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The 'Begin' Book
Take Five with Melanie J Hodge
The Goal or the Journey?
Take Five with Jane Beinart

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My Blog

The 'Begin' Book

I have a ‘Begin’ Book which I use to start my day.  It started by accident.

When I was going through the coaching process to find a route to my new career (leading me to where I am today), my late coach, Cherry Douglas, encouraged me to find and keep anything which set me thinking about possible new careers. These include postcards, images from magazines, phrases from job descriptions, feedback from colleagues, headlines from articles. There were thought provoking, inspiring or just things I liked the look of.

Take Five with Melanie J Hodge

Melanie J Hodgeis a US born, British based painter who works with oils on glass in a reverse technique she was introduced to while living in Croatia. These are delightful and beautiful works in the Naïve style and she also offersworkshopsso that people can learn this technique themselves. She is a mother of two, whose son has autism with associated special learning needs and whose daughter has asthma, so Melanie needs a lot of flexibility when it comes to being at home and available at short notice.

The Goal or the Journey?

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals”  Henry David Thoreau

As a coach, I am often asked how many of my clients reach the goals. It is an obvious question because it is a useful measure of success for the client, for me and for people thinking of working with me.

But it isn’t always that simple.  Yes, some of my clients have reached their goals. Others have far exceeded what they set out to do.

When we first begin the process, we do look at setting a goal, what the client wants to achieve.  There is often a bit of a stretch in it, pulling the client gently out of their comfort zone.


“If you don’t know what you want you’ll end up with what you get”  Unknown

We are all somewhere - home, location, relationships, job, etc.

How much of that has been through choice and how much because it has just “happened”, that you have just drifted into?

In a lot of our lives, there can be things when, if someone asked us why we are living in this house going to this group, etc., where we might not be able to give a clear answer: “I just fell into it.” 

I fell into project management and administration because that’s how my mind works, putting things into plans. Add to that my ability to ask questions and draw out peoples’ ideas and you can see how I drifted into a career in fundraising.

Take Five with Jane Beinart

Jane Beinart  is an Oxford based artist who I first met through coaching (she is a life coach as well as an artist). She brings the same mindfulness to her art as she does to her coaching, responding to what is happening 'in the flow' rather than planning a painting out. Her work is colourful and spontaneous and is as much about the process as the outcome. She brings this same sensibility and playfulness to herpublic art classes, which are all about being curious, exploring what art materials can do, experimenting, and having a play.