In the October 8 issue of The New Yorker there is an interesting article about Coaching. It is not entirely flattering, I must say. It is worth the read, for sure.
Check it out.
Do yourself a favor and read this terrific article in the New Yorker of October 3, 2011. If you are a coach, you will learn new skills. If you are thinking of hiring a coach, you will. if you want to be a coach, this is get you excited:
I am so aware these days of the need we all have for help and support in living our lives.
It is so sad that men in our culture are taught to tough it out, to go it alone, to never ask for directions, if you will. Life is too complicated to do alone, I believe. I have seen some men lately who come to coaching with a sense of defeat, They feel badly that they couldn't figure life out by themselves, and almost see hiring a coach as an admission of failure! I quickly reframe it for them as a victory. I say "Congratulations, you have just figured out one of the best kept secrets of life. Having support and guidance is a great gift to give yourself."
With this awareness, I am humbled that some of the work that we coaches have to do is to educate people about the benefits of asking for help. It sounds so simple, yet it is not. In our culture, it takes courage and self love. Not to mention, a lot of good hard work also! It continues to be some of the best hard work I have ever done.
I know I am a bit early to be welcoming spring, but am I ever ready! It has been quite a winter here in the northeast and I think everyone is ready for some warmer weather. Bring it on!
And I am also aware of the luxury of looking forward to the change of seasons. This week the news is all about Japan and the tragic loss of so many lives. The news is grim, to say the least. I do not know anyone personally who has been affected by this, but feel nonetheless terrible at the sights I see on television news.
So, I pray for them and I appreciate what I/we have. I send money to relief funds. I do not know of what else we can do. I know that I will welcome spring even more wholeheartedly because of what is happening all the way across the world in Japan.
January 2011! This time of year can indeed be a time of going inward, hibernating, resting more, those kinds of activities. Many of our clients find this a challenging time to move forward on goals and to follow through on commitments they have made. Our work is to help keep them motivated and focused even if some seasonal moods get in the way. We must keep ourselves focused also.
I have taken on a new project that I am excited about. I purchased some fieldstone and plan to learn the art of building a stone wall. I have always admired the stone walls that run through the woods of the Northeast, many of which date back to the days of the early settlers who were clearing the land for farming.
This is my way of pushing through the winter doldrums; learning a new skill and challenging myself. How about you?
Timely question for us all.
I have been leading a group here in New York City called Living Soulfully. It is a group of men who have been in some way connected to Easton Mountain Retreat Center. We meet monthly at the LGBT Center for socializing, community building, and to participate together in different forms of self-exploration. We are in the process of answering the question of what is it to live soulfully.
This group, by the way, has been meeting for several years. We had our first ever potluck supper this past Sunday and we had 50 men, a lot of terrific food, sang some songs together and got to know one another more.
We have a full schedule of meetings for 2011. You can find out our plans on our facebook page: Living Soulfully NYC.
Facilitating this group is such a privilege. It is one of the things I am most grateful for this year. More on end of year gratitude coming soon.
Be well, stay warm!
Art Of Powerful Living 2010!
We did it again. Harry and I led another successful workshop at Easton. If you have never had the experience of coaching men in a group, I highly recommend that you seek out an opportunity to do so. It is an awesome feeling to witness a group of 15 men (in this case), all working together on goals and action strategies. They inspire and challenge each other. It is really exciting!
Easton was beautiful, the man were awesome, and hopefully they will all continue the good work they began that weekend. We plan to offer this workshop again in Nov. 2011.
I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving!
As I write this, it is election day and I have been waiting anxiously to see the outcome of it all. It has been a tense time for many of us. So much change that is out of our control.
In 2 weeks Harry and I will be leading The Art of Powerful Living, a coaching retreat for gay men at Easton. I am very excited about it. We have 13 men signed up, all ready to set goals for themselves and to see some changes come into their lives. It is a very unique experience to work with a group of men, all sharing their deepest desires and striving for a good life. The inspiration flows back and forth, and the energy will be high.
I hope for you that you use this time of the changing seasons to look inward and perhaps to reach for some of your desires. Whether you are working with a coach or not, this can be a very productive and thoughtful time of year.
I am enjoying the crisp cold weather here in NYC.
I am recently back from an extended vacation, three whole weeks! I spent two weeks in Southeastern Utah, backpacking and camping. It is exquisitely beautiful country out there. I was very fortunate to be able to immerse myself in the wilderness, sleep on the earth, and stare up at the stars at night.
I have been craving nature lately and so sought out this trip. I live in the depths of New York City and it gets a little claustrophobic here. The concrete canyons of the city had me yearning for the canyons of the Southwest. It felt like a very healing experience for me. My shoulders have dropped, I am breathing more fully, and I have some great visual and body memories of being out in the wilds.
