Kissed By a Rose 🌹

I’ve walked my dogs religiously every morning for the last 13 years. This practice helps create wellness in my life. Some of my most creative ideas have emerged when walking. Ideas about how to have some fun with my family, serve clients creatively, book chapters, blogs, innovative plans for my business. And, there are the obvious health benefits of walking a couple of miles every day.

My current route is about two miles across open countryside. Roughly halfway round there’s a boundary fence to a beautiful ornate garden and manicured pond.

On the corner of the ramshackle fence line, there’s a wild rose that comes year after year. Its scent reminds me of my Greek Nana’s roses she used to take great pride in cultivating in her garden. This one has an amazing smell and gentle colouring of light pink and orange.

When I walk by it the strong floral scent hits me at a range of about five meters as if someone's blowing me a perfumed kiss. It gives me a fleeting moment of pure presence as I wander by.

On three consecutive days last week, I found myself wandering past the rose saying to myself, “I must stop and make time to smell that”, before walking by and becoming lost in another thought whilst the dog strained on the lead.

On the fourth day, the thought-created habit of saying the same thing started to kick in. This time, I caught it and stopped myself.

Why was I putting off the potential joy of sniffing this wonderful creation for yet another day?

I paused and Monty, my dog, strained on the lead. It was as if he was a mirror image of what I’d been doing for the last three mornings. He had an urge to get round the walk and leap into his own future. The same way I was just about to rush by the rose with a vague promise to myself that tomorrowI’d slow down and smell it.

I was straining at my own lead, trying to get into my own future, and in the process of doing so missing out on one of life’s small, yet simple, joys.

The rose was even better than I imagined. The scent lifted my spirits and connected me with a wonderful moment that was there all along ... right under my nose.

And, all I had to do was slow myself down to take advantage of it.

This is happening all the time.

So many people, myself included, are straining at their own lead trying to hop, skip, and jump into a fantasy-filled future they imagine will be better than where they are right now.

It’s simply not true. There is no better future.

The now that you’re in was once you’re future ... and will soon be your past.

There it is, it’s gone, that moment is now the past. You missed the beauty of it because you were straining to see what life will be like when you ‘get there’.

There is no ‘there’.

The ‘there’ you are looking for is now, right under your nose, behind the lead you’re straining at.

In other words ... ‘there’ is now … if you slow down.

Don’t be led by your need to strain at your lead ... choose to lead your life rather than let it lead you.

You can practice this in any context, moment to moment.

Your next conversation with another person is now ...

So is your next interaction with a member of your team ...

The next time your child asks you a question and wants real connection with you ...

The email from your customer with a request ...

The next meeting with a supplier ...

The text message from your partner ...

All now, now, now!

If you come from a place of slowed down’ness and make the most of the now you’ll soon start to discover that everything you desire, crave, want and ‘think’ you need to ‘be happy’ is already there, in the now. Nothing is missing.

I encourage you to practice being in the now as much as you can. It makes for a much richer and fulfilled life. Meditation combined with a commitment to slow down in every interaction you have with others, and yourself, can be a useful way to do this.

Examples could also look like ...

Putting the phone down and interacting with your loved ones with real presence, truly listening to them ... rather than listening to your own judging thoughts about what they’re saying.

Listening deeply to the next question that comes to you from a member of your team who wants your guidance but is too scared to ask for help ... see if you can serve them with presence and love.

Thanking your partner with authentic gratitude for the small things they do for you that they think you never notice.

The small things you notice add up to creating the BIG things you desire.

It’s that simple. This way of ‘being’ can be built with practice.

Make time to allow yourself to be kissed by your roses.

Do this, and your life has the possibility to develop in more ways than you can imagine ... because everything you desire is closer than you think.

Love and wellness,

David.

“At this moment you aren’t on a journey, but wandering about, being driven from place to place, even though what you seek—to live well—is found in all places.”
-- Seneca, Moral Letters 28.5b-6a

Ps. If you enjoyed this you can sign up to receive my newsletter which includes regular articles like these to guide you in developing your life — personally and professionally (with zero spam or selling).


What's Your Practice?

