You know what? I might just be living my dream.

If you are a regular reader of my blog you may have noticed that is has been a different kind of week for me. The big giveaway is that I have blogged 6 out of 7 days. It has been pretty special, not amazing, but pretty special.

The most notable thing this week has been that I have spent the vast majority of the time in the present. Being in the present and appreciating what was happening in real time, has actually made my future prospects far more attractive and much less scary.

I said at the beginning of the week that I still had some residual tension and that I could feel that in my jaw. As I have been writing this, this morning I have just checked in with my body, I have got no fingernail marks in the palm of my hands, my jaw is relaxed and I don’t have that faint feeling of nausea I usually experience in the morning. In other words Foggy has got his feet up and is having a snooze. He is content that he is not needed at the moment. Everything is on an even keel, he is particular dose of realism is not required.

Now I am not saying I am really happy, and that is the point, that is why Foggy has got his feet up. I am neither ecstatic or miserable, I am just content to allow both emotions the space they have in my mind. I have not suddenly reached another plain of consciousness, I am not sat cross legged in the middle of the floor at one with my inner being. I have, however consciously paid attention to and appreciated what surrounds me, how my body feels, what I am doing, and what is happening to me. This has started to calm my thoughts, to the point that I have woken up this morning quite relaxed. I am knackered and full of cold and physically feel a bit rubbish, but that is not having a detrimental effect on my state of mind, it is just something I am experiencing. It is weird and fascinating to experience mindfulness (if you want to call it that) in action. It works, it really does work. I have been setting myself free from my thoughts all week and thoroughly enjoying the journey.

So why do I think I am living the dream?

I do a job I absolutely love, a job that allows me to follow my interest and work within my values, so much so that my role has become an intrinsic part of my identity. People have enough belief in me as a coach at work that they allow me and encourage me to pursue my interests, to the point that they are willing to fund me to complete a course on strategic coaching.

I am writing a book. I have always wanted to write a book, but never thought I was good enough. I listened to my self critic. I listen to my self critic less now I am writing it, because people like me can and do write books.

I write a blog. Writing a blog is my release, it helps me make sense of my world, and according to feedback I get it helps other people make sense of their world and has inspired them to take action in their life, and for a coach there is no better motivation to do something.

I have a loving family. They laugh at me and sometimes look at me sideways, but they love me and I love them. Every time I see my sons my heart swells with pride, they are handsome, kind intelligent and talented and there is not a day goes by when they do not amaze me. Just as I wrote that my youngest just cycled past the window on his paper round and a little bit of joy jumped into my heart. On Wednesday we went to watch Ben my eldest play in his band (Vialetters) at a local venue. I am so blessed to calm them both my sons to the point I look for opportunities to talk about them to others on a daily basis, and I will often talk about them when I teaching.

So that is just a few highlights about why I am living the dream. I am not rich or famous. I don’t live in a big house and drive a fancy car. I am enough , I am alive and I am making a difference.

Are you living your dream? Have you checked? How often do you pay attention to what is going on around you?

Being mindful does not mean you have to meditate or do something dramatic. Just pay attention to what is really happening right now in the physical world, not the world constructed in your mind. It is really obvious but takes practice to actually do.

A Day With The Sumo Guy

So today I spent the day at The Source in Sheffield on a NHS Leadership Academy Masterclass by Paul McGee the SUMO guy. If you have not heard of Paul he is an author and public speaker, who wrote among other things SUMO (Shut Up Move On). A book on personal management.

His masterclass was all about SUMO and how personal management can help leaders in the NHS. If you are like me and many others, you might think that telling your audience to shut up off the bat is a little aggressive, and Paul appreciates this, and does explain it another way for us more sensitive souls in the audience, which is Stop, Understand Move On.

I will not go into detail of the content of the day or his book, and that is because Paul explains it so much better, check out his website to find out more http://www.thesumoguy.com/

What a truly inspirational and energising day. As you know I have been having a present action centred week and this has continued today. Everything he talked about resonated with me. I am not going to spend long writing tonight, as I am so exhausted, but I wanted to come home and write this blog, just to highlight his work with you, and spread the word of personal management.

As you know I am writing a book and spending the day in Paul’s presence has spurred me on to get the first draft finished, and to get going with the level 7 coaching course I was talking about last night. His has also reignited the idea of pursuing the idea of public speaking, and spreading the word about Connected Living. So if you do run a company or a voluntary group and are interested in learning more about Connected Living and how it can change your life then email me and we can make some arrangements.

matt@mattycoach71.com

The next stage of my coaching career

Today I took the next tentative steps into the part of my coaching journey. As I mentioned before in December I became the coaching lead for the NHS trust I work for. This involves developing a coaching and mentoring network throughout the organisation. This has taken me out of my comfort zone on a number of occasions, which has been wonderful if not a little scary. I feel that I have grown over the past year and months and coaching and clinical supervision have become a integral part of my professional and personal life.

