Inspiring Nuggets

From Annelies & Conduit for Change, LLC

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Annelies M. Gentile, MA, PCC

Integrative Life & Leadership Coach

Consultant | Facilitator | Process Artist | Author | Speaker

Hello dear ones.

I publish the Inspiring Nuggets newsletter five times a year based on the five seasons of Chinese medicine. The last publication you received was in March. You, have made it to summer.

The whole world has changed since March and it feels... well, just different. I usually share my observations and experiences of/with life and will share below. But I cannot jump in jest or light heartedness without acknowledging the tremendousness of our collective journey. This is BIG.

As someone who helps people navigate change I can truthfully say I'm built for times like this. And yet when the SHTF... we're human, I'm human. For some, it 'aint been easy, including me. No matter how this pandemic/protest journey has been for you, I want to remind you-- you are not alone. There's billions of people on our planet re-evaluating priorities. How we think about things is what sets us apart. I encourage you to hold compassion and to keep in mind that sometimes... when things fall apart they do land together.

Love and light, Annelies

Sailing in a Storm

Since last we connected, I've made and sold over 500 hundred hand-signed artful facemasks, learned to bake and braid challah bread, brewed my own kumbucha, made dozens of airhug and quiche deliveries, designed a dressline and other wearable art, had distanced picnics and walks with family, re-evaluated safety, called nearly every client I'd ever had plus every friend and family member still alive to check on them, experienced zoom-fatigue, with helicopters above and riots close by, felt the kind of fear only those in war torn countries experience even if it was for a few weeks, and held tremendously deep, tender and truthful conversations about race, death and change.

Along the way, I planted some beautiful things, paddle-boarded with my sweetness, presented six times on resilience including for ICF and the NCBA, planning one for Duke Medical next month, recorded a few chapters of my audiobook, launched an online course, gained 7 pounds, lost 2.5, and coached my beloved clients through one of the most terrible times in recent history. I love them so and cried along with them. We're all human moving through something new together.

When someone asks me, "How are you?" I take a deep breathe and say, "Sailing in a storm. How are you?" Then I stop and listen.

How are YOU dear one? Seriously. I want to know.

Transactional Coaching vs Transformative Coaching

All of us will come to an arc in our life where the things that got us to where we are now will no longer help us through the next chapter in life. It takes a different perspective, a different approach and a sort of little “d” death to nudge us through. Meaning we will no longer be the same. A transformation occurs. We're experiencing this now. What are you noticing?

It's normal to be at a crossroads. When clients begin their journey to coach with me, they’re either striving for goal-achievement or stuck betwixt worlds that are in-flux and they’re not quite sure what’s happening or what to do next. I understand this. I've been here too.

Transactional Coaching has to do with striving for change, checking the boxes. With a particular goal, we take steps to get there. It’s very trans-action-al. Strategize, make a list, check the boxes. Repeat. It's certainly important and there's more.

Transformative Coaching is about helping you bridge the space between. It addresses more of the stage we all find ourselves in now. Ultimately trans-form-ative coaching is very much about forming new shapes. A valuable resource for moving forward.

Checking boxes is important. It gets us to point A then point B and so on but this can be deeply unfulfilling without intent. All this slowing down and isolation may have revealed this for you. What are you noticing?

Recently, "Jacque" a client and executive with a non-profit said, "I love what I do but just can't bring my best to work anymore. I'm so exhausted." I'd normally ask her what's changed but I knew what she was talking about. Jacque is a black American woman.

I listened. I simply listened and allowed the rivers to flow. She held so much and had good reason. Now she could be fully present and fully vulnerable to express in what ever way she needed. I reminded her that in time, with her new found voice, joy and peace would follow. What's next for her will be fully expressed.

Yes – I'll help you through transactional coaching. I help you check the boxes and attain goals. But at the end of the day, transformational coaching pierces the veil like no other.