This picture shows the moment England won the cricket world cup, on 14 July 2019, during a ‘super over’ in the finest game of cricket ever to occur since the sport was invented in 1597 … 422 years ago.

Jos Buttler ... the English wicketkeeper ... fields a throw from Jason Roy who had sprinted in from the midwicket boundary ... picked up the ball in one fell sweep ... and launched it to Jos ... who was perfectly poised to gather the ball ... break the wickets ... and give England their first cricket world cup win since the competition began in 1975 … 44 years ago.

The deciding action of the whole world cup lasted all of ten seconds. A moment in time that took 44 years to create by the country who originated the sport 422 years ago.

Jason Roy is a specialist batsman renowned for his explosive hitting of the ball. He's torn apart the majority of the world’s best bowling attacks ... reducing them to seem like average 'village' cricketers.

He's not a specialist fielder ... but … when the time came … he stepped up, did his job, and helped England win the world cup off the very last ball of the game.

His secret … practice.

Jason Roy would have practised that very move of picking up the ball whilst running and throwing it into the stumps literally thousands of times.

And ... it paid off in the greatest game of cricket ever witnessed in 422 years.

My question for you this week is …

‘What’s your current practice?’

What part of your game are you working on?

Not cricket, but your game as 'being' human.

Consider what area of life, personally or professionally, you’re looking to develop or overcome a challenge in.

It could be anything …

  • A challenging relationship.
  • Bringing the best out of your team.
  • Communicating with your children.
  • Improving your health and fitness.
  • Astonishing clients.
  • Your marriage.
Whatever it is, you can develop it through practice...
  • A challenging relationship -- slow down and ask how you could bring more empathy.
  • Bringing the best out of your team -- create and keep agreements and 'be' your word (no matter how small they are).
  • Communicating with your children -- be present and talk to them with loving maturity.
  • Improving your health and fitness -- follow through with that run you promised to have.
  • Astonishing clients -- what would really serve your client right now?
  • Your marriage -- don’t bring up past baggage if you start to get upset ... aim to hold a loving space when talking.

The wonderful thing is, with practice, you have 100% control.

It’s your choice whether you do it or not. And, whatever you focus your time and attention on through practice will grow and develop. It’s that simple.

What’s your practice?

Love and wellness,

David.

Ps. You can relive the magic moment again by watching this 2 min video(and, it’s okay if you have no idea about cricket … you’ll still gain value from watching the clip).

Pps. If you enjoyed this you can sign up to receive my newsletter which includes regular articles like these to guide you in developing your life — personally and professionally (with zero spam or selling).

“Practice is everything. This is often misquoted as practice makes perfect."
-- Periander.


Thoughts About Money ... 💷 💵 💶

In this post, I’m mixing things up a little bit ...

The content of this conversation is between a coach and someone considering coaching.

The context is how our thoughts create self-limiting stories that impose perceived obstacles that, if we believe them, have the potential to stop us reaching our full potential.

I encourage you to read it with a beginner’s mind and see what personal insights arise as you go through it.

It may also be valuable by ‘swopping’ the content and replacing it with something you currently ‘think’ you can’t seem to overcome, or an opportunity you can see but are not sure where to start to create It.

I hope you enjoy reading this and it inspires a personal insight or two about how you may be limiting your own thinking ... which is very human, by the way ... I do it all the time!

Love and wellness,

David.

The backstory ...

After spending time with a coach and experiencing a taste of what it would be like to partner up with them to develop their life they suddenly change their mind once money comes into play ... this is very common when people bring money into an exchange of value ... which is essentially what money is for ... to facilitate an exchange of value.

The conversation ...

“I’m in.”

“Great. So, in order for us to get started what I require is for you to make the bank transfer. Once that’s received we can begin our work together.”

“Oh, erm, okay, the thing is … I am ‘in’ but I don’t have the cash at the moment. I just don’t have that kind of money lying around”

“That’s okay. One day, you may wake up and will have had enough of things being the way they are. Then, you’ll be ready, and, when you’re ready you’ll be creative enough to find the money. And, when you do, you’ll really be ‘in’ and I'll still be here.”

