Love the Life You Lead. Fall 2015. DAY ONE:Annelies M. Gentile

LTLYLead. Fall 2015. Day ONE:  Annalies M. Gentile

I had the extraordinary pleasure of being asked to present at my local Raleigh International Coaching Federation annual conference recently. I’m a coach and a visionary artist, amongst other talents, and here I was mainly asked to boldly and literally “show up” fearlessly through my art. The request was to paint live during the final keynote speech on the topic of “leader-shift” and integrate what I experienced as an observer, through my painting. Feeling honored by the invitation and excited to powerfully explore in this manner were understatements.

What is calling for powerful exploration?

Years of preparation, study and life experience synthesized in that first moment when my hands finally touched the canvas while 100+ eyes watch me transform blobs of color into movement and patterns, emotions and expressions. My gloved-hand reached for the bright yellow and I found myself smearing over three fractal patterns till they were completely covered. (If you’re wondering what a fractal pattern is, hold on, there’s more on that soon.) My fingers spread wide, I fanned out a brilliant golden arch towards the mid-bottom right of the canvas. In that very moment, the keynote speaker began talking about an audience member who shared her desire for a powerful transformation from participating in the conference. This woman told her, “I want a shift!” My consciousness took hold of this one word- shift and it led me and my painting down a path of its own, while my heart leapt. I realized this was going to be different and I was along for the ride.

What in your life is craving change?

There’s a well-thought-out plan associated with how my art unfolds. A particular scaffolding that sets the stage or container for the art to spontaneously occur, so to speak. The day of the conference, I wasn’t nervous. Years prior, I’d explored graduate study in expressive arts where it was required during our daily lecture to involve some kind of interpretive dance or performance art. So weaving art with a keynote speech was a welcomed avant-garde experience that I could easily handle.

When do you find life easy?

Painting live wasn’t too foreign for me either, as I’d spent a few years already developing a body of abstract paintings called the FractalART Touchable Series that were designed to be painted live and integrate the observer. It’s an interesting and strategically planned incorporation of the audience, me the artist, and tiny archival prints I call DNA Fractal Patterns, which originate from my last previous painting. These mini-prints inform the “story” ie: direction, color, texture etc. of the next painting. Their presence is extremely important to my FractalART series, its outcome AND is the root foundation of my coaching practice and philosophy. Fractals are patterns. Patterns tell stories. Stories are patterns.

What story do you tell over and over?

What’s unique is that every canvas is related to the previous, creating an entire familial line that’s wholly connected. It’s like one giant extended painting, owned by different people. Which is a lot like life. We’re each uniquely different, yet all one and intricately connected, sharing one big breath since the start of time itself. My FractalART series is more than art, it’s powerful delicious metaphor. Let’s go deeper.

If your life were an art-form, what would it be? And it’s title?

As a coach, I help clients illuminate and harness possibility. They’re invited to tease out hidden stories or fractal patterns that inform how their experience shows up and plays out on their life stage. For me, my FractalART paintings are a physical representation of this dynamic phenomena. I’m able to explore the power of creativity as a catalyst for self-reflection from the vantage point of both an artist and a coach. My work is incredibly rewarding and valuable to my clients and our community.

What brings you great value in your personal and professional life?

Consider, as you return to your world there, on your phone or computer to reflect upon the questions above. Take notes, see what shows up, break down some barriers. Have a breakthrough you’d like to share, need a nudge past the stuck, ready to fasten your seat belt for the extraordinary? Schedule your powerful conversation. May today be the first day of the rest of your life! 
Stay tuned to Part 2 as Annelies unpacks her discoveries on how her painting known as “Creative, Resourceful and Whole” is created and shared with others.

Annelies M. Gentile, MA, ACC is an integrative leadership and empowerment coach, consultant, facilitator, visionary artist and founder of Conduit for Change. 919-345-8396 Learn more at &

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About melindarabrams

Melinda Abrams, CPCC, MSA is a champion of the shared experience. She consistently moves individuals and groups to deeper levels of connection and support, and models ‘being moved’ by what is present in the space. She believes that in this creative combustion, capacity expands ….simply, naturally, magnificently. In addition to coaching corporate executives, Melinda takes great pleasure collecting and sharing messages about Loving the Life you Lead on facebook and her blog Moving Leaders. She loves coaching, delivering experiential programs at outdoor education centers, teaching teleclasses, holding weekend retreats, and guiding leaders to MOVE. Melinda brings over 20 years of teaching and leadership development to Moving Leaders. Her work spans experiences with youth, corporate clients, and both business and medical graduate students at Duke, University of North Carolina, North Carolina State and Wake Forest Universities. Her commitment is to serve emerging leaders as they move towards shared enthusiastic leadership. And YES! Melinda is also an artist. She creates unique handpainted scarves. In my art, my coaching, and my spiritual practice I consistently return to wonder and awe. As I turn to wonder and create from there I experience a profound connection with source. This movement brings me to this latest series of scarves. I love the idea of wrapping oneself in an idea–an intention– a possibility, and creating beauty with that intention. My hope is that when one chooses this scarf to wear, they turn from disconnected bland to soulful brilliant. Of course when the scarf is open and hung you can read the message, yet when it is draped and worn, the message is simply seen as a design. My promise is that the wearer is reminded to turn towards the message and that the message is shared through the wearers actions and interactions with others. Melinda Abrams Melinda loves living in Chapel Hill, NC with her husband and three children.
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