Tag Archives: human development

The learning spiral – about fractals and freedom

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Have you noticed how time never passes ‘normally’? It’s always faster or slower than you think. Which makes me wonder how we intuitively know what is time’s normal pace. Otherwise how can we experience it passing by at a quicker or more lazy pace than it ‘should’?

Although our brains love to turn time, and most of our experience of life, into a linear pattern of moving from A to B, there may be different, more interesting shapes out there in the universe.

Like the spiral for example. It’s everywhere in nature…from our DNA to roses, snails, hurricanes and even galaxies like the Milky Way. In maths, the Fibonacci sequence (0,1,1,2,3,5,8 etc) describes these gracefully unfurling shapes.

If you add two Fibonacci sequences you approximate the Golden Ratio which defines the architecture of historic monuments such as the Giza pyramids and the Greek Parthenon.

Dogmatic creationism aside, there is poetry in the idea that “the spiral is the fingerprint of God which resides in all of creation.”

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From Fractals to Freedom

Even in our subtle emotional bodies we experience spirals of deeper and deeper learning.

Again they’re often misinterpreted by our brain as a two-dimensional line. We feel disillusioned when an issue we thought we had ‘dealt with’, comes back with a vengeance.

‘What? It’s still not over?! I’ve not made any progress and am back where I started?!’ – our saboteur brain starts chattering. We become convinced that we’ve taken quite a few steps back on our journey.

I see this often happening when coaching clients go through grief, process a break up or even let go of patterns that are no longer serving.

Instead of perceiving progress as linear, let’s add a third dimension and experience it as a spiral. Then we’re not going back to where we came from, but are tracing a circle, adding depth with each step taken, like the rose, snail and planets do.

In the reiki healing tradition, the sacred symbol of the spiral adds power and protection, indicating to “place the power of the universe here’.

Every time we reach the same side of the circle at a deeper level, we have the opportunity to understand the issue more deeply so that healing and integration can occur at a more profound level.

We continue to go deeper down into our learning spirals until we reach the deepest core of the issue, the end point of the spiral.

Then we may become aware of an even bigger spiral repeating the shape of the first smaller spiral. Like in a fractal image of expanding symmetry, one spiral is the building block for an even larger spiral.

In yoga philosophy, the serpent lies coiled like a spiral at the base of our spine until the kundalini energy, or the intelligence of complete maturation, is awakened.

Perhaps our fractal learning experience continues until our karma expires. Until we reach enlightenment and we’re free of patterns, be they lines or spirals.

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What spiral are you on?

I’d love to hear from you about your current learning spiral!

On the Maitree Community – the Sangha of Joy’s September calls, we are sharing and learning about spirals of self love, following the heart, being soft and firm, letting go.

I’m on the ‘surrender’ spiral. Every time I’ve surrendered more deeply, I’m presented with an even harder thing to surrender. It’s almost as if the universe is trying to tell me:

“Do you think you’ve mastered surrender by letting go of your high performing corporate career, and receiving a beautifully balanced and free life doing what I love most?

Then try this: surrendering your relationship.

Now do you think you’ve mastered the trick by breaking up and being gifted a fully unexpected reunion with your partner when he asks you to marry him?

Then try this: give up your home and sense of belonging in Auroville.”

That’s where I am at in my surrender spiral.

Deep down with no end in sight and a smile on my face thanks to the gift of 20 all Indian sisters in the dance and movement therapy course I just started in Bangalore. But I’m sure despite these gifts I’ll find something else to cling to!

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Spirals and movement

The dance and movement therapy course has much inspired me in many ways, integrating movement into my coaching practice and finding innovative ways of exploring authentic intuitive movement with clients.

In the sangha calls, we have been exploring the fun yet sacred element of moving spirals. Once we identified our learning spirals, we found movement to express them – from whirling dervish to rolling child and surfing on the waves of life.

The spiral movements we discovered were both liberating and transformative. They helped us shake off old patterns, for exampling shifting into an anti-clock wise upward spiral when in a clock wise downward spiral. And shifted us into new ways of being, for example from strongly spiralling our arms to protect ourselves, to a gentle swaying of the hips as a soft and peaceful pillar of strength.

Some say that spiral movements are among the oldest on the planet, as eye-less creatures grazed the ocean floor following their mouths with their digestive tubes.

There is a mysterious power in recreating ancient, primitive movement patterns – at once healing and joyful. While it’s fun to move in spirals, the movement awakens a deep vibration within us that seems to allow us to shift quickly from one state to another.

If you’re interested in exploring the mystery further, join me end January in Auroville for the ‘Swing Your Hips’ 3-day women’s intuitive dance retreat.

I’m also starting to offer authentic movement spaces in Auroville and Pondicherry, organically for women only for now, yet I’m planning mixed dance spaces later in the season.

