Archive for the ‘Fun and culture’ category

R&R Time

July 24th, 2018

Got time for holidays?  Then take a vacation!

Time to get away – and reflect

Don’t skip your summer vacation, if at all possible!

Although our family is taking less vacation than our normal 3-4 week time away from home in July and August, we will still have some holidays.  How about you?

The temptation is to keep on working

Many of us, including myself, are tempted to skip summer holidays, or, at least check out work emails daily while at the beach or in the hotel.  After all, nobody wants 1,000 emails to go back to work to.  But psychologist have found it vital for our health and well-being if we can completely shut down for a while, even if it’s a 48-hour break from emails, and a change of pace and scenery.  August is coming up and then September.  Have you planned your vacation?  Taken it already? Decided to skip it this summer?

Here’s an idea:  Promise yourself and your partner: once a day email checks, 30 minutes maximum- with a goal of 15 minutes.

Your physical and mental health depend on R&R- that means JOB performance, baby!

Studies have shown that we need to take time away from the daily schedule of work faor our health, whatever that place activity and might be.  It is the “other” that causes restoration and growth.  For example, new places make new mental neuron synapses grow and rest the overused “pathways” of much used tracks of thinking in our brains.

Not only that, but stress levels are reduced and therefore, productivity increases with a break in work.  Employers should be sending their team members away more often just for better productivity—and for better creativity.  The employees return to work relaxed and healthier, ready for more challenges to be overcome.  Your job performance gets better after holidays.

Have some fun on your vacation

Your need to relax or you might find it difficult to relax later on

It has been shown that, depending on your actual stress level at any point in time, it will take more or less time to unwind and really relax.  If you go for too long, it becomes increasingly difficult to wind down. Eventually, you might be unable to “remember how to relax”, and may be in danger of burnout.  Therefore, even long weekends with no emails are recommended to keep you “in practice”.

Your family matters, and spending time with family builds the relationship. Relationships are key.

Finally, it is important to remember that the reason you are working is less important than your relationship with your loved ones. Take some time off to build your relationships with them, doing things you all feel are enjoyable and relaxing. Create positive  memories. For my family the place and activity is usually rock hunting in the Ticino; for another family or couple it would be another place and pastime.  But it is the time spent together in the end that matters, because those are our key relationships.

Just do it.

So, take that time off; limit the amount of time on work-related activities such as emails; do things with those people you love; and mostly, have fun this summer!  There is only one Summer of 2018, after all.  Enjoy!

Note:  I am taking a few weeks off my blog, as most people are on holiday and I will be, too. See you mid-August! You can still reach me via email at patricia@jehle-coaching.com, but I will only be checking my mail 2-3 times per week.  Enjoy your summer holidays!

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com           www.jehle-coaching.com

 

I see you – being seen

June 19th, 2018

We all have a need to be seen.  To be seen is to be valued for who we are.  Period.  This kind of positive acceptance is at the core of what we humans are about.  You can see this need shown through (and in) the social media, but also in many other ways.

We all need to be seen

This weekend I experienced being seen as a group:  our village had a party to commemorate a book.  In that book were photos of about 400 people from our small village.  That party was great, the book is even greater!

The party started with a “postenlauf”- a mix of treasure hunt and silly games all in one.  Of course, a neighbor won.  After all, we are all neighbors in my small village.  After the postenlauf awards ceremony, we were treated to an apéro with free snacks and drinks, and then there were speeches and then, finally, the time to go get our free book. Then we stood in line for the photographer to sign it.  While se stood we looked at our books and admired each others’ photos.  They were beautiful.

The book process began more than a year before.  As part of an art and culture project supported by the Swiss insurance company, Mobilar, photographer Ruth Erdt actually moved into our village, Freienwil, and began meeting people and taking their portraits.  She lived with us for about six months, taking part in the village activities, meeting people and taking their photographs.

We all had the opportunity to sign up for one or even more photo sessions.  Many couples and families signed up, but I can imagine that it took quite some courage for my widowed neighbors to sign up for their appointments. They did it, though.  So, in the end, we who participated were all seen in a very poignant way.

Frau Erdt probably asked the same things to each of us:  what’s important for you (hobbies, etc.); where do you enjoy hanging out in your home or in the village; which activities do you enjoy doing at home.  With these questions she built her inner picture of us, as individuals, as households and she really tried to portray them to the world. The product was a beautiful book.

Some people chose not to be in the book.  Schade*. Maybe they felt shy, or maybe they don’t identify with the village that much.  Or maybe they had a myriad of other reasons.  It’s sad they didn’t, though, because somehow the project became bigger than itself: a book of photos.  It has had a unifying effect on us.  We are we, and we are ourselves all at the same time.  The party last Saturday, the sharing of each others’ lives in pictures, the positive vibes when we all said, “Oh! What a great photo!” to our neighbors.  It was amazing!  Saturday’s book launch and party was a cultural and hisorical event, a time marked in our communal life history together.

Because we were valued. Because we were seen.  Because we were all together.

We all need this, coaching helps, art helps, parties can help, too.

What else can help?  How are you being seen?

