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Time to Think…




This is an archived blog post from Green Alder Coaching



I am two months into my course now, and really starting to understand the depth and complexity of coaching.

Recently, I have been deeply moved by a book I was introduced to (Time to Think by Nancy Kline). It has, somehow, connected with me and stirred my soul. I am moved to tears as I write this…

With sadness, I realise why I have shifted from an anxious and fearful person not knowing why I was feeling disconnected; to a courageous career-focused ninja with superpowers of resilience and compassion…But, still prone to occasional sadness.

I met someone who I was able to spend a few days with whilst on a skill-building course. It was a unique experience in that we shared many chats over breakfast (as we were early risers compared to the rest of the group). Well, I say chat…it was mainly me chatting as X listened…

X listened silently, maintaining eye contact, never passing judgment, and gently stretching my thoughts to consider more positive solutions (taking away any limiting assumptions about myself or my life). I began to feel more alive and clearer in my thoughts, albeit with an eventual catastrophic conclusion that my life was not working for me – a previous life based on mild co-dependence and criticism… I was an empty husk who could not think straight or use initiative. I was so uncertain of how to behave, what to do, whether I was doing things wrong, and would often wait for instruction…My way never seemed right or good enough.

Obviously, there are many reasons why a marriage fails (for both parties). But, it is only now I realise the potency of the quality thinking environment provided by X that was the catalyst (not intentionally) towards my journey today. If only my previous life  (personal & professional) encouraged more ‘Time to Think’ – would life have been better? I feel sad that this is a common pattern in all of us. Things could be improved in work and our private lives, if we are given more time to think. Relationships would be healthy and more productive…More tears 🙁

Time to think is about equality and listening with respect and WITHOUT interruption; removing limiting assumptions about what we are thinking about and appreciating the diversity in each of us. Listening in silence allows the amygdala (which sends and receives emotional signals that make managing relationships with people possible) to settle down to a resting state, and opens up the brain to think and explore itself such that it creates its own inner critique and options for change (or choose to consolidate and reaffirm what it already knows). Surely, this style of thinking and listening can be integrated into work or home life (as it is also excellent for use with children)?

My reading is extending further now, to a book called ‘More Time to Think‘…:) I also highly recommend ‘Neuropsychology for Coaches’ by Dr. Paul Brown and Virginia Brown (unrelated)…it is fascinating that we are getting to know more facts about how the brain works in all of us, and its impact on how we function on a moment by moment basis. I will be writing more about it in my next blog. I also invite you to check out Dr. Dan Siegel and his amazing work on interpersonal neurobiology. I do believe the new knowledge about the brain will have a profound effect on our relationships with ourselves and others.

I may have a heavy heart, but I feel blessed to have found X and have found this informative research and understanding of how the brain works best…

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