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No 7


Taking time out for a few minutes of transformational reflection - cappuccinos optional
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Tree-cutting without Tears

One of the great things about coaching is that I find it is unfailingly reciprocal - that I learn from my clients even as we are focusing on their particular challenges.


Take the other day. I was feeling quietly resentful - no, seething - at having had to pull out of most of my work other than one-to-one coaching sessions, in order to lavish some much-needed attention on things technical. Having been ignored for too long, my computers had joined forces and revolted, and days were now turning into weeks. They were demanding new routers, anti-virus programmes, that outdated material be ditched and extra memory added, updates, new time machines, a new printer, and to be synced up properly with their mates. Not known for my technical expertise, I put myself in the hands of someone who understood their hard little computer souls well enough to guide me through. But then my heart sank, and I felt my inner grouch begin to rise as he uncovered more and more long-overdue stuff even as he sorted the issues at hand. 


It was a huge relief to leave the trauma of technology behind one morning to meet with a client in the comfort of a local coffee shop. 


Happily taking a breather from my laptop’s litany of woes, I focused intently on my client. Suddenly my attention jarred as he let slip something that whistled straight over my head. ‘It’s exactly like the story of the tree cutter’, he was telling me. My mind thumbed swiftly through its internal filing system - nope, nothing.


‘Tell me about the story of the tree cutter’, I said. And so he did…


Once upon a time, I learned, a strong labourer applied for a job with a timber merchant, and was delighted to be taken on. There and then, his new boss handed him an axe, showed him around the woodland area where he would be working, and taught him the basics of tree felling. The pay and work conditions were unexpectedly excellent, so the labourer was determined to shine at his new job. 


The new woodcutter turned up the very next day and put his heart and soul into his work. At the end of the day, he carted 18 trees back to his boss, who congratulated him on his efforts. ‘Excellent work! he was told. ‘Keep that up and I’ll be more than happy!’


Spurred on by the affirmation, the woodcutter tried harder still the next day, but was disappointed  to count only 15 felled trees at the end of it. So on the third day he turned up early and pulled out all the stops… but found he was returning with just 10 trees. In fact, day after day he was bringing back fewer trees to the timber merchant.


‘What’s on earth is happening to my strength?’, the woodcutter wondered. He apologised to his boss and explained that he was mystified about the dwindling number of trees.


The boss eyed him thoughtfully. 'When was the last time you sharpened your axe?’ he asked.

‘Sharpened it? But that takes time! I have been far too busy trying to cut more trees!’


And there it was. Even as we addressed my client’s issues, my very own Lesson of the Day was quietly sinking in and taking root. For me at the time, it had everything to do with taking a longer-term, more holistic view of my work, giving more attention to oiling the various vital cogs as I went along. And of course, it has a myriad of other applications, too - from health and fitness considerations to family and other relationships, spirituality, and everything in between. 


But today, my axe is looking suspiciously like my various in-recovery computers. And yours…?

Liz is an award-winning TV Producer/Director and Presenter, and an accredited Life Coach, NLP Trainer and Speaker. Having overcome many personal challenges in her own life, she loves nothing better than facilitating and inspiring others to be all they were made to be, which she does chiefly through Coaching and Speaking. Liz speak at workshops, retreats, conferences and other venues, in which she draws on her humour and rich fund of personal stories to breathe life into topics ranging from Personal Growth and Transformation to Presentation Skills, and living with Meaning and Purpose. Liz is married to Mick and has 3 children and 6 grand-children, all of whom are local to Molesey, in Surrey.


Tree-cutting without Tears

- The hidden power of a passing comment... 

'Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.' Bring it all together with life coaching!

Contact Liz if you have decided that this is going to be your year for breaking through limiting life patterns, and fulfilling your aspirations in the context of a balanced, harmonious life! 


'Wisdom is your perspective on life, your sense of balance, your understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other.'
Steven R. Covey




One day, an earnest young martial arts student approached his teacher and told him 'I am passionate about studying your martial arts system. How long will it take me to master it?'

'About ten years', the teacher told him.

The student answered impatiently: 'But I want to master it faster than that! I will work extremely hard; I will practice every single day... and night, too, if I have to! So how long would it take me then?”

The teacher studied his pupil intently and considered: 'About twenty years...'


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'Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.'  Thomas Merton


Life coaching is holistic - it takes into account whole life experience as opposed to just one or two presenting issues. This is because resolving one issue will inevitably have repercussions for other areas of life. Some clients have worked on an initial goal of expanding their business for instance, and then focused attention on their health and fitness when they realised how more business without balance could result in burnout. 

If you would like to know more about what you can expect from life coaching, feel free to contact Liz for a free exploratory half-hour session - and begin the process of closing the gap between your own aspirations and achievements... harmoniously!

Finally... if you are unemployed or finances are an issue for you or someone you know who would benefit from coaching, it is always worthwhile contacting Liz to discuss alternative options - including applying for one of Liz's reserved pro bono sessions. 

Liz is contactable via the Contact page on her website:
Copyright © 2015 Liz Ray Life Coaching, East Molesey, Surrey, UK. All rights reserved.