Dear Reader

What will the future be like for you? I started to write about Making Change Easy for this edition and suddenly realised that I was not feeling inspired by it, and if I wasn’t, neither would you! So I threw it out and decided to take a different approach. If you’ve never thought about ‘walking into your future’ you might like to give the exercise a go. When I’ve used it myself and with clients it had been incredibly powerful in helping to explore the future and think about how you want your year or life to be.

The first public workshop on Managing Challenging Interactions ran at the end of November and was very well received (see right hand column for quotes from participants). The next one is on Thursday 22nd February, so book early to avoid disappointment. There are still some places on the following workshops: Coaching & Performance Management, in conjunction with Oxford Brookes University on Tuesday 13th February, and Mastering Your Inner Critic, Releasing Your Inner Wisdom Workshop on Saturday 13th January.

Look out for February’s issue of Inspire’, which will be about Creating A Peaceful Life. I am part of a group of people putting on a two week exhibition at the Town Hall in Oxford during March on the theme of Creating Peace Without Conflict and I thought it would be interesting for people to explore this topic in relation to our own lives. Email me if you want to find out more about the exhibition.

Best wishes for a joyful 2007 no matter what!!

Melanie Greene

What Will the Future be Like for You?

Consider your whole life – Think about work, rest and play; your physical, mental, psychological and spiritual being. If you only focus on one or two the other parts of your life can get out of kilter.

How do you want to be, to feel throughout the year? What do you want to do and achieve? What will it look, sound and feel like?

‘Choice is the crown of life. Not to choose, is not to be alive…Choose joy and follow after it.’  Brian Keenan

Be flexible – In order to achieve our dreams or goals we need to be open to different possibilities and flexible in our approach. Some people end up being vague about the outcome they are seeking and what success is going to be like, but rigid in their behaviour. In order to get results we need to be as flexible as possible and keep on taking action until we achieve results.

Be creative – If you feel stuck about how to move your life forward, how to rise to a challenge or sort out a problem, consider creative ways – using the exercise in this edition can help you get new perspectives on challenges you face. Think about looking at things from another person’s perspective – a trusted friend, colleague, mentor (virtual or real).

Have fun – If we approach things from our ‘fun’ child, seeing change as exciting, as opportunities for new things to come into our lives, life becomes easier and lighter. Also our creatively comes from engaging our ‘fun’ child. So if you are not experiencing much fun or lightness at the moment what can you do? What is it that will bring you joy and satisfaction? Doing things that make you laugh, relax and be creative.

On Saturday I woke up and decided I wanted (even needed) to be by the sea. My logical self said that is ridiculous thing to do in a day (I live in the middle of the country), but my fun child wanted to go, so off I went. Yes it took hours of driving and getting stuck in traffic, but I discovered by chance somewhere new including a castle. The expanse of sea, sky and views was wonderful and watching the sunset out at sea. I came back refreshed, energised and ready to get stuck in with all the things I needed to do.

What can you do that will bring more fun, lightness and creativity into your life?

‘You can do anything if you have enthusiasm.’  Henry Ford

Walking into the future – There is a wonderful exercise that I use myself and with coaching clients which involves walking into the future. Here are a few examples of how I and my clients have used this process:

  • A friend who was about to go off and do VSO explored the future in terms of two possible locations that she might end up in

  • A client walked into two different futures to explore two different career possibilities

  • A client who was getting married in the same week as she was moving house, stepped into the future to work out how she could remain sane and make sure everything happened when it needed to

  • I used it to work out how multiple projects that I was working on could be managed in a healthy and positive way.

Here are the steps to follow to walk into your future

Step 1 You need to have a private space to do this, and you need space to walk along an imaginary time line – so you might need to clear some space.

Step 2 You then need to imagine a line that goes from now into the future and decide which direction it is going in and step on the line in the present moment.

Step 3 Stand in the present and look at the future. Check in with yourself: how do you feel and what are you thinking in the present moment?

Step 4 Think about how far you want to walk into the future: a week, 6 months, a year, ten years, 30 years – whatever is appropriate for what you are exploring. Then walk along the time line until you feel that you have got to that time in the future. Once you are there turn around and face where you have come from.

Step 5 Standing in the future think about where you have got to, what you have achieved, how it feels, looks and sounds to be there in the future.

Step 6 Then look back over your time line and the period of time it took to get here and think about:

  • The key steps or milestones on your journey

  • Any obstacles encountered and how you overcame them

  • What supports and advisors you had along the way

  • What key lessons you have learned along the way

Step 7 Now look at yourself back along the time line where you started. Think about what words of wisdom you want to give yourself to help you on your journey. Say these out loud to the YOU who is back along the time line in the present time

Step 8 Now walk back to the current time, stand in the present time and take on board the words of wisdom from yourself in the future. Breathe deeply and take them on board. Look up and visualise yourself living these words of wisdom and see, hear and feel how great it is to be living these wonderful words of wisdom. Now think about where you want to go, what are your first steps and what you need to support you on your journey

‘An image of a future worth living will provoke those actions that help create the fact.’  William James

Want more Inspiration? If you want any support in making change easy or walking into the future, we can offer 1:1 support, consultancy advice and group workshops to assist you in doing this. Just call 01865 377334 or email to arrange a time to speak in confidence. For more information about Grovelands visit our website at

Feel free to pass this issue of ‘Inspire’ onto others – if you have been forwarded this issue and would like to receive your own copy each month, click here to subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Forthcoming public workshops in Oxfordshire

Here are some comments from recent participants:

‘Fantastic course. Very useful information. Confidence building via how it was delivered.’

‘The session felt real rather than theoretical. I wish I had done this session years ago!’

‘Excellent rapport built on the workshop, solid trust. Excellent knowledge and examples used.’

Mastering Your Inner Critic, Releasing Your Inner Wisdom on Saturday 13th January.

Start the year as you mean to go on – knock that inner critic on it’s head and find a more positive approach to living your life.

Managing Challenging Interactions on Thursday 22nd February.

Both workshops are £100 inc VAT for the one day workshop plus two follow up coaching emails. Email us on for more details and a booking form.

Coaching & Performance Management

Tuesday 13th February.

For those of you who have staff and manage others, I am running an open programme for Oxford Brookes University. This is suitable for first time managers, as well as those wishing to further develop their skills. Topics include: building rapport, listening, questioning and feedback, coaching skills. To find out more or to book a place click here to visit their website.

Other topics, dates and locations

If you can’t make these dates or locations then contact us and we will bear this in mind when organising future workshops.

Grovelands provides:

  • Consultancy advice

  • 1:1 coaching and mentoring

  • In-house and public workshops

to individuals, partnerships, SMEs and national organisations.

See for more details.

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