Nature Inspired Breakthroughs: Alison Smith’s Unique Way to Get Unstuck

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Episode Description

Ever felt stuck in your life, unable to move forward or find a way out of a seemingly dead-end situation?

Alison Smith has developed a unique coaching technique that she uses to help her clients break through the "stuckness" of difficult situations so they can finally move forward with their lives. As a speaker, trainer, breakthrough coach, author, and podcaster, Alison has pioneered an unconventional coaching approach that uses nature to help her clients rewrite their self-limiting narratives and open themselves up to unexpected paths forward.

Alison imparts valuable insights on how language and mindset shape our perceptions, often unnecessarily turning solvable problems into 'dead-end' situations. For example, Alison describes how she turned a simple stick into a tool that transformed a dead-end into an open path.

Alison's unique approach to making decisions helps broaden our understanding of the way we can use nature and language to transform obstacles into opportunities.

Show Notes

About Alison

Using nature as a metaphor for our lives - allows Alison to help people in an unconventional way that they may not be used to, but which always gets results! For example, when you can't see the wood for the trees, Alison most certainly thinks the answer can be found within the wood (and within your own inner landscapes!).

Alison has used the tools in her coaching and problem-solving toolkit for more than 20 years and are shared in her book: 'Can't See the Wood for the Trees' and podcast: 'Landscaping Your Life with Alison Smith'.

Alison is an experienced speaker, coach, and author who adds fun, laughter, joy, and connection into every conversation!

Connect with Alison

To learn more about Alison, visit her website at Alison Smith. You can connect with Alison on LinkedIn at Alison Smith on Facebook at Landscaping Your Life  and on TikTok at Alison Smith.  You can also catch Alison on her YouTube Channel and her podcast Landscaping Your Life.

Alison’s books Can’t See the Wood For The Trees and Your Prescription for Wellbeing Journal are both available on Amazon.

Key Takeaways From This Episode with Alison

  • Alison Smith is a coach who helps people get "unstuck" and make difficult decisions using nature metaphors.
  • She has clients go for walks in nature and uses the metaphors they mention (like being at a crossroads, hitting a brick wall, etc) to guide them to insights
  • Walking through the metaphor in nature helps people tap into wisdom and possibilities they can't access just thinking logically.
  • Alison gives examples like having someone walk different "routes" at a crossroads to embody different choices, or finding an actual brick wall and noticing it has two sides to shift perspective.
  • Alison focuses on the metaphors people naturally use to describe their situations. She sends "logic and stories" on a "coffee break" so people can explore the metaphors without getting bogged down in details.
  • Using metaphors taps into the unconscious and helps people see more options and possibilities. Alison says a metaphor "paints a thousand pictures."
  • Being outdoors provides patterns and wisdom. Moving your body reinforces insights and new perspectives. Movement in nature also physiologically signals leaving problems behind and breaking patterns.
  • Alison demonstrates her process on her podcast "Landscaping Your Life" where she explores various metaphors while out in nature.
  • Her approach helps clients feel less scared about making big decisions by giving them perspective and showing them it's not as difficult as they think.
  • Alison's goal is to help people see more options and possibilities than they currently can, get "unstuck," and make decisions with more confidence.

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 Nature Inspired Breakthroughs:  Alison Smith's Unique Way to Get Unstuck

Alison Smith


breakthrough, patterns, crossroads


Karen Covy, Alison Smith

Karen Covy Host00:10

Hello and welcome to Off the Fence, a podcast where we deconstruct difficult decision making so we can discover what keeps us stuck and, more importantly, how we can get unstuck and start making even tough decisions with confidence. I'm your host, Karen Covey, a former divorce lawyer, mediator and arbitrator, turned coach, author and entrepreneur. And now, without further ado, let's get on with the show. With me today is  Alison Smith. Alison is a speaker, trainer, breakthrough coach, author and podcaster who adds fun, laughter, joy and connection into every conversation. Using nature as a metaphor for our lives, Alison helps people in an unconventional and unexpected way, which is not only unique, but it always gets results. For example, when you can't see the wood for the trees, Alison most certainly thinks the answer can be found within the wood and within your own inner landscapes. Alison has used the tools of her coaching and problem-solving toolkit for more than 20 years. You can find her tips and tools in her book Can't See the Wood for the Trees and her podcast Landscaping your Life with Alison Smith. Alison, welcome to the show.

