All of us want to change and grow, but how do you enable this prospect?

What are the times when you have grown the most in your life? Take some moments to name these times if you will…

Consider what has been essential to your growth during these times.

What vital ingredients have essentially enabled you to grow?

One idea that we commonly think is true is that being busy – and the extent of our busyness – is a good measure of our potential growth and likely success.

And it’s not uncommon from my own experience, to encounter folk in my work as a coach who tell me that they always have ‘more to do than the time to do it’. And how their lists of things to do, always seem to get longer and never somehow complete. When I inquire are these the conditions that are vital to your growth? I am often met with a long silence and a shaking of the head and sense of doubt.

Though it may be instilled within us that we need to work hard and that we should be busy let’s for a moment consider the opposite of busyness and explore how important is stillness to your growth and success.

What role and or roles does stillness play in your working life?

What does stillness give you that is important to your life and work?

How might you cultivate more stillness and so, reap its gifts?

Again, take whatever time you need to respond.

Another related question: Our lives can feel very cluttered and so how important is having space and or creating space?

Though we may be tempted to think that through being busy we get a lot of things done and grow and change, what if the very antithesis were true, that stillness and having a sense of space – that is, our ability to cultivate inner space is vital to bringing about change?

Only when we have inner space, are we able to reflect.

And consider for a moment, how important reflection is to you.

Reflection is vital to how we expand our awareness and foster learning and both appear essential to our growth.

And so…. to what extent do you currently create time for reflection?

When and where is your time and place for reflection?

And once again, what does practicing reflection offer you?

When we have time to reflect – we discover the time to truly think and reflect in the moment, and in doing so we can punctuate our life and work, creating pace and the chance to pause and still.

It is not uncommon to hear folk speak about the importance of work-life balance, is it possible for us to manage such a balance without the capacity to create pace and pause?

What is your experience?

So, what we may come to realise is that to change and enable growth, we may essentially need to cultivate inner spaciousness, wherein we discover our capacity to reflect, allowing us to pace things and to pause whenever we need.

Take some moments, if you will, to study the photograph associated with these chosen words. This was a moment when the Northern Lights were offering a remarkable display and movement. Waving and dancing across the whole sky. But what drew my attention quite remarkably, was the stillness of a star right in the centre of this wonderous display. I realised that despite all the moments in my own life, the temptation to go this way or that, there is also an inner place in me. My own star from which I can stand without attachment. A place of rest and stillness. This invited me to continue to reflect on the relationship between stillness and change. Both seem to be closely related as we have begun to explore.

If you think of sentences and how they are made up of many words. And what happens if we take out all the punctuation – so remove all the commas and full stops from our sentences – what happens?

The sentences make no sense.

And so, it is with life and work – if we are unable to punctuate our time – our compulsion just to keep doing makes little sense. We find that our life is without meaning and we can make no or little sense of what we are doing.

With the chance to add our commas and full stops, we can then make a sentence and discover its meaning. It is important to note how sense-making of our lives and in our work, essentially requires that we punctuate – that can pause and add such a comma, and add a full stop, whereby we create the essential chances to reflect, review and make sense of it all.

Only when we can reflect upon a situation are we able to fully assess and become conscious of what is happening in the moment? And only when we reflect can we truly decide and select and make a conscious choice of what to do. We may at times get very busy, but without the opportunity to pause and or stop – we have no way of selecting or prioritising our actions, instead, we do for the sake of doing.

As the song suggests we can easily get “busy doing nothing, working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do…”

It’s pertinent here once again to remember the importance of claiming our birth rite, and how development inevitably invites us to do so, that we are human beings, not human doings. Upon reflection, we discover our true nature as a being and how this takes us beyond our temptation just to busily do.

Only when we pause, stop, and reflect, do we recall we have a choice and can align our actions with our inner will and so select the path forward that we have chosen to take?

In truth, it is only through such stillness and inner spaciousness, that we can enter the present moment. And though we may often be tempted to think about the past and or plan the future, the present is the only place in which we can bring about change. We can only learn and make meaning of our yesterdays and tomorrows right here right now and foster the changes that we wish to make.

How paradoxical, and who would have thought? That cultivating inner stillness appears vital to our moving forward and fostering growth.

May you punctuate your life and work with pauses and the chance to stop, fostering reflection and deepening self-awareness and learning.

May you realise the importance of the vital place of stillness in choosing your way forward.

May you foster a healthy pace in your life and work realising the importance of punctuation, and adding commas, and full stops to your sentence.

In this piece, we explore the importance of reflection and the capacity to balance. Let me refer you to a piece of work that I have done which may be important to all those wishing to explore how we relate and cultivate relationships essential to the work of the coach. Two of the essential instruments I name are the mirror and the spirit level. The mirror holds our capacity to inwardly reflect and the spirit level offers our ability to balance. If you wish to discover more about these essential inner instruments and see an introduction video go to:

The Essential Instruments Of Development


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