A NOTE FROM JENN...
Times are changing quicker than we think
Amazing how fast time goes by. Marked by months, then days the calendar is a visual reminder of our experiences along the way. I am reflective of time at the moment after realising the gap since last writing this newsletter. There are no excuses nor explanations other than to say I am back.
One thing I can share from this gap is my awareness of how subtly time changes our perception. In the space of a year a lot can happen. For people I know and meet there are changes happening in all aspects of life and work. You perhaps are no different. So then it becomes not whether or not change will happen but how we handle and embrace what comes our way. For many it is about acceptance and then taking action within the capacity and capability you have at this moment. For others it is all about embracing and owning the small and large transitions of our time.
A shift in service
In this context my work is also shifting. Over time my own personal journey has informed the way I offer my services. For the most part this means moving towards a more conscious approach in every aspect of living and working. At times it can be daunting to be shifting from an old way to a new one. You can feel alone and isolated. Yet, I do not feel alone in this experience now. Such a shift is occurring in many places that we would not normally expect. Even the news now carries daily stories lending credit to how we are no longer living in a world like old.
Business in particular is an area that I am interested in observing such change. For those of you who are touched by the onset of unpredictability and rapid change then you know first hand of what I say. There are constructive as well as challenging circumstances. We are also all affected. If you are not personally, then you likely know someone who is affected.
Conscious Business Leadership
With such change in the air I am responding. I am now expanding my service offerings to focus on what I call ‘conscious business leadership’ (CBL). This terminology is not new but can be interpreted in a variety of ways. For me it’s about creating positive sustainable changes in business. The change is enabled through leaders and owners expanding awareness and acting from a more conscious position. Under the CBL banner I am offering a formal group program and coaching. To see more about this program please read below.
This year I also completed a formal qualification as a ‘Transformative Meditation Facilitator’. Grateful for the teaching received, I find that this learning expands the way in which I help people and grounds my own practice in a breadth of techniques. Below I share some of my learning from this experience.
It is my wish and desire to further serve people in business in transition. I hope that through writing and letting you know about these updates that your curiosity awakens and your interest leads you into some new territory.
Of course more than anything I would love to connect with you beyond this electronic note. Please feel free to contact me.
For now grab a glass of water, cup of tea or coffee, sit back and enjoy reading this month's edition of Being Real. With such a long gap between issues I have packed alot into this one.
Nervously step forward or stubbornly hold back?
Life is a conundrum, isn’t it? We want to go one way yet often choose another. Then we go the way we think we should go when in fact our heart wants to pull us somewhere else. Do you feel like this sometimes? If so, do you notice when these see-saw tug-of-wars occur? For some a trigger might just be a small matter that escalates. For others a big problem becomes an all-engrossing drama. Either way we go back and forth between the experiences. Not a fun way to live and work, right?
Well I would like to suggest that we can live much more comfortably and in balance when we accept situations that usually trigger our extreme reaction. When we accept something for what it is before we add extra interpretation, story and projection of issues the situation diffuses. This is what I am implying with the title of this article.
Is this a contradiction?
The words of this title may at first seem contradictory. Nervously step forward? Confidently hold back? Our first assumption is that we would naturally not do anything if we feel nervous. Likewise when we are holding back we are doing so often because of our mind almost tricking us into thinking no action is right.
Nervously step forward
Yet there is a positive in each position. Let’s take the first context-to ‘nervously step forward’. Firstly we acknowledge that facing uncertainty or heading in a new and unknown direction can naturally elicit some fear and trepidation. This is normal.
At another level we are working with the duality of our primal emotional response and our conscious thought. When we are functioning effectively in life then we will know this place in our self yet still keep at it. In this context nervousness is more akin to excitement and healthy consideration of your actions. This place is about taking action from a position of trust, self-belief and super heightened awareness. Expanding and maintaining your awareness enables you to allay the fears and go forward consciously.
For example, lets imagine you are in a new work situation- role, job, company or even country. The degree of difference compared to your prior situation naturally will feed into a few of the fear monsters lurking in the back of your mind. Rather than dwell on the lack of security from your old place of being, you take action in a direction that gives you new experience. You make decisions that let you discover what the new way will be like. As you take action in this way you then can adjust and redirect.
Stubbornly hold back
The other context - to ‘stubbornly hold back’ is more about patience and focus. Again the key to this aspect is your ability to fine-tune your awareness so that you can be clear about why you are holding back. By holding back we are not talking resistance or withdrawal. Instead it is about knowing that your turn will come but for now it is more appropriate to wait and see. So, fueled by your super awareness you may appear stubborn in your choice and decision. In fact this is more like confidence. This position allows you to not be swayed by emotional pressure or stress imposed on you by others or even your self. You can be like an anchor grounding the chaos around you. This is a really important place to hold for not just you but wider groups of people within which you circulate.