Alison Smith Guest01:30

Thanks for having me, Karen. Great to be here.

Karen Covy Host01:31

I am so happy to have you and there's so much I want to dive in and talk with you about. However, I just have to start here. I know you're from Scotland, so maybe the difference in the way you say things is just the turn of a phrase from Scottish to American version of English. But we say you can't see the forest for the trees, can't see the wood for the trees. The same thing, or is it something different?

Alison Smith Guest01:57

The thing is, in the UK, a wood is a small forest and therefore a forest is really quite big and therefore, if I'm being really pedantic, I'd say, if you're trying to see the forest for the trees, it's impossible because the forest is already too big. So we're already trying something and we've got ourselves overwhelmed about something that actually it's right to be overwhelmed about because we're trying to look at it too much. So that's me being very pedantic. However, you can apply all the same things, but yeah, I understand, in some countries it would be can't see the woods for the trees. So, yeah, I have to be a bit careful about explaining why I'm saying what I'm saying so people can then make sense of it, for, however, they relate to the idiom.

Karen Covy Host02:52

Well, thank you. Now that's making a little bit more sense to me. I don't know, it's just the way my brain thinks, I guess, but I wanted to dive in. The reason I was so excited to have you as a guest on the podcast is because you have a very unique and unconventional way of helping people break through their problems and coaching them. Can you tell me a little bit more about what you do and how you do it?

Alison Smith Guest03:20

I think it started because I'm an awkward so and so and therefore, if anybody tries to tell me what to do when I'm stuck, I'll come up with every reason why what they're saying is wrong. So logic's never going to. You know, I've got quite a good logical brain that will defend against any great ideas. I suddenly realized that that's the case for a lot of people, that when we're stuck, and if we've been stuck for a while, we've got a whole story that tells us this is why we're stuck, this is why we can't do anything different, this is why it's everybody else's problem, this is why you know I can't do anything else. You know there is no other solutions.


So in some respects, the techniques that I share are helpful when we think we've tried to solve them previously using more conventional means and we're still stuck. So we know that we've tried logic, we know that we've looked at it and so, oh, okay. So how do I really look at this situation differently? And that's when I came across Meta4. I've been using it for I don't know over 25 years now and what I realized was Meta4 means that and I describe it as sending logic and the story on a coffee break.


So we say dearest story and problem, please go over there, we'll come back to you. We're not ignoring you. Oh no, we're not ignoring you, but we will come back to you in half an hour. We might even need to give our logical brain a time. So the logic goes oh yeah, she's not forgotten me, she'll come back. And then that just means that we can then go off and explore something metaphorically and that's where I take people out into nature or ask them to, and we use it in our language anyway, so that we use the metaphors to find solutions that we can then apply back to the real-life situation.

Karen Covy Host05:18

Okay, so say more about that. When you say you use metaphor, what exactly does that mean?

Alison Smith Guest05:25

It means, if you think about it, when we're stuck, we might say I'm stuck in a rut, that's a metaphor. Or can't see the woods forest for the trees, another one going round in circles, uphill struggle. Our language is just full of metaphors because they have another meaning as well. So because we're not really, we might be going round in circles, but we, it is really an uphill struggle. We're just saying it feels like if I was trying to climb an uphill. So that's the metaphor and quite often we use them without thinking. We just throw it into conversation because we all understand what it means. As long as we're talking to people within the same country, then actually we're giving a lot more information. So if I'm saying it's an uphill struggle, you'd get a lot more about what I'm talking about. All I've said is one sentence and you're going oh yeah, it's hard work, you know needs, you know can't is struggling a bit. So you'd be able to get quite a lot more about the situation just from those words. But quite often we use them in that way. We just use them to convey to somebody oh, I'm stuck, I'm struggling, but what I do is say ha, ha. That might actually also be where you find the solution, so long as you realize it's a metaphor, because if it's an uphill struggle, what would you do to, if you were to imagine going up a hill? What would you do to make it less of an uphill struggle? Oh well, I might decide to go up a different hill, or I might go with somebody that can take me the best route, or I might get a map out. And so what using the metaphor enables us to do? Because I've not then said anything about the situation that I'm describing as an uphill struggle, but I am coming up with solutions that I can then go.