As you realise I have a passion for coaching and I feel at home sat with someone having a coaching conversation or raising the awareness of a group of people about the ask/tell continuum. What I feel out of my depth with is the strategic element of integrating coaching and mentoring into the fabric of the organisation. It just seems to big for someone like me to handle. So I asked myself a couple of weeks ago, what could happen if I became the sort of person that could tackle such a big job. What would I need to do? What tools would I need? What attitude would I need?

Well I started answering those questions and today I started on that journey to being that type of person. I looked into a course that would help me raise my strategic awareness and provide me with some tools and courage to tackle such weighty high brow issues. And I found one, I secured the funding and applied. Today I was accepted onto the course. I can start at the beginning of next month.

I am doing it! Someone like me is doing it!

If you know me you know that ‘people like me don’t do things like that’ is my stock self limiting statement.

So I am doing it, I made myself vulnerable, I am scared I will fail and fall flat on my face but I started it. I am going to brave the arena so wish me luck.

Being Present, and Enjoying The Journey

The past few days have been quite special. Nothing special has happened, apart from life of course and that has been the key to why it has been so special. I have been the most present I have been for such a long time. Finally reading all those books by Brene Brown, Ruby Wax, Stephen Colville and Steve Peters has payed off, and I have finally started to respond to my own coaching.

I did not realise how tightly I was wound until today really, and to be fair there is still some residual tension, but when you are so used to be tense anxious about life it does take time. I can now though appreciate how I turn up and what is going on around me. Life is quite wonderful you know, even the rubbish. I was getting caught up in making it better instead of noticing that it might just be enough, and if it is not it is still your life so enjoy it whilst you make it better. I have said before we can often spend to much time sitting in our future and fail to notice the beauty of what is happening right now. I have said it a lot but actually experiencing it is another thing.

Now I know I have been here before and I know that there will be times in the future when that anxiety and either being stuck in the past or the future will return. I also know that I will recognise when it happens and know that it will pass and I will with practice get back to being present again.

You may be anxious and full of regret at the moment, but that will pass, the world is beautiful, you are alive and being alive is full of wonder, and you will see that beauty again.

Last night when I found that poem, that I had written when I was in pain, I was taken by the beauty and the hope of the poem, I saw it for what it was, and that is why I shared it.

Life is full of highs and lows and both are a vital part of life, so embrace them for what they are.

If you want to embrace you positives and negatives and learn more about yourself and what your success looks like, please get in touch and together we can make a change to you life.

As a health warning however if you find it difficult to see hope, or feel positive emotion, it is important to speak to someone who is qualified to help you. If you have toothache you go to the dentist, so if you think you may have depression see a doctor.

Preparing For The Next Round of Clinical Supervision and Rumbling With Rumbles

This week has been a week has been a week of creating visions for the future and laying down some plans for making those visions a reality.

The week started with an afternoon meeting with the inspirational Janis to discuss plans for training Nurses in Compassionate Clinical Supervision. This year we are introducing new trainers so we thrashed out how that would look. We then planned the content for our refresher sessions for existing Clinical Supervisors. This is when me and Janis are at our best, when we start being creative. We came up with some great work, none of which I can share (Janis would kill me if I let the cat out of the bag). I will share it once we have delivered it. We also finally came up with a working title for the textbook on Clinical Supervision we plan to edit. For the first time we managed to get some ideas for chapters written down. As usual it was a brilliant meeting, so inspirational and really productive.

Wednesday saw me meeting up with another inspirational woman Nicola (one of our Practice Development Matrons). I help Nicola with the post induction support program she runs for our new registrants. This currently consists of 2 catch up days offered to our new Nurse registrants. During these days we combine, personal and professional reflection along with practical skill acquisition. We have done this for 2 years now and we are starting to plan what we will be doing for our next cohort of graduates and more importantly the first cohort of our Nurse Associates who will be graduating in May. Now what we are doing essentially is useful, however there are a few issues that still need resolving. One of them being that with the ever increasing complexity of healthcare and the demands put on the new registrants, by themselves, their colleagues and the public we felt that we needed to offer them something else that helped them recharge their resilience. This was where my mind started to tick over and I managed to summon the marvelous Janis into the room. Now Janis, Janis’s boss, Tony (the coolest, kindest, Chaplain I know) have recently been playing with an idea coined by Janis as Rumbling for Resilience (nod to Brene, but this is all Janis, she even has a dance for it…don’t ask, I am still rumbling with that). This idea was at the request of Janis’ boss to address the stress she was seeing amongst the nursing staff within their Health Group. A germ of an idea began with Janis and was added to by Tony who had done something very similar in his previous job, where he would open up the Chapel for people to drop in during the afternoon, have a drink and a cake and talk to people about how they felt, or what was happening to them. As we know sharing your shame and discomfort diminishes those feelings and can restore your self esteem. So we have been playing with this idea mixing it with some structure with the informality of a drop in session. It hasn’t got off the ground yet but we are doing some work on that.

