Radical Rhetoric: literature as ‘Happy Creation’ and Blogging

In a previous post, I chose Jeb Birdman Corliss as an extreme case of ‘follow- your- passion’ type. As I roam the Blogocean, some bloggers choose to navigate the highs and lows of their lives through poetry, it is true from the comfort of their homes, but it does not mean that this endeavor is void of any risk. Continue reading

Advertisements

Blogging and Gamification

‘Something Fishy’ :Wordpress Theme of my Life

I like the theme I chose for my blog . It is really spot-on. I don’t know if it was my inanity with technology (accident) or providence but the first one I chose and thankfully quickly discarded, I remember, was quite ascetic. It’s as if something in me knew what was good for me and nudged me to the “something fishy” theme, as if to tell me, you think yourself so serious, not so. I only realized that this was exactly the liberating theme for me, when Nancy Shapiro at http://commonthreadcoaching.wordpress.com/expressed to me its potential in the following terms: “Michal! I love the theme you use…it is playful, light, and also an apt metaphor for coaching itself…fishing into the deep for what truly matters for each person.” My “daemon” and Nancy knew better. Continue reading

Guru Flu: Guru Marketers Kill Real Coaching

marketing

Following is from a  post  by Dave Buck on his blog at Coachville http://www.coachville.com/2013/03/18/guru-flu-epidemic/(Cocheville is one of the first Coach training Online course started by the now departed Thomas J. Leonard, an Icarus I might portray in Icaresques soon). Apart from being a call to action for “real Coaches”– because, truly, authentic coaches, more often than not, suck at self-promotion and need some training (the intended aim of Dave’s article); you, coachees (prospective) or chance visitors, can learn a lot about what coaching is not and therefore what “true” coaching can offer (in bold).  I leave it to Dave… Continue reading

If Only Icarus…

If only Icarus were amongst us still
At the circus of the earth, he’d tell us
What it’s like at the circus
of the air. Above

At the circus below
Down there, I’d tell him: Icarus!
Earthbound, I clown with other
Wingless clowns
We pretend we can fly, we teach it
Even
We pretend we take leaps of
Faith. The fact is, bird:
We’re afraid of flyin’

If only Icarus could tell us, clowns,
The winged existence he promised,
No point of no return deliverance,
We’d surely prepare our nest escape

Icarus,
Only in my dreams do I break free
from the tyranny of Gravity
in perfect celestial timin’
I’d catch the cosmic flyin’
Trapeze

Kairos: The Entry Point

But I wake up clownishly asleep
Icarus did not his promise keep

Mystificarusion…turning point

Wingless still, I’ll have to wing it

If only ‘carus were truly a bird,
Curse of curses I ceaselessly curse,
Aloft, he’d come back swiftly to
Earth
For a bird of the air shall carry
The voice
And that which hath wings shall tell
The matter

Happpy Heuristics

Learner-Centered Mentoring as an Antidote to the Guru Trap

As a coach/mentor and lifelong learner, I feel the need to keep current on what’s out there in the world of self-help and coaching, both for personal renewal and community building. So it happened that I attended another lecture last week, in my region. It is not important to know all the particulars of this event, except that it was all women entrepreneurs or would-be ones. The lecture was geared at promoting a new course on self-development with success/ happiness as one of the main tenets.  It promised to be very rich, as the women attending, introducing themselves, shared their expectations for the present lecture. However as the lecture proceeded, it would have been the usual cant for me, about the pursuit of happiness and success*, if a 30 something year old woman wouldn’t have been there. Let’s call her E., of course not her real name.

* two (coaching) themes strongly related and interchangeable maybe due to the Latin etymology of ‘success’. For example, in Italian:

succedere happen, occur, succeed, follow, befall, follow one another

http://translate.google.com/#en/it/happen

Happiness Drawing Exercise

This post is dedicated to E. and all the special women like her, I did not seize the opportunity to encourage on their rightful path. But, through this post, the opportunity is not lost: a consolation.

We were some 30 women, +/-, attending this lecture on personal growth and empowerment. E. arrived some 20 minutes late, at her young entrepreneur friend’s invite who was in the know of her plight. E. came all the way from a faraway town to listen to this lecture and eventually sign up for the course it promoted. She seemed very expectant of this class. For our first practical exercise, we were asked to draw with color crayons how each of us viewed our journey in the direction of happiness, how we imagined we’d get there; with the lecturer emphasizing that there were no correct answers: “it’s not an exam”. So far so good. However, when it was time to get feedback from the lecturer on our “masterpieces”, we were all made wrong. No flowers, no spirals, no joyful faces or splashes of colors, no meandering paths, no labyrinths, please. The right answer, dixit the lecturer, was the drawing bellow (without the guy, at the blackboard, with the weird look).

Is the shortest route to happiness the straight one?

shortest route_happiness.jpeg

We were supposed to have a eureka (happy heuristics) moment from this picture: but of course! It’s the straight line that we should have drawn. ‘Why none of you has drawn a straight line?’, rhetorically asked the happiness expert.  E. dared to share her present process, by asking if happiness wasn’t somewhat one result of asking herself what to do with her life and learn what she was meant to become.  E., who made herself vulnerable by sharing her own experience through asking a question, was met with a straight, categorical ‘no’ to her legitimate question, by the happiness high priestess, followed by a sneaky “don’t even think about it”.  The ‘expert’ had to have the last word: we all pursue happiness and we have to learn the rules to get there. Now, E., this young woman who seemed quite confused about her life, the non-expert, was echoing some aspect of one famous quote by Victor Frankl and the know-it-all coach would not acknowledge that !:

Don’t aim at success. The more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as the unintended side effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself. Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it. I want you to listen to what your conscience commands you to do and go on to carry it out to the best of your knowledge. Then you will live to see that in the long-run—in the long-run, I say!—success will follow you precisely because you had forgotten to think about it”

Beyond the labyrinth  Continue reading