Doing Something for Myself—Enjoying a Two-Conference Weekend and remembering to take off my shoes at the end of the day

Here at the Coaching Blog- one of the world’s leading blogs on the subject of Leadership and Coaching we quite often post articles by leading authors and authorities- today we are delighted to post an article from Patricia Jehle.
Sometimes we have to do something for ourselves, like going to the spa, eating chocolate ice cream, or sitting in the sun.  Self-care is rather individual, unique to each person.  Last weekend I went to two conferences because of my passions and interests; it was a “me weekend”.  I was tired Sunday night when I returned, but the time, money and energy were well- spent!
I was able to focus on my passions:  business leaders and leadership, writing, meeting people and learning new ideas and concepts.
Business Leaders:
On Friday I spent a day with business leaders ( ) hearing excellent speakers address vision and resources- there was also plenty of time to meet people and focus on more interests.  I was able to meet new people, but also I ran into a few unexpected friends.  One keynote speaker, Dr. Stephan Feldhaus, spoke on a business that must serve the community as well as itself, its stake and shareholders.  That was a very inspiring message!
On Saturday and Sunday I was at The Geneva Writers’ Group 10th Writers’ Conference ( ), an event that I have attended a few times, now.  It is well-run and the speakers are always excellent!  One new concept for me was that Ann Hood talked about how every story has two (actually three) stories.  I would say every piece of writing has “three stories”.  The talks gave me new ideas to write about and directions in which to go.
What was in it for me:
I needed that time to absorb new ideas, meet people of similar passions and interests, and have time to reflect on the whole weekend.  The me-weekend energized me and now I am not “back to the grind”, but looking at new horizons.
Absorb new ideas:
Some of the ideas were ones I had heard before, but, as is often the case, I heard a few concepts put differently, or I even learned totally new ideas – then I have to absorb these and try to remember them.  I love learning and so hearing new ideas energizes me.
People who are like-minded:
Meeting people with similar passions, either for growing SMEs (and I met a lot of those on Friday) or for Writing and Reading truly energizes me.  We encourage one another; we feel the energy around us from so much enthusiasm.  I feel at home and I feel empowered by these kinds of meetings.
Taking of my shoes and reflecting on each day:
“Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning
from Aurora Leigh
Each evening after the conferences I allowed myself the luxury of going to my room, taking off my shoes and putting my feet up and reflecting on the day, on the things I’d heard and seen, and the people I had met, the books I had bought, and how that might all change me and give me new perspectives.  Seeing, as in the poem, brings new perspectives.  I need to take that time to see.
It’s not that I have finished reflecting on the weekend; in fact, I have much more thinking to do.  But those evenings alone began that process and now it must continue into this and probably next week.
So, what about you?  What are you doing for yourself, to grow, to be encouraged, and when are you going to reflect on those experiences?
Patricia Jehle

As a certified Alpha Group Regional Director and business coach (EASC), Patricia is excited to be running The Alpha Group board meetings each month.  She is passionate about helping business leaders increase their business value through the motivation and inspiration of The Alpha Group.  Her background in business leadership and communication, higher education, and coaching enable her to support SME business leaders.  Patricia has a M.A. in education, and has been living in Switzerland for over 20 years, for the last 10+ years in the Swiss Argovian countryside.  Besides The Alpha Group she’s currently teaching Business English and Cross-cultural Communication at the FHNW in Basel and Brugg.  She is married to Patrik and has one teen-aged and two adult children.  In her spare time Patty likes to read, write, entertain, travel and garden.


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