Oh so what would a map look like in this situation that I'm struggling with? Or, oh yeah, I haven't asked anybody for any help. You know, I could talk to somebody who's done this before you know. Or, oh yeah, I feel like in this situation, I've set off as if I've got I don't know what you call them over there flip flops, you know, like flip flops on and I'm trying to go up a hill with wrong footwear on and therefore you can suddenly go. Oh yes, I've just rushed out to set up my new company. I've just set up, or going and finding a new relationship and I've forgotten that. I'm acting as if I was when I was last doing this 20 years ago and I haven't thought about how do I do it now? I'm a bit older, or oh yeah, I need to think about the finances, or whatever it is. Suddenly it's asking us to be a bit more prepared. If we've thought of that wrong footwear analogy.

Karen Covy Host08:34

So, if I'm getting this, what you're saying is that somebody's got a problem. Let's say that the problem is a marriage. They feel like their marriage is not fulfilling. They're not getting anything out of it. They're bored or they're angry with their partner. Everything their partner does just irritates the bejesus out of them.


But they're scared to move on. They're scared to get a divorce, and to them it just feels like they're walking on eggshells. Every day is a struggle. They don't like where they're at, but they're not. They can't seem to decide whether to move on and move out or whether to stay and try to work on the marriage. Because maybe there's something they didn't think of. And so they're describing the marriages walking on eggshells, being bored, the marriages it's dead, it doesn't have any life in it. They're living like roommates. I mean, they may be friends, but they're not a couple in the way that they would think about. So those are the kinds of metaphors or language that they're using. How can you, how would you go about getting them to say okay, what if this is a metaphor? What would be the solution to the problem you're presenting?

Alison Smith Guest10:09

Gorgeous. Okay, so whilst you were explaining, I was picking up some of your language. I'm not sure how I do walking on eggshells, so I'll put that at the back of my head. It might be working while I talk. This other example that I can do more easily. We might come back to that. So, and it's actually an example that I've just done recently on the podcast episode, so perhaps that's why I'm finding it easier to explore it, and that might be that somebody said I'm at a dead end, this relationship is at a dead end. Now, that's great as a description, but dead ends, if we think about them literally, or there is no where else to go, that's it. So we've sort of already, in our language, decided this is it, we've come to the end. Now, I'm not saying that that's not the case, but what I'm suggesting is, if you go out into nature and look for dead ends, you'll be surprised what you discover.

Karen Covy Host11:17


Alison Smith Guest11:19

I went somewhere the other week for the podcast episode, because what I do is I will go out and climb up a hill and go. It's an uphill struggle. What solutions might I have that I can then apply to a real-life situation. So, in a dead end, I went to where I thought I'd find a dead end and there was a door in the wall and then the wall wasn't that high. I'm thinking this really isn't a dead end. So, yes, I think the thing is that if you went out and thought about a situation you thought was a dead end and I went out, we'd see different things. So even if we went to the same dead end, you would notice different patterns, because your brain is going oh, that's what I need to notice, yeah, and I'd see something different. So I can only give examples. And then somebody can go oh, I see. And then they go out and go oh, that's completely different, yeah, so find something that reflects a dead end.


I can remember saying to the neighbors during COVID, going out for a walk with the neighbors and at the time I'd got a bad it was before my knee was replaced and we were entering this beach and it was really rocky. And I said to him oh, it's a dead end. So he's, you know what? I really don't want to walk all the way to the end and then have to come back. It's not dead end. It isn't a dead end, Alison. Oh, he says, you just can't see the exit. There is a path out of the dead end at the other end. Now, the other thing and I don't know why I'm mentioning it, so it could be that one of the listeners goes aha was that it was very rocky and so actually I would struggle with my knees to get to the dead end. That I thought was a dead end. But then I mean, then is what? 10, I think the neighbor. And he said, oh, here's a stick, here's a stick to help you, just the right height for walking. And so we walked.