Patricia Jehle

Jehle Coaching            www.jehle-coaching.com      patricia@jehle-coaching.com

*means sad or too bad

Ps, if you want to see our photos, write me.

What are you reading? What’s on your list?

May 29th, 2018

Summer reading

I have bought a few books lately, and then Brené Brown came out with an amazing nightstand/library post (here: www.brenebrown.com/library/)- so I have work to do over the long summer! I need to read!

Here are just some of my own summer reading suggestions I have for you, if you don’t have your own list ready:

Leadership

  • Integrity by Henry Cloud
  • Boundaries for Leaders by Henry Cloud
  • Strengthening the Soul of yourLeadership by Ruth Haley Barton
  • Tribe of Mentors by Timothy Ferr (an easy read, BTW)

Coaching

  • International Coaching in a Complex World by Starkey, Boyer, and Wilkenfeld
  • The Routledge Companion to International Business Coaching
  • Systemic Coaching and Constellations by John Whittington

Personal Growth

  • The Relationship Cure by John Gottman
  • Presence by Amy Cuddy
  • Stitches by Anne Lamott
  • Getting to Yes with Yourself by William Ury
  • The Gifts of Imperfection
  • I thought it was just Me
  • Daring Greatly
  • Rising Strong
  • Braving the Wildernessall five by Brené Brown

Business (and start-ups)

  • Creativity Inc. by Ed Catmull
  • The Effective Executive by Peter Drucker
  • Sway by Ori and Ram Brafman

Literature and summer fun reading

  • The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
  • The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Dragon Bones by Lisa See
  • Snow Flower by Lisa See
  • Ilsa by Madeleine L’Engle
  • The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul by Deborah Rodriguez
  • The Mapmaker’s Children by Sarah McCoy
  • No One Here Except All of Us by Ramona Ausubell

 

And here is on my nightstand of to read at present: 

  • Letters to a Young Poet by Rilke
  • The Pearl Sister by Lucinda Riley
  • More than Miracles by de Shazer
  • Miracle, Solution and System by Sparrer
  • We were Eight Years in Power by Coates

What are you reading?

Have a lovely week,

Patricia Jehle               www.jehle-coaching.com     patricia@jehle-coaching.com

 

 

 

What’s your focus?

May 22nd, 2018

An infectious laugh does miracles (pintrest photo)

Joy, Hope and Beauty

My life is quite full and busy with positiveactivities — full of joy hope and beauty.  Focusing on the good can help you through tough times.  What’s your focus?  Here’s what I’ve been contemplating:

A toddler’s belly laugh

Sunday I was eating with a friend of mine at a restaurant and the toddler at the next table was being teased and joked with by her grandpa.  The infectious belly laugh of a delighted toddler should be canned and sent to every world leader.  Maybe we might move towards world peace, at least there would be a lot of happy hearts. Just thinking of this little girl and her laugh makes me smile.

Meetings meetings meetings, but good (some coaching) ones!

May and June are meeting (and coaching meeting) months for me.  I enjoy the change from (mostly) teaching to mostly coaching.  Meetings can be good.

Holidays, short and long

Switzerland celebrates the moveable feasts.  Over Ascension we went camping along Lake Constance and into Germany in a VW bus. What fun!  I was also able to take a week and “go home” to visit family and friends, too.

Blooming Garden!

Going into the garden and enjoying all the colors and blossoms can really change my day. Everything smells so good, too!

Books!

I have been reading, as usual.  I have enjoyed quite a number of books late, but my reading list is as long as ever. Besides still working through Henry Cloud’s Integrity, and Boundaries for Leaders I am reading Tribe of Mentorsby Timothy Ferr– and some novels to keep me entertained…  What are you reading?

Art and Museums

One of my new friends and I have a tradition of attending art museums together. I enjoy the exhibits, and my friend is adept in modern art and can help me enjoy and understand it better.  We will be attending a Picasso exhibit this week, and I am so looking forward to it, and to the piggy-back visit to the Hermann Hesse Museum the same day.

Coffee and meals with family and friends

Finally, I’ve been taking time to spend with family and friends.  It is great to connect with people and to have important discussions with them.  I recently remarked that my view of success has changed to how I am doing with my important relationships.  This has become more and more important to me in the past few years.

What makes your life full and joyful?  What have you been up to?  What are you focusing on?  I wish you a positive week full of joy, hope and beauty!

Patricia Jehle

patricia@jehle-coaching.com

www.jehle-coaching.com

2018 Word for the Year

January 16th, 2018

Good team and other relationships are key for success

What’s your word for 2018?

I usually choose a word like hope or presence for the year to remind me what’s important and to keep me on track. Do you do that?

My word for 2018 is RELATIONSHIP

This is a word I can apply to all my life: work, family, church, friends, and “free-time,” and when it comes to decision-making, it will be a filter I use to make my choices.

When it comes to family and friends, I will attempt to choose for relationship and not activity. What helps our relationship? What helps others and their relationships? Activity for activitiy’s sake is going be a red flag for me this year. I hope it will be for you, too. The “Why?” question will be asked by me a lot. Why am I doing this? What benefit does it offer others and our relationships?