SUMMER :: Joy :: Element of Fire

Each season I provide inspiring nuggets of wisdom through my newsletter which includes invitations to upcoming events. My goal is to help YOU better navigate, cope and create through change. Seasonal teachings come through both my personal and professional experiences and the Chinese Five Elements philosophy of Wu Xing (wŭ ching) and Tao, among other philosophies and sciences which highlight and explore unique nature-based ways to understand the processes of change. In addition, each newsletter aims to help you master mindset and provide resources to build resiliency in the face of personal, professional and cultural change. Find this newsletter useful? Be the gift that keeps giving, share it with a friend!

One of the ways I help professionals become better leaders in life and at work is to help them cope and manage change. We cannot separate the human condition from our work life. They're inseparable. When we try to separate our humanity from the tasks, lists and linear roles of the work-world we harden ourselves and become hard towards others. What's more useful is understanding how to integrate our humanity into all expressions of life, even at work. As life gives us a variety of challenges to cope with, exploring problem-solving through nature is not only interesting and inspiring, it's also a unique way to better understand our own nature.

According to Eastern tradition of Tao, there are five elements expressed through five seasons each represented by an element, color and emotional characteristics. Here's a simplified explanation.

• Winter : Water : Blue : Stillness : Fear
• Spring : Wood : Green : Creativity : Anger
• Summer : Fire : Red : Connectivity : Joy
• Late Summer : Earth : Yellow : Integrity : Gratitude
• Autumn : Metal : White : Acknowledgement : Grief

The season of summer is related to the element of FIRE which feeds and inspires laughter, joy, passion, playfulness, connectedness, maturation and expansiveness, and is represented by the color red and the sound of laughing.

Think of fire as a metaphor. Qualities of popping, expanding, bursting forth, the element of fire in the season of summer has the potential to connect to and affect other things. Think of it as an opportunity to bridge separate parts together. Good thing for what's happening now!

Let's explore just one fire/summer quality; joy. Surprisingly, we're wired for survival, not necessarily happiness. Although happiness is linked to building trust-- to truly experience joy a combination of factors starting with a sense of safety needs to be felt first. It's hard to feel free and joyous when we're stressed-out. We need to trust our circumstances and the ones around us in order to access the bonus of joy-- even if for a blissful moment.

So how do we cultivate trust? We need to get over our survival instincts, circumvent it, change our relationship with our fight or flight stress triggers. One of the ways to be mindful is to pause and notice. And don't always believe what you think. I encourage you to step out of your frame for a different perspective.

HERE'S A TIP: Trade upset for giggles. Take a peek at my friend Anoo Tree Brod's virtual improv. Not saying to turn a blind eye to emotions. No. I'm saying that all emotions can be present at once. Feel all the feels. Shake things up, for greater perspective bring creativity and joy into your summer!

Look Within

Explore these questions......
  • What brings you joy?
  • How might you improve communication with others?
  • What does it feel like to be vulnerable?
  • Scale of 1-10, how burnt out are you?

Personal & Professional Transformation

ART IN THE GARDEN with Annelies :: Where life and learning connect. Find inspiration in nature while learning basic painting techniques and about how creativity relates to resilience and leadership in life. Classes are last Saturday and Sunday of each month (April-Oct)

WELLFED COMMUNITY GARDEN: 1321 Athens Drive Raleigh, NC 27606

  • 10AM-1PM
  • $48 All supplies plus LUNCH included!

JOSLIN GARDEN: 2431 West Lake Drive Raleigh, NC 27609

  • 1PM-3PM
  • $38 All supplies for class included.


From Chaos to Calm :: Leading Change From the Inside Out is a quiet call to wake up to our individual and collective role and responsibility in solving our most pressing 21st century problems by cultivating resiliency at the personal level first. In this part personal story, part philosophy and part guide book, you'll learn useful nuggets for life, leadership and well-being. To regain a sense of peace with what is, even in chaotic times, we need to begin within.

Available at Quail Ridge Books, Amazon, Wake County Public Libraries and on Kindle too! Audiobook in production.

Contact Annelies

Empowering people, inspiring ideas and fostering change in you and the world. Conduit for Change, LLC