Welcome to the season of advent, or as I am going to call it the gathering.


You may know advent because of the nativity you participated in school, you may know of advent because of a chocolate calendar, and you may know that advent generally means coming.

But what is coming, the new year of course, but you do not need advent to know that, in fact until 1600 in Scotland and 1752 in England and various dates around Europe, New Year’s day was around 24th March.

If you would like to listen to this instead, you can do so here 

    If it is not the New Year, what is it that is coming?

    Google dictionary defines advent as

    ‘the arrival of a notable person or thing.’

    Now I know you all think it is Christmas that is coming and we will get to that when we celebrate Yule, for now

    You are a notable person, and

    Your light is a notable thing.

    You start work preparing for YOUR arrival for two reasons, firstly is that you have the opportunity, after all, all of the work for the year is done. Secondly, the days are dark, as we have discussed in the previous podcasts, the Balsamic phase and the Dusk and Dark Phases, there are four weeks of darkness left, it is good for you to know you have the returning of your light to look forward to.

    I call it gathering because as we approach yule, as we approach the shortest day, as we delight in the days getting longer, you can’t just hit a switch and it is Spring, you gather in these four weeks, then you use the information you gather in the weeks after, to make a plan that works for you.

    You cannot create a plan without all of the information and ideas. You cannot create a great plan in a few minutes, with a glass of champagne and a glitter ball. A plan that looks like you, that feels like you, that sounds like you, and gives you the most fabulous life that you want, this plan takes some time.

    And taking that time, at the right time of year is like flowing downstream, it is easy and gracious, and the time now is to gather.

    And the natural way of things, for the first Sunday of Advent, or the gathering, is to …

    Gather all the things that you hope for. And for completeness, I wrote in my blog of 1st December 2016, 

    “The first week of Christmas is all about Hope and … confession time … 

    I’m not a big fan.

    And yet it is the first week of Christmas of which I am a HUGE fan, so I must be missing something. Right?”

    And I was missing some things, tiny things that make a huge difference. You see in the world of coaching HOPE is a swear word, it does not help you achieve your goals.

    What hope does do though is, it gets you started. It primes that creative pump. And some of the things you hope for will be personal, you hope these things for you, and some of the things you hope for will be for others.

    Hoping for others is absolutely the natural way of things because you are not in control of their outcomes. And we will look at this when we look at the steps you can take to gather your hope. 

    I’m going to share the man-made way of things with you with an example from my corporate sales role.

    I read the book ‘Hope is Not a Strategy’ by Rick Page, and this taught me to achieve my goals I could not simply Hope they would come true, no I had to work on them coming true, I had to show up, I had to take the actions, there was no way Hope would make me a success. 

    It reminded me very much of the proverb ‘If wishes were horses, beggars would ride’ and the saying ‘If it’s to be, it’s because of me.’ I was very much indoctrinated into Hope being a pretty useless value if I’m honest.

    Then came another book The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama, published 2006, before he ran for President. I loved this book because he took Hope and shared it as a vision of a brave new world, where we can flourish, our children can thrive, and we can look after our own, and was willing to take that bold risk of not only putting a plan underneath it, he was also audacious by sharing it with the whole world. He took Hope and supported it with a plan.

    Rick Page taught there isn’t any room for hope in corporate sales ~ create a plan and work your plan.

    Barack Obama taught that there is room for hope for every single human being, and that too needs a plan. 

    There are links if you would like to reference these books, if you buy them with this link I may receive a small commission at now extra cost to you, thank you.

    Again it’s advent or gathering and you are meant to start with Hope? 

    So I have been thinking about Hope and what is its purpose? Not just because it’s advent, but for any time of year. 

    And the one simple secret is, you need Hope, you need to create for yourself that brave new world, your brave new world. What does it look like, what does it feel like, who will it serve, how we will all be better off because we had Hope? 

    But most of all so you can put a plan underneath it, you can use your audacity, you know Hope isn’t the strategy but you can create the strategy later in the year when it is the natural time to create plans and strategies that will deliver your Hope

    There are some simple steps to take to gather your hopes.

    You could start with the NET method meaning, No Extra Time, just pull out your phone, you are probably on it anyway, and use whatever note-keeping method works for you, Evernote, Apple Notes, Google Keep and capture what you hope for, whenever you think of it.

    The Time Method doesn’t have to be onerous, it simply means take some time, from 5 minutes or more, and gather a piece of paper and title it hopes, then list all of the things you hope for.

    And, or a combination of the two.

    Your list doesn’t have to be perfect, it is not for anyone else’s eyes, only yours. This is not an assignment, it is a gathering, simply gather your hopes in one place. 

    Start to make your list 😊 

    Google dictionary defines hope as

    the feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen..’

    The expectation is true, as sure as day follows night, the light returns after the shortest day, this particular thing will happen.

    When it does happen, what are your hopes for it?

    • Simply list them
    • Do not limit yourself
    • Do not censor yourself
    • Your hopes can be large they can be small
    • Your hopes may come to you from your head 
    • From your heart
    • From your stomach
    • From an experience

    From seeing what is possible for other people, you may think oh yes please I’d like some of that for me too.

    Don’t limit your list.

    As an aside, there can be many layers to this exercise, from self-trust, self-talk, how you feel when you gather your hopes and add them to your collection, this can be the topic for a future podcast if it is of interest to you let me know in the comments, for now, you are simply gathering your hopes, enjoy it.

    Have fun with the process.

    If you are not familiar, or comfortable with, the word HOPE you can also list all the things that you

    • Desire,
    • Wish for
    • Dream about, and
    • Long for.

    Expand your Hope list.

    Then you can begin to hope a little further afield, what do you hope for your;

    • Partner, spouse, significant other
    • Children
    • Parents
    • Community
    • Village, town or city,
    • County
    • Country
    • Continent
    • Global family

    Use your imagination to cover all of your hopes for everybody, in every situation possible.

    Know of course that you are not responsible for the delivery of all of these hopes, you are simply gathering, this is all that is asked of you, no need to get ahead, no need to beat yourself up for all of the things that are still on your list after maybe many listings, you are simply to have fun gathering items for your list.

    Don’t overthink this, it is not a test, it does not have to be perfect it simply needs to be done 😊 

    My wish for you this gathering season is that …

    You sit with your Hope, maybe over a cup of tea, or a glass of wine. Maybe speak about Hope with your family and friends. Maybe just let Hope accompany you on your daily activities so you get to know each other well. Because then taking the best of everything you have right now, and leaving the rest, you can build for you, and therefore all of us, a brave new world.

    I wish you every success.

    Love Karen xx

    12 + 1 =

    Your Power is the combination of the Natural and Man-made way of things that works for you

    You cannot make an educated and informed decision without all the information, otherwise, you may find you have created yourself a brilliant ladder that has been placed against the wrong wall.

    Whatever it is for you, I wish you every success 💛

    Love, Karen xx