Tag Archives: education

Now accepting help

Lately, it’s been pretty calm on the blog front here at “work in progress”. We’ve been busy with other things.

Pat BoldPat is half-way through the third trimester of pregnancy number two. With just six weeks to go, she is on the record as “nesting”: onesies and baby booties being at the top of her personal agenda. She is also busy “transforming” within the framework of her contextual coaching education.

I, on the other hand, am knee-deep in all that is my master thesis. Typically, I am “in control” and “on top” of these matters. Always prepared, ever organized, invariably ahead. But these days, in terms of my thesis, my state can only be described as flat-footed, pell-mell and twice-overdue.

In theory, I know how to get out of this state. Having a formal coaching education, there are a multitude of tools and methods at my disposal to use and abuse at will – from belief change and anchor processes to positive inner dialogs and resource trances (just to name a few).

But alas, I remain in “stuck-state” and all attempts at self-coaching myself into a pleasant and productive frame-of-mind seem to fail.

In reference to this phenomena (which happens more often than we would like to admit), Pat and I have established a term which we jokingly use: uncoached. We say things like: “I know this shouldn’t bother me, but I am so uncoached right now and just don’t care.”


When I am feeling wedged-in, overwhelmed and otherwise uncoached, I remind myself of these HUMAN TRUTHS:

  • Sometimes we are big and sometimes we are small.
  • Despite all our knowledge and good intentions, we will not always do what we know or intend.
  • It is pertinent to individual survival and just plain smart to accept help at the right times.



Accepting Help

Illustration published with permission of Daniel Jennewein: http://www.danielsdailydrawings.blogspot.com/

And so, instead of beating myself up, I decided to acknowledge that I’m feeling small, forget what I think I know and simply ask for a help. Here’s what I got in return:

  • Daniela sat with me at her house in Vienna for three hours and shared all the things she had learned while writing her own thesis last year. Afterwards, she sent further guidelines and useful information via e-mail.
  • Petra expertly intervened with a simple but direct Facebook message that almost immediately helped me to move from “I hate doing this” to “I’m in control and can make this a great experience”. She also asked some important questions that I hadn’t asked myself and offered to skype to discuss possible completion strategies.
  • Niclas brought me some books on statistical analysis and made time for an idea sparring-match on Friday.
  • My husband Heiko read my dissertation abstract and then helped me find more relevant research which led me to somewhat of a breakthrough.

Am I now loving this master thesis with every molecule in my being?

No. Or should I say, not yet. But I am feeling much better than last week. No longer in stuck-state, I am moving forward. Baby booty steps, grant it. But moving forward none-the-less.

Until we meet again,


[Todays blog post is dedicated to all of my fellow graduate students who are working on their thesis along with me. I love you guys!]


Motivators and reminders (to download): Accepting Help



rainy beachMy recent two week holiday in Mallorca was literally a nightmare: the rental house was filthy, the bedding had been used, the toilet was broken and my favorite beach had completely been washed away by thunderstorms.

To top it off, it rained ten of the thirteen days (six hours a day!) and my friends became sick with fever, allergies, skin rashes, cold and stomach flu.

++ At this point, I devotedly want to thank God for not having been robbed or abducted. ++

The advantage of a rainy holiday is that you have plenty of time to observe things and reflect on them, which I eagerly did the full two weeks. Thanks to the beautiful bouquet of mishaps, this holiday was full of opportunities for personal advancement. Today, I want to report about my findings on education.

Besides myself and my five year old son, I had several more test subjects: moms at the beach, moms in restaurants and moms in supermarkets. Mallorca is full of people educating their children…

Six things I realized about mothers on that trip:

1)      Mothers are worrying.
Things/weather/food/… might be too warm/cold/rough/… for the baby.
Certain people/circumstances/… could cause stress/danger/confusion/… for the baby.

2)      Mothers are trying to find reasons for everything.
Why does/doesn´t the baby cry/sleep/move/…?
Who/what could be accountable for the situation?

3)      Mothers are speculating about their baby´s true purpose in life.
She/he is so keen/eager/intelligent… she/he might be a [xy] one day.

4)      Mothers are calming themselves down if their children do so called “wrong things”.
It will be over soon / It certainly is only a phase of her/his life / …

5)      Mothers are justifying their children´s behavior if somebody criticizes them.
The reason why she/he does this is the experience of / mind set about / … – therefore it is a natural reaction

6)      Mothers are busy pushing their children into new experiences to encourage them.
Snorkeling / swimming to a buoy / wading through a current / swimming without swimmies / jumping into the water / …

Jona thinking about jumping

After reflecting over my six holy, key findings I came to the conclusion that all parents I know, including my own parents, did and still do behave like that.

The topics we worry about and question may vary – the worrying and questioning stay the same. The types of speculation about the child´s purpose might change – the hopes and expectations stay the same.

The calming down and justifying might fade out and come back during certain phases. But I bet, most parents are familiar with this thinking and behavior, as well as with the fear that your child might lack an important trait, like bravery or compassion.

Obviously, all these characteristics of education are a fundamental part of people trying to be good parents and giving their children “the best they can get for their lives”. The intention probably is to assure perfect conditions and to enable a suitable preparation for every day´s requirements. Good parents simply want to make sure that their children get strong enough so they can easily jump over every hurdle in life!


… you don’t need so called perfect or normal conditions for living the highest vision of your life?

Like Jason McElway who did six three-pointers in a row (“He was hot as a pistol”):


… there were people who upheld your vision – or would have an even higher vision of you, if you wanted them to? Without any compliance requirements or expectations?

Like for example Ben Underwood´s mother does:


… those people stuck to their belief in you – no matter what happened and no matter what you did?

… there was no-one who wanted to press you into their “perfect” idea of you?

I believe that children would then finally have the great chance to enter a new dimension of developing themselves. And I believe that this would empower them to create a new way of existence, full of trust and fulfillment on this planet.

I think it´s time to use a key for creating a new way of caring for each other: it is replacing education with EMPOWERMENT.

Later, when I pick up my little 5 yr. old son from kindergarten, I will not worry whether his conditions for today were perfect. And I will not try to find a reason or excuse for him maybe not being in a perfect mood.

Concerning his true purpose in life, I might ask him about his personal wishes. And then, trustingly, I will stick to his wishes in an even higher vision. Up to the point where he changes it. And then I will stick to this new vision. Again and again. And trustingly enjoy that it is his decision, if or when he might take his next jump in life.

Jona in the water



[I dedicate this blog post to all children in the world. And the great opportunity they are for us to create a higher vision of humanity.]