October has begun with rain and cooler temps and I love it! I am an autumn kind of guy. Next month Harry Faddis and I will offer The Art of Powerful Living at Easton, a coaching retreat. Check it out on the Easton web site. Enjoy the fall, whatever you do.
July went by so fast I hardly noticed it. On second thought, I do remember the heat we had out here in the East. It was intense.
I keep hearing about more men who are training to be coaches. That makes me feel encouraged. Many of them are choosing to train through CTI, which I think is a great choice. If you are someone who is thinking about becoming a coach, I invite you to contact me. I would be happy to talk with you about the field of coaching and about the many possibilities.
Here's hoping you are having a good summer!
It's June here in New York City and I am expecting a busy and active summer. I will be facilitating two Body Electric workshops, one in New Mexico and one at Easton Mountain in upstate NY.
I will also begin facilitating Living Soulfully NYC, along with friends Nirmal Chandraratna and Michael Hopkins. It is a monthly group of men that meet at the Center in Manhattan to create community and share our experiences of life together. This Sunday, June 6th will be the first meeting under our leadership and we are very excited. Our task for this month is to decide what is a Soulful Life. What exactly does that mean. It is bound to be a very lively and meaningful conversation. Stay tuned, I will let you know what we come up with.
It's May 2010 and I am psyched. We now have 10 members of the gay Coaches Alliance. It is also the 10th Anniversary of Easton Mountain Retreat Center! What a great place and what a terrific community it has drawn together. This Tuesday, May 4th is a celebration of the anniversary here in New York City.
If you have the means and the desire, Easton is always grateful for contributions to help them provide the great programming and community building that they are known for.
I am happy that Spring is here. I am grateful for all that Mother Nature lavishes on us in this beautiful season.
March has always been my favorite month because of my birthday. I have always loved celebrating my birth and this year is no exception. In a few days I will celebrate my 60th year and begin my 61st. It's quite an experience heading into this next decade, I must say.
I have some excitement about what lies ahead. The first is a party with 60 friends and relatives! I can't wait to party together, laugh and dance. It will also be an opportunity for people from different parts of my life to all meet each other. I have a deep sense of gratitude for all that I have in my life, and all of the terrific people I have come to be surrounded by.
I am pretty clear that so much of what I am grateful for has come about as a result of having a coach. My life is fuller and richer than I ever imagined. My coach has always encouraged me to live bigger and to reach higher. He has held a vision of who I am meant to be, and for that, my gratitude is boundless. He will be at my birthday party, of course.
Here's to entering a new decade! Stay tuned.
I find February to be, though the shortest month, the most challenging. It's still very much winter here on the East Coast, and by now it starts to get sort of, well, old. Yes, the days are getting longer but they are darn cold and the threat of snow prevails. I start longing for spring and warmer weather and find it challenging to be here now.
One of my greatest aspirations is to be more in the present, to accept what is versus what is not. I've done a little reading about the man known as Krishnamurti. He was once asked how he maintained such a calm disposition and he responded: "I simply do not mind what happens."
Krishnamurti was an Indian born writer and speaker. He spoke about philosophy and about spiritual subjects. He placed a great emphasis on creating positive changes in the world through meditation and positive relationships.
I find that to be a stunning statement! I imagine not minding what happens, and I get so excited. The idea of not minding, of accepting reality is so appealing to me. Eckart Tolle laughs when he talks about how we humans argue with reality and think we might really change it if we argue well enough.
It is indeed a challenge for most of us to be present, to not drift back into the past and relive it, nor to jump into the future to try to plan it. It is part of the human condition, the human mind.
I take on the challenge of this cold and dark month. I aspire to using Krishnamurti's statement as a mantra. I will practice with letting go of my expectations. I am very curious how this month will go. Stay tuned with me!
February can be a brutal month for a lot of people. Winter persists, the light is less than most people prefer, and the cold just gets to us. This has indeed been a particularly hard winter.
I like to suggest to clients that this is actually a good time of year to push towards goals, to set some higher level of expectation for themselves. I know, it can be counter-intuitive, but is very worth the attempt. Precisely when the mood is difficult is a good time for a burst of energy.
We here at thegaycoaches.com are doing just that. We will be holding our first conference call together this week. Most of the coaches will be in attendance. Our task is to really form this Alliance, to set goals for ourselves as a group, and to envision our work into the future. Many of us have hopes that our Alliance as gay coaches will make a difference not only in the lives of our individual coaching clients, but in the world as a whole. We are a very hopeful group!
Stay tuned for some information about where we plan to take this project.
I want to welcome you to this new site.
I am very hopeful that this coaching alliance will grow to be a force in the world of coaching.
Are you looking for a coach or looking to be a coach? Perhaps both! I strongly suggest that if you want to be a coach, you must have the experience of being coached yourself. I'm always happy to speak with people about coaching, so do not hesitate to contact me.
In the meantime, check out my site: http://www.lifecoachmichael.com