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Life in Motion

My diary schedule reflects an immense professional and personal period of transition experienced over a small time frame in the last month.

Sunday 28th June 2015: International Coach Federation Monthly Board Meeting, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Monday 21st July 2015: Coach Training Business Development Meeting, London, UK

The time scale of a few weeks separates these meetings and two distinct worlds to mask a “complex process of extended and ambiguous ‘in-betweenness’” (Basit, Brown, McNamara, & Roberts, 2003, p.863). The subsequent emotional ramifications have pervaded deep into identity level with movement across my entire life balance and regular self-coaching has been carried out in attempts to smooth the transition period. Ultimately lessons learnt in our professional lives to develop our coaching abilities and provide further support for our clients can be transposed across into our personal arena.

Reflection on this period of transition with the employment of Van Genneps’ transition model identifies three distinct characteristics: separation, transition and incorporation. The guise of separation occurred in various capacities; the physical geographical separation from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Bath, England, the professional separation from carefully cultivated business relationships with local Saudi businesses and expats, cultural and societal separation from Arabic to Western and an emotional separation from friends. The observation highlighted by Barton as “identity loss in leaving an old role” (2007, pp. 342) had a particularly relevant connection to my professional experience encountered with a period of bereavement towards a constructed past mental vision.

The period of transition or “phase of change bridging two more stable zones” (Iellatchitch & Mayrhofer, 2005, pp. 52) was endured as a stuck in-limbo mental image that signified a period of frustration and impatience. Lengthy bureaucratic and administrative procedures reinforced the past and future fantasy with the present dominated by mundane tasks. The future an unknown world of working in the UK after five years abroad with preconceived concepts founded on memories as an ex-Army Officer during the economic recession in 2010.

The process of incorporation and “finding a new role” (Barton, 2007, pp. 342) is (and will be) an ongoing process. The passage of transition “is not linear but involves a back and forthness that repeatedly repositions” (Basit, Brown, McNamara, & Roberts, 2002, pp. 875) particularly as the ‘new’ element resonates across life boundaries and reaches core depths at identity level. The feelings attached to this emotional rollercoaster ride were internally acknowledged as valuable material to assist future clients as “one of the most powerful application of NLP was using it one myself” (Yemm, 2006, p. 409). The creation and maintenance of a resourceful position to move forwards is particuarly potent - it's all a pre-fabrication of in the mind!

Barton, T.D. (2007). Student nurse practitioners – A rite of passage? The universality of Van Gennep’s model of social transition. Nurse education in practice, (7), pp. 338-347.

Basit, T. N., Brown, T., McNamara, O., & Roberts, L. (2002, December). Rites of passage in Initial Teacher Training: Ritual, performance, ordeal and numeracy skills test. British Educational Research Journal, 28, pp. 863–878.

Iellatchitch, A., & Mayrhofer, W. (2005). “Rites, right?: The values of rites de passage for dealing with today’s career transitions. Career development international, (10), pp. 52–66.

Yemm, G. (2006). Can NLP help or harm your training and development? Training and Development

Management Methods, (20)3, pp. 407-416.

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