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Cultural Intelligence in Practice

Welcome to Rest

Welcome to Rest

“There is finiteness to what I can do in this body. There is a finiteness to how many relationships I can engage in meaningfully at one time. There is a finiteness to time…. There is finiteness to my energy. There comes a time when I am tired….These are times when I am reminded that I am human-a finite being living in the presence of an infinite God. God is the infinite one. God is the one who can be all things to all people….God is the one who never sleeps. I am not.”  – Ruth Haley Barton, Strengthening the Soul of your Leadership

Today during a mentor coaching session, I talked with a new coach about her goal to foster coaching conversations informally, with those she sits beside on a plane; eats breakfast with; visits on vacation; or sees at church. We talked about techniques, obstacles and resources. But her recognition by the end of the session was that her energy to invest in coaching conversations was, and is, limited.

Coaching takes focus; it takes attention. It can be exhilarating but also tiring! Sometimes we can’t or shouldn’t do it! Our ability to coach others is constrained by our very human frailty.

Pushing beyond, pushing past.....or finishing well?

I admit that you will often hear me say, “I live to be helpful!” This desire to help others is, for most coaches, part of our DNA – our life purpose – and it compels us!  But pushing beyond the limits of our own energy, pushing past rest and sleep and down time and refreshment will not help us to finish well. And ultimately, refusing to recognize this and to take care of ourselves will not aid us in becoming effective helpers either.

Rest is an act of faith

I believe that rest is an act of faith. It’s actively believing that God has some plans that don’t include me; that only the Holy Spirit can bring conviction; that God can work in someone’s life/organization without my help!

Because I believe that God is able and I am not, I can take a Sabbath.  I can schedule one retreat day a month.  I can say no to a new client. I can choose to paint or walk or sing or take a nap instead of scheduling one more coaching session. Becoming a great coach and a great leader means that I know where I stop and God begins.

Choose to step away

My organization, Coaching Mission International,  has set aside one day of retreat per quarter, simply to spend time with our Creator. There are no meetings scheduled; no classes attended; and no other rules.  We simply encourage each other to rest, recuperate, and be with God.  I also set aside a half day each month to get away, rest and just be with Jesus.  What about you?

– Do you need to get away and take a real rest?  What’s stopping you?
– What regular disciplines of rest, refreshment/creativity and restoration do you practice?

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