This blog

I’m currently blogging on my website www.effortlessjo.co.uk if you want to check it out.

Although I haven’t blogged there since October I’m hoping to get my blog rolling again soon…

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Coaching & Meditation

Coaching led me to meditation.  I was looking for something to increase my connection with myself, something to open me up to my intuition, my own inner guide and just felt that meditation was it.  I wanted something which would not only help me to sense what was going on for a coaching client, but also to have the courage to put that back into the conversation with them.

I think coaching also put me on a spiritual path… many of the principles of coaching are what I see as spiritual ways of being… open mindedness, non judgemental, leaving out our opinions and our ego, being in service to the client, being absolutely present and in the moment, believing that people are naturally creative, resourceful and whole.

Before I learnt the practice of Effortless Meditation I thought coaching was ‘the answer’.  My field is business coaching, executive coaching, leadership coaching but inevitably we get into whole life stuff because the person you are at work is the person you are in the rest of your life, so whatever behaviours are showing up at work, so they are showing up out of work too.  Anyway, I wasn’t really up for believing that coaching could only take a person so far before it came up against blockages which it couldn’t deal with… how could I believe someone was creative, resourceful and whole and also believe they had blockages?  To me blockages meant ‘broken’.

Now, from learning to meditate, I know we all have blockages which stop us from living our lives from our authentic selves. That doesn’t mean we’re ‘broken’, just that there’s stuff in the way, the creative, resourceful and whole being we are is still there, so meditation clears the stuff and our creative, resourceful and whole being, our authentic self in all its brilliance can shine .

So, now I see that coaching can take people so far – it can help in raising awareness of behaviours, in bringing some of the unconscious stuff into the conscious mind so it can be seen by the coaching client for them to then choose to change behaviours where they are no longer serving.

Meditation then, works on the subconscious or the unconscious mind, clearing those blockages, releasing those patterns of tension that we’re holding spontaneously without having to bring them into the conscious mind.

It’s making me think that types of therapy and analysis are about analysing, digging into the why, understanding – very much at the mind level; that coaching moves a little way from that in that there is an acceptance of where you are now and then it’s about moving forwards from there towards goals; and that meditation is not about the mind at all, it is not only accepting where you are now, but it’s not about setting goals and trying to move towards them, it’s about not trying, not striving, not having goals, it’s about trusting the process, about listening to your heart and about living from your true, authentic self.

I’d like to bring my coaching and meditation together much more and I think one way I can do that is to allow even more stillness and spaciousness during coaching sessions.  I also think if my coaching clients learn to meditate we’ll see a faster movement towards where they want to go…

  • What led you …to coaching?  …to meditation?
  • What’s your experience of the overlap between coaching and meditation?
  • Which do you think creates most progress?

I’d love to hear your thoughts… either by leaving a comment here or on twitter @ThePensiveCoach

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Who is this?

Who is this?
Yelling, telling me I’m not good enough
Criticising me, judging me, kicking me down
Commanding… do more, want more, buy more, have more
Push, strive, compete
Shouting at me, all consumed – by scarcity

Who is this?
Quiet, humble, full of grace
Brimming with love & joy, seeing beauty all around
Needing nothing, already whole
Allowing, accepting, observing
Whispering… let go… trust… go with the flow

Who?
Both me
My ego and the infinite me…
my spirit… my soul… my essence…

  • Who is the real you?
  • Which you are you living your life from?
  • What might you do to live life with more love, joy, energy, creativity and security?

I’d love to hear your thoughts… either by leaving a comment here or on twitter @ThePensiveCoach

 

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How Stress Feels

busyness

Stomach churning
Thoughts racing through my head
Not enough hours, minutes,  seconds in the day to focus on one thing

Indigestion (see above comment on focus!)
Heart racing
Like I can’t stop but desperate for it to end

Wanting to be present with my kids but instead being short tempered
Disconnected from my family
Disconnected from me
Breathless
Aching
Constantly tired
Sleeping but never refreshed
No energy
No patience
No life

This isn’t living! 
This isn’t what we’re here for! 
To feel the clock ticking life away

Life is for living
For savoring every moment – making each minute last for 10
For being present,  connected, full of joy,  love,  energy,  creativity

Not doing but being
Not striving but allowing
Not running but sitting under a tree

Walking in the wet grass barefoot
Staring at the stars in awe
Watching the clouds blow by

Stillness, silence, spaciousness
Achieved, for me… 
Through meditation

  • How does stress feel to you?
  • What would living look and feel like to you?
  • What helps you let go of stress to really live?