“Well, yes, but, is there any way of paying less? Or perhaps paying you after we work together, once I see results? Thing is, I really want to start now and know that working with you will transform everything. My business, my life, my marriage, my health, my finances, my relationships. I can see it all now and want to get started.”

“Okay, I can see you’re keen to get going and I love that. So, create the money, transfer it and we can begin.”

“Let me think about it and I’ll come back to you.”

“Okay, but thinking about it isn’t going to help you. What’s going to help you is creating the money and getting the guidance you know will help you create a different future for yourself. And then going ‘all in’ with the coaching.”

“I can’t just ‘create’ money.”

“Yes, you can. You only ‘think’ you can’t. And, your thinking is the very thing that has gotten you to this place, and it’s done well, but the same level of thinking that got you here isn’t going to get you where you want to go.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, the very best thinking that’s been available to you got you to where you are today, and it’s done a great job but it has limitations, like a glass ceiling. If we slow down a little to a few moments ago, before you remembered that I am a professional coach and charge a professional fee for what I do, you were ‘in’. You saw the possibility of what you could create for yourself that would change everything for you and make your experience of life more fulfilling, joyful and prosperous. Remember?”

“Yes ... go on ...”

“Then, your thinking kicked in, most probably driven by an underlying fear, and everything you saw, all the possibility of how your experience of life could transform went out of the window and you started to worry about money. The feeling of ‘I don’t have the cash’ was driven by your thinking. So, if you’re open to it, we can take a look at your thinking as I feel it may be useful, but only if you want to.”

“But you don’t understand, I don’t have access to that kind of money.”

“Yes, you do.”

“No, I don’t. Take a look at my bank account.”

“I don’t need to see your bank account because that won’t serve you. What would serve you is if we slowed down and took a look at your thinking. Are you open to doing that?”

“Okay, guess I’ve got nothing to lose.”

“I agree, and I like your openness to explore. As humans, we have access to an infinite amount of creativity and that’s what I’m referring to. If you were really ‘in’ and ready to transform you would find a way to create the money. And, it doesn’t matter where the money comes from but the very thought that you couldn’t create it or can’t create it is the very problem that’s stopping you from creating other things in your life. You’re stuck in a paradox ... all driven by thought.”

“You’re right, but if I take that money from somewhere else it means that I won’t be able to afford other things in my life, and the business cash flow would suffer, and I may not be able to pay school fees, and I have a tax bill coming up, and we are going on holiday soon, and I’m not sure how I’ll get it past my business partner, and my wife isn’t sure what I’m paying for. You don’t understand.”

“On the contrary, I do understand, and that’s why we’re talking. I understand that you have a gushing water fountain of thoughts flowing through you that’s endlessly concocting all these vivid stories, scenarios, and images in your mind about how you can’t afford to invest in yourself. You are attaching to those thoughts and actually believing them to be true. And, if it’s happening with this small piece of content, such as investing in guidance to help create a brighter future for yourself, your business, and your family, the odds are pretty high that it’s happening elsewhere in your life, too. That’s how it works. In other words ... can you be 100% sure that every claim you just stated is absolutely true?”

“What do you mean?”

“30 minutes ago, after we finished our coaching session you saw possibility, hope, and a way forward for you that could change everything for you. Not only you, but also your business, your team, your wife, your children. Remember?”

“Yes, I still see it, all of it, and want it. It would make such a difference in all areas of my life.”

“29 minutes ago, when you remembered there is an investment required to do this, everything changed. Why? Because all the stories and money fears you chose to believe from the thoughts you were having were then placed in between you and your new future like some kind of cardboard cut out of a horror story that would happen if you invested in yourself. Creating an overwhelming obstacle that felt too large to overcome.”

“Well, when you put it like that, it makes sense. And, everything I said feels true to me. I know my situation better than you do.”

