A saying from my childhood arises each July hearing my mother whisper in my ear, it’s now the “dog days of summer” (July 3). This was her way to remind me to relax and have some fun versus being my very serious self, always engaged in more than one something that was terribly important. This feels shallow and hallow to notice and name in the context of world and local events. Yet, I notice a strong pull with enterprise customers and individuals engaged in coaching toward finding rest, restoration, and some form of sustaining resilience. Thematically July also is a month that represents liberation in several ways. Canada Day on July 1, USA Independence Day on July 4, Bastille Day in France on July 14. and the Islamic New Year on July 29. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, July’s full moon is the biggest and brightest super moon of the year, all because of the dog star, known as Sirius, which by the way is the true story behind the phrase, dog days of summer, since Sirius is the bright star in the dog constellation in the sky.
Thank you for allowing me to bring levity to a serious time as doing so allows humans to connect and remember we belong to each other as human beings. In the wise and brave words of Eleanor Roosevelt (Yes, a personal hero of mine, well ahead of her time as a world leader), “Remember always that you have not only the right to be an individual; you have an obligation to be one. You cannot make any useful contribution in life unless you do this.” As we shared last month, in the Vanguard Conversation Series about Challenge with global leader, Shariff Abdullah, it’s time for us to live into 8 billion heroes rather than looking around for the 1. Of course, individual change and evolution in our experience of life is a Choice. If you want to learn more about how to navigate these times, we find ourselves in today,listen to the Vanguard Conversation Series session from June with global leader, Cathy Mott – inspiring indeed!
Before I share what we’re thinking about in the social progress arena, I want to introduce you to two more personal heroes, Carolyn Owens, and Jackie Brown. I encourage to watch their videos and read their blog, included in this newsletter. Each recently graduated from our advanced education program for Certification for Mentor Coaching. Already highly empowering practitioners recognized as ICF Professional Certified Coaches, they are also now recognized as Certified Mentor Coaches and have joined the inviteCHANGE roster for any coach in the world to engage with for individual and group mentor coaching solutions. In our continuous effort to broaden the diversity of the inviteCHANGE circle, and add people of color to our organization, I am honored and humbled that when I invited both to join us, they enthusiastically said, “yes”. Thank you and welcome to Caroline and Jackie!
From those who study civilizations that have come and gone we learn how to recognize societal and ecological patterns of dissolution. We read and hear about several ways to describe what is occurring including, the Great Unraveling or the Great Transition. I want to introduce you to another personal hero, Duane Elgin, who wrote a book to put on your “must read” list for this season, free in PDF format, entitled Choosing Earth: Humanity’s Journey of Initiation through Breakdown and Collapse to Mature Planetary Community.
A key point Duane offers is that if we look at humans as one collective and ask ourselves, what life stage we are currently navigating, our current social state becomes clearer, which doesn’t mean we need to like it. A survey he conducted while writing the book showed that human populations around the world when asked to name what stage the world is in for 2022 said “adolescence” three-quarters of the time over the other options of toddlers, adults, or elders. Perhaps you have some teenagers in your home or are close to some in your life. What’s common at that life stage? In our family, an orientation to “I’ and reckless consumption as compared to the adult life stage that orients toward “we and us” and attention to generate wellbeing for all life. In addition to the book, you will also find a short documentary film. Grab some popcorn one evening this month and invite some friends over to make a night of it together exploring the important and hopeful perspective this body of work offers
Before I close, one of our graduates, Gigi Khonyongwa-Fernandez, reminded me of a very important guiding principle as we explored how to bridge and not break relationships when our worldviews feel like a chasm too hard to cross, “disagree without being disagreeable.” I recognize that’s easy to write. Say it out loud and notice what happens in your body and heart. The principle of sovereignty we impart in our learning programs and coaching through inviteCHANGE, invites each person to remember that we are always in charge of the choices of relationship to our lives. When we exercise that choice, we retain our integrity and gain response-agility. As we embody our authenticity and live values-aligned, the need to explain, defend or disrespect another viewpoint can be replaced with motivation for curiosity, learning and expanding one’s worldview. Do choose to debate ideas. A healthy challenge that disrupts our habits, is exactly how our human experience evolves. That’s a process called creating New Stories and the organization of this name is led by another personal hero, Lynnaea Lumbard. When we change the story, we change what is possible. Enter a conversation or debate with a spirit of co-learning and wonder, stepping into the adult life stage that pursues wellbeing for all.
Last and not least I also want to fulfill a frequent request I receive personally to answer this question, “What is our role as coaches, leaders, and community members now?” Here are five ways to influence your experience of citizenship, five ways to be part of being 8 billion heroes on the planet to motivate your nation's decision-makers to make decisions that reflect a social mindset.
Have a great month everyone and keep loving your life’s work!
P.S. If you are looking for a little something to nurture your soul, let images of nature and music into your daily routine. Relax and restore this month!
Experienced with individuals at the Board of Directors, “C” Chair, Executive and Senior Management levels, Janet assists executives in adopting effective habits of perception and behavior to lead and accelerate corporate strategies. Typical engagements address executive development in the following areas: articulate and inspire through clarity of vision, enable respectful challenge, debate and catalyze synergy for strategic business choices, risk/reward critical thinking about investments and shareholder value, plan leader succession and architect sustainable cultural/strategic change.
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