So I think the thing is, when you're out there embodying this dead end, you might, somebody might say do you need a stick? And you go, oh, I just need a bit more support, and if I had the support I'd be able to have the conversations that I need to have. Or, oh, it really isn't, because if we think it's a dead end and there is nowhere to go, that is going to bring up certain mindsets, certain behaviors, certain tonality, I suspect certain language that we're going to do. You know. So if I'm there thinking this relationship it's a dead end, and my, you know, I imagine my now ex-husband saying something. Then I'd react in a particular way because I think it's at a dead end. As soon as I've realized a dead end is very rarely a dead end, you know, somebody send me a picture of a real dead end because I have yet to find one.


Whenever I'm looking for a dead end, it's like, even if I have to go and put my nose at the end of where I think this dead end is, there's always a path somewhere. And as soon as we realize it's not as a dead end, as we thought, we relax. We might then go. Actually, the language is wrong. I'm at a crossroads and I have a decision to make. Because we're, because actually you could argue that by saying it's at a dead end. It's interesting I'm just thinking about when I got to the end of my marriage is that this is, this is what I did, which was I'm at a dead end. I'm at a dead end by refused to make a decision, so by seeing it is a dead. Now, this is me and this is not anybody else listening, possibly, but it's.


I was there, absolutely describing it as a dead end, and because that was great, because I didn't have to take responsibility for doing anything differently, because I could just go it is a dead end. However, if you listen, if I had been able to listen to my podcast 15, 20 years or whatever, then I might have said oh, more linguistically or more accurately, I'm at a crossroads. I then have to make a decision. Do I go left? Do I go right? So I think what it does is it just by going out on a walk? It brings up the patterns we're dealing with.


So it quite often is oh yeah, I thought it was that and it's actually this, it could be I need to turn a corner and I'm not ready to turn a corner. Therefore, I would say go and find a corner to turn in nature. Now, I know this is the problem with this process. Unless you try it, it can sound you're like you and I are chatting, I'm getting excited about it, but if somebody's not there in nature while they're listening, they can go really, whereas absolutely next time you're out in nature and you think of a situation that you're either at a crossroads, about want to turn a corner, about go and find a corner, go and find a crossroads.


You know, one of the workshops I've done recently was about talking to a brick wall. Fucked, your brick wall. Yeah, which I did wonder about in terms of in relationships because of course it can be a bit in a relationship, certainly if it's, we think we're heading for a dead end is that it can feel like we're talking to a brick wall. Now, the interesting thing about that is that when we use our language, we say, oh, it's like talking to a brick wall and we've made the other person the brick wall and, of course, brick walls can't talk. However, if I ever say to anybody, okay, so if you imagine this brick wall, where are you and where is the other person, suddenly they go that person isn't the brick wall, there is a brick wall between me and them.

Karen Covy Host17:40

Oh, now, that's interesting, because that's an entirely different feeling, an entirely different situation.

Alison Smith Guest17:49

Yes, but we use the words. I have never yet and I'm not saying never, but I have never yet found anybody that has absolutely rigidly held on to the belief that the other person is the brick wall. As soon as you start looking at brick walls and going, where are you, where is the other person? The brick wall is then the barrier between you and the other person, and then that opens up the conversation because it's okay, so how do I get over a round through this brick wall? The other thing quite often is when we're saying the other person is like talking to a brick wall, it's as if they don't know they're being awkward, Whereas when I go, have you ever found a brick wall that is one-sided, where only one person can see their side of the brick wall?

Karen Covy Host18:39

Oh, that's big.

Alison Smith Guest18:51

Yeah, yeah, that was hard, but it then takes respect it enables us to take personal responsibility back for changing our behaviors. Because they're not the brick wall. There is a brick wall. We both know it's the. I mean. The interesting thing about brick walls is that very few of us have ever built a real brick wall. Now I'm not saying you know, but a larger percentage of people listening will have never built a brick wall. But we see them in our lives all the time. But brick walls that we see in our lives all the time are all there for a reason Keep the neighbors out, protect us, support boundaries. They're all there for a reason, yeah.

