Adam's Peak sunrise

Adam's Peak sunrise

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A World of Possibilities

Always loved this idea – a world of possibilities, and now, it has exploded.  Yes, exploded for me.  My understanding of world is so much larger.

I am taking a course from Princeton University, through, delivered by David Spergel – Imaging Other Worlds.  It was the title that initially lured me in and I am amazed that I have stayed.  It turns out to be a lot of mathematical equations and scientific principles, which quite frankly I would normally run away from.  However, David Spergel, is amazing.  I am captivated, challenged and more curious than ever.

For a quick overview, a 54 minute video go to   Yes, 54 minutes and I hope you are as enthralled with the journey as I am.

Imaging Other Worlds has really made me ponder how limited my thinking can be. 

            What I don’t know, I don’t see. 

Yes, I see stars in the night sky.  I am lucky enough to go out with an Astronomy Group here in Oman to view the night skies through some very powerful telescopes.  But even this did not prepare me for the wonders of the Universes - millions of star and millions of planets.  I was still understanding Science from my school days and seeing only our sun and our solar system.  This has completely changed. 

I remember as a University student being completely disenchanted with Sciences when I was told that it has now been proven that dinosaurs are warm blooded not cold blooded as I had been taught and believed.  At the time I was not ready to have my way of thinking of the world challenged or even worse, proven to be false!

            What I don’t know, I don’t see.

 Now I know there are millions of other planets, perhaps other life forms on these planets and even though I cannot see them I now envision them in my mind’s eye.  

            Is this where it starts?

Back to this earth.  If I can envision it , I can do it.  I can start today by throwing off my self-imposed limitations and see what might come forward.

I was out on a snorkeling and camping trip a few weekends ago.  Whilst happily snorkeling around a fairly quiet part of the Island I was suddenly taken aback.  It looked like a giant rope attached to a piece of coral.  I immediately stopped, sensing danger although not sure why.  This piece of rope scared me.  So I happily changed direction and snorkeled elsewhere.  Upon getting back to shore I asked the other snorkelers if they had seen the rope.  They informed me quite seriously it was not a piece of rope,  it was a very large jellyfish.  It could cause quite a bit of harm! 

    What I don’t know,  I don’t see!  Rope/jellyfish

Leads to another interesting question.  Ok, so there are many stars and planets up in the sky and many forms of life in the seas, all of which I am only starting to become aware of.  What else?  What is it in my everyday mundane existence that I don’t see.   What do I see only as what I expect to see? (rope/starfish)   Perspective is everything. 

Psychologist and author David Hawkins, in his book, Power versus Force, tells a story of a man dressed in ragged clothing, not shaven, standing on a street corner in a well to do neighborhood.  I may not have this exactly correct but here goes.  He tells us that how we see the world is how we see this man, it depends on our state of consciousness.  Here’s what I remember from the story.  If we have a state of lack/fear we see the man as an intruder, perhaps a robber, going to break into the homes and steal.  If we are in a state of love, we see him as a poor man who needs our help and sympathy.  We feel condolence, seeing him as someone less than ourselves who needs our help.  If we operate from a state of power, where everyone is equal, we see a man and wonder what kind of interesting stories he has.  Note, this is a different definition of power than is commonly held.


 Redefine a world of possibilities by removing your self imposed limitations.  
What do you see?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Experience the Mystery

I booked a Mountain Crossing for the weekend hoping for a time away and refreshment.  I met Rebecca, tour manager and guide supremo, early in the morning for a quick coffee before the adventure began. For more info on Guide Oman , great pictures of the trip posted here.   It was another sunny and warm day in Oman, very warm, the temperatures up in the high 40 degrees C this past week.  The mountains offer refreshing cooler temperatures in the summer.  Evenings can be as cool at 17 degrees C. WOW!

Met up with another 43 vehicles and our adventure began.  Up the first mountain, lunch, down the mountain and begin the ascent of the second mountain.  Stopping part way for the night, set up campsights, dinner and of course great conversations, music and a campfire.  And yes, I had to put on a shawl for warmth!

The following day offered “the experience of mystery”.  It began in the morning with some unusual company for breakfast.  We were visited by the beasts of the desert,  camels.   A small family arrived first, Mom, Dad and one child.  The young camel was quite frisky and we couldn’t get too near it.  Mom and Dad however allowed plenty of petting and pictures.

Then over the sand dune arrived a herd of five very people friendly camels.  They marched straight into the campsite!  Lots of petting and pictures again.  One of the camels eve discovered the buffet table and had to be chased away. 