For example, lets imagine a personal crisis has hit. There are many that immediately will come to mind depending on what the word crisis elicits in you. So again this is just pretend, but lets imagine it’s a major one. Your capacity to act and carry on as you were before the crisis will likely be limited. How much will depend on your own personal coping mechanisms. At some point our level of professionalism and dedication may have to drop down a notch. But rather than fall back in a big ball of self-entrapping stress, you can choose to be in pause or a more focused place. Holding back is not withdrawing. Instead it is being patient about what you don’t have the capacity to do at the moment. It is also being focused on what you can do.
So when both of the above approaches are unified you get what I call reflective action, in other words taking action with focus and patience. These two states can be contradictory if you let them push and pull you. Yet if you rise above into a greater state of self-awareness and operate from this place you can keep these forces in balance. The two end up complementing each other.
I am not advocating to be in either place of the two contexts described above. What I am all for is moving to a regular place of reflective action. To develop a sense of presence that allows you to both consider and contemplate situations before you take action means you have a greater level of confidence and awareness.
Practice, practice, practice
So how do you develop this place of reflective action? PRACTICE! To practice I mean regular attention. This is not a class you take, pass and then you can say you do it. No, this is a way of being and a way of operating in all that you do.
OK so maybe I am a bit optimistic here believing this is the way to be. Yet to want to do this rather than vacillate between the other positions is a positive and rewarding experience.
Of course there is far more to this then what I can write in this article. Yet for now you can do a few things to move more towards the balanced place of reflective action. Most of what I suggest is to play with the concepts and see what comes up for you. Pay attention and notice. You are your own best feedback loop if you choose to be. So here are some ideas:
- notice when you are feeling nervous and how this affects your actions
- observe what it takes for you to act especially in a challenging situation
- focus on one situation at a time
- over time take pause and review for trends and patterns
- be clear about your capacity and capability
- consider what situations you respond to with patience or impatience
- practice moments of patience where you can pause, reflect before you take action
- notice how you feel when you decide with clarity to do something
- if someone says you are being stubborn then check in and see what is really going on for you
- observe what it is like when you do step forward.
On a practical level you may benefit from talking the above out with another trusted colleague or friend. As well you can keep notes in a journal or diary. Do whatever supports you.
These words and suggestions are just that, suggestions. I offer them to you as a way to explore more supportive practices in times of change.
Let me know how you go.
WHAT'S NEW and HAPPENING
New program: Conscious Business Leadership
I am pleased to announce the launch of a new program 'Conscious Business Leadership - A mentoring program for leaders who want to create positive sustainable changes in business.' This program comes from a deep passion I have for enabling and supporting people to work within business contexts to help create positive change.
Working often with people in transition, I find that many of us can be frustrated or challenged by the very work environments within which we spend a large portion of our time. This scenario applies equally to you whether you work inside a large corporation, contract, consult or run your own business. From my experience there are people that work well supporting organisations and those that work well within. Knowing where you thrive is the base to start from.
From this foundation a career can be varied yet for leaders of any kind will involve growth and development. Sometimes though this track is less fulfilling than we thought. For example when it gets tough the temptation can be to run away, exit or opt out mentally and emotionally. This scenario applies to business owners as well when you lose touch with the reason you started or acquired your business. This way of being though serves neither the individual nor the organisation, no matter the size or type of industry.
The opportunity in conscious business leadership then is to change the way you approach leadership to a way that is more authentic, engaged and internally driven. Ironically by coming from a more conscious place within, you then also connect more authentically with others around you. Your leadership experience enhances communication, decision making, relationship building, business management, strategy, sales. As a result you may change your circumstances. Yet more importantly you can change the way you do business and thus influence more.
There are no magic ingredients to developing further as a conscious business leader. What there is though is opportunity and choice to come from a considered and reflective place to do something rather than nothing. This program supports you as a leader and / or business owner in developing confidence, clarity, community and consciousness to enhance and refine your leadership abilities.
The CBLP commences with a small group on 14 December 2011 with a half day workshop and then follows on with short monthly meetings until the end of June 2012. The program also includes the support of individual one-to-one coaching sessions with Jenn Shallvey.
This structure is in place for a few reasons:
- As we end one year and move into another we all naturally review, reflect and reconsider our plans for the following year. As a leader/business owner this is an imperative action anytime but even more so at key dates in the year. To consciously engage in this experience gives even more importance and power to your own process.