Karen Covy Host19:27

So how do people? I think the challenge with the metaphor is that they're so ubiquitous and there's so much a part of the way we speak that we don't even realize we're using them. So it would seem to me and you tell me if I'm going down the wrong path here, but it seems to me that step number one is just paying attention to what metaphors you're using. Is that I mean? Am I getting this right?

Alison Smith Guest19:57

Yeah, I mean, what I would say is, in order to get it in the muscle and to get used to it, then you could just go along. I've got an index of my podcast episodes and therefore and currently there's about 63 of them or something so the idea there would be, rather than have to notice, then go and pick an episode that resonates with how you're feeling.


Because if I give you a, list you'll be able to go oh, stuck between a rock and a hard place? No, yes, I need light at the end of the tunnel, please. And so then you'd be able to listen to that episode, and what I do is then talk you through the process. So, for that light at the end of the tunnel, I'm walking backwards and forwards through a tunnel in nature that's dark, and then on one occasion I decided to go through it with me Eyes closed. But anyway, it's just exploring the metaphor. There's one way of doing it, but absolutely notice the language that you use, because literally, I can be working with a client and within the first five minutes I've got two or three metaphors to go. Okay. So which ones of these shall we try? First? Interesting, because they're using it, so it makes sense to them.

Karen Covy Host21:17

Why is language so important?

Alison Smith Guest21:25

Well, we could be here for hours. Well, it's funny, isn't it? Because it's how we make sense of the world. It's also, but it also therefore impacts our behaviors, our belief in whether there's different opportunities or not. So, quite often I describe what I do is enabling you to see more opportunities and options than you currently can. Currently, you're either saying there are no options or there's a restricted number of options, and by sending the problem and all of the content and logic on that coffee break, it enables us to explore and go. Oh yeah, there's quite a few options here.


I might not want to do them, so but, interestingly, if you went out into nature and you're at a crossroads and you just want decision that you don't want to make so perhaps it's you think you want to leave your husband, but you're scared for doing that then I would really encourage people perhaps taking a friend with them dependents on how they feel about that is to go and go. Okay, so I'm at crossroads. Which of these routes represents me making the decision to leave husband? Let me walk on that route and I'm getting goosebumps now. Let me walk that route and see how it feels and let me then come back to the crossroads and try other routes. Oh, we go for marriage guidance. See what that route sounds like? Go. Oh, I'll continue on the route I'm on currently. What does that feel like?


And I think what happens is, as much as that sounds, quite, it's deeper than it sounds, I suppose is what I'm trying to say is you will absolutely embody that. I'm getting goosebumps now thinking about it, and that's what happens when I take people out into nature because they're in a wisdom wants them to get this insight. Yeah, because when we use metaphor, we're talking to a deeper part of us, in my opinion. So we're going back to how we communicated millennia in terms of cavemen and whatever talked in pictures. They talked in stories. How have our ancestors taught people? They didn't send them to school, they told them stories, and stories are just metaphors, and so we're connecting in with a deeper part of us. I say, if a picture paints a thousand words, a metaphor paints a thousand pictures. So of course, that's gonna have more information in it than just saying I'm stuck.

Karen Covy Host24:14

You know, that's so fascinating, because one of the things in my work with people that I try to help them do is to see the possibilities, because what keeps us stuck is we think there are none, or we think that we are faced with a binary choice it's either A or B. That's it, it's A or B, and if all you've got is two choices, I call that an ultimatum. Right? That's not a choice. So it sounds like what you do is opening people to the possibilities that exist in front of them that they can't see. But I've noticed you've said a lot of time get out in nature. Get out in nature what? What's the big deal about getting out in nature? Why can't I just walk in my house or apartment or what have you?

Alison Smith Guest24:58

Well, because you could turn a corner in your house. Yeah, you could, but you know what's around the corner in your house. So, but I think the thing is, is that the more I read about the benefits of nature, the more I read about moving your body. Is that what I'm doing is hijacking a whole load of other good things about being out in nature? So we're using nature in our language. So all the metaphors that I generally do which is why the walking on eggshells I've sort of steered away from a little bit, because I don't know how. I mean, I have got chickens next door, but you know, in order to walk it, we'd have to have a lot of chickens, wouldn't we? I mean, it is interesting that we use that site, but that's really hard to do because what to have that many eggshells to walk on? Because it's not just one eggshell, we imagine, is it? It's a whole pathway, but anyway.


