Holding Vision

One of the most important things to me in all the work I do, be it life coaching, Mindful Movement workshops, writing, teaching and facilitating, is holding a vision for what is really possible.

Limiting Beliefs

Human beings are generally so much more capable, resourceful and creative than they realise for their own potential. In fact, these limiting ways of viewing ourselves can become so all- consuming that we forget what we are truly capable of, the resources deep within and the creativity that can emerge from us.

This limited view holds us in check. It may stop us being all that we can be, living the fulfilling life we want to live, directed with meaning and purpose. To break free of this, it helps to have someone beside you who will champion, acknowledge and hold the vision of your best self. A person who will support and encourage you throughout the journey. Most especially when you are struggling to hold that vision yourself.

Action

It takes time to tease out the details of an individual’s vision of how they want their best life to be. As a life coaching relationship develops and deepens, that clarity allows both coach and client to orient ever closer to the client’s greatest vision for themselves. Yet from session one, the coach trusts in the client’s resourcefulness and creativity to create whatever life the client truly wants for themselves. It will take many action steps. Along the way much learning will be had and growth and progress will be made.

Vision becoming reality

What is the vision for your business? What kind of parent do you wish to be? How do you want your life to look in retirement? Do you have a vision for your health and wellbeing? Painting a vision of what these things look like for you, how they feel, the values that are honoured by living this way, the compelling inspiration that touches you deeply within, all contribute to making this vision become a reality.

In his book “Think and Grow Rich”, Napoleon Hill advises creating a statement you say morning and night that sets a powerful intention about exactly what you want to achieve, a time scale and the ways in which you would like to do it. A commitment to life coaching can set a similar intention. You set out your vision, infused with the very heart of what is important to you.  You’ll show up every week or fortnightly to learn ever more deeply, test and challenge what works best.  Then, you will review, recommit and take action towards the next step.

Momentum

What builds over time is a momentum, strength and power that comes from within. In fact, it seems to have a life of its own. All you need do is steer the ship. There is a sense of congruency and alignment that lends conviction and strength of purpose to your life journey.

On those occasions when you are in doubt, your life coach (or perhaps a friend, mentor, guide or advisor in a different capacity) will remind you of that vision. Hold up the picture you so carefully created and ignite in you the forces that drive you to that vision in the first place.

Painting a vision of what these things look like for you, how they feel, the values that are honoured by living this way, the compelling inspiration that touches you deeply within, all contribute to making this vision become a reality.

Here are some examples of how holding vision can orient you towards a more fulfilling life:

Is your career or business demanding later evenings or eating into your weekends? Does the vision of spending evenings and weekends with family inspire you to creative solutions to get that life work balance right?

Is your intimate relationship struggling with emotional distance? How does your vision of deep connection and long term intimacy empower you to have those challenging conversations you might otherwise avoid?

Does your health suffer due to poor diet, lack of sleep and insufficient exercise? How can the vision of your vibrancy, vitality, strength and power well into old age inspire you to take action now and continue to take action for a healthier present and future?

Your vision of financial abundance can be the catalyst to get out of debt, manage money better and increase your earning potential.

The vision of close and supportive friends can be a drive to connect more with people.  Find hobbies that resonate deeply with your interests and foster loving and respectful relationships.

A vision for how life CAN be is a powerful reference point to inspire action here and now. It can help a lot to have someone champion that vision, acknowledge the effort you make and the success you achieve, and challenge you when you lose sight of it. These are some of the ways life coaching can support you in creating that life vision.  And keep creating it so that you live in fulfilment and on purpose throughout your life.

Over to you

What vision do you have for your life? Do you have one? Would you like one? How might a vision for your life inspire you? How would a vision for your life affect the decisions you make and the actions you take? What do you do to sabotage your vision? How does this disempower you? How might a life vision empower you?

Pass it on

I’d love to hear your answers, thoughts and ideas to these questions. Why not spread the discussion to your friends, family and colleagues.  Send the blog link to them and suggest they get involved?

Stress is a Choice

What do you say to members of The Royal College of Surgeons about stress?

Yikes! These people are masters of stress aren’t they?

They experience stress on a daily basis that would make most of us buckle at the knees.

These were the thoughts going through my head when I was invited to give a talk about managing stress at The Royal College of Surgeons.

I am someone who is happiest in jeans, T- shirt and the tranquility of nature.  Yet here I was in the centre of London trussed up in a three- piece suit – the full Gareth Southgate waistcoat and all! And it was on one of the hottest days of the year.

Plus, they were videoing and live streaming the entire thing. What was going on with my own stress levels you might ask!?

I started by asking some questions, always a good strategy to get the attention away from you …

  • Do you realise that stress is a choice?
  • Have you noticed there are times when stress is beneficial?
  • How often does stress get in the way of you performing your best and enjoying life as fully as you would like?
  • Would you say that you are closer to your best self when you are relaxed?

They shared the typical sources of stress that people experience almost daily: arguments, unreasonable demands, time pressure, health issues, challenging e- mails and phone calls, lack of sleep and insufficient rest.

They also recognised the ways in which they responded to that stress in mind, body and behaviour: distracted and poorly focused, trouble sleeping, tension in stomach, shoulders and neck, migraines, irritability, tiredness, self- focused (a sense of “me me me” and an awareness of how things are for me rather than anyone else) and difficulty breathing.

Together they concluded what we all know already- that stress did not bring out their best selves.  And these are people who need to be at their best to help the people they’ve been trained to serve!

It’s all too easy to conclude that all stress is bad for you but that’s just not the case. When faced with danger, it’s the stress response that can give us a burst of speed and strength.  It can save our lives.

Fortunately, most of us do not experience that kind of danger at all.  Therefore, stress when we are in a rush, irritated by an e- mail, anxious about a difficult conversation or over worked actually makes us perform less well.  Experienced long- term, it is highly detrimental to our health and wellbeing.

For most situations, keeping the mind and body in a relaxed state will get better outcomes.

Over time and with practice, its possible to respond to situations we previously felt were stressful.  With calm and peace.  The key is to be aware of what we’re feeling in any given moment. And learn some simple techniques to change those feelings.

So we put it to the test……….

I subjected them to an instant stress test (by throwing a tissue at them!).  Then I asked them to notice the changes in their bodies and how they responded.

Then we did a centreing relaxation exercise.  By bringing awareness to their bodies, balance to their posture and relaxation to their muscles along the centre of their bodies.  They noted the difference in the way they felt.

Finally, we repeated the first step so that everyone could highlight the changes they’d experienced.  They could deliberately start the relaxation process rather than stay in a stressed state.

The results were startling.  Across the board, their responses through stress were diminished or even non- existent. This centreing exercise, devised by Paul Linden, is one of the corner stones of the Mindful Movement courses I run, facilitating people’s growth and empowering them to exercise choice.

Stress is a Choice

Once we are aware of our responses, stress becomes a choice.  We don’t need to be a slave to it, as long as we have the awareness to recognise our state of being and the tools to alter our state so that we can choose a different way.

Fortunately, with almost 30 years of practice, I was able to not only get through what could have been a highly stressful experience, but to enjoy it!

The icing on the cake for me was getting fabulous feedback from the people in the room, and most especially, this letter from the CEO …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’d like to know more about Mindful Movement and stress control, just give me a call ….