This is my final post to the blog “Coaching Inside.” As of today, as spring greets summer and longer days allow us to see and experience more of the world around us, I have re-named and re-purposed this space. I began this exercise two years ago as a practice in self-expression, trusting that if I could just commit to a regular practice of writing about my experience something of significance would emerge. And, thankfully, that is what has occurred.
As a professional coach inside an organization and as an individual who has grown increasingly committed to my own learning, “Coaching Inside” was an ideal way to “house” my efforts to share my experience. Recently, however, I began to notice that my original intent and what has actually taken place weren’t matching up very well. My suspicion about that was confirmed when a trusted friend said to me, “You need to change the name of your blog.” This is interesting, I thought. She went on to observe that while I am a coach I am also many other things. And, while I do work “inside” an organization I also operate “outside” that setting, often sharing anecdotes beyond that singular point of view. She was challenging me to inhabit a much bigger perspective, one that more accurately takes into account my many roles and my many experiences, both inside and out.
Exactly the validation, exactly the push that I needed.
As I notice what the blog has become I recognize that the entries that feel most authentic, most inspired and that I was most eager to share are the ones that are most personal. Not to mention that those tend to be the ones about which I get the most feedback. Interesting but not surprising. I have long known and believed that what is most personal is most universal. That by sharing more openly I tap into what is most personal in others. And from that emerges a deeper and more meaningful connection than would otherwise be possible. It is in this way that I see myself as a catalyst for the generative process of self exploration from which true personal learning can emerge. This is what excites me and this is what I want to be more and more about.
As I began the process of finding a new name for the blog, as I was anxiously awaiting the “bolt from the blue” to spark my creativity, it dawned on me to go toward those key ideas and resources I have already identified as true to my practice and my purpose. For some time now I have relied heavily on a quote by John Updike from his 1984 memoir, Self-Consciousness. In the preface he writes: “…my autobiography is my attempt to treat this life…as a specimen life, representative in its odd uniqueness of all the oddly unique lives in the world.”
And there it was, right before my eyes: Specimen Life.
I am proud to introduce you to my new blog. It is a place from which I hope to share my experience as genuinely as I possibly can. And, it is a place from which I hope you will draw inspiration for your journey, as I will for mine.
© 2010 David Berry