So I think we use nature in our language. So we're already doing that. So all I'm doing is highlighting the metaphors that people are using in nature. So somebody might say it feels like I'm on a carousel and I might go with it, but that's not my preference. I'd be looking for a nature one, so we're using it in our language anyway.


I think the other thing about nature is the we understand the patterns of day following night. It's got summers. Well, not all the way around the world, because some don't have four seasons, but most places have four seasons. Most places have two tides a day, high and low tides, so there's low. Trees lose their leaves, so there's loads of patterns that are inbuilt We've learned since the kids really and therefore we can use those when we're thinking about our problem, and that's the logical reason why I use nature. The other stuff is absolutely.


There's so much written these days about the benefits of walking in nature and just actually move by Caroline or I don't know, can't remember what the books call, but anyway move, and it's her first name's Caroline, I think it's Williams or Williamson, and she talks loads about the benefits of moving forward, the fact that even if we are stuck by walking forward and imagine we're walking away from the problem, our internal body goes oh, I've left that behind, so there's a whole. I think that's why turning a corner works, because somehow in our body we've then gone, I've done it. So, going back to that crossroads example, going to the crossroads and going right. I'm making a decision to stay. How does that feel if I walk down this route? I'm making a decision to go for counseling?


Hmm, what does that feel like? I'm making a decision to leave? What does that feel like? It's as if our body then it's like we've been practicing, it's like we've gone to the gym, we've got it in our body and our body then goes oh, the world didn't end. Yeah, because why do we not? Why did I prefer to have that dead end in front of me and hope that somebody else would make a decision for me? Because it was going to be difficult, whereas if I tried this out then, who knows, I might have had more courage and confidence to go? The world will not end if I make this decision, and this decision is the right thing for me to do. So, yeah, I'm taking it.

Karen Covy Host28:36

Yeah, what you said is so important. I hear that from people so many times. They really what they want. They come to me and they want me to make the decision for them, and unfortunately that or fortunately that's something that I can't do. Like so often, we're faced with these decisions that only we can make, whether it's in business, whether it's in marriage, whether it's with your kids, no matter what it is, you're the one that has to make the decision, and I think a big part of the reason that people get stuck is because they just don't want to do that. They wish that someone would come down from on high, the heavens would open and everything would just work itself out somehow, and unfortunately that's not the way life works. Oh, you're the person would change.

Alison Smith Guest29:26

Oh, that is the best.

Karen Covy Host29:28

You will be waiting a very long time.

Alison Smith Guest29:31

Yeah, yeah.

Karen Covy Host29:32

But how do you help people get to that point in a less scary way? Because I think what would stopping people when they're wanting someone else to make the decision is because they're afraid. They're afraid of the consequences of them making a choice. Is there anything in nature or in your process that can get them past that fear?

Alison Smith Guest29:57

I think it happens because we've sent logic and the story on a coffee break. So in some respects they're making the decision. So even though I've said, ok, explore the different routes, they know they've left the real problem on a coffee break, so it doesn't feel as real, so it's a bit like we've disassociated from the problem, we're not having that conversation with that person, we're not having to address that person's personality problems or whatever. We're not having to address our fear. So that's already one step removed. So that's there in that corner. We've said we'll come back to you, we're not ignoring you, because otherwise it will come and keep tapping you on the head and going you've forgotten me, you've forgotten me. So but what I've found is that I have to be really clear. We're keeping the story, logic on that coffee break. So let's just explore, because then it's less, but it feels a lot safer because all we're doing is turning a corner in nature and that isn't scary.


What then happens is I mean, I could cry at how many times I've gone around a corner and somebody's looked at me and just go oh, wow, It's deeper than it sounds, because they're getting it viscerally. Their unconscious is going yeah, that it's easier than you think to turn that corner, to make that decision about what crossroads to be at, because they didn't have all the other attachments to it. And then, having made that big a-ha and sometimes I think I know how big it is and they're not quite as aware of how big it is because I can see the change in physiology, change in voice, change in tone, the language, and then we sort of return back to where we started, we start thinking about the original situation and suddenly they're more proactive. They're going oh, I just need to do this, just need to do this, I need to have a conversation.


