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The Art of Unlearning

“You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime” Chinese proverb This is a statement which has resonated with me for many years. When I first heard it I was surprised at how profound a few words could be – but I had never really considered it in my own life. Probably because it was a given (so many things are a “given”!) and while in a corporate environment I always sought for an expert. It’s how the world works and we can’t know it all. But what if one isn’t designed to fish? I have immersed myself in the world of coaching over the last 15 years. A field of work which is designed to help people to become more effective and more “empowered” through question and enquiry. A space which was reserved primarily for leaders in organisations to have a clearer vision, outcomes, action plans and the ability to let go. Well – this was the case with me when I first began coaching. When I realised the power in this space I began to get curious about what would happen if this was taken to the masses? What would change in our society if people became more empowered and followed their own path? Would we get real change? Would it be revolutionary? What would people create? A new thought? A new idea? I never see it as a coincidence when people become disillusioned with their work. Something more deeply fulfilling may be calling to them. Change? Perhaps – not always. It happened with me and this is what I experience with my clients and many of those who have come through the Coaching training. We live in a constantly evolving world. Coaching in itself has its own development life cycle and as far as I’m concerned, will always be evolving as we are human. There are many teachers who teach incredible work, hold beautiful spaces and impart knowledge which I still to this day cannot cognitively explain, while something significant changed within. And that for...

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Happy 2019 and a review of 2018

We never know what’s going to happen until it’s come to pass. 2018 has been a year of incredible insights and unexpected progress. With lots of letting go, new adventures, connections and taking a path less travelled. A year which has been personally challenging, liberating and exciting all at the same time. I’ve learnt, once again, that amongst all of the chaos of life we all have our own personal compelling pathways – which only ever show up in the moment. 2018 has seen the completion of our 4th round of the NoorWorks Coaching Training programme. But this year was different. We stripped the ICF accreditation to make it less about “labels” and more about the spirit of personal alignment. It was a tough corner to turn and I’ve subsequently come to realise that it was the right move. To support those who attend the course to be driven by their own personal passions (inside out), to become more effective leaders in their own lives and to bring them more authentically into our world. The labels associated with the profession are clearly the things which drive people to want more, thereby adding another layer to what is and has already been here all along – Innate Wisdom. We also had the honour of having Judith Delozier share some of her wisdom with the group – Thank you, Judy. I am grateful as the NoorWorks coaching community has been growing. It has also been incredibly fertile in a number of areas. We have seen 3 babies and a set of triplets come into the world. A set of twins and 2 other little ones have also been conceived – we look forward to welcoming them into the world. We have also seen a couple of house moves, job changes, a divorce and an engagement, businesses flourish, books written, and last but not least, authentic one-to-one coaching interventions bringing about incredible change for private clients. We also began the delivery of our Coaching Programme in Karachi, Pakistan. Shazia Nizam, one of our coaches/facilitators, has done an incredible job of marketing and delivering the programme in Karachi. We look forward to hearing...

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The Shadow

While on a sunny school run my daughter felt compelled to stamp on my shadow. I instantly moved away and a little game began. We started to step on each other’s shadows and the game suddenly became intense and very personal. I could feel it in my body. In a split moment, I had a realisation. This is just my shadow. Its the outline of my reflection from the sun. It’s not me. And I began to relax and it became a much more playful experience. She stamped on it and stamped on it as we both giggled. I then had a realisation that as much as the shadow is simply a reflection of the sun behind us, what about me? If I am the result of the illusion of the power of my personal thinking, then am I actually real? Does the outside world actually affect me – positively or negatively? While I am in that illusion – yes it does. And all the emotions and bodily sensations which come with this will be. Life as the majority of the world knows it and perceives as real. And while I exist outside of my personal thinking and my mind is still, no it doesn’t. And from there, so many more options become available.  We are not our stories, or what we “believe/think” we are. We are the dance between it all.  We are that and way way more. Big love...