Our visitors

Unfortunately the camels have been people acclimatized and are looking for the food offerings, not always the best food for camels.  The Omani owner of the camels arrived in his truck and monitored the interactions but stayed a fair distance away.   Camels are expensive animals and although they roam the sand dunes freely, the owners feed them ensuring their return each day.

Breakfast done, campsites packed up and camels headed home, we began our ascent down the second mountain.    

First stop,  Malis Al Jinn. 

From Wikidpedia:

Majlis al Jinn also Majlis al-Jinn (meeting/gathering place of the Jinn), local name: Khoshilat Maqandeli is the second largest  cave chamber in the world, as measured by the surface area of the floor. It ranks higher when measured by volume. The cave is located in a remote area of the Selma Plateau at 1,380 metres above sea level in the Sultanate of Oman, 100 km south-east from Muscat.  Majlis al Jinn had grown in popularity as a BASE jumping site.  Access to the cavern is only through a free descent of one of three vertical entrances in the ceiling, formed by water seeping through the weakened marly limestone in the zones of fracturing. The two largest entrances are called Asterisk (Khoshilat Beya Al Hiyool) and First Drop (Khoshilat Maqandeli), the smallest is Cheryl's Drop (Khoshilat Minqod).[4][7] Entrance depths:[3] Cheryl's Drop - 158.2 meters. Asterisk - 139.6 meters. First Drop - 118.0 meters.

Geologists put the age of the cave at 50,000,000 years. 

Majlis al Jinn, is also know as the Meeting Place of the Spirits.  Soon after we arrived, the local young boys arrived with their bags of Za’atar for sale, a local mountain grown herb of the species wild Thyme.  Za’atar is a very popular spice in the region and one of my favorites is Za’atar Croissants!

Next stop, the BeeHive Tombs, fascinating.


The earliest stone-built tombs which can be called "beehive" are in Oman, built of stacked flat stones which occur in nearby geological formations. They date to between 3,500 and 2,500 years BCE, to a period when the Arabian peninsula was subject to much more rainfall than now, and supported a flourishing civilisation in what is now desert, to the west of the mountain range along the Gulf of Oman. No burial remains have ever been retrieved from these "tombs", though there seems no other purpose for their building. They have only superficial similarities with the Aegean tombs (circular shape) as they are built entirely above ground level and do not share the same tripartite structure - the entrances are usually an undifferentiated part of the circular walling of the tomb.

A few of us entered one of the restored tombs through a small passageway.  Standing alone in the tomb, looking up at the sky through the opening at the top I felt surrounded with wonder.  Who used these tombs?  BC and before Islam?  Why here?  What was the purpose?  A few of the things we will never know for sure but the sense of wonder I experienced was very real.  It is like a shift in perception to a different reality, timeless and nameless.  Although it seemed like a long time it was only a short time. 

 Back to the present!

Can you see the villas?
We gathered and began our last descent.  Here we were treated to a spectacular view of a tiny villa nestled in the valley with Jebel Aswad (Black Mountain) as the backdrop.  The colors and natural beauty were breathtaking, beautiful and mysterious.  Standing amidst this natural beauty is good medicine for the soul.  For me it puts everything into perspective;  really, how big are my current problems!

Next leg of the journey took us through Wadi Tai’een, breathtaking scenery and flowing water.   A wadi is dry riverbed that only contains water during heavy rains or an intermittent stream.  Here playfulness was on the agenda.  Driving through small pools of water in the wadi and laughing as the 4x4 was covered by the spraying water!  Oh what fun connecting to the playful kid that is in each of us and allowing it to play!  Great fun!

Next a cool swim and lunch further down the wadi.  Everyone departed for their respective homes from here.

I loved this connection with the mystery of life in many ways on this trip. So much more than the original plan of refreshment.  

Life’ s like that!  Experience the mystery!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Universe or Multiverse

I just watched a TED talk by physicist, Janna Levin:

Inspiring! Thought Provoking! And- for me- mostly Question Provoking!

On a recent trip to Kenya, on a wildlife safari, we were lucky enough to encounter eight lions resting in the sun after a recent feed of zebra. What unfolded in front of us was fascinating.

The hyenas approached and made a circle around the lions. Then the vultures came and made a circle around the lions. Everyone was waiting his or her turn. If they got a bit aggressive and made a move towards the carcass of the zebra, one of the lions would stand up and let them know it was not time yet. The hyena/s would retreat.

We passed by the same scene an hour later and there was an additional layer of complexity added. The zebras had gathered on the opposite side of the road and were stomping their feet to show their displeasure at the death of one of theirs.

