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Possibilities Newsletter February 2021

Dear Friend,

After the decade of a year that was 2020, January 2021 has felt like an engine being revved in a car which has the brakes on. As pandemic fatigue sets in, how do we ensure that we regularly step back and take fresh perspectives as well as find sources of ongoing encouragement and support? Over on the Bamboo Blog, in Part 3 in a series on Coaching ourselves through Crisis, I explore how rituals can resource us and later in the newsletter I explore hope, helplessness and how to honour where we are at.

At Bamboo Being, in addition to the daily pleasure of working with Pauline, the Bringer of Order, I am lucky enough to collaborate with our partner coaches and faculty around the world who provide all of that and more. I get to hang out with the delightful Cathy, or visiting faculty like Janine or Sarita. We have wonderful talented people like Bel, Jason, Rudi, Anisha, Dave, Alan, Jouillie and Suie, plus a host of others who support our core mission of creating experiences that cultivate growth, purpose and community. In this discombobulated world, being connected with these wonderful folk who invest their faith, hope and love in our work is one thing keeping me (relatively) sane and hopeful.

So next month I am launching a pilot programme for a Bamboo Coaching Community to broaden and build companionship in the art and craft of coaching. In addition to the Bamboo Book Club, we'll have regular gatherings to provide practical support on things from legal issues to marketing materials. We will offer group supervision and mentoring sessions to support client work, plus masterclasses and workshops to develop coaching capability, allowing for refreshers or deeper dives into integral coaching topics or skills.

If you are interested in being part of the Bamboo Coaching Community pilot programme, especially if you are newer to coaching and still finding your way, - or just interested in how you might support yourself and others through learning about coaching please let us know by emailing

Lastly, if you are reading this (thank you) our paths have crossed at some point and whether you are colleague, client or friend I hope you and yours are holding up well. If you have time please drop me a line at and tell me how you are doing.

Take care

Sue x


New Perspectives: On Hope, Helplessness and Honouring

Hoping that it won't rain tomorrow, or that we will win the lottery is a state of wishful thinking and may be rooted in false optimism. It's characterised by being aimed at things over which we are concerned but have no influence.

Skilful hope though is focusing on possibilities within our circle of influence. That sort of hope can propel us towards determination to make a difference in our circumstances.

In his original theory of ‘learned helplessness’, psychologist Martin Seligman posited that it was repeated adverse events beyond our control that could lead to passivity. Coming to believe that nothing we do matters encourages us to do nothing.

However, the insights of neuroscience in subsequent decades showed Seligman that his original theory had it backward. His conclusion five decades after his original experiments is that passivity and heightened anxiety are not learned responses in reaction to prolonged bad events, but the default mammalian reaction. We must in fact practise agency and learn that we can escape adversity. In other words, to escape a sense of helplessness in adversity, we must learn hope through acting upon what we can influence.

What does this mean for us at this time?

In interviews about his book "The Promised Land", Barack Obama reflects that the leaders like Gandhi or MLK who inspired and gave hope to so many were "fully absorbed in the tragedy of their times". They did not gloss over the adversity they faced but focused purposefully on what they could try to influence, with the support of others.

Wishful thinking, doesn't honour the truth of what is beyond our control. Similarly, helplessly declaring there is "nothing we can do" also fails to honour what is true. Even when we lack control over a situation there is much that lies within our influence: at the very least, we can influence our own emotions, mood and response.

When, for ourselves or clients, we reframe a situation, take a step back and a fresh look, identify and accept constraints but also look for things we can influence, we switch from a default mode of helplessness to one of agency. We are put 'back on track' and more able to to fully utilise our resources including our own natural capacity for re-imagining our lives.

Honouring the truth of what we can and cannot influence moves us from default helplessness to purposeful hope and thus towards skilful action that can make a difference to the experience of our lives.

Bamboo February Workshop: Money Matters with Ronald Wong

As Lynne Twist, author of "The Soul of Money", writes: “We all have an identifiable, though largely unconscious and unexamined, relationship with money. This shapes our experiences of life and the deepest feelings about ourselves and others.”

Ronald Wong, Executive Coach and veteran of the finance industry is offering a 90 minute workshop to the Bamboo Coach Community on Wednesday February 24th at 6 pm in which we will explore the stories we have about money to help ourselves and coaching clients develop better relationship with our finances. Click below for more info and bookings


Coaching for Development 2021

​In March we will be finishing the last module of Coaching for Development (CFD) for Asia Cohort 2!

This rich, Integral Coach training programme leads to an ACC credential with the International Coach Federation and is intended for leaders and practitioners wishing to develop themselves and others.

In Asia this is uniquely offered as a small circle group of 12 per cohort in order to facilitate deep and rich discussions and a close community of practice.

We are currently putting together Asia Cohort 3 and if you are interested please click on the button below for the brochure and for application details please contact


For enquiries about support for individuals, teams or organisations during this time, click on the button below to be in touch for further details.

Thanks for being with us. Take good care of yourselves.

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