What do we have to do to make it less scary? Is the act of just using metaphor is already less scary, because, if we want to, we can just leave all of that rumination to one side and go back and pick up our problem and act as if nothing's happened. Very rarely does that happen, because our unconscious has had a bit of a word with ourselves while we've been doing that walk. And that's why I still get excited, because every walk I go on with people, even if I've been in a wood and you know, hundreds of people have told me they can't see the wood for the trees. Somebody will always see something different.

Karen Covy Host32:57

That's fascinating. So it sounds like when you're working with a client one-on-one, you're actually going with them out on a walk in nature.

Alison Smith Guest33:05

Even if I'm at the other side of the world. So recently I've had somebody in Florida, I've had somebody else in LA well, yeah, the hills around LA and so they're going up these trails. For memory capacity or whatever connection capacity on the phone, I can't even see what they're seeing. Every now and again they went oh, I need to turn the camera on to show you what I'm seeing. But most of the time I am just asking them questions. They're conveying to me what they can see and we're having a conversation as they walked. So they did a 45 minutes to an hour walk to the top of the trail and back again and they got what they needed from that querying and I just get to hear the excitement or the shift. Or I ask questions. And again with somebody in Florida where we've got gators, they suddenly went oh, I'd forgotten about that, because they were sort of doing circling around a tree next to some water, and then they said, oh, but by the way, there might be some gators in that water. It's like, oh my God, the added jeopardy of gators which you know you wouldn't have in the UK. But so, yeah, and that's what happens in the podcast.


In the podcast I go and do that. So I will go up a hill or I will go to a dead end and share with you, which is why somebody said you get so excited. It's like, yes, but what I'm not doing is taking out can't see the wood for the trees and just regurgitating what other people have told me. I'm going out today with whatever's going on in my life today, with the wood that I've got in front of me, and then I'm going oh, I've never noticed that before, so I get you know. So, treading water. My treading water episode involves me in the sea here in Scotland, treading water with my selfie stick, out of the water, trying to say hello, treading water and telling you, sharing insights. So that's how I do it, because the easiest way is for me to demonstrate what I would want people to be doing around a problem they've got.

Karen Covy Host35:20

That is fascinating and, honestly, I could talk to you for hours and hours and hours. This has been totally delightful. But for people who are listening, if they're interested in listening to your podcast or finding you, tell me how can they do it.

Alison Smith Guest35:39

There's a lot of Alison Smith, so you'll be there searching for that forever. So you're better off looking for landscaping your life. So landscaping your life should find me. Landscaping your life Alison will definitely find me. That's the name of the podcast. That's the tagline in the book Can't See the Wood for the Trees. Landscaping your Life to Get Back on Track. So if you're on Amazon or any of these online booksellers, if you put landscaping your life, you'll find the book. You'll also find me on social media by using the hashtag Landscaping your Life or just doing a search generally for landscaping your life. So that's the best means of doing it. There's quite a lot of video blogs as well on YouTube, and we've just started sharing sort of one-minute showreels on TikTok.

Karen Covy Host36:30

So that is fabulous. Alison, thank you so much for being here, for sharing your wisdom and sharing your unique approach, because I've heard you know, I've talked to a lot of coaches, I've heard a lot of techniques and yours is truly unique and it sounds wonderful. I can't wait to try it. So, thank you so much. And for those of you who are out there listening or watching, if you like this episode, if you like what you hear or like what you see, please do me a huge favor like the video, like the episode, subscribe to the podcast, subscribe to the YouTube channel and, by all means, share it, and we look forward to seeing you again in the next episode. All the best.

Head shot of Karen Covy in an Orange jacket smiling at the camera with her hand on her chin.

Karen Covy is a Divorce Coach, Lawyer, Mediator, Author, and Speaker. She coaches high net worth professionals and successful business owners to make hard decisions about their marriage with confidence, and to navigate divorce with dignity.  She speaks and writes about decision-making, divorce, and living life on your terms. To connect with Karen and discover how she can help you, CLICK HERE.


deciding to divorce, decision-making, off the fence podcast

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