Ah September, whether you’re five, fifteen or fifty; there is something about this month that resonates for many of us as the month of new beginnings and fresh starts. While we observe the subtle shift toward cooler morning temperatures or the ever earlier dimming light of the evening, we quietly absorb this seasonal shift and see ourselves, once again shifting the energetic focus of our goals from inspiration to action.
This past weekend, I delivered my youngest son to college in Vermont and am keenly aware that this September he is about to embark on a major, new life experience as a first-year college student. As his proud mama, it is a bittersweet and beautiful moment where I know he will have to make choices about where and how he is going to invest his energy. For him (and all students starting a new year), this inflection point presents numerous chances to move into connection and action with their new world. If they choose to they can grab onto the experience with two hands and make the most of the new opportunities to engage in their own growth and learning. Though as adults September may or may not be quite as obvious a time-marker as it is for a student beginning a new year, there is still a palpable twinkle of excitement that many of us feel as September beckons us to begin afresh.
In many ways this is the beauty of life itself – isn’t it? The opportunity we have each month, each day, each moment to begin again and create anew. Isn’t our commitment to this concept really at the core of our work as coaches? After all, it is our job to assist and support our clients as they explore the possibilities inherent in each of their lives; examining the benefits, obstacles, strengths and challenges they face, articulating goals, designing plans and moving themselves into action toward achieving outcomes. For me, and maybe for many of you, this is at the core of why I chose to pursue coaching as a profession in the first place. We offer our clients an opportunity to engage in an energetic partnership aimed toward not just reflecting on and exploring their dreams, goals and passions – but creating structures that help them move these aspirations from head through heart to hands. As ICF coaches we are committed to a professional framework and a set of ethical guidelines, best practices and standards that enable us to move our goal of helping others into concrete action as well. How fortunate we are to enjoy such meaningful work.
While we know that action without awareness can sometimes lead to false starts and poorly conceived plans, we also know that awareness without action can be wasted energy and lost possibility. So while in the instance of my son, I hope that he keeps an open and inquisitive mind as newly opened doors and ideas appear before him, I also hope that he takes the next step and commits himself to the action that is necessary to make the most of his experience.
It is this very dynamic that inspired me to run for the VP of Membership seat for the ICFNE Board of Directors and it is likewise what I hope will inspire you to step forward and make the most of your ICF membership by stretching yourselves from head through heart to hands. For Membership, our goal is to help the members of this diverse group feel connected, engaged, supported and stimulated by their participation in ICFNE. As we all know this is done not just by thinking about being involved, but by committing to actually doing it. So whether that means that: you are going to actively attend tele-classes and live events, you are going to volunteer to help out on one of the numerous committees that can use your assistance, you plan to actively engage in our ICFNE social media presence or you simply want to extend yourself by connecting more with other members – it is through acting on our goals that we can make the most of our experience.
We are quite fortunate I believe to be engaged in this wonderful profession as ICF coaches. We have the honor and the privilege of helping our clients create the lives they want for themselves. And we have around us, a dynamic and diverse community of ICF coaches who together are working toward the elevation of our personal and collective experience. As we begin again this September, promise yourself to make the most of your membership at ICFNE for you and for all of your colleagues new and old.
Feel free to contact me if I can be of assistance and/or if you are interested in getting involved with the membership committee at email@example.com
See you in the hallway…
Membership VP, ICF New England