“You do, nobody feels your current situation as you see it better than you. Like all of us, you are living in the feeling of your thinking and in the space of 60 seconds, after you remembered there is an investment required to commit to changing the way things are for you, everything switched from ‘possibility’ to ‘cost’. But, the reality is that nothing has changed apart from the way you’re seeing coaching as a financial burden you can’t afford vs. the very thing that would create more prosperity, wellness, success and fulfilment. Coaching isn’t a cost on your P&L unless you make it cost on your P&L. The investment required only becomes a financial cost or burden if you make it a financial cost or burden. Things only become things if you make them things, through your thinking. Can you see that, or am I talking a different language?”

“It kind of makes sense, I think.”

“Good. So, if you went back to your original thinking where you related to coaching being an investment in your most critical and valuable resource to grow and develop … which is YOU ... how does that feel?”

“It feels fun, exciting and full of possibility.”

“Okay, good, but nothing has changed. Just me and you, two humans, having a conversation. And, the only thing that has changed, even in that small moment, was your thinking.”

“Huh ... yes ... I can see that now, wow ... that’s crazy.”

“Or, rather than crazy, I call it very human. I do it all the time. If you break through your mental glass ceiling and see life a different way then everything changes. You’re no longer going to be the person trying to avoid getting wet in the water fountain of your thoughts you’re going to be the one dancing in the water with a smile on your face.”

“Hmm … so how can I ‘create’ the money?”

“I don’t know.”

“But you’re a coach, you’re supposed to know.”

“No, that’s not true. I know one thing as a coach and that is that you already know how to create the money ... by slowing down and trusting yourself and the infinite resources that lay 'inside you' through the power of thought ... if you get beyond the surface level fear-related money thoughts.”

“If I know, tell me how I find out.”

“I can do better than that, let’s find out together, coming from the wonderful blank canvas of ‘I don’t know’ ... which is always a lovely place to create from ... sound good?”

“I don’t know ..!”

“Great! Me neither! So, let’s have a brainstorm. How can you create the money to invest in yourself?”

“Well … erm … I have some savings, I could take some from that.”

“Good, how else?”

“There’s a new initiative I’m about to launch with some of my clients that will bring in additional revenue to the business and if I added more value and tweaked the price and increased it to 15% more it would bring in another lump of cash to invest.”

“Great, how else?”

“Assuming I could put the coaching through the business, as you will be helping me with the business, I could get tax relief on the investment and claim back the VAT.”

“Good, how else?”

“Well, I’m still a little short, perhaps we could do a shorter commitment so I can get started right away and then, whilst we’re coaching, I could create extra money to continue when our agreement ends.”

“Nice, how else?”

“I could go through my business and personal bank statements and see where there are some efficiencies to be made, I have always wanted to do that but never got round to doing it and I’m pretty sure there’s a lot I’m spending that’s a waste of money. I spend a fortune on coffee and drinks at the pub.”

“Good, and those savings you’ll discover will not only go towards coaching but also last a lifetime ... I call this the compound interest of financially managing yourself.”

“That all makes sense, I get it. I can now see how I can create money for coaching rather than ‘think’ I can’t afford it.”

“I’m glad you can see it now. And, let’s not forget that the coaching can have a focus on revenue generation for you and your business, too. Once we get started if we focus time and attention on this area it will grow as anything does. So ... how does it feel now to imagine investing in coaching?”

“Okay, I get it, I’m ‘in’.”

“Good, me too. And, remember … the only problem you have is that you actually believe you are your thoughts. Thoughts are a never-ending water fountain spurting out  through by an invisible energy. They never stop. But, when you learn to see that you are not your thoughts you can start to watch them and then choose which ones to believe and which ones to let go. Which train to catch and which one to let run by you on the platform of life.”

“I kind of get that but it also sounds different.”

“It is different, most people don’t relate to life in this way. What’s happened here over the course of our conversation is you’ve started to let go of the limiting stories you were telling yourself about how you didn’t have access to the money required to invest in yourself and started to explore creating new stories based on your ability to be resourceful to create the money. All it took was five minutes of us talking for this shift to occur and when it did you stopped worrying about getting wet and started enjoying dancing in the water!”

“I love dancing! Although I’m not very good at it.”

