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Dealing with stress: Africa unplugged

Dealing with stress: Africa unplugged

by Moyra Mackie on September 1, 2014

In a few days’ time I will be sitting on that seat, by that fire.

In a few days’ time I will be back in Zimbabwe, the land of my birth.

As I listen to the traffic outside my office window, it’s almost impossible to imagine sitting round a campfire in a place that is only accessible by boat or plane.  A place where rush hour means the dawn and dusk ritual of animals coming down to the river to feed.

A place without the internet or a reliable mobile phone connection

I realise that this will be the first time for a very long time that  I will really and truly be unplugged.

In 1989 I spent six months backpacking through Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town.  No phone, no web, no social media.  There were weeks at a time when my family back home had no idea who I was travelling with or even which country I was in.

In 1989 I took that freedom for granted.  Now I worry about not being able to speak to my kids or check my email for a few days.

Which got me thinking about what being connected and available 24/7 does to me, does to us

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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The hippo, the salesman and the significance of shoes

The hippo, the salesman and the significance of shoes

by Moyra Mackie on November 8, 2013

This week I’ve been asking myself how bad things have to get before we ask for help.

I’m thinking of all the people who struggle with a relationship without seeking counselling. Or those who wrestle with a problem at work and try and solve it on their own, rather than ask for help from managers or peers, or even a coach. Brené Brown, in her research into relationships, discovered we have a strong social imperative to appear strong and avoid feeling vulnerable.  Yet she believes:

“Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

Which reminds me of an extraordinary day I spent back in Zimbabwe

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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Ending or beginning.  How do you see change?

Ending or beginning. How do you see change?

by Moyra Mackie on July 26, 2013

 “What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” ~ T.S Eliot

And this is the end where I start from

At the age of 10 I helped my family to sell everything we owned and almost everything we treasured.

It took hours for me, my brother and sister and my mum and dad, to carry the contents of our house outside and arrange them neatly on the lawn.

I remember seeing the dinner service my parents had been given as a wedding gift, my mum’s wedding dress and assortment of hats, handbags and shoes.  I remember the beautiful walnut drinks cabinet with mirrored inlay and our wooden trunk of toys.

I can still see the people from Victoria Falls (pop. 16,000) coming to wander round our garden; inspecting those things which had so little monetary value, but meant so much to the five of us who named the price and took the Rhodesian dollars.

Then we packed up our lives in eight metal trunks and began the journey south by rail to Cape Town and north by sea to Southampton.

Our family began our new life in England on July 4th 1977

My parents had four children under the age of 11, one thousand Rhodesian dollars, no work and no credit history.

It was quite a beginning

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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