I’d love to hear your thoughts… either by leaving a comment here or on twitter @ThePensiveCoach

 

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Our emotions are just that …ours

emotions

As some of you will know… for a week in February I was privileged to be part of a Meditation Teacher Training cohort with Iuna Meditation. What an amazing experience! There were 7 of us doing the course together and a number of other people who’d done the course previously dipping in and out of the week.

Each day we learnt an element of the ‘Introduction to Effortless Meditation’ (which we then delivered to the rest of the group the following day), we also did two 32 minute Tibetan gong meditations as part of each day… so not only were we learning material and talking about what might come up for people when they start to meditate, but we were also getting the opportunity to go deeper with our own meditation and to release some of our own baggage in order to ‘clear’ ourselves to be better teachers.

One of the main learnings the week has reinforced for me is this idea that whenever we react to something, whether that be by getting angry, getting upset, being scared, or another emotional response… it’s not about the other person, it’s about us. This wasn’t a new concept to me and I’d previously considered it quite a lot when reading about ‘total responsibility’ in Joe Vitale’s Zero Limits. I consider it closely linked with ‘the law of attraction’ – the principle of ‘our thoughts create our existence’ – whatever we think about and focus on that’s what we draw into our lives.

So, what I now understand is that when we’re born, we are born ‘clear’ i.e. there is nothing between the reservoir of love, joy, creativity, inner peace, energy, etc. which resides within each of us and our conscious thinking and actions. As we journey through life, interacting with others and living life, if we experience particularly traumatic experiences or have repeated experiences, we collect impressions or patterns of tension which we carry with us. These are effectively blockages between our conscious thinking and all the qualities at our core. It is this stuff which triggers us… which makes us upset, angry, scared, etc. when others say and do things.

What meditation does is ‘clear’ us – dissipating those patterns of tension, those impressions …opening up a channel for us to receive more of the good stuff which means that instead of reacting we can respond.  Instead of getting angry or upset with another person, we recognise it’s not about them it’s about us and take responsibility (responsibility = the ability to respond!) for clearing ourselves.

As the Teacher Training week progressed I noticed us as a group and myself personally shift from being triggered by other people, to taking responsibility and knowing that each trigger was a message to us that there was something there we personally needed to clear… it was incredibly powerful to witness.  As we each took responsibility for ourselves and our own baggage, we became more accepting of those around us.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I no longer get triggered… of course I do… (I look forward to the day I reach enlightenment and can remain serene and calm whatever is going on around me!) …but as I meditate more I can see myself moving towards responding more and reacting less – what a wonderful gift!

So,

  • What are your thoughts on the idea that whatever shows up in your life you brought into existence?
  • How do you recognise your triggers?
  • I know that meditation is just one tool for ‘clearing’ …what helps you to release the ‘baggage’, the impressions, the patterns of tension you hold?

I’d love to hear your thoughts… either by leaving a comment here or on twitter @ThePensiveCoach

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Time is my love language

time

Spending time is such a big value of mine.  I prioritise spending time with others over spending time alone… often to my detriment leaving me feeling drained as then I don’t take time to recharge myself or even acknowledge that that’s important.

I realise ‘time’ is such a big value when the people around me choose not to spend time with me.  When circumstances dictate we can’t spend time together… and even though I know that in a lot of cases it’s not really their choice, I still find it hard to deal with.