“Don’t worry, you’ll get better, with practice. Imagine what we could create together over the next six months through working in this area of mindset and creativity? By working on connecting with your inner wisdom or intuition to guide you towards creating the life you want to lead throughout all areas ... you are not your thoughts, you are much more than that ... especially when you come from the place of exploration and ‘I don’t know’ and look to create.”

“I can’t wait!”

“Neither can I. But first, let’s slow down as it’s time for you to create a project with a deadline to create the funds to invest ...”

END.

“You can’t use up creativity ... the more you use, the more you have.”
― Maya Angelou.

Ps. If you enjoyed this you can sign up to receive my newsletter which includes regular articles like these to guide you in developing your life -- personally and professionally (with zero spam or selling).

*If you’re looking for an inspirational book about ‘creating’ then I highly recommend Steve Chandler’s book ‘CREATOR’, which you can find on Amazon.

*Image courtesy of Psych Central.


Fear is a Pussycat ... 🐱

When I was a little boy there was a TV show with a baggy old cloth cat who was a little loose at the seams. This cat told stories with various friends. 'Bagpuss' was supposed to be innocent entertainment.

Not in my mind.

Bagpuss scared the s**t out of me. I was convinced that this gentle, thickset toy cat was real and lived in our airing cupboard under the stairs.

I would walk by this cupboard, no, run by it, with a whirlwind of thoughts rushing through my mind about how this cat was going to ‘get me’.

I believed this based on the best thinking I had available to me at the time.

This thinking got me to a place where I believed a children's TV character was in my house and out to get me.

I shared this story with my son earlier this week because he has a fear playing out at home and doesn't want to go into certain rooms without someone else being around.

One of the benefits of being a professional coach is that the skills I have created over the years allow me to approach areas of my own life differently. Like these small parental challenges that come up regularly. And, as a parent, I have a few choices in terms of how to work with his fear.

I could ignore it.

I could chastise him, shame him, tell him to ‘sort it out’, try and punish him by threatening to take something he loves away unless he changes … all these tactics may get a result, but, they probably have a higher likelihood of closing him down and not helping him overcome his wonky thinking.

I didn’t want that. It’s not who I want to ‘be’ in the world.

I wanted to open him and his thinking up to other possibilities and tap into the infinite creativity that’s available to all of us all the time ... once we get beyond our thinking.

So, my approach was to open, not close.

I don’t see his fear as a problem. It's more of an opportunity for him to learn how to manage his mind.

We sat down and our conversation went something like this.

“Tell me what you think is in the toy room?”

“Well, it’s a granny with big red eyes.”

“Hmm, okay, where is she?”

“Well, I think she's behind the dark windows in the playhouse.”

“Okay, have you ever seen her, in real life?”

“No. It’s a character from Minecraft, and she makes a scary noise.”

“Okay, so what do you think is happening in your mind?”

“I know, I know, dad, you’ve told me before that they’re only thoughts. I understand it’s my thinking.”

“Okay, if you understand that it’s just your thinking, then tell me why you won’t go in the room.”

“Well, I know it’s my thinking but just like when I have a dream and I’m asleep, but it feels so real that I get scared and think it's going to get me.”

“I understand. And, as I've said before all our feelings come from our thinking. I’m exactly the same.”

“I’m bored now dad, can we stop now?”

“In a moment. You know, when I was a little boy there was a TV show I used to watch with a cat in it. I was convinced there was this big fat cat in one of the cupboards in the house. It was called Bagpuss. Every time I walked by the cupboard I would get scared and sometimes run by it if nobody was around because I was worried it might come out and attack me.”

“Really, a cat, called Bagpuss?”

“Yep, it seems so silly to me now. But, the reason I’m telling you this is because it’s really normal to be scared and actually believe our thoughts. So, don’t worry, there’s nothing wrong with you because you’re scared of going in that room.”

“Okay, dad.”

“Good. So, how about we do some practice.”

“Practice what?”

“Practice going into the room on your own. I’ll be right behind you and you can start to tell me when you get scared, take a moment to stop, and let me know what thoughts you’re having. Then, we can slow down and see if they are true and walk a little bit more. Maybe you can take a few deep breaths and concentrate on feeling your breathing in your tummy. How does that sound?”

