In this issue
Where love lives: a practitioner’s story of healing and transformation (free article)
Developing a coaching business: part 1
Julie J Allan
Love over fear: an experience of assessment
Robin Shohet, David Birch and Erik de Haan with Ineke Duit, Karen Griffin, Arne Hemkes, Leen Lambrechts and Marjan Timmer
Here and now, this space between us: the power and the glory (free article)
Tim Jones and Catherine Noel
Stoking the flames: coaching towards authentic and impassioned change
Sasha van Deurzen-Smith
Meet the member
Dr Jason Holmes
To say that our country is feeling fractured and broken right now would be an understatement. As I write, it is day two of President Trump’s highly controversial state visit to the UK, and people are gathering to walk the streets in protest at the US president’s presence here. A couple of weeks ago, our (current at the time of writing) Prime Minister, Theresa May, gave a tearful farewell speech in front of the cameras outside No 10 Downing Street. By the time this issue is published in mid July, we may well have a new leader at the helm who will be responsible for leading us out of the European Union (or not) in an orderly fashion (or not).
We seem to be a nation divided and there is anger, confusion and frustration on all sides. I was struck by the closing words of our prime minister when she said it had been ‘an honour to serve the country I love’. Whether or not we believe she succeeded or failed in that task is immaterial. I am more curious about the love, and I was left wondering, in the midst of division, conflict and a very real global climate change emergency – where exactly is the love?
So the theme of love ripples through this summer issue like a soothing balm or a soft caress. Love for our work and our profession, love of learning, and learning to love. Honouring the love that exists when we hold space for others with empathy, compassion and curiosity, and when we use our skills as practitioners to help our clients choose love over fear, to find both their passion and the courage to follow it.
Most importantly, there’s the love we must hold for ourselves, even – especially – when times get tough. Learning to hold space for ourselves as well as our clients when we are suffering, burned out, resentful, confused, sick or in pain.
I have always loved the poetic lyrics of the hauntingly beautiful Leonard Cohen song, Anthem:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
It reminds me of the Japanese practice of kintsugi, where broken ceramic objects are repaired with gold, making a feature of the flaws, also known as ‘the art of embracing damage’. When I am feeling imperfect, ineffective, broken or otherwise ‘less than’, I remind myself that my flaws are what make me unique, as a practitioner and as a human being. And in these days of emergency, I remind myself that the world needs us now more than ever, and we need to be ready, which means taking care of business from the inside out. Love is, after all, an inside job.
I hope you enjoy this issue and I wish you all a summer of love.
Diane Parker, Editor