Zebra Crossing the Mighty River

zebra crossing the mighty river
Go read my new blog? Here.
You know what you want
you know everything
what to eatwhere to exercise
where to live
how to quit booze
the career or business you want
the partner you want
your relationship status

Yet you still don't take action? It's far more
comfortable to stay in the same place and
suffer some anxiety and angst at times so
long as you don't have to go outside your comfort zone

You can fake it most of the time -hey - that's what everyone else does - right?
So you do nothing - you stay in your current situation - which is OK after all
(it's not like you're packing shelves) - but it just doesn't have that spark
but that's what everyone does at this stage of life -
we just put up with the cards we're dealt - we're sort of stuck with -
making excuses about
its for the kids
once the mortgage is paid off
once i get a promotion
or an inheritance
or a redundancy
the credit card is paid off
so you do nothing
maybe drinking a little extra to celebrate the glorious "stuckness" of your life
or getting caught up in some frantic exercise schedule to keep you distracted
or you plan some extravagant holiday so you can get out of the present
or build another life with an affair, or an online game, or a tv show...
moment by moment losing yourself - 
all the time kidding yourself about this imaginary better future 
When life - your best, most beautiful, thinnest, fittest, most intelligent,
most powerful and most free version of yourself is you right here and now - this very second.  Not even a minute away.  NOW - here.

BUT - so long as the wheels don't fall off, and you can keep grinning at the right times - that's it.
You cruise along until
or a health scare
or some unlucky tragedy
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Wednesday Workshop Webinar

Live Wednesday Webinar with Bren Murphy
Live Workshop Webinar - Invitation

Every act of conscious learning requires the willingness to suffer an injury to one's self-esteem. That is why young children, before they are aware of their own self-importance, learn so easily.
Thomas Szasz 

Crossing the line into personal coach from recovery advocate is a subtle change.  I have been a recovery advocate for long enough to know that people stop drinking or continue to drink for their own reasons.
It is too much to expect any one person to be truly moved to the point where they make substantial life changes based purely on what you might say or do writing in a blog for instance, or a book or giving a talk.
The most we can hope for is to colour their next decision, so that maybe, among the chorus of voices and advisors ringing in their ears, they might not pick up, or might delay an episode.
But working in this space has never been about results - or individual results - it's always about putting it out there and safely knowing that somehow, somewhere, you might have made a difference.
As for specifically helping X to quit, or helping to guide P through a situation - well, that is something at arm's length.
Here's where things have changed for me.  Personal Coaching is not so much about putting vague, generalized notions out there and moving on.  Instead, personal coaching is about actually connecting on a personal level (duh..) and helping firsthand to get through the obstacle.

It's about growth, action and responsibility.  And that is another step forward for me personally.
Bren Murphy The Personal CoachRight now I'm designing a live Webinar Wednesday Group Workshop session and I'm seeking participants to come along and have a chat.  It's a safe haven for healing and growth and a starting point for personal development based exploration of recovery, sobriety and the whole healing space.

Live Webinar Presentations

The best thing I have learned about Live Webinar presentations, (and I have been involved in many) is that a small, live workshop video call is by far the most effective in a personal coaching setting.  We can see each other as though we are sitting around a table, and interact and share out stories and live.  

It's the most authentic and supportive environment there is, and you're invited to come along.  I'm holding these workshops each Wednesday between now and the end of the year, I'm hoping to reach out to a few hundred people and make some lasting, powerful connections.

I'm inviting all my connections to come along and guest host with me, so if you feel yo would like to play a role, come along and reach out to me at brenmurphy@gmail.com (just replace the e in bren with a 3, as in br3n)  Or you can message me direct on Bren Murphy on Facebook or Bren Murphy on Google plus or Bren Murphy on Twitter

Wednesday Webinar - Live Group Video Workshop

It would be really great to meet some of you in person, you can choose your level of anonymity, first name basis etc.

" At some point, you must just do it, and from the doing, learn" 

Standing Bird of Paradise

Back at the end of 2013, I sat down and wrote out some goals. I had let go of the rope in my tug of war with alcohol, and accepted that I would no longer see drinking in terms of struggle.

Standing Bird of Paradise
Standing Bird of Paradise
(imagine a 41 year old man doing it - or maybe not...)
It was over and I was moving on.

Part of this process was writing a list of fulfilment outcomes that I would achieve for the next ten years if I were to maintain my no alcohol status.  This list  became the vision of the best potential version of myself - of an ideal me without alcohol.

It was ambitious and broad in scope and included some Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAG) that I now encourage people I work with to visualise.  BHAG's are those goals you achieve with the perfect version of yourself.  I didn't have 100% certainty, but I wrote them down anyway.

Running Half Marathons

One goal was to run two half marathons every year - and I have kept to that.  I run 25km each and every week and staying confident with 10k and 20k runs brings a certain sense of body integrity.  There's a clarity and honesty about just putting on shoes and running along the beach alone, without any schedule or extras.  It's simple, pure and uncluttered.  (When I wrote this goal I was smoking a packet of cigarettes a day and huffing through an asthma inhaler each ten days or so.  I couldn't run up the driveway without bending in half and coughing up something.)

Making Yoga Part of My Life

Another goal was to immerse myself in yoga for ten years.  I imagined how I would feel if I had ten years of daily yoga in my life - it was almost laughable as a paunchy, pale 38 year old who had a chronic sore back.  But I started with five days in a row and I can still remember the yoga teacher singing a verse in sanskrit at the end of that first week and me with tears rolling down my face.

Since that first week, I have made 6am morning practice a part of my life.  Some of the proudest moments were turning up in the middle of winter, pouring rain outside, just the yoga teacher and I ready for class.  Other times were just being there like a fixture, week after week after week.  It gets to the point that the yoga practice is more essential and part of you than other things you once clung to.

I've fallen in love with the process and the energy of yoga - and the silence and sense of deep connection I have with some people I have been practising with for years now but have never actually spoken a word to.  There is an unsaid majesty in just knowing that we have both been there, on the mat, and sharing that space in deep breath silence.


Just yesterday my yoga teacher led us through a series of poses and I found myself lifting up into standing bird of paradise for the first time.

It is an awkward, balancing pose, with one leg over your shoulder.  You lift up and rise into a place of vulnerability and courage all at once.  It's about using strength to rise and hold the pose, but also relaxing enough to be able to absorb the balance.  And then, once you arrive, being present and able to ride the flush of "I'm actually doing this" and stay in the pose without teetering over.

Humility and patience brought me to the standing bird of paradise - and they are the most profound lessons I have learned from my yoga practice these past three years.  The two elements that together mold integrity and authenticity.