“It sounds boring … but, okay, we can try.”

“Even though it sounds boring I’m sure we can have some fun with it, are you up for trying? Can we make an agreement that we can work on this and practice together? Anything is possible with practice, just like when you started riding your bike, remember?”

“Yes, I’ll give it a go. I promise. Can I go now?”

“Yes, darling, you can.”

Because I shared my own, and very human, personal experience of being scared as a child it opened him up to see things a different way.

Since we had this chat we have been practising, and he’s making progress. He’s not suddenly going to ‘get it’ 100% overnight but even 1% daily progress adds up to massive gains.

These situations are happening to everyone, all the time.

Our reality is actually one big made up story, based on how we ‘think’ things really are. It’s all perception. Just like when you’re asleep and dreaming and it feels real.

But yet, because we’re adults, the majority of us never stop to challenge those stories. We close ourselves, and others, down. We blame, get angry, point the finger, and run away -- all driven by fear.

If we slow things down, just like I did with my son, and start to analyse the thoughts we’re having that feel really, really real, you start to change your experience of life. This works in any context.

You could be having a frustrating experience with a member of your team, or a disagreement with your partner or a friend.

If you slowed it right down and spent time talking with the person to find out what they’re thinking that’s instigating their actions it could open up a whole new dimension to your relationship and help both of you, forever.

You could explore creating some agreements, and practice developing things you’d like to change.

Slowing things down … being vulnerable by sharing an example of how you’ve felt the same, or done the same thing that’s annoying you … realising you are both humans doing the best you can in life … hold a loving, caring, and curious space for an authentic conversation to emerge from beyond the limited thinking … creating agreements … and practising.

And, be okay that it might take a little time. This morning I was on the running machine and had to stop after a few minutes to go to the loo. My son was in another room and, when he realised I wasn’t on the running machine, he panicked, ran to the bathroom door and opened it to find me in rather a compromising position. This is how our conversation went.

“What are you doing in here, daddy?”

“I’m on the toilet ... what are you doing?”

“I, erm, didn’t know where you were.”

“Okay, well, I wouldn't leave you. What kind of thoughts did you have before you ran to find me.”

“I dunno …”

“You do, slow down and tell me.”

“Well, I, thought you’d left me and I got scared.”

“Is that true, that I would leave you without telling you? Have I ever done that?”

“No, and you haven’t”

“Okay, good, so what could it be then?”

“My thinking … just like you and Bagpuss, right?”

“You got it, just like Bagpuss.”

“Oh, okay, see you in a minute.”

As I reflected afterwards, it felt like something landed inside him that was now playing out in the present moment. He was starting to 'get' how to manage his thoughts.

He’s not there yet, wherever there is, but he is making progress ... and progress beats perfection each and every time.

Love and wellness,

David.

Ps. If you want to find out more about Bagpuss you can read this https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagpuss and if you want to watch an actual show (be warned, it’s scary!) here’s a link to a YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-ky9bRFG24

Picture courtesy of Bradford Museums and Galleries.

"There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so."
-- William Shakespeare

**Ps. If you enjoyed this feel free to sign up to receive my regular newsletter that includes articles like this to guide you in developing your life -- personally and professionally -- delivered straight to your inbox (with zero spam or selling)**


The Godfather of Coaching

Several years ago I didn’t know coaching existed.

For many years, I was in a trance. I call it the trance of chasing conventional success.

Overworked, underpaid, anxious, lost, overwhelmed, disorganised, and unhappy living the life and leading the business I’d created. Oh, and blaming everyone and everything around me for 'the way things were'.

A professional victim.

My first coach encouraged me to open my eyes and see how I'd created everything. It was painful but it guided me to making progress.

Seeing I was the creator of everything I moaned and groaned about empowered me to create something different -- a life I love leading.

And now that's what I do with my clients as a professional coach.

Without discovering coaching my default future wouldn't have been great.

But, enough about me ... I have a real treat for you in store!

There are so many miscommunications about what coaching is and how it works I had a desire to help educate people about the 'truth' when it came to coaching.

