Drain anew

Davy‘s grey clouds threaten
Gloom inducing doom chills
Darkening the soulful

Deluge then droplets drip
Dismal dampness pervades
Downcast delusions dwell

Monochrome maudlin
Doldrums drain energy
Sunshine invigorates

Living one’s purpose

Five learnings from my journey of service to others

Beware the drama triangle
Take a moment to step back, assess the situation. Are characters from the drama triangle* about to draw me in? I aim to be objective and assist participants to find a way out.

I learned the hard way, taking on the part of Rescuer often led to situations that compromised one of my core values, integrity.

Self limiting practises suck
I have often found myself tied up in my own self limiting practises due to making assumptions, skewed perception, self doubt, and misguided self reliance. This led to missed opportunities for me to assist others to develop, poorer quality outcomes and my own burnout.

Fear of failure; bunny in the headlights
I cannot overstate the sheer horror and inner trauma of being faced with the threat of not achieving a goal, in my service to another.

The worst was realised by the refusal of a stakeholder to cooperate. This brought forth significant flight or fight responses.

Having clear measures of success, being prepared for resistance and exploring collaboration rather than drawing battle have helped me since.

Being ‘helpful’ or taking over
When I first started coaching, I observed myself wanting to jump in to help by taking over. An urge, almost too hard to resist.

What a relief it was to understand the benefits of others’ active participation in decision making, problem solving and learning processes. The person being coached is imbued with freedom during the journey and has ownership of the outcome.

Resilience
Resilience to deal with this time of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. For an emotional soul such as I, it’s important for me to to not take things personally; stick my head in the sand, or become a victim.

Acceptance of the way things are grants permission to move forward.

*Dr Stephen Karpman developed a dynamic model of social interaction and conflict, calling it the ‘drama triangle’. Three participants take the roles of ‘rescuer’, ‘persecutor’, ‘victim’. I recommend reading How to opt out of the drama triangle.

Finding one’s purpose

In my early fifties, I spent years in dismal dismay, scratching around in search of my purpose. Prior to this, I seemed to be caught in the blissful raptural ignorance of youth.

Being fortunate to have a supportive line manager, I took full advantage of personality testing and coaching. Even though the purpose remained elusive, calls to the Universe for insight and inspiration were released.

Significant changes to career, house, and home state proved to be the catalyst of self realisation. The act of job seeking necessitated repetitive review, refinement, and honing of one’s resumé, cover letter, and application. This led to a need to identify the goals of the 30 plus roles, performed to date. The list was prioritised and filtered according to length of tenure. This drew together and consolidated many threads, distilling them into a single purpose.

The result, service to others. I do this by engaging problem solving, creativity, authenticity, and time management skills.

Tide of change

Once upon a time, in a sleepy street, near the brow of a hill, stood a single storey red brick cottage, bordered by hardy grassed paths.

The owner loved the home so much, they attached a sturdy white wrought iron bracket. Suspended beneath by two rings, a white oblong marker declared the house’s location.

Being a fan of swashbuckling heroes, the chosen placque featured a galleon, perpetually travelling the oceans at full sail.

Many a long year did that building provide shelter and comfort to its inhabitants. While number 37 gently swayed in the breeze.

Being but five kilometres from the city, the growing populace demanded increased housing density. Standalone dwellings were gradually consumed by multi-storey, hemmed in developments.

Today a refurbished ship 37 voyages upon a shiny new ‘boutique’ apartment block.

Doubting Thomas

How smug I once was, and will be again, I’m sure. Liking to think I was lithe at forty and poo-pooing physiotherapy. Even when I injured my shoulder, lifting weights for vanity’s sake. Other injuries and increasingly sedentary work roles followed.

Fighting the flab in my fifties almost seems too hard a battle to even try to win. I know investment in my health is required to smooth the passage through my twilight years. I’m still working out when they start.

Ten months into a role in supporting injured workers through their rehabilitation has opened my eyes, personally and professionally, to the miracle work of the physiotherapist.

Most recently, I applaud the weekly direction of an exercise physiologist. Damian is teaching me how to get up off the floor without using my hands. Also, how to exercise again starting with Bird Dog*. I believed my decrepitude, dwindling willpower, and self motivation had reached the point of no return, apparently not. I always perform best when I’m doing something for someone other than myself.

Avoiding the scales during the covid crisis, exercising less, and overindulging has resulted in a weight gain of five kilos. My weigh-in, a personal best of 99 kg, 218 lb or 15st 8lb 5oz, what a pity I’m not 2 metres tall. Humpty Dumpty is my pin up goal, now my waist measures 114cm, almost 45”. A 4XL teeshirt is so comfy these day, especially on a beach with Stan.

Time, they say, will tell how and where this doubting Thomas will end up.

*The Bird Dog is a go-to move for stabilizing and strengthening your shoulders, core, and low back. Well-known for simultaneously engaging the shoulders, abdominals, lower back, gluteal, and thigh muscles.

Customs House

Queensland slightly relaxed isolation rules at the weekend. We took to the river, rather than the road. We felt spoilt, a CityCat ferry ride, a walk along the boardwalk in the Autumn sunshine, followed by a picnic in the Botanical Gardens.

The afternoon light, playing on the dome of Customs House, caught my eye.