For more info, keep an eye out on the website or get in touch via julie@maitreecoaching.com. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Restoring the Lotus

I’ve been much resonating with this passage from Anodea Judith on ‘Restoring the Lotus. Healing the Fifth Chakra’:

“If we express ourselves before our truth is fully ripened, then our actions are out of sync with our potential fullness. This is commonly experienced as ‘poor timing’.

Years ago, I habitually pushed myself in my work rather than waiting for my organic fullness to motivate me. When I rushed myself ahead of my own natural rhythm, I felt unprepared, stressed, anxious, and even a bit breathless. We push our timing out of sync because of financial pressure, emotional insecurity, fear, hunger for power, and the excessive rule of our mind as it orders our bodies with its barrage of “shoulds.”

Instead, when mind and body are balanced, we can dance to the rhythm of our own personal vibration as it resonates with the environment and the people around us.”

From her beautifully complete and masterful work on the psychology of the chakra system, ‘Eastern Body, Western Mind.’ Highly recommended!

The last full moon highlighted for me a blockage in my throat chakra and in the process of working with that I rediscovered Anodea’s work.

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I realised I was very much fighting to acknowledge and express two realisations brought up by my return to Auroville which coincided with this strong Aquarius full moon. I’ve noticed a funny pattern over the past half year – all my travels have been aligned to the full or new moon.

In Auroville I feel the presence of the moon stronger. Being in the forest the night sky is more visible, and the absence of city vibrations leaves more space to notice the moon’s impact.

This month’s full moon was in the sign of the future. Aquarius, the harbinger of things to come. A curveball moon, full of unexpected turns.

These turns were twofold for me – in love and work. And they shook me, making me feel quite wretched until I let go of attachment to what I thought was meant to be. As soon as I found back my flexibility, I could see new perspectives open up.

In Anodea’s words, as soon as I lost my rigidity of fear, paralysis of uncertainty, I could resonate at a new vibration, and create opportunities. Another approach to going at the pace of what is real.

I acknowledged two core inner truths about my love and work, and now feel fully aligned again.

In love, I renewed my vows to my life partner and committed even more deeply to a love and union of evolution.

In work, I moved on to work with those people whose values I share. Again, it comes down to the frequency – we resonate more fully when we work with people and organisations that we are aligned to. Then creativity can flourish.

Let’s see what the next full moon has in store!

Ikigai or the reason you wake up in the morning

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IKIGAI

iki (生き) / Life
kai (甲斐) / The realisation of what one expects and hopes for

As a life and executive coach I’m intrigued and inspired by this Japanese idea that is said to contribute to the many healthy centenarians living on the islands of Okinawa in Southern Japan, where the word originates.

Having ikigai means that you feel fulfilled and have a reason to get up in the morning. Even if it’s a dark morning, you’ll feel purposeful and balanced. Like this 100+ karate teacher.

Karate Master Uehara Seikichi - A 26-yr old student spars 96-yr old Karate Master Uehara Seikichi

Ikigai is a key component of a long and healthy life in addition to a plant-based diet, daily exercise and a strong sense of community. Okinawa’s population counts 50 centenarians per 100,000, compared to 5-10 in the US. They are healthy, independent and happy.

In fact, people do not retire in Okinawa. Instead, they belief that one should make life worth living no matter how old you are. You help others and continue to express your ikigai.

“Our ikigai evolves and transforms with us, just as much as the knowledge and identification of our ikigai transforms us.” Goju Karate

Everyone has an ikigai. So how do you find yours?

According to the Japanese, finding your ikigai requires a profound search of self, a natural and spontaneous process of self awareness.

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The diagram shows how ikigai combines four key elements in life:

  • Passion
  • Mission
  • Profession
  • Vocation

Those four key elements in turn consist of the overlaps between:

  • That which you love
  • That which the world needs
  • That which you can be paid for
  • That which you are good at

Together these make up your ikigai, which evolves and transforms over time. All ikigai are equally important and powerful because by definition they are the reason of living for someone.

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It is vital to our health and wellbeing that we find our ikigai. Yet it can be a challenging process to identify, refine your awareness, and clearly communicate your ikigai to yourself and others.

Life coaching can help with just this. I’m offering ikigai sessions in which we explore your life purpose through guided visualisation and creative conversation.

Email me at julie@maitreecoaching.com if you’re interested in discovering your ikigai!

Water retreat

Amsterdam North, the Netherlands (location tbc, 30 min cycle ride from Amsterdam Central station)

Join me for a life coaching weekend. Jump on the ferry away from busy Amsterdam town and take in the quiet harbour perspective. See the sun or rain drops play with the water.

Register by 5th July to qualify for the early bird fee!


“Totally exceeded expectations! I learnt to really listen to myself and others, finding new answers in an amazingly open group. Great gentle, firm facilitation by Julie.”

Manreet Deol, Owner and Creative Director, Manifest Design, Pondicherry, India

“Inspiring, attitude changing. An opportunity to take a good look at yourself, listen to your heart, and have fun with amazing people!”

