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Lessons in Life from Dancing Guy

Posted by on Jul 13th, 2012 in performing under pressure, Uncategorized, women's leadership | 0 comments

Dancing is a wonderful metaphor for leadership. And here’s an example I stumbled across today, though it’s been around a while.  The inspired voiceover by Derek Sivers says it all, but I also saw  a really important lesson for performance (and life) that I wanted to add. Dancing Guy  ignites the sparks in others, from simply being in the moment, doing what he loves, because it feels right. He doesn’t seek anyone’s approval.  He honours them, sure,  when they choose to follow, but he nevertheless remains DETACHED from the outcome and stays COMMITTED to his course of action. Is it possible for you to remain committed to your passion, and your audacious goal, even during the times you are out there on your own and facing judgement? What are your underlying motivations for pursuing your passion? Does it bring you satisfaction and joy, or are you attached to the approval that accompanies it? Are you prepared to take a risk, and get into action?   Its good to know that if you do, wonderful things may follow…....

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Embodied Leadership Course

Posted by on Jul 11th, 2012 in leadership presence, news and events, performing under pressure, women's leadership | 0 comments

If you are interested in Wendy Palmer’s Embodied Leadership work there is a level 1 course happening in London next week Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd July. Led by Matthew Dodwell, an experienced somatics teacher with a black belt in aikido, this will be a fun and useful workshop. Wendy will be hosting a level 2 course in London in August. Here is the information from the website. To book go to http://www.embodiedleadership.co.uk/content/workshops or for more details, please email Matthew, or phone on 07732 859637   Leadership Embodiment Level 1 Experience yourself in a whole new way! Leadership embodiment gives us a level of insight into ourselves and our patterns that is revolutionary. You can’t change your mind with your mind alone. If you could of, you would have. Come and experience yourself at different level, engaging your somatic, or body based, intelligence. The level 1 course is the introductory level course. WeYou will work with a series of exercises that will put us just a little off balance, so that you can have a strong experience of coming back to ‘centre’ and back to a sense of being able to handle yourself. We will use ‘4 part centring’ as the primary method for coming back to full consciousness when our awareness is caught up something else. Using from a partner (it can be very soft and still take us off balance) to activate our patterns and then practice returning to a calm, relaxed state. When you have a strong physical sense of what it feels like to be balanced and centred under pressure in a workshop situation, then your body will remember and be able to duplicate this when you’re back out in the everyday world. You’ll experience how this can help with:   Meditation – learn how to be more relaxed and aware during prayer / meditation time (certainly has helped me stay awake and aware for at least an hour during our quaker meetings, even with unhelpful chairs!) Stressful situations – such as work and home stress, people giving feedback, being annoying etc! Giving presentations – how to stay calm, focussed and present Being a parent – our children (and pets) usually respond to what our body language is communicating, rather than our words and often we’re not aware they’re different! – Find out how to give a unified message that helps those around us to feel more relaxed and secure. Taking things ‘off the mat’ – if you do any other form of bodywork such as yoga, tai chi, meditation, chi gong etc. then conscious embodiment will give you new ways of living this in everyday life  – how to be the self you come to know in training when you’re out in the world. Personality and Centre – how our personality shows up in our body language, and how to become less compulsed. Discover your individual way of holding yourself under stress, and then how to relax. To do this we use the following exercises: Experience your centre – get familar with our habitual patterns and develop a sense of self to return to. Leader – follower – How these patterns show up in relationships. Advocate – listener – How do we take intentions out into the world. How can we listen spaciously to others Entering and Including– An exercise to look at timing. If we concentrate...

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Paul Linden Returns

Posted by on Jul 11th, 2012 in Featured Post, leadership presence, news and events, women's leadership | 0 comments

After a successful workshop a few months ago, Being In Movement founder and body-mind master  Paul Linden is returning to the UK with a new Embodiment For Trainers and Coaches workshop on 31st August in Brighton.  From September 1st Paul will also be available for 1:1 coachings. For more information visit http://integrationtraining.co.uk/blog/2012/07/paul-linden-uk-workshop-embodied-training-tools.html. I had lots of fun and learning on the last one, so it comes highly recommended.      ...

