top of page

#5 Flow with Felicity, July 2024

The one in which I cover: Tidal Ease? | Unfolding | Break the Trigger Cycle | Attention

Take some time out to read and reflect. Extend and stretch your self-awareness. Knowing yourself deeply is a key building block to creating a fulfilling life & thriving work relationships.

Welcome to Flow with Felicity. I kick off with what the month has been like for me along with an invitation to reflect on how you're flowing. I offer an insight, pass on a quick tip which has proved useful, and share a quote that inspire me. Each section has questions for reflection.

This is written for you. You may be a #leader #entrepreneur #businessowner and/or a #coach. You are committed to evolving your self-awareness; knowing it helps support the flow of your work, relationships and life.

5 months in and I'm still on the learning curve of writing this, so I'd love for you to help me improve. Keep the messages coming. They truly help with my motivation to continue, particularly in months like this one.

How are you Flowing?

Tidal Ease? Swiming with and against the tide in June.

This June has felt like a swim down a tidal river. One minute, I'm drifting along with the tide, feeling energized and optimistic. The sunshine warms my skin, mirroring the sense of possibility that stretches out before me. I'm ready to tackle anything, dive deep into work, and explore hidden depths of ideas.

Then, the tide turns against me. I swim and go nowhere. My brain fogs up, and tasks that felt effortless moments ago suddenly seem like an impossible slog. My body craves nothing more than curling up on the metaphorical riverbank and resting until the warmth returns. It's like experiencing jet lag without the fun of travel!

As July approaches, I can't help but yearn for a stretch of uninterrupted sunshine, some predictable weather and a tidal flow that carries me forward without this feeling of being pulled back into fog and lethargy.

It’s been harder to accept the ‘what is’ of the month. I've realised I expect June to feel like a solidly energetic creative month, yet that’s not what it’s turned out to be. June was unpredictable, both weatherwise and in an embodied sense. I’m seeking trust that the slowing down and at times, repeatedly restarting, is going to show it’s purpose later this year. At this time, I’m practicing remaining at peace this was a month of drift and push. It's a far preferable mindset than jumping into a place of self-judgement :)

PS - As I search my images for a tidal river, naturally The Thames springs to mind. And then I come across this image at Richmond and have this thought…. Maybe, I need to get out of the water, stop swimming and get into a row boat?! That might give me more support and respite when the tide changes :)


  • What is your body memory of the last month?

  • What images or metaphors come to mind?

  • What can you let go of to allow more of something else to emerge?

  • What do you need for the month ahead?


The Insight

What if nothing is missing?

The Coaching approach of Unfolding

I was inspired by this fabulous question. What if nothing is missing? It prompts a very different exploration within coaching than if you ask: what is missing?

This month’s insight was gifted to me via Coaches Rising. Their email highlighted the approach of Steve March, founder of Aletheia. His explanation of ‘self-improvement’ coaching and ‘unfolding’ coaching articulately captures the different approaches at play.

Self-Improvement coaching often identifies a deficit or a gap which sets up a goal: a point of success towards something that will be different/ feel different/ sound different. In my experience, it’s highly motivating for clients to have a vision of what they want to be different. This motivation can be very supportive in the early stages of coaching.

What can be less motivating is to then explore what’s missing; it brings attention to the deficit. When there is less upwards & additive progress, clients can feel like they aren’t ‘fixing’ themselves.

This is where combining a self-improvement approach with an ‘unfolding’ approach works well. Unfolding encourages inquiry into ‘what if nothing is missing?’ What if nothing more is needed than what you have within you? The role of the coach is to help you fully connect to all of who you are, some of whom you may know and other bits are yet to be ‘unfolded’.

Some clients come to coaching with a less defined sense of what they hope for. They just know they want something other than what 'is'. The unfolding approach is effective with starting with everything that 'is' and evolving forward from there. It's an emergent way of working. There is still coaching purpose - it is to emerge & unfold.

