I once did a coaching course with super-coach Michael Neill. He described the process of coaching as follows:
Imagine that you go outside your house and talk to a lamppost on the street. You tell the lamppost about what you would love to do with your life, you think about what action you could do towards those dreams right now and you make a commitment to the lamppost that you will go away and do two or three things that will take you closer to your dreams.
In two weeks time you report back to the lamppost, tell it about your progress, think a bit more about what you want and then commit once again to some stuff that you are going to go away and do.
It sounds crazy but if you met up with that lamppost once a fortnight for the next few months you would get a lot done!
Now imagine if that lamppost could talk back. Imagine if it could cheer you on if you were flagging. Imagine if it had a few tools and tips that would help you even more.
I’ve always been a bit of a tree-hugger and for the last few Monday mornings I’ve been going out to the local park before I start my working day and communing with the trees.
I found a new favourite tree — a big old oak. I’ve always thought that trees are wise. Some of them have been around for a long time and they’ve witnessed a lot. I stood underneath and leaned against the tree’s trunk and observed the circular spread of its branches. It was as if a wise, kind grandmother had placed her arms around me.
I found myself talking to the tree, telling it my problems and where I was at. I don’t know whether I was digging into my own wisdom, or whether trees really can communicate with us, but I had a couple of ideas of what I ought to be doing to help myself.
The following Monday morning, after stopping off for a takeaway cappuccino, I was drawn back to the oak tree. I leaned against it and reported back to it on my progress over the previous week. Once again I found myself committing to a couple of action points.
On the third Monday, standing under the tree, I remembered the description of coaching that I mentioned above. And I told the tree I would write about it.
Today is Sunday. I had to get this article written. Tomorrow morning, I have another appointment with my coach.
If you’re a fellow tree-hugger — you might like this book by Holly Worton:
Do you need encouragement to keep creating?
Then download The Gentle Creative Manifesto — 28 tips to help you slay your creative demons, make time to create and enjoy your creative journey.