his employer and gives his notice saying at the end: „I am just an ordinary guy, with nothing to loose“.
This is for me a kind of metaphor for “Do what matters the most for you now”. Barbara Sher, a famous career coach mentions that what we are most afraid of is actually, being successful in these new steps we are thinking. So we are more afraid of success then we are about making the hard step.
So don’t wait too long. Start slowly but surely, step by step heading towards what you really want. It does not mean you have to bang the door and go like a criminal, but the movie is a message to stop kind of “prostituting” ourselves. And instead start to go for what we are longing for the most. This means being courageous, daring the next steps, without knowing really what will happen, as it is completely new territory. And this is not as easy as it seems.
The famous psychoanalyst C.G. Jung mentioned in his concepts that there are two parts of our lives: the first one is to please others (we kind of “prostitute” ourselves to get some love back but don’t really do what we deep inside want. Love being such an important human need). The second one is when we take full ownership in our life for what we really want deep inside (this nourishes us from the inside) and is the thrilling journey, even if completely unkown.

What are you longing for the most?
What hinders you on the way?
What can get you moving as of today?
How long are you ready to wait until you can start?
Hopefully not your whole life. Start acting now and get support if need be 

(Have a look at the Barbara Sher Coaches to support you on your journey:

Friday, December 11, 2015

NATURE: Through the fog, reaching the clear sky

This week I walk up heading towards the closest little green hill to my apartment in big busy town. 

It is 6.15 am, winter has started, it is pretty cold and dry outside. The day has not yet begun really. It is dark and quiet except the first morning traffic gaining speed.

I reach quickly the entrance of the forest, where there is no artificial lights or people walking their dog anymore. Pure stillness.

It is an especially foggy day. I can only see about one meter around me. That is like becoming suddenly blind and not being in a position to be guided via my eyes (a navigator per excellence I just realized with the experience). The sounds of the first early birds (funny early birds!) reach my ears. Sounds become, in this context, another attention and another meaning. I notice that I am aware of every single little noise as it is so calm and quiet here. Sounds of the silence come in the front.

I know this walking path by heart, it is my favorite walk. But without the light, without seeing, while being alone (oh scary) was quite a different experience. A new experience.

Fears suddenly arose, blocking me on the path. I got stuck right in the middle of the path, while thinking “what am I really doing here, why am I doing this? is it masochism or wanting to prove anything to anyone?”
I don't know, I told myself. I took a real deep breath looking the path forward (foggy and dark) and the path backward (foggy and dark too). I was just in the middle.

Moment of decision, doubt and questioning: “Do I go backward or forward?”

Ok there are neither cougars, bears nor dangerous snakes in the area. So what is effectively stopping me to move forward? The metaphor of passing through a tunnel that I heard recently popped up in my mind. It is better to move fast forward instead of staying stuck in the middle of the tunnel. Mainly when you are scared of the dark. Both ways are equally long anyway. Oh god, but where to go now! My head takes over slowly again (my heart was pounding like crazy before, without reason understandable to me). Why not continuing then? So did I. Took my courage and still in the dark and foggy path, I took steps going up the hill. The more I entered the inside of the forest the more I could see, paradoxically. A real surprise indeed. Because up the hill there was a beautiful clear black sky with the moon and the star shining. This gave light to my path in all senses. I effectively could see more clearly due to the moonlight and also was rewarded for having dared taking the next step forward. Hurrahh!!

It was not as scary as I supposed it was. My mind played a trick on me. Nasty, nasty head. This was my custom made movie sequence, not the reality at all. What awaited me was beautiful and beyond any of my former thoughts. 

I could benefit from these beautiful minutes walking in a quiet forest alone looking at the universe confidently. Fully breathing that in. Now that I have discovered it I will surely repeat it, whatever the obstacle on the path. 

Just dare the step forward and be surprised what happens, it might well be very good ;).

Friday, October 16, 2015

NATURE : Olive Harvest / Raccolta delle Olive e l'Irpinia

Raccolta delle Olive: Darò una mano – Zona Irpinia (Ariano Irpino – Southern Italy)

E arrivato l’autunno e tra due settimane ci si comincia con la raccolta delle olive nella zona, anche se si vendemmia ancora in questo momento. La terra ci dà talmente cose buone, però richiede anche attenzione e impegno: non arriva tutto nel supermercato o nel piatto da solo, ma questo lo sapevate già ;))

Sarò in zona Irpinia per dare una mano a raccogliere le olive della mia famiglia e anche dare una mano alle persone locali per avvicinarsi sempre di più di quello che vogliono veramente nella vita.

Il ritorno alla terra è un appello indispensabile per una persona sempre vissuta in città, come me. Ed è esattamente la città, la sua grandezza, il suo inquinamento, la sua anonimità, la sua velocità, la sua competizione che mi rimanda in campagna per respirare l’aria più pura, contentarsi di poco, mangiare genuino e per il contatto con la natura e la semplicità del vivere e della gente. Ammiro gli alberi, e soprattutto gli olivi, perché possono essere un esempio per noi e il nostro futuro.

Alcune cosa sulla zona Irpinia:
La zona ha avuto forti terremoti passati. Tra l’altro quello del 1980 che aveva circa 6.5 di magnitudine sulla scala di Richter. Tante persone sono emigrate verso l'Europa, gli Stati uniti per trovare lavoro e perspettive degli anni 60-70 (come i miei genitori). Tanti sono rimasti li, però la tendenza è di lasciare la terra, visto che non c’è sempre possibilità di successione. Oggi sembra che i giovani desiderano andare verso la città mentre le generazioni più anziani pensino al riposo e non sono più in grado di lavorare la terra come prima.

Non c’è veramente turismo ma c’è spazio, non c’è il mare ma ci sono delle belle colline. Tanti palazzi vecchi sono stati purtroppo distrutti dai diversi terremoti passati nel 1962 e 1980 e dunque l’estetica non rappresenta quella che ci si pensa dei paesi tipici italiani. Ma è tranquillo e bello. E siamo localizzati su tante piccole colline di ca 600-800 m di altezza.

E nel sud dell’Italia, a ca 1 ora delle bellissime città di Napoli. C’è ancora tanta campagna e questo è un tesoro unico, che io penso debba essere sovra guardato per le generazioni future. 

Benevento Tourism: