Tuesday, 30 September 2014

October 2014

Welcome to the Dare to Blossom Newsletter

In this Issue:
Notices: last chance to try your special offer
Reflections: Harvest
An Experiment

Notices: S
pecial offer for readers - ends on 31 October

This special offer has been running all summer and I make no apology for putting it first in this month's newsletter as it ends soon, and thank you to those who have already responded.. For those of you interested to explore the Rediscovery Process in more depth, this offer is open to readers of this newsletter: If you would like to discuss the benefits for you, just email me, and we can always arrange a time for a chat first for you to decide if this is right for you. This link gives some idea of how other people have found this work helped them.

* One Hour in depth Rediscovery Coaching Session: £35 (usually £65)

* 'Short and Sweet' Rediscovery Session - 15 minutes £12.00 (usually £16.50)

These sessions are on the telephone or Skype, just contact me to book your time slot, some evenings available. 

**Offer expires on 31 October 2014**

Reflections: Harvest

Autumn equinox has just passed here in the northern hemisphere, while in the south you are entering spring. The field in the photo below has now been harvested and the grain stored, the straw turned into the large round bales that look like 'giant cotton-reels'..

I've been reflecting on all the wonderful things I have 'harvested' this year so far: the people I have been in contact with in my business and professional life; my friends and contacts around the world; the courses and workshops I have participated in, whether on-line or in the physical world. I am so grateful for this technology that facilitates and encourages people to connect and share, even when they are separated by thousands of miles and may never meet.

On a recent journey I sat on a plane next to a Norwegian teacher accompanying a group of teenagers on a school trip to Cornwall. We had a fascinating conversation, two strangers connecting briefly who will almost certainly never cross paths again. I was reminded that when I was a child (younger than these students) I corresponded with a pen-pal in Norway. I loved receiving her letters with the exotic stamps and reading her very good English telling of her life there.

There is a different quality to hand-written messages and cards and I continue to treasure those I receive. The beauty of electronic communication is the enabling of faster contact with more people, even though we are all aware of the potential down-sides of this.
........................................ a pause......... as I realise this flow-writing has taken me off down a different path than I expected, how interesting.

So - to re-focus on my personal 'harvest' this year, such a gloriously broad and diverse range of contacts has been one of the highlights. In a contrast to this, some very special relationships with a few close friends have been a rich source of choice 'fruits'. Beautiful juicy moments of joy, realisation, connection. And sharing sorrows and frustrations and supporting each other through these has been equally satisfying.

Now that I am tuning into this harvest festival of mine I am beginning to be overwhelmed with gratitude for all the treasures in my life this year: books, videos, pictures, phone calls, texts, emails. Workshops, retreats, conferences. Thank you cards, birthday cards, cards with children's drawings. Chance comments by strangers, overheard snatches of conversation. Sunsets, moon rises, star-lit nights. Stormy seas, calm waters, sandy beaches, rock pools. Flowers in bud, blossoms in full bloom, real produce of the land. Seeds to plant - metaphorical and literal.

Tears and laughter, shared silences, lively conversations. And so, so much more. This has become a gratitude list, and I love writing those - and it is also a focused 
one. I may have wandered off a for while along some interesting diversions, but I am feeling very much that I have honoured some of the wonderful harvest of my year. Some of that harvest is ready to 'consume' and enjoy now. Other things are more like seeds that will be stored until they are ready to be put into fertile soil, (or fall into it by chance), in which they can take root and grow. In nature some seeds germinate very readily and quickly; others take a lot longer or may need very specific conditions; others sit dormant for years.

So I am prepared for some of the work I have done this year to maybe not be ready to show results just yet. Maybe some of the messages and ideas I send out have not had time to settle and grow into actions for you to contact me and explore if my approach may be helpful to you. Maybe some of those seeds may never land on fertile soil; perhaps I need to add something extra - an explanation, a story or a reminder at just the right time for you.

I remember a person who bought some coaching sessions with me a few years ago telling me that she had been thinking of contacting me for a long time: she had read an article of mine in a newspaper; she had seen an advertisement somewhere else; eventually something had prompted her to pick up the phone and speak to me to explore - a little hesitantly at first - if we could work together to help with whatever issue she was facing at that time. When we spoke, she very soon told me that when she heard my voice she knew that what I was offering at that time would be good for her.

One of the reasons that I persevere in writing to you here every month, is just that - hoping that in hearing my voice in my unedited words as they flow out onto the page here - that in this connection - you will receive a gift from me that may be useful to you. And if that later prompts you to sign up for some of my services that have a monetary value attached, that is great. If it doesn't, that is fine too.

I recently read this blog article by Amy Palko, "Invitational marketing or why I don't hard sell.", which describes this approach beautifully. She has illustrated the concept of 'invitational marketing' by specific references to a group programme, one which I hope to participate in at sometime in the future. I was very tempted but knew the time wasn't right for me just then. My correspondence with Amy left me feeling fine about my decision and knowing that I will be welcome in the future, and just as welcome not to participate if that is my decision.

I hope that is how you feel reading my messages when I am talking about the products and services I have on offer. And you are always welcome to pick up the phone (or open up Skype) and simply have a chat, hear each other's voices, make an in-the-moment connection. My contact number is 07778 771021 and Skype name "mary.lunnen".

That is my invitation to you - and for you to choose to accept or decline or pass this on to someone else. And I hope you will continue to enjoy reading either way, enjoy these words written with love and joy at heart.

For you: some suggestions for your journal or meditation reflections:
- What is in your personal harvest this year?
- How will you choose to celebrate your 'harvest festival'?
- What seeds are going to lie dormant to germinate in the future? How can you care for and nurture them until they are ready to sprout and grow?

Wishing you a wonderful harvest of joy and insight, what ever the season where you are in the world.

An Experiment: A Reading using the Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Cards

During my holiday at the beginning of September I decided to experiment, prompted by a question from Amy Palko during my coaching session with her: "Have you tried using your cards to do readings?"

A note here before I continue, I regularly mention one-to-one sessions I have with other coaches, and workshops and courses I attend. It is possible you may think 'If she is a life coach herself, why does she need to consult other people?'. An excellent question. I wholeheartedly believe in investing time, and if I can afford it, money (though this is not always required) in my own continuing personal and professional development. The ethos behind my own approach to coaching, and of the people I choose to work with, is that coaching is for when we are already good (in whatever aspect of life we are considering) and aspire to be even better. This is where coaching differs from counselling or a therapy: those are invaluable when I am unwell in some way, physically or emotionally, and want help to get well again. This is the reason I will often mention things I have learnt or my responses to questions asked by other practitioners of all sorts.

It may seem that this is contrary to 'finding the wisdom within' - and I am always aware of the tendency I sometimes share with most people - to look outside myself for answers. If I keep checking, I can distinguish when I am handing my power over to someone else, not acknowledging my wisdom; and being able to ask for help from a guide or companion along the way to hold the mirror of self-reflection for me.
So - that question of Amy's prompted me to try an experiment one day during my holiday. That morning I had already experienced a powerful meditation with some inspiring images arising so I felt I was perfectly tuned in to give this a try. Even when I am in a rush I draw a single card every day to give me a pause for connection and reflection. On this day I had the luxury of time so I decided on a simple three card spread: Past, Present, Future.

As I was doing this I decided to use a plain piece of paper to lay the cards out on, as well as recording my thoughts in my journal. After clearing my mind I asked for a question to appear as I shuffled the little pack of cards. The thought arose: "A review please."

I drew the first card and placed it on my paper under the heading Past: "Faith". n my journal I wrote: "Have faith that all your past was perfect preparation, a gift." Then I shuffled the cards again and drew one for Present: "Relaxation": this made me laugh as at that time my present state was being on holiday, so a literal interpretation, and an intention I had for my week, an encouragement to make sure I did relax.

Then it was time to draw a card for Future. This was "Fun", which made me laugh even more, and I wrote: " Enjoy life! All of it! See the fun not the problems." That feels a good motto for going forward into the future (in line with 'don't take yourself so seriously'.).

The colours felt significant too, Purple for Faith, a spiritual and powerful colour; soothing blue for relaxation, then zinging, lively bright cerise pink for Fun. As you will have notice there is another space under the three places for past, present and future, one with no label. Writing in my journal, as I reflected, I decided that a fourth card was appropriate, and I wrote: "all these are leading to......".

When I shuffled the cards and out came Light, I just felt filled with joy. A pretty good prescription for living for me: faith, relaxation, fun.... and light.

I've used the term 'a reading' for this activity for want of a better word. As the Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Process is all about reconnecting with inner wisdom, it is not someone else 'telling' you anything. You may have noticed that I used very few words about each card as I drew them out of the pack. This is because, for me, the experience was more about the feelings that arose within. Trying to express these in words is often not productive for me - even though I am a writer - as sometimes words can be limiting. However - as I am communicating with you in words - I will make a stab at it: I felt: supported, loved, whole, joyous, lively, complete, connected, bouncy, happy, bubbly, peaceful........

The experiment was interesting and illuminating for me, and I will be repeating it and trying out some other prompts too. If you have your own Dare to Blossom Rediscovery Cards, have you tried anything like this? If not, perhaps you would like to, and if you also feel like sending me some comments on how it works for you, either privately or on my blog or Facebook page, I would love to hear from you. For me, it feels as if I have added another tool to my kit of techniques to use for myself to access my inner wisdom, and I hope it may prove to be so for you as well.

As always, please feel free to comment below with your thoughts and comments. 

If you would like to own a set of cards to explore their power for yourself please visit the dedicated page.

Thank you dear friends for visiting with me again this month and sharing my musings.

Until next time,

with love,

* 'Dare to Blossom Life Coaching' on Facebook.