Marylin Newell
Women's Event Speaker
Bible Teacher
Christian Counselor
Life Coach

Reflections
Reflections included on this page result from personal experiences that create moments of enlightenment for me. 
I hope you enjoy them, but I also hope they challenge your own thinking.

THE CHESHIRE CAT SYNDROME

Shortly after I located my office here in Mechanic Falls, I learned from our town officials that the street name for our office location is Lewiston Street not Elm Street as I originally had thought.  This was because of the renaming of streets to accommodate emergency services.  I suppose this proves the point that sometimes you are “on the move” even when you don’t know it.  I laughed off the change with a quick, “Gosh, how will I ever know where I am going if I don't even know where I am?”  Even though it was a passing thought I found myself wondering, “Is it more important to know where I am or to know where I am going?”  — hence the Cheshire Cat Syndrome.
         It was in the famous story about Alice that she stops to ask  which way she ought to go only to be met by the grin of the cat and his quip remark, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”  When Alice responds, “I don’t  much care where.”  The cat’s famous and somewhat obvious retort is, “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
The same is true in business (and in life)—if you don’t know where you are headed, it doesn't matter which way you go.  But it is equally important to know where you are as to know where you are headed.  One reason Alice did not know where she wanted to go was that she did not know where she was; therefore, she didn’t know what options were available to her, nor did she know what it would take to go.  If you are traveling to a new location and call for directions to your destination, one of the first questions you will be asked is, “Where are you now?”  Internet mapping programs require that you state both your starting and ending points to chart a course to your destination.

     Sometimes clients report feeling that they are wandering aimlessly through life or that their business feels like it isn’t going anywhere. If this is true for you, consider taking a few minutes to figure out where you (or your business) are now.  Then consider where you would like to be.  A remarkable thing happens on the way to your destination when you understand where you are coming from.

THE SINATRA SYNDROME
One of the primary goals of life coaching is to help the client see things in a new and more powerful way.  Shortly after I began coaching, I had an experience that sharply pointed out a limiting pattern of behavior that we all have experienced at some time.  I’m sharing this with you because you may see yourself in the story somewhere, and if reading this somehow causes you to think differently about some aspect of your life, then I’ve made a difference for you—and that’s what coaches dream of.

     I received an e-mail from someone who got one of my early newsletters. The e-mail asked that future newsletters be sent through e-mail as a convenience and to reduce the mounds of paperwork that cross her desk.  My first impulse (and the action I took) was to simply reply that the newsletter was not sent through an e-mail distribution, but I would keep her contact information in case we ever went to electronic delivery.  Only minutes after I clicked the send button did I realize I had given in to the kind of limiting beliefs many of us have succumbed to at one time or another.  Perhaps you recognize it.  I call it the Sinatra Syndrome. Otherwise known as, "I did it my way!" 

     There are teachable moments in every coaching relationship, and I found myself in a teachable moment.  “What was that?” I asked myself.  “Why couldn’t you send her the newsletter by e-mail?”  “In fact,” I had to ask myself, “what would be possible if you did send the newsletter out electronically?”

     It didn’t take too many questions like that for me to realize that I reacted out of what I knew and was comfortable with.  When I planned how I would advertise the work of Life Matters, I decided a newsletter, delivered through the regular mail would be a great idea.  I had done this before in other places, so I knew how to make that happen.  In order to honor this person’s request, I would have to change the way I thought about how I get the news out about Life Matters.  I would have to figure out how to cross reference the e-mail people with the mailing list and get people deleted from the mailing list.  I would have to master a part of technology that I haven’t mastered yet.  And I would have to develop a distribution list.  Put another way, I would have to change!

     Well, I coached myself through that event as I would coach any client facing change.  “And what happened?” you might ask.  Well, in the very next newsletter I published an article announcing e-mail distribution option.  I hope this article cause you to reflect on what could be possible from doing something, just one thing, differently than you planned.