A friend of mine recommended I read ‘The Five Love Languages’ by Gary Chapman, which I did and have since recommended it to numerous other people, who in turn have recommended it to others (sometimes without even reading it themselves!)  In his book, Chapman proposes 5 love languages:

  • time
  • acts of service
  • gifts
  • words of affirmation
  • physical affection

and that we each have a primary love language we default to in terms of how we want to be shown love and how we show our love to others.  Mine, unsurprisingly, is time!

Time for me is an essential as eating, drinking, even breathing –I starve for time, I thirst for time, I gasp for time!

I know that I show my love for others by spending time with them.  I often organise events which bring people together; I believe that time is the most valuable thing I can give to my children; and I was once absolutely overcome by emotion at a friend’s mum’s funeral when they talked about her always having time for them… knowing that that is how I wish to be remembered.

I find it very difficult when people around me postpone or cancel time with me or even when they do spend time with me, but aren’t really there… being distracted (by phones, emails, etc.).   I find it disappointing and upsetting and it feels like rejection.  I notice that if people continually rearrange it affects my relationship with that person.  I find it so disappointing when they postpone or cancel I start not to believe them when they say we’ll spend time together so that I’m not so disappointed if it doesn’t happen which means two things:
1)      I’m ecstatic if it happens!
2)      They’re more likely to cancel (self fulfilling prophecy… I probably give them the impression that I couldn’t care either way if we spend time together or not!)

So what am I learning from tonight’s blog?

When something resonates with me I ought to write about it & not ponder too long on the subject, thus “overthinking”.

Yes time is my love language, but it isn’t everyone’s – focus more on the other person’s love language than mine & use the awareness of both love languages to observe what’s going on rather than taking it so personally!

Have “what works for me…what would work for you?” conversations with people (rather than burying it & feeling as though I always have to fit with what works for them & then resenting it).  So surfacing it in a positive way and not a negative “stop doing that” kind of way!

So, what are you learning?

  • What is your love language and how does that play out for you?
  • Suppose you were going to have a “what works for me…” conversation with someone, what would you say?
  • Where you notice a difference in love languages between you & others, what can you do to adapt your style to make them feel ‘loved’?

I’d love to hear your thoughts… either by leaving a comment here or on twitter @ThePensiveCoach

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Your bright, brilliant self

sunshineAs I left Dent on Friday 15 February following a week long Meditation Teacher Training, the skies were blue and the sun was shining on Sunnyside… the cottage opposite the little cottage where I’d spent the week.

I took the road to Sedbergh (not wanting to take the road over to Garsdale whilst driving alone, if you’re familiar with this part of the world you’ll know why!) and whilst driving, reflected on the weather during the week. We’d had rain, wind, sleet, snow and as we left… sunshine… bright, brilliant sunshine.

Because it was an intensive Teacher Training week, which had previously been done over a number of weekends throughout the year, we knew it would take its toll on each of us… we knew that when we signed up.  As we learnt to be meditation teachers we weren’t only learning the theory and how to teach it to people, but were also clearing ourselves – releasing patterns of tension we were all holding individually in order to be the best teachers we could be.

That process of clearing patterns of tension through meditation allows more of our source, our true self, our soul to be present in our everyday life and for us to live more from our heart as opposed to our conditioning… important for us as meditation teachers as we need to be as clear as possible when we teach.

So, as I said we all knew it would be an intensive week and that in order to release our patterns of tension we would have to experience our emotions… truly experience our emotions… without trying to push them away or hide them from one another.

And as I drove out of Dent that morning after the course, that’s what I was reflecting on… how the changeable weather reflected our changeable emotions as we released what was beneath them…
• the rain… perhaps our sadness
• the wind… maybe our anxiety
• the sleet… our shame?
• the snow …possibly our fear
and each time we released and continued to clear ourselves, we allowed space for a little more sunshine, meaning that at the end of the week we had each cleared enough to experience the bright brilliant sunshine that is us… our true selves… our brilliance!

So,

  • What emotions do you need to truly experience to release?
  • How much of your brilliance are you currently allowing out?
  • Suppose you were your bright and brilliant self, how would life be different?

I’d love to hear your thoughts… either by leaving a comment here or on twitter @ThePensiveCoach

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