As part of this project, I was fortunate enough to interview my coach, Steve Chandler, to help 'demystify coaching'.

Steve's a very lovely, warm, intelligent, wise and inspiring human being and has helped me no end in several areas of my life and business. He's guided many of the world's best coaches over the last few decades and is known as ‘The Godfather of Coaching’. Steve's also authored over 40 books that have been translated into over 25 languages (and he didn't write his first book until he was 49!).

His personal success coaching, public speaking and business consulting have been used by CEOs, top professionals, major universities, and over 30 Fortune 500 companies. He has twice won the national Audio of the Year award from King Features Syndicate. A popular guest on TV and radio talk shows, Steve Chandler has recently been called “the most powerful public speaker in America today.”

This video is only 45 minutes and is full of insight, experience, and wisdom.

If you have any interest at all in personal development, growth, transformation or coaching then take the time to watch this (and explore Steve's books, they are wonderful).

Amongst other things, Steve discusses:

  • The distinction between information vs. transformation
  • The lies we tell ourselves
  • How coaching allows people to move from a default future to something completely different
  • And much, much more!

You can watch the full interview by clicking here.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did co-creating it. You can find more about Steve by visiting www.stevechandler.com.

Love and wellness,

David.

Ps. I have a rare opening coming up for one person to work with me one-on-one. If you’d like to explore how we could partner up to create your version of a better future email me and we can start a conversation. If you're ready to talk ... I'm ready to listen.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago ... the second best time is today.”

Chinese proverb


The Fathering of Life

I felt inspired to write this for Father’s Day.

Maybe you idolised your dad and thought he was the most amazing person in the world.

Maybe you despised him.

Both are your own personal stories based on the judgements you made about your experience of being brought up. I have stories about my dad, too.

I missed him when I was growing up. He had his own business and even though he was around, he worked a lot.

Throughout my childhood, he’d tell me with remorse how he wished he’d spent more time with me and my siblings when we were growing up.

He provided tangibles like a home, food, holidays, clothes and much more.

He also provided the things I couldn’t see, the intangibles, through his way of 'being'.

I remember being inspired by him as I sat in on various meetings with employees, suppliers, and customers (he had a home office). Wanting to be just like him -- a businessman.

I ‘get’ the world of the entrepreneur. I’ve grown up around it and have had a few businesses myself.

The majority of my clients, who I love deeply, are entrepreneurs or high-level managers. They invest in my services to guide them towards closing the gap between where they are in life and where they want to be. A lot of them want more balance and less overwhelm.

I’m writing a book called ‘Where’s Dad?’ to help people create more balance in their life.

I wouldn't be coaching, or writing this book, without my experiences growing up in an entrepreneurial house and being an entrepreneur.

These are benefits that, at one time, I couldn’t see.

I remember being on holiday in Lanzarote at around the age of 10 having just finished a family meal in a restaurant called ‘Neptune’. We ate king prawns.

An African man approached us, his arms full of fake Rolex watches, sunglasses, jewellery, and other stuff he was trying to sell to tourists as he ambled along saying, "do you wanna buy a Rolex? Good price …"

As he got closer, the restaurant owner came out and tried to usher him away as we sat outside having a coffee. My dad stepped in and said, “it’s ok, Juan, he’s our guest.”

He invited the street seller to sit with us and asked him what he wanted to drink.

The man, who looked exhausted, was shocked. When he realised my dad was being genuine he humbly said, “Fanta, please.”

I watched them both, over the next few minutes, as my dad talked to this guy who was doing his best to create a better life for himself. He opened his heart and just spoke to him human-to-human, whilst the owner of the restaurant stood in the background with steam coming out of his ears like in one of those old ‘Tom n’ Jerry’ cartoons. He was in complete disbelief that my dad had invited this guy to sit down.

I’ll never forget that moment. Experiencing non-judgemental loving human kindness in motion. Intangible and Inspirational at the same time.

Small moments can make a big impact on a child.

I remember being three years old and being held by my dad, feeling his warm breath on my hair whilst he cuddled me with love.

So pure. So natural. Didn’t cost a penny, only time.