- Regular meetings allows you to connect with others in a supportive network, keep up your momentum, regather your self, test out ideas and then apply back in your business environment.
- One to one support allows you to integrate and process your experience at a deeper and more personally tailored level.
- The small group is intentional so that conversations are supportive and relationships enable real constructive and practical application.
For more information about the program content, structure and registration please visit the conscious business leadership section on my website.
Please feel free to contact me to discuss and explore further.
If you know someone who might be interested in this program please feel free to download and share the program flyer.
Meditation teacher qualification
Over the years I have enjoyed various forms of meditation. Through informal study and experimentation I explored practices that support me as well as enable me to help others through meditation. As this approach has been quite intuitive and ad hoc over the years I decided to expand my knowledge and skills with a formal training program. As mentioned above I completed studies as a 'Transformative Meditation Facilitator'.
As I am taking note of my learning I thought I would share with you a few points. If you already have a meditation practice then these points may not be new. However you might find them good reminders or notes to share with others who are curious.
- Meditation is a positive generally applicable way to support you in establishing and maintaining well-being.
- There is no single way to meditate. There are many.
- Virtually everyone can learn to meditate. Subject to a few situations, you just need to try, explore different methods and find what works for you.
- Meditation is the truest example of an approach that requires life long learning. I don’t believe we can ever finish learning to meditate. Every time you practice you open up to more.
- Meditation is about focus and practice balanced with allowing.
- Whether done as a formal class or on your own during a break at work, meditation will create indirect benefits in multiple areas of your life and work.
- We benefit from meditation through increased self-awareness, reduction in stress related symptoms and an improved ability to stay focused and in the present.
- Developing a meditation practice and following it enables you to be better at what you do whether it be running a company, leading a team or living your life.
- Meditation is a metaphor for life. We can be distracted and off course or we can bring ourselves back to centre and focus on what matters right now.
- There are no age limits, education prerequisites or barriers to practicing.
- You can meditate anywhere at anytime, really!
Oh and one last thing. What I have learned the most in my experience so far is that I have a lot more to learn! I am in awe and humble respect of the practitioners who live and breathe (no pun intended) their practice. My teacher this year in fact has been teaching for over 30 years. She is an example of a true mentor in this space.
If you would like more details about my experience I am happy to share these with you. I am also open to support you on your meditation journey no matter what the context.
Coaching with Jenn
In case you are not aware I offer coaching programs. Programs differ from a one off session in that you have support for the duration of the coaching program both in sessions and in between.
Business AND personal
Coaching services are designated business for situations where the sponsor is an employer. All other services fall under the banner of personal coaching. The context of the coaching conversation is up to the person being coached. My work supports people who are focusing on periods of transition, career changes and/or conscious business leadership.
A standard program consists of 10 x 1 hour blocks of time plus phone and email support. The session blocks can be combined in any way desired - eg 1.5 hours or even a half day. Phone and email is available within reason for the duration of the program and two months following completion. Frequency depends on preference. So sessions vary from fortnightly to monthly or even two-monthly.
The place for coaching can be anything that mutually works. This includes a dedicated coaching space in Riverview (Sydney), office, another mutually agreed location (park, cafe, etc), phone, Skype or even a walk and talk somewhere.
Please feel free to contact me more to discuss or explore further online.
Special end of year coaching offer
I acknowledge the need for support at this busy time of year. As such I would like to offer special meditation practice coaching sessions at 50% discount from my normal personal coaching rate. Simply mention 'Being Real' when booking a session. This offer is to newsletter subscribers or referrals from subscribers. If you are interested please contact me. This offer is good until the end of January 2012. Sessions can be via phone, Skype or in person.
If you are a current or past client you are entitled to a complementary session.
Please share with friends
It is my intention to inspire people through my writing, coaching and facilitating to be more conscious, real, authentic and true to self.
If you know someone who might enjoy reading and connecting please pass this edition on and share using the button at the bottom of this email that says 'forward to a friend'. It means a lot to me to make a difference in this way
If you enjoy sharing information you read via social media then here are a few other ways to pass on this newsletter.
I truly appreciate our connection and your interest in my work. I hope that I am able to help you with what I have on offer and share. Please feel free to connect in whatever way suits you. I look forward to hearing from you.
All writing in this newsletter is copyright Jenn Shallvey 2011.
How do you handle change and uncertainty?
What does the word consciousness mean to you?
How are you at being patient? What triggers lead to impatience?
Do you take reflective action at work? in yo
Are you ready to be all that you can be now?
What's on soon...
Registrations for the Conscious Business Leadership Program are now open. Program starts 14 December 2011.