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Conflict Is Not A Dirty Word

Posted by on Mar 29th, 2012 in leadership presence, women's leadership | 0 comments

Conflict. It’s a word charged with emotion and it can strike discomfort and fear into the bodies and souls of many of us. That’s not surprising, since our experiences of conflict tend to be painful at worst and frustrating at best. Just bringing the word to mind can produce images connected with negative states of opposition, hostility and harm. No wonder we go out of our way to ignore or deflect it, even when we know that’s a pointless exercise, since it will return to bite us hard on the backside. But yesterday I was reading a conflict post over at www.thecorporatehippy.co.uk  and got to thinking. Since I am in the practice of looking for where the Power resides inside my current challenges, I was curious about our trouble with conflict, and whether there is a more positive power that lies at the heart of it. And I’ve come to the conclusion that conflict is everywhere and it informs everything we do.   Where there are ideas to share, there is conflict Where there is opinion to be spoken, there is conflict Where there is diversity to celebrate, there is conflict Where there are stories of adventure, love and triumph, there is conflict In short, where there are people, there will be conflict Conflict is not by nature destructive, competitive or disabling. But our reaction to it usually is.  We feel the way we do about conflict, because we have learnt some things along the way, which may no longer be serving us well. Our conflict triggers are partly learned through our childhood experiences and family interactions, and which are now embedded in our bodies as habits and patterns. These patterns formed before we knew better, before we had the competencies and authority we need to meet external challenges with self-trust and confidence and before we had exposure to teachers and role models to show us differently.  We have learned to experience conflict as a challenge or an attack on our safety, our psyche, our identity. So we forget that conflict has generative power and lies at the heart of new ideas, creativity, and, ultimately, change. Without it there would be no vital force to drive our selves or our businesses through stagnation and stuckness, towards progress and growth. For all these reasons, conflict doesn’t have to, and can’t always, be either deflected or resolved. And if we are to step into being powerful Leaders for our businesses and our selves, we need to learn to be okay with that. We need to learn how to live more comfortably with conflict.  We need to learn how to increase our capacity, resilience and willingness to engage with it, because the bottom line is, none of us would learn, if we were never challenged, and we would not be able to survive the sorts of challenges that come with increased visibility and success. Of course, that’s easier to say than to do, and it means a fundamental shift in how we relate to the world. That could mean working on such things as boundaries, vulnerability, speaking up, and giving up control. But its worth getting on the path, because in the heat of the moment, we will be able to stand our ground and stay committed to our goal, whilst allowing everyone to retreat with...

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Are You Truly Ready For A Leading Role?

Posted by on Mar 9th, 2012 in Featured Post, leadership presence, performing under pressure, women's leadership | 2 comments

Imagine you are the star of the show. Your name is called and you take your place in the wings.  You are alone, in the semi-darkness, waiting your entrance. With dramatic anticipation, the curtain rises and the lights illuminate the space, revealing the stage and your audience. What happens next? Do you trust yourself to step into the light, confident you will give a good performance (and equally secure knowing that, should you happen to fall flat on your face, you can smile and carry on) Or do you hesitate too long, miss your cue, and experience such fright that you give up those dreams of being the star and beat a retreat to the safety of your day job? I know countless women who have the talent, skills and knowledge to take their business to the next level. And  too many of those women have sabotaged their success just as they were on the verge of a breakthrough. Every year in the lead up to International Women’s Day on 8th March, I hear an increasing number of calls for women to take up more visible positions ; in politics, in business, in communities.  (Have you noticed how enlightened women entrepreneurs are being hailed as the next global economy?) But you know, it’s really not that easy. What is less frequently spoken about (at least in public), is that many women are simply not practiced at being ‘Visible’ Leaders.  It seems shameful to admit somehow, as if it’s a weakness that we are responsible for. We are not. There is no doubt that we are experts at what we do. But the truth is, a good number of us haven’t been awarded the opportunities or experiences that equip us to face the Leadership challenge in the long-term.  Too many training programmes fail to  provide the resources we need, when they ignore the  sticky issues that exist around attitudes and perspectives on women’s power and leadership, and don’t take account how our histories and experiences shape our performance.   And we were lucky if we grew up with the mentors and role models to show us how to we can take the lead without losing our heads, our integrity and our identities along the way. The thing is, achieving success inevitably brings demands and complex challenges. You know that, which is why you hesitate.  Even natural born leaders need to build appropriate resilience and reserves before they move out in front and risk being in the line of fire. That’s why I think it’s crucial that we take care of a few things first, before we cast ourselves into a Leadership role for the first time. It is, after all, a commitment to a new type of consciousness, a coming into being of a new kind of self, a world beyond the one we have inhabited in the shadows. So what is the most important thing we need to do to get prepared for success? When I was a professional performer, I was experienced at stepping into the light, facing the public, delivering a performance, and receiving both critical judgement and applause. And one thing I learned, was that when I felt under-practiced, or when I ran out in haste just because my name has been called without acclimatising myself,...

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Embodied Leadership: Free Taster at Roffey Park

Posted by on Mar 2nd, 2012 in leadership presence, news and events, women's leadership | 0 comments

Want to know more about Strozzi Institute’s unique embodied leadership programme and if it’s right for you? Roffey Park in West Sussex is the only place in the UK where you can experience Strozzi Institute’s renowned courses. They are offering their Leadership In Action Course on 21st to 24th May 2012.  But if you want to know what you are letting yourself in for first (something quite transformational I can assure you), then you can take advantage of their  Free Taster Day that is happening on 6th March. For more information, go to http://www.roffeypark.com. Or...

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New Workshop Launched, grab it at reduced price!

Posted by on Mar 2nd, 2012 in news and events, performing under pressure | 0 comments

Lucky me, I’m in for a double workshop treat this month, and as a result I’m sure to be getting out of my head and back in my body! The Integral Life Practice Foundation (ILP) Workshop invites you on a journey to explore and develop your full potential, enabling you to live a more open, balanced, free and fulfilled life. Hot on the heels of my workshop with Master bodymind teacher Paul Linden, is this 2 1/2 day workshop hosted by Strozzi Institute Coaches/Teachers Sylvia Baumgartner and Lisa Mcarthey, of Labyrinth Coaching & Consulting.    People say of my workshops that “It promised a lot, and delivered even more,” and I know people will say the same about this.  Sylvia was personally responsible for igniting some profound insights I experienced during my Embodied Leadership Course, so I can highly recommend this course for anyone wanting to explore how somatics and embodied learning can empower your life. You can even take the first pilot workshop at a highly discounted rate.  Here’s the information, hope to see you there. If you can’t make these dates, get in touch with Labyrinth (details below), as they will be happening in venues around the country. Are you reaching your full potential? Do you feel held back in some way? Are you leading your life or is life leading you? Is your personal/professional life what you would like it to be? Can you cope in all the situations you find yourself in?  Do you find it difficult to make decisions, hold boundaries, say no? Are you clear on the purpose and meaning of your life?  Do you desire more fulfilling and connected relationships?  What do you yearn for? Going beyond self-awareness, this programme uses various approaches, including Somatics (working through the living body in its wholeness), Transpersonal Psychology, and experiential methods, to enable self-cultivation and personal transformation, empowering you to live the life, purpose and service you desire. What makes this programme unique is that it is underpinned by the theory and practices of embodied learning (working through the body), which provides the key to self-discovery, transformation and empowerment to take new appropriate actions How Could ILP Benefit You? As the world changes, the demands on our lives both personally and professionally change. The ability to access and utilize our full self to navigate through these times is becoming a necessity. Attending this workshop will enable you to: Determine the life and future you want to lead Develop appropriate and personalised practices to finding and living your deepest purpose Turbocharge your overall development to function inwardly and outwardly with greater clarity, presence and vitality in all areas of your life Develop self confidence and self-esteem Letting go of old stories and behaviours that are no longer effective  Engage and learn from your whole Self (mind, body, Spirit, mood and emotions) Develop deeply connected and satisfying relationships Develop your capacity to set boundaries and say “no” Know yourself, what you care about, and build your capacity to fulfil on your personal aspirations Who Should Attend? This workshop is for anybody who is curious to explore the domain of embodied learning, and who wishes to transform their personal and professional lives. This programme has also proved very successful for individuals who wish to gain greater insight and understanding of issues with...

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Embodying Boundaries

Posted by on Feb 13th, 2012 in Featured Post, leadership presence, performing under pressure, women's leadership | 0 comments

Stressed? Overwhelmed? Frustrated? Feeling discomfort, and unease? You’ve probably got a case of ‘crappy boundary’ syndrome! I’ve learned the messy way, that if we  want to stay in our power, and perform at our best under pressure, then we have to get clear on where we draw the boundaries and where we walk the line. Boundaries are vital for keeping us safe and secure. They allow us to keep what harms and disturbs us at arms length, so we don’t become destabilised. And they allow us to let in the stuff that nourishes and strengthens us, which feeds our resilience.  Boundaries are intimately connected with your right to claim your existence, and your right  to take a stand for yourself, and what matters to you. And our capacity to hold relaxed but strong boundaries allows our clients, our families, and our children, to experience  more support, containment and security for themselves. So everyone benefits. We negotiate boundaries in all areas of our lives; we have emotional, relational, physical, sexual, social, financial, intellectual and spiritual boundaries. But rarely do we bring conscious attention to what our personal limits are, and where our defenses are  too permeable or too rigid. If the people in your life don’t know your limits, they’ll assume they have permission to keep doing what they are doing until you say stop.  The problem is,  if you don’t know what your limits are either, they’ll keep doing it until you reach overwhelm or breakdown.  At the very least, you will feel taken advantage of. The first step is to become aware of the boundaries you need to strengthen (or loosen), in order to nourish you and meet your needs better. But that’s not enough. As I’m sure you have experienced, being aware that you need to say ‘NO’ to a request, and knowing both the words to say and the reason to say them, doesn’t make it any easier to say ‘NO’ in the moment, when you are in contact with the other person. Instead we become dis-abled by the feelings, sensations, histories and experiences that are imprinted in our bodies.  We are physically unable to communicate our intention. We may create other ‘defenses’ to maintain a superficial sense of safety. We say yes, but then sabotage the agreement. We may act out knee-jerk responses, or otherwise react inappropriately, but they only every provide short-term relief. That’s because  boundaries are an embodied experience; it is at the edges and the spaces of our physical organism that we meet, communicate, and differentiate what we call ‘me’ from the ‘other’. So we need to bring the experience of the body into any conversation about boundaries. As Jaimen McMillen, founder of Spacial Dynamics explains, “…Burn-out happens when the world approaches us too close, too directly, it becomes in our face,  it gets under our skin, it gets on our nerves.'” I am still on a healing path myself, but I’ve learnt some good stuff along the way, that I’ll share with you in future posts. It’s a huge subject, but that doesn’t mean the solutions have to be complicated (though they do take practice).  The good news is, “You  can select where you want to meet the world.”  Several of my clients have found Jaimen’s beautifully simple ‘Garden Gate’ metaphor, an effective starting...

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Rare Training Opportunity

Posted by on Feb 12th, 2012 in news and events | 0 comments

Embodied Tools for Trainers, Teachers and Coaches Brighton  22nd March, 2012  10am-5pm With World Leader in Embodied Training and Being In Movement® Founder Dr Paul Linden, and Mark Walsh I highly recommend this workshop.  I discovered Paul’s work via the world wide web, way back in 2006 and apart from an excellent day’s training with Mark Walsh, who shared some of the fundamentals of Paul’s work on his behalf last year, I have had to be satisfied with accessing his wisdom via the books on my shelf.   So how pleased am I that not only is Paul coming to England, but is hosting a workshop on my doorstep. I’m signed up…hope to see you there.  And thanks to Mark for making it happen! For information contact Mark Walsh – 07762 541 855mark@integrationtraining.co.uk – An Added Dimension to Training, Teaching and Coaching Whatever people do is with a body, and training and coaching is no exception. By better understanding posture, intention and movement anyone who works in learning can improve what they do. This workshop is specifically designed for trainers, teachers and coaches and will equip you with practical and powerful tools you can use in your daily work from the growing field of embodied learning. The workshop will be highly experiential, interactive and enjoyable and you will walk away being able to do a number of useful new things straight away. There will be revision of the fundamentals of Paul’s work and new content not included in his previous visits. so the training is suitable for people new to Paul’s work and for those who have seen him in action before. Benefits of Attending The day-long training will focus on imparting practical new skills. You will walk away with the following personally, and the ability to impart the fundamentals on to others: A deeper understanding of the relevance of body awareness, posture, and breathing in your work Methods for remaining calm under pressure Tools for change techniques for grounding based on the level of intentions Increased focus Increased personal presence Increased ability to see students, delegates and coachees A free e-book by Paul Linden on Being In Movement and half-price offer on his other e-books Applications to business coaching, stress management, leadership training, change management, time management and team building will be discussed, along with the language best used with business/children/ non-profit and other groups. Applications to business coaching, stress management, leadership training, change management, time management and team building will be discussed, along with the language best used with business/children/ non-profit and other groups. Who Can Attend? Independent trainers Training managers within organisations Coaches new to embodied training Coaches experienced using the body through other methods (e.g. NLP, Strozzi Institute, Conscious Embodiment, Somatic Experiencing) Sports and martial arts coaches Therapists and counsellors Teachers, tutors and other educators   What the Workshop Will Involve Paul’s rigorous yet light-hearted approach involves trying alternative strategies of action and inviting participants to prove for themselves what works and what doesn’t. The workshop will be highly experiential and consist of solo, partnered and group work involving non-athletic body movement and adjustments to posture, attention and breathing. Aside from being immensely practical, Paul brings a sense of care and humour to his work, which makes it a lot of fun. Paul Linden, Ph.D. Based in Columbus Ohio, Paul is a...

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