Just when it felt as though life could not get better…..2015 arrived.

Once again it is a powerful, adventurous, dynamic and nerve-wracking year from a professional and personal perspective.

Mary-Joe entrusts the business to me for 3 months while she is travelling through Indonesia. It always feels as though I am looking after her child – this is her creation and I am honored by the trust she has in me

The Neuroscience and Coach Training is challenging and fascinating – once again I am traversing beautiful landscapes;

diverse organisations and smart people. From apple farms in the Cape, to waterfalls along the Zambezi; from Arizona to North-West Province. From Israel, to India – and back to Africa. 56 flights in all – not for the faint hearted.
The companies we have been lucky enough to work with range from health and fitness concerns, to cell phone providers, to IT conglomerates. We coach and train in farms and at the Reserve Bank. We inspire in steel and tech, in banks and insurance companies. A message I posted on Facebook in July: “Yesterday i coached coachees in Moscow, Nairobi, the Ukraine, London, St Petersburg, the Czech Republic, Johannesburg, Mumbai and Singapore. How’s that for a global practice?!”

The opportunities and support I have received from the NLI SA team is immense. Mary-Joe is about the most perfect CEO – no wonder we are a leading leadership company – she walks the walk of inspirational and authentic leadership. Lenore is my right hand lady! Order reigns through her attention to detail and unfailing support. Nalisha and Dee, I am deeply grateful to you both for your input and efficiency.

12As I begin to prepare my proposal for my PhD, I decide I am going to not only write, but also live the experience. I treat myself to a trip to San Francisco (gasp – the dollar/rand!!) and spend a week listening to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle – the guru in the topic of Conscious living – the theme of my thesis. He is  both gentle and powerful. I alternate between absorbing his wisdom and riding a city bike around the Monterey Peninsular. I confess to falling asleep frequently in his meditation classes. My proposal is accepted in November and in 2016 I am entering a new relationship. His name is PhD! It's a long road ahead.

My speaking career seems to take flight this year, with gigs in front of massive auditoriums, speaking about neuroscience and possibility. Imagine flying to Livingston in Zambia, walking to the Victoria Falls, feeling the spray on your face. Giving a talk on technology and the brain to a group of smart execs. I contemplate the paradox of the amazing possibilities in treatment and understanding and enhancing brain function versus the addictive lure of dysfunctional tech habits that impede social relationships and obliterate mindfulness and consciousness. I am treated to a helicopter flip over the Falls! How lucky – me! I fly into Johannesburg and straight out again to Bangalore, India for more coaching magic.

3Israel is a new adventure as I stand in front of a room of 110 people to deliver 3 days of David Rock’s powerful new program. The first delivery is in Zichron, near Haifa, and a couple of months later in Tel Aviv.  I run on the streets with the Israeli’s in both cities and both times I experience a connection to a hardened culture and the whiteout of a desert sandstorm – supposedly an `unusual’ meteorological phenomenon. It feels like a metaphor for the blinding and stressful political challenges of the region! I lead the same program in Phoenix Arizona in November and am lucky enough to be located right around the corner from my step-sister, who has had only one visitor from SA after 24 years of living in the US. We spend a few wonderful days touring the deserts of Arizona and sitting as close to each other as we can. Now that is a gift!

4I land back in Joburg at 5pm on a Sunday evening after 26 hours of flying and a nine-hour time change; and leave for Lichtenstein in the North-West Province at 5am the next morning. Whew – surreal.

A goal I thought was unattainable is realized this year when I was asked to do a TEDx talk in Hyderabad in India. Flying business class was a fitting start to a career-life-dream-come-true.  It is excruciatingly terrifying standing on the Big Red Dot in front of 500 hundred people as my personal life journey is live-streamed across the world. I nearly bust into a million pieces as I am honored with a standing ovation. I think I live and breathe the promise of neuroplasticity. From there I travel to Rishikesh in the foothills of the Himalayas where I spend a week with beautiful souls at an ashram, practicing yoga and meditation – I confess again, to falling asleep frequently during the meditations.

5From a personal perspective I was given the great privilege of celebrating my daughters 21st birthday with a huge bash – African Style – at Moyo in Johannesburg and with a Greek Cruise – lucky girl!. Abi finished her  2nd year BSc solidly.

6Gabriel turns 16 soon – my babies are not babies anymore. Gabes hula-hooped and sang and socialized his way through 2015 – next year he starts work-experience.  His school start to acclimatize the kids to supervised work situations – and hopefully a small measure of independence. Gabriel also did his first talk with me for the Flutterby Foundation at Discovery School. I have a dream that he will become the Global Champion for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Audiences love him and he has a powerful message to share.

My cycling and running have saved me from an onslaught of catecholamine fury (stress neurochemicals). I think I have discovered the perfect remedy for adrenalin and cortisol poison. I have cycled to Durban and I have run or rode almost every day – the coldest ride was sub 3 degrees centigrade through the dark, frozen Joburg streets. A 200km ride at 37 degrees last Sunday bookended the thermometer extremes of our rides.

7I decided there could be no better way to celebrate a fascinating year than to cycle 800km’s to Durban again and then float off on the Indian Ocean on the MSC Symphonia with my darling kids.

I hope that 2016 is filled with my friends and my family and my beautiful home; with bicycles and ships and planes and trains; with neuroscience and mindfulness and coaching inspiration. More of the same and life is good……

Get In Touch

colleen@brainwise.co.za
+27 72 230 2211

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