Coach’s Challenge for October 10, 2005

Good day, team,

Your challenge this week is to get out in nature while the seasons are changing. Now is an exciting time. The days that were brilliantly sunny are becoming shorter and obliquely lit. The bright colors of summer are turning into the muted tones of autumn. The green leaves transforming to rust and gold remind us of nature’s recurrent annual patterns.

Observing patterns in nature is a wonderful way to bring relativity to any moment. When we become discouraged at work because we think nothing is getting better, we can look outside and see that things do, in fact, change daily. Yesterday, I watched some geese flying along the Columbia River. Each year, these geese know just where to fly in exactly the right season to make their annual migrations. Their species is attuned to decreases in temperature and in daylight, and so they know that it’s time to change their environment.

I also noticed a large rock face for the first time. I have driven by it many times in the past few months, but then, because the summer light was so bright, I couldn’t see the contours of the rock and the patterns that they make. In the light of autumn, I could see these patterns for the first time. The experience caused me to wonder what else is in front of me that I can’t see. What’s actually right in front of me at work, for example, that I’m not seeing? What patterns are visible that I’ve seen before, but I’m not seeing right now?

The ability to appreciate changes in the natural world can help us see other situations in a new way. Last week, a client tried to convince me that making big moves in his life, like changing his job and his residence, was the right thing to do. But when I looked at his entire situation, I realized that this is not a good time for him to make big changes. I tried to use the seasons as a metaphor. Spring is a wonderful time for the birth and growth of new things, whereas winter is a time of hibernation, a time to go inward and allow the seeds of change to lie quiet and covered. I tried to help my client see that perhaps he was better off letting his new opportunities stay dormant for awhile and then allowing them to germinate and flourish in spring. With this approach, he will be “going with the flow,” so to speak, and perhaps find it easier to make these changes rather than forcing them at the wrong time.

By looking at nature, we can recognize inherent rhythms and timing. We can see certain things that perhaps give us clues about our own lives. Nature is a wonderful teacher, and the good news is that we don’t have to “make” her happen. She does it all on her own!

Try getting out in nature at least once this week to see what’s happening. Look at the patterns in leaves, in rocks, in clouds. Is there a hidden message in these patterns that can help you get through your day? Take a look.

Have a great week!

Kathleen

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