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Alan Sieler

Welcome to our second issue of Observing Differently for this year.

What a different world we are living in now compared with when you read the first issue in late February. While many people have been aware for some time that contemporary life is one of living in a fast-paced, ever changing, unpredictable and uncertain world, the rapid spread of COVID-19 and significant changes required in our lifestyle has caught the vast majority us by surprise.

Understandably, most of us did not think that the virus would amount to much. Most probably we were in our own state of disbelief about what has been unfolding and continues to unfold. Gradually, at different times in different countries, the "penny" has gradually dropped and a fuller realisation of what humanity is dealing with has become more apparent.

We are faced with significant challenges, one of which is an existential challenge that can be expressed as a question:
"How are we to cope and live well in drastically different circumstances?"

How we are in our being, or Way of Being, in the face of these circumstances, will play a huge role in how we face, adjust and adapt to this challenging time in human history. We can only engage with life and deal with what it throws up for us from our Way of Being. Understanding and making shifts in our Way of Being is going to be a crucial part of how we effectively cope and live well.

Because Ontology and Ontological Coaching focus on facilitating people making shifts in their Way of Being, we think that it has a lot to offer in how we can live and cope well. Given that our in-person programs have been put indefinitely on hold, we are commencing to design how these programs can work online and will be in touch with you about this.

Our article this month invites you to be active in exploring and experimenting with shifting one crucial aspect of your Way of Being, this being in the existential domain of your body. In particular, what is referred to as your body of possibility. You are offered the script of a relaxation session to work with and go beyond simply reading it to create your own recording as a means of taking responsibility for yourself and being active in exploring how you could begin to step into a body of possibility that will assist you to live well, not only in the current COVID-19 world, but also in your life beyond this pandemic.

Best wishes

Alan Sieler


Connecting with Your Body of Possibility
By Alan Sieler

The ideas of great thinkers can sometimes provide useful perspectives for assisting us to deal with some of life’s challenging circumstances. Two such thinkers are German philosopher Martin Heidegger and French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty.

One way of understanding Heidegger’s philosophy is that provides a novel view of the “nitty gritty” of everyday life. Heidegger contended that while we live in a world of objects, equipment, people, animals and natural features, our daily lived experience is more than simply living amongst these many phenomena. He considered that the world we live in is always one of possibility and that different aspects of the world provide possibilities for us, a prominent example of which is smartphone. Without a smartphone as a form of mobile technology different possibilities in our life are less readily available.

Another of Heidegger’s insights is that a very important aspect of life is dealing with interruptions (which includes disruptions), which was translated from the German into English as “breakdowns”. Heidegger pointed out that as we go about the daily business of life much of the world is already familiar to us. This familiarity leads us to live a lot of life in anticipation of how things will be and how life is likely to flow. And yet, life is full of breakdowns – interruptions of varying magnitude and intensity to our anticipated flow of living– many of which we experience as being negative.

Breakdowns we experience as being negative have the effect of closing down possibilities for us, and we experience breakdowns not only individually but also collectively. Losing a job is a negative breakdown that closes down possibilities not only for the person who is no longer employed, but also the reduction of possibilities in family life as well as for businesses, because the unemployed person has reduced purchasing power.

So, a perspective on the current COVID-19 pandemic is that it is a massive negative breakdown in which we individually and collectively experience significant reduction of possibilities.

»  Read the full article

Newfield Institute operates as the Ontological Coaching Institute in Africa, Asia, Europe and the UK. Ontological programs also run in the USA through EFL Seminars.


Ontological Coaching and Leadership in Action Workshops

Melbourne / Brisbane / Perth

We are currently looking at how we could run this three-day workshop online and not compromise the value that comes from doing the workshop in-person.

»  Find out more

Certified Ontological Coaching and Leadership Program

(fully accredited by the International Coach Federation)

Originally scheduled to commence July 9, we are looking at alternate dates later this year and what aspects of the program can be done effectively online.

ICF Accreditation

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Newfield Institute

Newfield Institute Pty Ltd
Corporate and Personal Transformation

Melbourne – Head Office
7 Rigani Court, Blackburn VIC 3130

TEL: +61 3 9878 5501 ·

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