Meryem Lukka, Social Worker, The Hague, Netherlands

 


Do you want to feel:

  • Refreshed and energised to live your life fully?
  • Clear minded when your life is at a cross roads?
  • Empowered to set your own conventions?
  • Eager to take on what’s next for you?
  • Confident in your ability to listen to yourself and others at a deeper level?

Inspired by the popular weekend retreats in Pondicherry, South India, I’m very excited to host this last in a series of four yoga and life coaching retreats in Europe this summer (2014).

During the two days of workshops you’ll not only get to know yourself better and what’s next for you, you’ll also learn basic coaching skills. In a joyful and open learning environment, you’ll experience the impact you can have with enhanced listening and questioning skills, such as an immediate connection with your fellow participants.

Get in touch with me to reserve your place!


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On Friday night we’ll have a sunset dream hunt dinner to connect with each other and our dreams for the future. On Saturday the focus will be on building your listening and intuitive capacity so you develop a greater sense of focus and awareness of yourself and others. We’ll do this through group exercises and 1:1 break outs so you have an immediate opportunity to experience and practice the new skills.

Then on Sunday we’ll work mostly on finding your edge and what’s next for you to really step into your full potential and live your life purpose. We’ll connect with that life affirming fulfilment energy and create true commitment.

We’ll be working in a small group of 4-8 people, all diverse and international. We’ll start around 9am and finish by 5.30pm at the latest, with a long lunch break in between so we can enjoy the local scenery.


Price: £175/€210 plus 25% off 1:1 session with Julie, or £150/€180 for concessions.

Get in touch with me if you think you qualify for concessionary rate. Prices include lunch and tea, and exclude accommodation and other meals.

yoga & coaching

12-13th July, Synchronicity yoga studio, Clapham, London SW9

Join Laura and Julie for an urban retreat to build awareness in your body, mind and soul through yoga and coaching.

Do you want to feel:

  • Empowered to take home a personalised daily self practice
  • Committed to making your practice work for you
  • Present to the different parts of your being
  • Aware of how to access your intuition and how to use it
  • Mindful of finding a balance between discipline and compassion for your body

Laura and Julie have been working together for the past year on fusing yoga and coaching. We’re super excited to share our learning with you on three key themes: listening, intuition and balance.

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Yoga and coaching invite you to listen to the conversations going on between your mind, body and soul. You learn to recognise the different voices and to find your own path, in your life and on the mat.

Continue reading yoga & coaching

green retreat

19-20th July, Lower Slaughter, Cotswolds, UK (1.5hr train journey from London Paddington station)

Join me for a life coaching weekend in the green forests and village life of rural England. Rejuvenate and explore in a beautiful garden home.

“Totally exceeded expectations! I learnt to really listen to myself and others, finding new answers in an amazingly open group. Great gentle, firm facilitation by Julie.”

Manreet Deol, Owner and Creative Director, Manifest Design, Pondicherry, India

“Inspiring, attitude changing. An opportunity to take a good look at yourself, listen to your heart, and have fun with amazing people!”

Meryem Lukka, Social Worker, The Hague, Netherlands

The green retreat, 19-20th July, Cotswolds

Do you want to feel:

  • Refreshed and energised to live your life fully?
  • Clear minded when your life is at a cross roads?
  • Empowered to set your own conventions?
  • Eager to take on what’s next for you?
  • Confident in your ability to listen to yourself and others at a deeper level?

Inspired by the popular weekend retreats in Pondicherry, South India, I’m very excited to host this second in a series of four yoga and life coaching retreats in Europe this summer (2014).

During the two days of workshops you’ll not only get to know yourself better and what’s next for you, you’ll also learn basic coaching skills. In a joyful and open learning environment, you’ll experience the impact you can have with enhanced listening and questioning skills, such as an immediate connection with your fellow participants.

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During the retreat, we’ll draw upon the beauty of the natural environment. The Cotswolds is a very pretty part of South West England with rolling hills and little historic villages arranged around the village green. In July the sun shines peacefully and the forests and flowers are in full bloom! It’s a place close to my heart for its natural beauty and quiet.

Get in touch with me to reserve your place!

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On Friday night we’ll have a sunset dream hunt dinner to connect with each other and our dreams for the future. On Saturday the focus will be on building your listening and intuitive capacity so you develop a greater sense of focus and awareness of yourself and others. We’ll do this through group exercises and 1:1 break outs so you have an immediate opportunity to experience and practice the new skills.

Then on Sunday we’ll work mostly on finding your edge and what’s next for you to really step into your full potential and live your life purpose. We’ll connect with that life affirming fulfilment energy and create true commitment.

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We’ll be working in a small group of 4-8 people, all diverse and international. We’ll start around 9 and finish by 5.30 at the latest, with a long lunch break in between so we can enjoy the local scenery.

Price: £175/€210 plus 25% off 1:1 session with Julie, or £150/€180 for concessions.

Get in touch with me if you think you qualify for concessionary rate. Prices include lunch and tea, and exclude accommodation and other meals.

You can book your accommodation at the venue of the retreat via holidaylettings.co.uk.