More on routine, and how things fall into place

So many beautiful responses came back to the call on sharing tips on ‘how to stay on top of things’ the other day.

Friends sent emails, shared, commented and asked. They took the opportunity to get in touch.

I love this kind of exchange. Sometimes it’s quick and light, a few words in an email. Sometimes it’s a deep and meaningful conversation between friends or in a professional relationship. It’s all out there for grabs.

It’s good to hear of the thoughts my posts trigger.

Many wrote: “I hear you”. What a nice thing to say! It also shows that many of us are in the same boat. Life is very busy these days. Expectations are high.

I hear you too.

Staying in touch and listening is so important in a world like today, where many people suffer from isolation. Traditional tribal structures are falling apart.

New tribes are created – a good thing. It’s where we sharing with each other what works for us.

So, what are people’s tips and tricks to stay on top of things? Actually the suggestions arriving in my inbox are more about effectiveness.

Here are 5 learnings:

  1. A reminder about keeping lists, prioritisation, sticking to a plan and crossing items off.
  2. Sticking to one task at a time to completion. The writer is a master of this. She has achieved a lot by almost single-handedly developing a 10 acre property.
  3. Someone else highlights ‘down time’ and not being available 24/7, so important in this information age.
  4. More importantly, the same person also asks a question, wondering whether I might have some tips. Being able to ask for help is another important thing.
  5. Another friend suggests assembling a team and explores the benefits of ‘having a whole army of helpers to delegate to’. She would know, she runs a medical practice.

There you go. Things are falling into place.

They just do.

Tomorrow is the Introduction evening to the Ocean and Family Constellation workshop in Alice Springs. I understand that some of you might not be able to come this time.

Maybe next time?

On structuring, routine and creating – today’s busy world in your back pocket

Are you good in routine – in structuring your day, your week, your project?

There are two kinds of people, the structured ones and the rest. Actually, there are more kinds, but I’ll leave this for another post. I am from the other other kind, the one that loves going into the unknown, being spontaneous, responding to the moment and creating new things.

Sometimes we create so much that it gets on top of us.

The Alice Springs trip is knocking at the door with a lot to prepare this time. The organiser of the Ocean and Family Constellation workshop in Alice Springs recently had a beautiful baby daughter. Congratulations beautiful woman!

Her time is taken up nursing, which does not leave any for organising a workshop.

A friend jumped in. Thank you!

However, her work suddenly takes her 4 hours further North to Tenant Creek, then not, and then she is in Newcastle for a week.

I need to step in more.

A presentation at the AFN conference, this year in Alice Springs, is a few days after the workshop.

The night before flying to Alice Springs another presentation to make – this time for the Melbourne Chapter of IAF.

A mentoring program with a commitment to write a post every day for three months will hopefully become a routine soon. Thank you for your support mentor!

Phase 4 of the GROWTH coaching accreditation program gives another technique to round off my skill set when helping people get unstuck. Learning to project manage. Thank you for keeping me on track coach!

GROWTH is great. It gives structure to the new programs on resilience, leadership and belonging, that currently simmer in the back of my mind. Stay posted while it all gets integrated in my work!

So, what are the tricks for sticking to routine and managing that stuff doesn’t get on top of you? Do you have any?

I would love to hear from you.

I’ll share a collection of tips in a future post.

If you are in Alice Springs, you could come to the Ocean and Family Constellation workshop. It’s great stuff and some find it life changing.

A trip to Alice Springs

sunset over Alice Springs

On the 5th of September I will once again go to Alice Springs. I am in the fortunate position to be able to run workshops, twice yearly, in the Red Centre of Australia.

I love it out there. The desert, the red earth, the rocks, the big sky. The rawness of a country that is so very old. When I walk, cycle or drive through it, or sit at a camp fire or somewhere on a rock, a deep silence comes over me. I sink into the land, meditation and silence.

The land is not just old from a geological point of view, it’s also been settled for many, many thousands of years. The original inhabitants, the aborigines of Australia, have over the millennia developed a remarkable resilience in living and surviving on this harsh country. They also have developed a philosophy, a wisdom, a spiritual tradition that is very connected to the earth, as well as an incredible and highly sophisticated social system. There are still remnants of this past out there and you can feel it in spite of the tragedy a lot of these people are living in these days. The impact of European settlement, combined with the accompanied welfare system, has left many of them institutionalised, disempowered, and some stuck in alcoholism.

So, when you go to Alice Springs, this is what’s right in your face when you walk through the town. It is a first impression many people cannot handle. However, when you lift your head and look beyond the rooftops, you get a view of the spectacular MacDonnell ranges. Also, when you dive into the community a little bit more you’ll discover a group of beautiful and interesting people.

The land is not all romantic. The silence can be challenged by flies crawling over your face, dingos barking in the night, extreme heat and dust storms to name but a few.

Out there you meet the contrast of life. The highs and the lows.

Now, you might wonder what is so special about me running workshops in Alice Springs. Can’t a local do this?

The work I do, which I lovingly call Ocean*, has its roots in a model called Family Constellation. It is a combination of traditional wisdom and rituals, modern family therapy and systemic thinking. The originator, Bert Hellinger, developed it after living with the Zulus in South Africa for 12 years. I have taken his original form further, and included Organisational Constellation, a Solution-Focused approach, presence and my experience of 30 odd years in personal growth and meditation.

It is not just that my work is unique. The workshops I run out there gain power through the depth of the land. In addition, the sincerity of the people, who have come to these workshops over the years and grown together, makes them even more special.

This is why on the weekend of the 6th and 7th September 2014 I am running another of these workshops in Alice Springs. For more information download the flyer.
* Ocean stands for ‘Organisational constellation – effective analysis of networks’.

Death and Dying

My beautiful mother-in-law, Madge, is dead. She died on February 13th, 2012 in her home town, Hull in the UK. Her funeral was yesterday. I am very fortunate to have known her and been able to receive her love and generosity.

I am also very fortunate to have been able to care for her last month. When my husband heard that his mother was terminally ill, we immediately made arrangements to travel from Australia to Europe to be with her throughout January. It was a very touching experience – ‘though sometimes challenging. We laughed with her, we cried with her, we cooked for her, and helped her walk through the tiny house she brought her four children up in. We saw how she was getting visibly weaker. At night we took her to bed. Saying “good night” to her was special – so much love and childlike sweetness.

I had a feeling that she was preparing herself for death – without talking about it, to her it was just natural. There was so much grace in her approach.

The time I spent with Madge, and her precious process, made me also think about my own mortality – and the dying process in general. Is there a choice we can make about how we die? I think it is possible. The more consciously we live, the more choice we have when dealing with old age, sickness and death, both that of other’s and our own. Personal inquiry and inner strength help us to face and grow with adverse situations. Conventional wisdom paints it as a descent – but who is to say we can’t rise into death?