I’m not sure what stories you’re running about your dad.

Or, if you are a dad, what stories you’re running about yourself being a father.

What I do know is that, no matter what the stories are, there are always two sides.

If you see something as being ‘bad’, for example having a workaholic dad, remember that he’s human too and did what he believed was the best thing at that time.

He’s coming from a place of serving his own values and also providing for his family.

Although you may have some resentment, there are many latent benefits you may not be conscious of -- hidden away like 24-carat diamonds in the mine of your unconscious.

You can learn how to discover these gems by slowing down and asking the question, ‘what were the benefits of that situation?’. Meditation helps. And journaling. And being coached, for me, anyway.

Every father in the world is doing what they believe to be the best thing. The same way every human is operating, moment-to-moment, in their own self-interest — driven by their unique set of intrinsic values.

Every father in the world is a hero and a villain.

Every father in the world is a saint and a sinner.

Every father in the world shares the same 4,126 traits we all have as human beings (thanks, Dr John Demartini for teaching me this).

I know I am no angel.

At times, I am the best father in the world, and, at times, I want to be far, far away from my children because I’d rather focus on other things in my life. Both are stories sitting on my mental bookshelf, created by thought.

And, that’s ok. I’m a human living my own life by my own values in a perfectly imperfect way.

And, I’m sure, that no matter what I do my children will grow up with judgements about me as a dad, and that’s ok. They are allowed to create their own stories, we all do.

To transcend any judgements you may have and to see your father as a perfectly imperfect human being (just like you) is freeing for the soul.

The stories you’re selling yourself are the only things that make us different.

Deep down, we are all the same. Just like one of the world’s best coaches, Michael Neill, shares in his latest Ted Talk.

And, if you want some science to back how we are all connected you can watch this great Ted Talk by Tom Chi, one of the top guys at Google.

Slow down to take a moment … see if you can see the full picture of your upbringing … not just the frame. The masterpiece of your life, as you see it. It makes for much better art.

If you’re a dad, I know you’re doing your best. I know it can be challenging at times.

From my own experience, even if you’re not around your children as much as you’d like to be (or as much as other’s expect of you) consider making the moments you do have with your family as being really present. These moments will be the best gifts you can give.

A cuddle.

Connecting heart-to-heart with your child and listening intently to what they are saying.

A play fight or wrestle.

Singing along in the car to a song you all love.

Laughing. Lots of it.

Drawing together.

Taking them for a haircut followed by a bit of lunch.

Going to pick a new reading book together.

Going for a walk in nature.

Looking in their eyes and tell them you love them.

Not judging them for making small mistakes and telling them that you have done the same and not to worry, mistakes happen, it’s how we all learn.

Simple things make all the difference and create memories you’ll look back upon with warmth and fondness because there was pure love in those moments, not judgment. Just human-to-human connection with the only investment being your time and presence.

Ten minutes of pure presence trumps five hours of disconnected time because children want your presence, not just your presents.

And, the wonderful thing is, not only will your child love the experience, so will you.

Be vulnerable, be love.

Remember, just like you looked up and copied your father when you were young, your children are doing the same.

They pick up much more of your way of ‘being’ than what you ‘do’ for them.

Even if you have limited time, consider how you want to ‘be’ with them.

This is where the best stories come from. The ones that take pride of place on your mental bookshelf.

If your dad’s still around make contact to thank him for all that he did, tell him you love him. If he’s not, say it too.

He did his best in a perfectly imperfect way. Just like you are each day.

Just like Baz Luhrmann said in one of my favourite songs, ‘Sunscreen’, from the late ’90s:

“Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.”

Happy Father’s Day.

Love and wellness,

David.

“Every father should remember one day his son will follow his example, not his advice.”
Charles Kettering

Ps. This song, Nizlopi’s JCB song, is one that always moves me to tears and takes me back to my childhood and this is the guy actually singing itwhich I love, too

Pps. I wrote in detail about Baz Luhrmann’s song and made comment on each verse in an earlier piece here.

(Thank you, Trix, for allowing me to experience being a dad. You, Rocco & Enzo are the three best gifts of all x).