When it comes to work, I will continue to teach in as relational manner as the system allows. I will continue to work on building good rapport will colleagues and team members. I will be a team member in the best sense. These are my work goals.

In some ways, relational coaching is just a given. But I will continue to make the coaching relationship a must for my business. I will ask myself how I am doing with my client relationships and what can I do better. I will do what I encourage my clients to do: reflect.

As I continue in my further education as a coach and lecturer, I will make relationship as much a goal as possible. This weekend I will be trained to write and teach case studies, and the weekend is a team learning effort so I look forward to learning together with a talented and diverse group. As I look to becoming a supervisor, I also am thrilled to be working with a group of diverse coaches who are moving forward.

Even the books I read and the fun things I do with friends and family I hope to use to enhance relationships this year. I have just bought another Henry Cloud book; this one is Boundaries for Leaders. I am looking forward to this read very much!

Again, what is your word for 2018?

Relationally yours,

Patricia Jehle            www.jehle-coaching.com     patricia@jehle-coaching.com

working together gives us better solutions

Happy Samichlaus Day!

December 6th, 2017

Today is the Feast of St. Nikolas

Samichlaus visits children with a donkey and his companion, the Schmützli

On December 6th in Switzerland, Samichlaus (the Swiss German St. Nick) visits children’s homes and brings bags filled with peanuts, chocolates, gingerbread, clementines, and other delights. Sometimes he and his helpers, the Schmützlis, come and secretly drop off the goodies. Sometimes whole (and in our village’s case, schools) classes of children head to the forest to meet Samichlaus and his Schmützlis. Sometimes he visits the house, comes in and reads from his book about being naughty and nice. Often he comes with a donkey, too, to carry his bags of goodies.

I like the Sixth of December for many reasons: first and foremost, there is no Santa at Christmas bringing gifts; but also, I prefer this Samichlaus and have had very positive experiences with our local ones who have visited our family over the years as our children grew up. Our children had very congenial ones who asked for (musical) concerts and read from their books in a compassionate manner. It was hard to be afraid of these handsomely dressed bishops with their amazing costumes.

Samichlaus is almost the antithesis of commercialism. He shows up only with a bag of treats and talks about how the children have done the past year, not about what i-thing they want from him for Christmas. It is a great relief for me as a parent and a better focus on the Reason for the Season, in my point of view.

But my adult children do not ask for visits from Samichlaus anymore and we do not (yet) have any other children about who may. So the a this year we will celebrate on our own, with the chocolate, peanuts and mandarins in a bowl and have a “light” Swiss supper of homemade vegetable soup, Swiss nüssli (lambsears) salad, sliced meat and cheese—and Griitibänz with Swiss Aargau Gingerbread for dessert, to be eaten with the bowl of goodies. And, in our family we drink hot chocolate with all of this. The recipes I use for the Griitibänz and Gingerbread are at the bottom of the blog today, but first let me explain the Griitibäanz. These are men mad of (sweet, white) bread dough that you can buy specifically on the 6th of December here in Switzerland. As far as I can tell, he represents Samichlaus. We dunk the pieces of bread in the hot chocolate and it’s delicious!

Here are the recipes, the first from “Swiss Milk” and the second from the Aargauer Landfrauen:

Gritibänz:

  • 500 g flour here you can use “Zopfmehl”
  • ½ TB salt
  • 1-2 TB sugar
  • 75 g softened butter
  • ½ block of fresh yeast (21 g), crumbled
  • 2,75 dl milk,lukewarm

Mix all ingredients together, preferably with your hands and then knead about 10 minutes. Let it rise until it is doubled in size in a warm, draft-free place. If your kitchen is cool, warm the oven a little and put it in there. I make four-five men from this amount of dough. Shape the dough into a log of about 10 cm and cut the bottom for legs, the arms are also cut (be careful not to cut through the log) and then tiny cuts are made for the neck. Experiment and have fun. Some make female ones, others add stocking caps, etc. Use raisins to decorate, but cut holes for them, or they will just burn during baking. Paint them with a beaten egg and bake in a 200°C oven for 20-30 minutes until done (the bottom should sound hollow when done).

Enjoy a Swiss bread-man!

Aargauer Gingerbread:

  1. flour – 500g (I use half-white and the other half spelt (Dinkel)
  2. sugar – 500g
  3. cocoa powder – 3TB
  4. Lebkuchengewürz – 1 packet (from the Swiss store)– or a mix of 1.5-2t cinnamon, 0.5t clove, 0.5t nutmeg and a dash of cardamom
  5. baking powder – 1TB
  6. milk – 5dl (a half a litre)
  7. canola (Raps) oil – 4TB

Sift dry ingredients together and then mix everything together in a bowl. I put the dough on a cookie sheet that has baking parchment on it. Bake in an unheated oven at 180°C for 30-40 minutes. As it cools you can butter it, or after it cools you can decorate it as you wish. We eat it plain, often with tea.

A favorite snack in Advent in my canton

Happy St. Nick’s, Swiss-style!

Patricia Jehle       www.jehle-coaching.com               patricia@jehle-coaching.com