August lives in my body in a special, visceral way. The days are still long but I sense they are shortening. I imagine the perfect spiral notebook and anticipate the learning around the bend. New school years no longer begin for me, but August continues to foreshadow new wisdom and growth, especially as Co-Director of CTI’s Coach Training Program and with individual coaching clients.
Here’s what I’m playing with this August:
- As I look within -- rather than retreat to familiar classrooms -- deeply transformative shifts are possible for me. If I let go of what’s expected and explore the craggy, fertile playground of my internal landscape, wonderfully creative possibilities will emerge. Occupying this “leader within” territory regularly will bring even more play to my work. All I love about August and the promise of greater understanding remains available. How about you? What wisdom will emerge for you this week if you explore your internal landscape in the late-summer spirit of play and adventure?
- I know that in my role as Co-Director, and as a coach with my clients, everything happens in relationship. Sure, I can be a lone wolf but I never played tag or baseball or Marco Polo without the other kids in the neighborhood. This August, my 60th, I want to be in deeper relationship with my “leaders beside” – my Co-Directors, our Accessibility Project consultant, even my Mom who turned 94 but seems 49. Surely I’ll be more effective if I engage more fully with these folks, these most valued resources in my life. More importantly, it’ll be more fun. Who might you engage with more intentionally, and more playfully, this week?
- I remember August as bittersweet. There was still time and opportunity for play, but both dwindled with September and the classroom around the corner. This August, guided by a clearer purpose and in deeper relationship and truer partnership, I want to play more with play. More connection, more lightness, more creativity. More fireflies. What do you want to play with as August fades and the color and transformative quality of September approaches?
Vacations were traditionally periods of time that I spent away from home, school or work in order to relax or travel, to take a break and refresh. This August I’m still at work, but in the spirit of summer vacation. I’m redefining work – still august and noble, but more fun, more play and more adventure. I’m finding novel ways to restore and re-invigorate within the context of leading, co-leading and coaching. My backpack is full, overflowing with much of what I’ve cultivated as a coach – a deep regard for the art of listening, an abundance of curiosity, and the knowledge that everyone, including me, is naturally creative, resourceful and whole.
Eileen Blumenthal is the Co-Director of Coach Training at CTI and serves on the CTI faculty. As the founder of Rocket Science Coaching & Consulting, she provided executive coaching and strategic consulting services globally to leaders and teams in the academic, non-profit, public, and corporate sectors. Formerly, Eileen practiced labor law with Morrison & Foerster, was a Staff Attorney with San Francisco’s Volunteer Legal Services Program, and served on the management team at the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. She received her JD from Hastings College of the Law, a Masters of Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts from Bucknell University. Eileen is a CTI-trained Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, working at the intersection of humor, insight, and ease, and -- along with her wife, is the humble guardian of a very smart cattle dog, Gracie.