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Andy Murray, attention and us!

“A man in his wholeness, wholly attending…”

What a summer we have had!  Sports men and women giving it their all and us accompanying them and bursting our lungs in support.  A wonderful ‘breathing together’ that has enlivened everybody.

When I watched Andy Murray last night (how many major thrills can we cope with in one summer!), I was aware mostly of the completeness of his attention of how energetically speaking, he was rock-like, locked into a fierce engagement where his only intention was to hit that ball in front of him. Game after brutal game he was there – fully, determinedly and with all of himself.  At that level, aside from all the great tennis on show, we had a demonstration of total presence and commitment that at times, I found moving.

As I thought about it to-day, I was reminded of a line from D H Lawrence:

‘a man in his wholeness, wholly attending’.

That summed up for me what Murray was doing.  Commentators have written about how Murray has grown up, become a man and he himself has talked about the ten years of hard graft to get to his first Grand Slam win.  And I thought about us – coaches, mentors and supervisors – and about the challenge to be fully in our work and in the on-going preparation for it.  The question I’m left with is:

What would it look like to grow up just a bit more so that we can ‘attend wholly’ and bring all of ourselves into all sessions with clients??   Come to think of it, that’s a nice starting point for a supervision session……..


In case you would like the full text of the poem, here it is:

Thought, I love thought.

But not the juggling and twisting of already existent ideas.

I despise that self-important game.

Thought is the welling up of unknown life into consciousness,

Thought is the testing of statements on the touchstone of consciousness,

Thought is gazing onto the face of life, and reading what can be read,

Thought is pondering over experience, and coming to conclusion.

Thought is not a trick, or an exercise, or a set of dodges,

Thought is a man in his wholeness, wholly attending.”

 D.H. Lawrence

Edna Murdoch   Director,  Coaching Supervision Academy   Sept 2012