Noelle's Reflections on 2022

Lumia Coaching CEO Noelle Cordeaux reflects on the state of the world, and coaching's role within it.

January 19, 2023

Reflection on 2022

Noelle Cordeaux, Lumia Coaching CEO

By Noelle Cordeaux, Lumia Coaching CEO

I had every intention of writing my reflections on 2022 before the close of the year. I had my thoughts outlined, reflection took place, and yet every time I went to put fingers to keyboard there was a secondary reality that took over: I was tired.

Deeply tired, as so many of us are, and I simply did not have it in me to elegantly reflect at the appointed time that I'd set aside to do so. 

One of the beautiful things about reflection is that it does not require a holiday, a time stamped marker of the turning of the year, or a content calendar to populate. Reflection is a contained and safe space, warm like the cup of coffee beside me. It is a practice that we may pick up and ease our consciousness into at any given moment.

All we need is space to enter the space.  

I read a piece in the Scientific American once where the author posited that in order to access our deeper knowledge, we need to allow our brain to dip into boredom. And to further the point, a podcast that I recently queued up for my morning walk heralded a great thinker who had his best ideas come to him while peeling potatoes.  

My reflection on my reflection is that the simple space where boredom can actually arise is elusive in our time. 

In her new book Attention Span, researcher Gloria Mark tells us that when you disengage from a task it takes 25.5 minutes to get your brain back to a place where you can re-engage with your intended focus. She is talking about productivity and work, but this time frame struck me.  

  • What does it mean for our families, our kids, when we pause to respond to a text?
  • What does it mean for our learning and discovering brain when we put the novel down or turn away from the art exhibit to answer an urgent question via email?

We must work and we must live, and the two should not be confused.  

One of the things that I am reflecting upon is the juxtaposition of time and will. How society – and younger generations especially – is beginning to grapple with the place of work in our lives. I’m thinking about how we are to live as the impositions, inequalities, and demands of work are laid bare again and again and again. 

When the calendar turned to New Year's Day on January 1, 2022, it was a confusing time.

The omicron variant was causing global chaos. I was traveling, and unsure if I would be able to get back into the United States. At home, so many people were sick. Those who were not were cranky about a lackluster New Years Eve spinning out of the isolation of the first couple years of the pandemic. 

Fast forward to today - I’m pretty sure that variant is still around and Covid certainly is. I have had it a handful of times (and I am one of the lucky ones.)  

All of the problems that were brought to the surface in 2020, 2021, and 2022 are all still very present and very real. Global warming. Environmental destruction. White supremacy. Health and financial inequality. War mongering and war itself.

What has changed and shifted is the way that society at large is beginning to consider that if we are to survive – and I mean truly survive as a society – we need to do things differently.  

This is not a new concept.

We all said it in 2020, 2021, and in 2022. Now we’re here with a shiny new year in front of us, and something that gives me tremendous hope is that the sentiment has not changed.

The notion that we need to do things differently is still around… and it is only growing.  

Coaching is a discipline that is based upon harnessing our human potential, capacity for rational thought, and our will to engage in the visceral act of doing things differently.

Coaching itself is based on the simple premise that if things are not going the way you want them to, you must do something differently. Insight to action.

Given this, given our time, given the conscious awakening of many who are looking critically at what specifically and tactically needs to change in our global society, I posit the following:

The popularity of coaching and exponential growth of this profession points to the right modality at the right time to deliver change at scale to a seething world.  

Coaching does two things that are critical to actually executing and sustaining change. 

First, the steps implicit in the process of coaching slow your brain down enough to deactivate the impact of your immediate emotional response. This provides your logic center a chance to take center stage.

Second, the process of coaching has a beginning, a middle, and an end that accounts for:

  • ideation and learning
  • cultivating willpower and grit to experiment
  • developing a loosely held plan to take action
  • reviewing and updating the plan base on actual real-time outcomes

When life feels overwhelming, coaching gives you both the framework and the language to find your voice, speak up, manage the message, and move your idea from a place of vetting out into the world.  

Right now we need EVERYONE to be doing this with positive intention on their own behalf, on behalf of others, and on behalf of our planet.

I have never felt more committed to my work to train coaches to enact these frameworks because the outcomes of the coaching process have been so clearly validated.

Whether we are talking about changing company culture, healing family dynamics, sending relief to front line workers or impacting global policy, coaching has a vital place at the table as a viable and effective tool.

I am emerging in this new year in better shape than I was last year. I am less tired than I was before the holidays. My friends, my family, our organization - everyone seems to be healing up and getting stronger as well. We hold a clear and honest view of our world and our time, and we have the tools that we need to do the work.

Sending my esteem and partnership as we all dig into dreams and build together.  

Happy New Year 

- Noelle

To hear Lumia Coaching cofounder John Kim’s take on where we’ve been and what’s ahead, check out John Kim’s 2022 Reflections: Revelations As I Turn 50. And if you'd like to dive into Noelle's take on emerging coaching industry trends, you won't want to miss our latest report: Life Coaching Trends for 2023.

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