For coaches, unfolding requires gauging the depth of experience; both meeting the client where they are and evoking awareness of depth. For clients, the approach requires an allowance of the unknown sensation of depth. This is where trust and safety in the coach-client relationship is of utmost importance. It supports the emergence of what is within, but not yet known.

It resonates because I strongly believe that expansion & growth rarely happens from a place of deficit. Think of it this way: you don’t get a role based on how you perform in your development areas. You get a job, by doing the stuff you do brilliantly well.

At first glance, I can see that it links with a relational and gestalt orientation in two ways:

  • The premise that we are all doing our best in each moment

  • That movement follows awareness of what is. Responding to inquiry into what is present right now;  rather than inquiry into what is absent.

What's your reaction?

  • I’d love to know your reactions to this. Does working in this way appeal to you, or does it feel too ambiguous? Or something else?

  • What difference do you notice when you ask yourself the two questions? Where does your thinking and feeling go? [What if nothing is missing? What is missing?]

  • If you’ve trained with Steve March or decide to join the Coaches Rising training below, I’d love to hear your key takeouts.

For further reading / watching


The Quote

>>> This month's quote links the motivation of a desire for something 'other' with the trust that there is something to unfold & blossom.


The Tip 

Break the Trigger Cycle

This month’s tip is to know your triggers, own them and the response they evoke in you. This is your stuff.

What are triggers? 

Events/ statements that set off a strong emotional reaction within us. They make it hard to respond with grace & ease; to stay true to our values & how we want to show up in the world. We respond in a less than optimum way, typically offend the other, and trigger something in them. Then the trigger dynamic and cycle begins. Here’s what helps to break that cycle and expand the elasticity of your relationships.

  1. Avoid blaming the other for ‘making you’ feel that way. I once had a boss who always spoke with irritation about someone in the team who triggered them. They really annoy me. It really wasn’t fair on that person, particularly as they never got the request to behave in a different way.

  2. To own your trigger switch to ‘I’ language. I find it hard when x happens and I have to work hard on managing my irritation/ anger/ frustration/ hurt etc…

  3. Prepare your ideal response to your triggers in advance. In the moment, it is too hard to think about it. It is far easier for the body and brain to react in the habitual way. Remember to rewire our response, it takes intention, focus and practice.

  4. Make a request - Would you be open to seeing if we could change this dynamic between us, could you do x next time… and I’ll try y….

(BTW - to check it’s a request & not a demand, then it can be denied. If someone can’t say no, then it’s a demand and it’s not in the interest of expanding the relationship)

We all have triggers, so know your own and seek awareness of other’s triggers to minimise activating them.

Here’s one of mine…  I’m triggered when I’m told to do something that I’m already trying to do. It challenges two things. Firstly, that I don’t know my stuff and quickly leads to a mindset that I am stupid. Secondly, it adds to my already simmering frustration that what I’m trying to do isn’t obviously working! I have to practice not being aggressive or defensive and shutting down the other person. It’s easier when I’m full of energy and feeling spacious, and infinitely harder when I’m tired and feeling short of time.  The ideal response is to show gratitude that they are trying to help, and to ask for a practical tip which helps make their advice a reality. At a later point, I might then choose to make a request for their support to show up in a different way, eg to make a request of them to ask 'what's going on for you right now?'


  • Take some time this week to reflect on your triggers, your ideal response and the request you can make to someone else.


I'm Pondering...

Attention, and it's decline.

I was recommended a book by Johann Hari, Stolen Focus, Why You Can’t Pay Attention. And, because it's been a huge effort to sustain my attention this month, it seemed a no brainer to try & give it some focus & read it.

What is attention?

Before I dive into some of what resonates from the book, I did a quick google search on the definition of attention, and found this which, in its directional simplicity, made me smile:

Attention is the behaviour a person uses to focus the senses, from sight to hearing and even smell. It may focus on information that matters outside of the cab (e.g., signals, traffic), inside the cab (e.g., displays, controls), or on the radio network. Attention to information that is not important is distraction.