It struck me that this scene was similar to the way our workplaces, communities, cities, countries and world are organized. A micro version of the macro complexity.

After watching Janna Levin’s TED Talk I wondered if the same applied to space. As the unknown becomes known, is it more of the same? Or will there be a new order?

So many questions, so few answers.....

As a coach I love the powerful question, the question that make me think/see things differently.

Can we move from our concept of a Universe to a Multiverse? Where does this take us? What new thinking do we need to survive in a Multiverse? Do we need new thinking?

I would love to hear your thoughts/questions on Multiverse.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Getting Unstuck

This blog is inspired by Andrea Lea. I was listening to her coaching a client on the Moore Master Series calls. She requested her client and everyone listening to “take a bold stand on something”.

Wow, I found this very inspiring.

She suggests that if you are stuck in your life or your business that you need to take a bold stand. Something is getting in your way and to get unstuck you will have to be bold and courageous.

My question to you today – What would it look like if you were you taking a bold stand on something?

My bold stand would be to continue to live my life with passion and fire, no matter what. It is so easy to cave into depression and lethargy, endless thinking, or numerous other diversions. But I find staying focused on passion and fire to be very rewarding!

Her next powerful question:

If you only had one song to sing - this is what my life has been about - and you were singing to your God, what would it be?

My one song to sing - it would have to be the HU song! What an amazing word to sing, one that allows me to expand continuously!

"Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that held its ground." Rosa Park

Here’s to bold stands and powerful songs!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

On so many levels, there is so much change going on in the world today. It is an exciting and amazing time to be alive. Two areas that I have been researching recent changes are - Corporate Culture and Neuro-Science.

I believe they affect each other. The outstanding question posed many years ago was: If a butterfly flaps its wings in Japan, is is felt in Canada? (ps insert countries as your like).

As we evolve and unfold as individuals and global citizens, I see the connection more clearly between all events.

Corporate Culture:
When I first started coaching in 1999, Thomas Leonard, found of the coaching industry, proposed that we were moving from the Knowledge Age to the Inspiration Age. Knowledge is easily attained today. Need to know something? Social media provides a quick and easily accessible answer. Knowledge used to be power. Now everyone has the ability to be knowledgable. Yes I said ability, not everyone takes advantage of it and yes, it can be generation specific.

Today inspiration is more impactful and there is a direct link between levels of inspiration and results. Our measuring systems still look at the bottom line results, P&L statements and are often short term measure, the last quarter.

Corporations are beginning to understand how to change P&L dramatically. I dream of this world often. Caring for the employee, what are their needs, what inspires them, what do we need to do to allow that person to be their best.

"I predict that one day every company will have along with a CEO, CFO, COO and CSO, someone with a title like CCO, Chief Culture Officer - whose job will be to keep track of the needs of every single employee of the company. Not keep track of every employee, that would still be HR's job. Keep track of their needs, and meet them to be the best of the COO's ability, not through empty pep talks and token gifts but individualized goal setting, strategizing for the future and constant confirmation that the employee is satisfied."
The Thank You Economy, Gary Vannerchuk

Neuro Science:

Great advances have been made in Neuroscience research in the past ten years. Scientists are beginning to prove scientifically many of the theories we have used for many years. For example, the power of writing things down. A commonly known technique for accomplishing your goals and reaching your dreams is writing them down. Some use it, some don't, but those who use it find they achieve their goals and dreams more often than those who don't. Today we can understand this from a brain perspective. For more detailed information on this research I suggest reading "Your Brain at Work, Strategies for Overcoming Distraction, Regaining Focus, and Working Smarter All Day Long" by David Rock. I found this to be a fascinating read with a plethora of useful exercises, a great integration of neuroscience research and business.

My question to contemplate today - Do neuroscientific findings affect business culture?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Play will be to the 21st century what work was to the last 300 years of industrial society – our dominant way of knowing, doing and creating value.”

—Pat Kane, author of The Play Ethic

How have you been playing? What happens when you have play in your life? How does play affect your work? Oh, so many questions. I would love to hear from you. is still open for your thoughts and stories.

I am fortunate enough to be coaching Omani men and women leaders here in Muscat. In my opinion the Omani people are very heart-centered and this makes coaching a very enjoyable process.

This getting lost in work and play invigorates me, opens me up to new possibilities. It is as if I once again have a new pair of eyes to see the world. The world is alive and brilliant, so many opportunities and possibilities. The people I encounter each day are stars—brilliant shining lights in the night sky. Each holds a wonder for me to discover and revel in.Outside of my work I continue to play. My recent playtime is screenwriting. I am taking a 10-week course on writing a screenplay. I am truly amazed at how much fun this is. I get to make up the characters, the scenes, and the actions; oh it is such great fun! I have met so many fascinating people in my lifetime and now I get to make them come alive through writing. Of course, I get to embellish their characters, which is quite exhilarating. One of those activities that I get lost in—time slips away! I find myself having to pull myself away from the writing. Oh what a feeling! (More on the screenplay in future articles- title: Dinner with Cathy.)

