When we are feeling the forces of negativity and anxiety, our bodies generally react by tightening and constricting. Breathing becomes shallower, and we lose optimum functioning. Similarly, our spirits and lives can constrict under the weight of these emotions and pressure. But, just as in breathing exercises, one can learn to release and refocus, drawing in more of what we need, optimizing our systems and expanding our potential.
Stress management classes, yoga practice, and meditation all seem to begin with “breath work” • careful focus on inhaling and exhaling. This does wonders to fully release what is inside and to comfortably and thoughtfully expand.
Coaching can mirror that process. First noticing the current pattern, then letting go of what is inside, and finally expanding with new life and focus. This was the path followed by today’s featured client, an experienced businessman and electrical contractor.
After leaving an unsatisfactory job mid-career, he was focused on exploring other career fields. However, rather than jumping into that effort, we started our coaching process with some preliminary discussions of where he had been, and what emotions and self-talk he was carrying around with him. As he identified unproductive baggage, we spent time releasing it, choosing consciously to break negative thinking patterns.
The releasing freed room to expand, and we found a common interest in the powers of meditation, clarity, and intentioning. He began reading authors such as Sonia Choquette (“Creating Your Heart’s Desire”), Martha Beck (“Finding Your Own North Star”), and Lance Secretan (“Inspire!: What Great Leaders Do”).
His willingness to expand his mind and practice new thinking and methods helped him to solidify his values and his desired life. This client is now settling into a promising new position, and has made a much-desired geographic move. When you are sincere about your inner work, your values, and your spirit, the rest follows.
Q: How and when did you first learn about LifeTrek Coaching?
A: Last summer, while browsing through the AvantGo channels (content provider for handheld devices), LifeTrek popped up and I began reading Provisions and your Career Pathways. I was in between jobs and I wanted to do something more and new • I was pondering change. I signed up for a complimentary session, and was intrigued with our first conversation.
We began working through what had been a good and bad work experience for me. I was beating myself up over what I “could” have done. In our conversations, I realized that negativity had no place in my process. This realization was an early “gift” for me in coaching.
Q: How did your objectives evolve through your coaching?
A: When I first called to begin coaching, I was thinking about doing something different for my next job. But, by taking a calm and quiet look at my life and myself, I realized that I loved my current field. Once I held it up to compare it to other possibilities, I found there was nothing else I’d rather do right now.
I couldn’t have come to this conclusion as comfortably and solidly without our work together. I developed great clarity and patience in really looking at the here and now. I learned to be quiet, to be with myself, and to let the process work.
I needed to release the negative stuff that I was carrying around for the last 15 years. It was wasting my time and energy. I gained the sense that I have a lot to offer.
The coaching experience was partly driven by our discussion of “intentioning.” There was a strong bond between us as we worked with this concept and had conversations about it. I had been interested in learning more about this idea, and being able to share at this level was a real plus.
I had also forgotten about meditation and picked it back up during our work. I was really interested in it, and you were the first person in my life who shared that interest. It was an important coaching activity to help me remain focused and aware of things around me and of universal thought. My wife and sisters are now more interested in it and the conversations are opening up.
Q: How did the experience of coaching assist you?
A: I found lots of comfort in our discussions. Who you are and how you are (your nature) was very helpful. You struck a definite chord with me. I never felt judged or threatened.
Much of what I wanted to work on was accomplished early in our process. But then there was a “natural” evolution in our work. I didn’t always have a clear idea of what I wanted to work on, but we shared ideas and I picked it up and ran with it. Now I am much happier professionally and, having moved to a new office in a new geographic location, feeling that I am much more where I belong.
I needed someone in my life, other than my wife and family, who would call me on my negative thinking, and who would talk straight with me. In our coaching, I felt a responsibility to my self, my process, and our time together. I rediscovered some concepts about integrity. It’s all about requests and promises — keeping your word. I say what I am going to do, and I do it.
Q: How could coaching work have assisted you more?
A: It is hard to see what more we could have done. What we’ve done is phenomenal — an enormous amount of work, an enormous leap. Fifteen years of things I was carrying around with me that needed to be “undone.” I was using lots of negatives: “ought to haves” and “should haves.” I gained attention around this and the time was right. The student was ready and the teacher appeared.
Q: In what ways did coaching push you beyond your comfort zone?
A: I was anxious during the first few sessions, but then the anxiety went away. I felt like we had been friends for a long time. You were a mentor, too, and I didn’t want to disappoint you by not following through. You helped me get beyond feeling uncomfortable, in a positive way. That is what made the whole process work. Without it, I wouldn’t have accomplished my work.
Q: What would you like to work on next in coaching?
A: I would like to reinforce the concept of balance in my life. A large part of balance is how well you spend your hours. I want to step back from letting work take over more and more time.
Q: What would you say to others who are contemplating working with a Coach?
A: Jump in! Work hard. Bless yourself for doing so. It is a tremendously positive experience. You have so much to gain.
I learned a lot about myself • both new discoveries and “relearning” things. In our lives, we get caught up in routine and it is easy to lose sight of, let alone to make time for, quiet and contemplation. Work consciously to meditate, to intention, to be quiet with your thoughts • no TV and no phone.
Coaching Inquiries: What dead weight are you carrying around? Are you ready to release it so that you have room and energy to expand? Have you checked in lately with your values? Do you regularly find time for quiet? If you were to focus on an intention, what would it be? Are you truly open to it and able to sustain it?
To reply to this Provision, use our Feedback Form. To talk with us about coaching or consulting services for yourself or your organization, Email Us or use our Contact Form on the Web for a complimentary coaching session.
Editor’s Note: The LifeTrek Readers’ Forum contains selections from the comments and materials sent in each week by the readers of LifeTrek Provisions. They do not necessarily reflect the perspective of LifeTrek Coaching International. To submit your comment, use our Feedback Formor Email Bob.
I did my usual 5:00AM exercise/workout this morning and then went for a fun-run out at the Shoreline Wildlife Reserve Park with my wife. We then had a quick (but healthy) breakfast at a nearby restaurant before taking our first golf lesson together. Just before leaving the driving range, I clicked on my PDA and read this weeks Provision article. Wow! There was my story, being shared with 55,000 people. It feels as though I’ve come fully out of the closet, anonymously of course. My wife was a bit stunned at first but I think she realizes things really have changed a lot for the better around here. I also think I am going to forward this Provision to my sisters (if I can get up the nerve). Many thanks for being there and, as I have said before, your Sunday Provisions are my coming home and “bible study” for the week. Keep them coming. Thanks.
I really appreciate this series of client interviews. Thanks for helping so many people find balance, direction, and focus.
A few weeks ago you mentioned me in one of your newsletters. Wow! Do I feel special. Now I had better lose that weight we talked about, or I may never make it into another one of your newsletters! Haven’t gotten totally motivated yet. Thinking about it slowly. Please send me the link for the Diet & Exercise Assistant software that we talked about. It is kind of intriguing to me. I know I could do it manually but this takes some of the THINK out of it. (Ed. Note: The software assists you to set goals and track what you are eating throughout the day, giving you real-time information on calories, carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and fat. It works great on both personal computers and handheld devices. Here’s the link: Click)
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
Kate Kriynovich (Kate@LifeTrekCoaching.com)
LifeTrek Coaching International