Source: US Department of Transportation: Federal Railroad Adminstration 

It goes on to highlight.... Research shows that people have limited attention resources. This means we only have so much capacity to go around. We need to choose what to focus on that matters....Without the ability to filter out unwanted information, the world would be chaotic. So we have to be selective in what we pay attention to. For instance, dividing attention across multiple tasks results in a loss in performance, which can contribute to incidents or accidents potentially costing loss of life and property.

My key take-outs

  • I loved seeing this through the train and cab driver language. The examples were simple and easy to translate to our everyday experience.

  • The messages are true:

    • Attention is the focus of the senses

    • There is only so much attention we can give. It is limited.

    • Dividing attention across multiple task results in a loss in performance

Back to the book

Firstly, in my view, it is a must read to understand that our collective loss of attention is a crisis. In Stolen Focus, Johann Hari argues that our dwindling attention spans aren't just a personal failing, but a widespread problem with deep roots.

Here are some key insights:

  • Attention crisis is real: Our ability to focus has been declining for decades, but technology has accelerated this trend.

  • Technology is partly to blame: Social media platforms are designed to be addictive and constantly interrupt our focus.

  • It's not just willpower: Individual changes are helpful, but the book argues for systemic changes to address the way technology is designed.

  • Deeper causes exist: Hari explores social and economic factors like sleep deprivation and glorification of busyness that contribute to the problem.

  • Path to reclaiming focus: The book offers strategies like pre-commitment to avoid distractions, embracing mind-wandering for creativity, and prioritizing sleep.

  • Collective action is needed: While we can make individual changes, Stolen Focus emphasizes the need for broader societal shifts to create a more attention-friendly environment.

Overall, the book challenges readers to see attention as a collective issue and offers ways to fight for a world that allows us to focus and thrive.

It joined up several dots which I didn’t know were connected. The key one that sticks are the threads joining unsupervised play, intrinsic motivation, attention & anxiety

This thread worried me. If children are not given the freedom to determine how they play, they are less likely to become familiar with their intrinsic motivators, and know what grabs their attention, and they become dependent on the guidance of others. At worst, this increases the opportunity for anxiety derived from a dependence to meet others' expectations.

Being able to focus is a capability we can all take responsibility for nurturing. For ourselves, our loved ones, our teams, our clients.


How can you be encouraging and creating the conditions for attention to flourish? What’s important today that needs your attention?

Try these questions out: What conditions help you…

  • Give your attention?

  • Hold your attention?

  • Notice attention has lapsed?

  • Return to giving attention?

How do you help your coaching clients to practice giving their attention?


Want a more reqular top up?

If this monthly email flow is not often enough for you, follow me on LinkedIn. I post 3+ times a week so you can get a regular top up of what's new, life lessons & knowledge nuggets. Check out:


May International Coaching Week posts

Work with me: I'm always actively seeking clients like you who CARE.

Here are ways we can bend the river and bring more of the flow you want to your life and relationships

  • #Leaders #Entrepreneurs #businessowners

    • My EXPLORE coaching package is an ideal starting point for those keen to learn more about the motivations & driver which underpin your behaviour.

    • To support you with a long term shift towards the change you desire, I offer an 8hr EVOLVE package.

    • Want to try it out, but not 100% sure or budget feeling too restrictive? Check out my Change for Good coaching. You give £40 to charity and I give you 1hr of coaching.

  • Workplace Relationships: I work with pairs, usually founding partners / key C-suite relationships, on who you are together and we explore how your relationship can influence the culture of your organisation to support your strategic plans

  • #Coaches For ICF Mentor Coaching or Supervision - choose from individual hourly sessions, join Open Supervision or build your own group.

Not yet signed up for this? Know you won't miss out each month and give me the motivation to keep sharing by signing up here

So, what grabbed your interest?

Thank you for joining me this month. For all rave testimonials, typos, helpful feedback, conversations about working together, message me on LinkedIn or drop me an email:

What's resonated / helped with your current situation?

And, if this prompts you do something different and 'bend the river', I'd love to celebrate and support the changes you are making. Keep me in the loop :)

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page