Anyway lets get back to my meeting with Nicola, so Janis and her rumbles entered my head when thinking about what additional offers we can put into our package for new registrants. My idea was that we could offer a resilience rumble (drop-in) once a month for new registrants where they could talk about their experiences with people going through the same thing in a protected environment with a very light facilitation. We would then offer 1 to 1 Clinical Supervision to any of those that needed it. It needs some work to get this up and running for May but I can feel exciting times ahead, rising to the challenges modern healthcare throw at us. During our discussion we touched on something I want to explore further, and that is one to one support of our new leaders, something that is mentioned a lot but due to the workload always seems to drop off. So I have been thinking about what an offer for supporting new and emerging leaders that is realistic and workable would look like. That is the challenge, to develop coaching and supervision programs that are responsive and become part of the fabric of the work place. Funnily enough I am looking at a course that focuses on the strategic element of coaching and how to embed it into the culture of an organisation.

On Thursday I met Steve our new colleague (Senior OD Practitioner) a thoroughly agreeable chap, as I mentioned earlier exciting times are ahead. I also had a lovely catch up with my friend Becky. We discussed all things, coaching, supervision, parenthood, getting older and blogging. We all need a comfortable chat to replenish our soul, and Becky certainly provided that on Thursday.

Well Friday, I am not sure what went on, on Friday. I spent most of the day being late for meetings. A lot of restorative discussions with some coaching. A great day but a bit of a blur.

So that was one of those positive weeks, where you can see all that needs to be done, but instead of filling you with dread, fills you with excitement for the challenges and adventures ahead. Bring on next work.

So What Happened To January?

Most years January is torture. It goes on forever, it is cold, dark and miserable and everyone is skint after being paid in the middle of December. This year however I blinked and missed it. Now the weather has not been great, it was as dark as any other January, and there was definitely too much month left at the end of the money, so why did it pass by faster than my 46 previous January’s?

Basically I didn’t stop to think this year. I have been so busy, I have been delivering content 2 or 3 times a week, and then writing, and preparing content on the other days or going to meetings about delivering content and coaching. I have never had a January like it, it has been brilliant. A little bit overwhelming at times but brilliant just the same. It is starting to feel like coaching in such a busy and challenging environment is having an effect. Despite it the hospital being really busy (as you would expect in January) people were coming along to the insights sessions, and manager as a coach sessions and were really engaged in what I had to say. I also spent some time with our Nurse Apprentices and our Trainee Nurse Associates teaching them all about Human Factors and how to manage the inherent risks we take to work. They were engaged and charming and made feel so proud to be working for the NHS. A couple of them have even taken up the opportunity to be coached, in fact I have been getting at least 1 coaching referral per session this January, which for a bunch of cynical health professionals is quite something.

I have also spent a significant amount of personal time working through my personal action plans of developing my own private coaching service, by putting things in place, and thinking about my business plan. There is still a lot of work to be done but I do now have a clear plan and direction. So with this, my ever busy role in the NHS and me still doing battle with my book (which is a little problematic at the moment), no wonder January came and went. I have noticed my blogs have been shorter recently no doubt as a result of the amount of other work I have been doing. This afternoon I am going to spend some time staring at a blank page thinking of something interesting to write for my book. So wish me luck.

If you are thinking about your action plans this year and are not sure they are right for you or they are not progressing as you expected drop me a line we can have a chat and start to discover the direction you need to be going in. If you haven’t already take a look at my subscription offers on my price plans and services page.

Just The Tonic

As you know I have been a little fed up over the past couple of weeks. In my previous blog I mentioned the tonic of being coached for my well-being which was truly excellent.

Then on Thursday morning I woke up to this song on my Spotify. There is nothing better than hearing something one of children has produced with his band mates. They are so talented and they deserve all the recognition I am sure they are going to get. Please click play and have a listen, I know I am a proud dad but they are bloody brilliant. If you are in Hull on 13th February 2019, pop down to the Polar Bear to see them in the flesh. Tickets are available via Hull Box Office or you can pay on the door. They are supporting another talented Hull band Mauritia.

Make an old Dad happy give them a listen and let them know how good they are.