Here is a picture of one of our vegetable beds at the height of Summer:
Even the most horticulturally-minded of you is probably thinking ‘I’ve never seen those vegetables before.’
Well spotted! There are indeed no vegetables in that vegetable bed: those are the flowers of a seed mix known delightfully as ‘green manure’. We’ve been planting veg in that bed for several years now and each year, we’d notice that the harvest wasn’t quite as good as the year before. The soil had been over-used and its resources were depleted.
One possible solution would be to clear out the veg bed and just leave it empty for a season. We soon realised though that it would be impossible to stop it becoming choked with weeds.
Another option would be to cover the whole patch with black plastic. That would suppress the weeds but apart from that, it wouldn’t really add anything to the exhausted soil.
And so we went for option three: sow green manure seeds. As well as preventing the bed filling with weeds, these seeds are selected for the nutrients they add to the soil once you cut them down and dig them back into the ground.
How coaching can help you
Our personal and professional lives can become like that vegetable bed: depleted in resources, seeing diminishing returns on our work, feeling exhausted.
Perhaps you think ‘it’ll all be fine, I’ll just flop on the sofa tonight and watch a film’ but then you find you can’t concentrate on the film as your mind is busy replaying your day, worrying about how your direct report reacted or why your boss hasn’t replied to that e-mail. Maybe you take your laptop home, feeling that if you can just get some work done away from the hustle and bustle of the office, tomorrow will be a better day.
These solutions aren’t really solutions, are they? You’re still worn out, still worrying and your resources aren’t being replenished.
As a coach, I help people discover what’s behind their stress and how they can make some changes. Together we examine how they spend their time and whether that’s the best use. We uncover what’s really important to them and ensure those areas are prioritised. During a session, away from their desks and their phones, my clients’ minds lie fallow whilst at the same time, we replenish their resources. In that thinking space, they are refreshed and restored, leaving sessions with new energy, ideas and plans.
Today’s pebble for you to contemplate: where do you find the space to allow your mind to lie fallow and be restored?
If you would like to find some thinking space for yourself, why not email me to see how we can work together?
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.