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“The cloud from within” by Alex Balsells

The cloud had a name, they called her Nuna, and she was generous with the village by giving plenty of water, despite many other areas being drought ridden. However one day, without any reason, the cloud slowly disappeared. As it fell down in height the entire street had now become covered in fog. Life in the town became really confusing as visibility became difficult. The inhabitants loved Nuna and were always very thankful to the Universe for her existence, but they could not understand what was going on and the hope of Nuna going back to her original state seemed far away now. Weeks and months passed but Nuna did not move higher. The inhabitants started to resent Nuna and started to pray she would go away. Because the inhabitants did not accept the new situation they started to suffer quite badly, some of them became sick and even mad. The town was not a peaceful place anymore.   One day a brave little girl whose parents were very angry and upset, decided enough was enough. Against the law of the town she took their 2 horses and placed her parents on top of each and they trotted off outside the town. The other town folk shouted at her – it is dangerous outside the town, and if you go you will never come back (as it happened to some other adventurous people who tried before and never returned). Despite the shouts, the little girl was determined she was going to leave, no matter what. After many days of walking in the fog, a light started to appear, and the fog slowly cleared up leading to a bright light, like gold, which shone on everything. On noticing, Cintia, the little girl, was filled with joy and started to laugh with tears flowing down her cheeks. She saw striking beauty which words could not describe. Her parents also shared the same feelings which triggered them to jump off the horses and start dancing with Cintia, whilst laughing and crying of joy.  Now they could understand why no one had come back — the light was so amazing, bright and clear that everyone wanted to...

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“Life Can Be Humbling If You Let It” by Ahmad Jooma

*Life Can Be Humbling If You Let It* On the journey of life, the lessons never stop. I’ve found myself reflecting on the beauty of the human experience. From children, we grow and fall in love with happiness. We have a view of the World and ‘how it all is’. Our wants and desires are the fuel and focus of our existence. We don’t even question possibility – we just go! And inevitably, one day, someday, life shatters our dreams into a million pieces. Our hands slip from the control of our proverbial vehicle in life and we go flying off the side of a mountain (metaphorically that is.. not literally, I hope!) And as we sit huddled up in a dark corner of existence staring at the broken shards of our dreams we’re forced to reconcile ourselves and our dreams with the pain of existence – ‘reality’ – is happiness just a mirage? This isn’t what I wanted. This isn’t how I imagined my life would be… where’s all the glitz, glamour and gold? Many of us get stuck at this point – unequipped and new to the pain we feel hopeless – at loss. “Why me?” – we question. “I don’t deserve this” – we claim. “Why doesn’t anyone help” – we accuse. And inside of these feelings years of our life can slip by without resolution. Life has pain built right into its structure: failures, illness, loss and death; it’s inherent. Sadness gets us all. That’s obvious. Over this past year, I’ve found a certain beauty unfolds when we accept this darkness – the dark side of life. It begins with acceptance. It begins when we stop resisting pain in life and the darkness within ourselves. Accepting that while there are over 7billion people on this planet – each of us must inherently walk our path alone. Sure… others may help but in the end, only we can overcome our battles and demons. Because only we can see what’s in our mind’s eye. A good friend and mentor often reminds me – “when you’re frustrated, rejoice, because it means change is coming!” I find we often...

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To Accredit or not, that is the question….

And the answer for me, is NO. It feels like a radical move, becoming more vulnerable in the world and at the same time, it’s liberating.   I have recently made a decision (or may have already made a decision for a while but didn’t know it consciously) that I will not renew my accreditation with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) in December 2018.  I’ve had an incredible 3 years of teaching an ICF Accredited Coaching Course with my teacher and mentor, Jan Elfline who has been incredibly generous and trusting to provide me with the opportunity. I have learnt a lot! Jan supported me in passing my accreditation exams which I had failed first time round because she knew my ability and had seen me in action in class. Huge sponsorship and “fish” which I will be eternally grateful for. And earlier this week she succumbed to the task to say that it was time for me to move on. And it just feels right for me – now. I know a lot of my coaching colleagues and students will be thinking, WHAT??? With all the classroom hours you’ve put in, all the money you’ve invested, all the coaching you’ve done, all the exams you’ve taken? Why would you not be making the most of this opportunity? Also, who will hire you if you’re not accredited? Everyone wants an Accredited coach now. Everyone? Let me explain…. I have been learning about a new understanding which has taught me that all of our experience in life is Inside out. We create our reality which stems from our thinking. And that’s it. Which begs the question, what is the world which I want to create?   Now, if I create a reality that only the best coaches on the planet are “accredited” and have to jump through hoops to be who they really are in this moment in time, then it isn’t something which fits with me. And that is exactly what has happened.  I met a woman earlier this year who has had “life experiences” and her presence is simply beautiful. She wanted to train as an accredited coach and I asked why she thought she needed accreditation. She said that...

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