Playing in Scotland

When I first began coaching ten years ago, Thomas Leonard, considered the founder of the coaching industry, spoke about moving from the Knowledge Age to the Inspiration Age. I believe we are now in the Inspiration Age and play is how we will operate in the Inspiration Age.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Lessons in a Desert Crossing

I had the privilege to join an Oman Guide group on a desert crossing Jan, 19-21st. It was amazing!

Lesson learnt in teamwork, sales and leadership on the crossing. Fist, some statistics – approximately 75 4X4 vehicles, 15-20 of which were support vehicles, 123 people. These are the numbers as I best remember them. For a nominal fee you show up with your transportation and camping equipment. They lead you on a desert crossing, make sure you are safe and feed you. The food was excellent but for once it was not the main focus of my attention.

The trip is for anybody wishing to go - from expert to novice drivers! The support vehicles are volunteers; they seem to get a kick out off figuring out how to get people unstuck. Truly amazing to watch!

What struck me the most was how 123 complete strangers worked together when required. As soon as a vehicle was stuck the other vehicles stopped and came over to determine if they could help (or were they just gloating because it wasn’t them - this time! Ha ha). Even the expert drivers found themselves up to their axels in sand on occasion. We would await the support vehicle, the expert drivers and follow instructions. Sometimes the support drivers asked permission to drive your vehicle and they just drove it out. Other times they would direct a group of people to rock the vehicle sideways and direct the driver on what to do as progress was made. Often times it had to be a tow and if a tow didn’t work then a winch. We soon realized the best things to do if stuck was to wait until the expert arrived as you only seem to dig yourself deeper trying to get out. Reminded me a lot of driving in snow.

On the third day I was honored to be in the lead car. Mr. Mohammed Al Zadjali, was the leader and what an expert driver, besides being a very nice man with a great sense of humor. He broke the trail. This particular day was the day we attempted the big dunes. Ismaeel provided this next story. We were on the top of the first dune of the day. I was sitting on the dune watching vehicles trying to get up the dune. Ismaeel was taking pictures. A Hummer came roaring up the final leg of the climb and suddenly we hear a pop. His tire came off the rim! Boy, was he stuck in the sand. Ismaeel, just happened to be a sales manager for Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Ram. When the driver of the Hummer arrived on foot at the top of the hill, Ismaeel very calmly expressed his sympathy for the bad luck and gave him his card, saying if you ever decide to replace the Hummer, please give me a call! WOW! Kudos to Ismaeel- here we are literally in the middle of nowhere and the perfect opportunity presents itself. Many would have let this opportunity pass by but not Ismaeel, he was very professional and sincere. This made my day. Later I went over and congratulated Ismaeel and asked if I could share this story. He agreed. Can hardly wait to use this story in one of my sales training workshops.

Same day, different dune. Mohammed was trying to find a way to climb our third dune of the day. He had made many attempts but just had been successful….yet. On one of the attempts we got stuck, the vehicle was sideways and almost on its side, well it seemed that way to me as I held on so as not to fall onto my friend in the seat beside me. I looked at her , saw the look of terror on her face and collected myself. Mohammed, said to us - it is bad when the leader gets stuck, everybody rushes over to help. Everyone wants to help the leader. The leader has to be careful not to take too many risks. How true I thought to myself.

And last but not least, back to the nature vs. nurture debate. Mohammed shared that he has some drivers who have been with him for ten years and yet they still do not “get it”, yet some drivers “get it” right away. What is getting it? The ability and understanding of how to read the angles and sands to calculate your best route. Nature or nurture?

Nature – the dunes were beautiful and dangerous, simple yet complex.

Nurture – I nurtured my soul during this trip.

I find it difficult to find the right words to describe the desert so share these words from a Sufi teacher:

"When I think of the desert, I think of the desert's wildness, its gorgeous and terrible loneliness, it silence, its purity. I think of how in the desert you feel at once annihilated yet totally alive and present in all things around you and above you, as if you had become at once the sands stretching from horizon to horizon and the sky so vast and empty and still. And I think of what is written in the Koran, 'all is perishable except the Face of God..'The desert is the Face of god, the final mirror in which humans see their nothingness and their absolute splendor-in-Him’.”