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Archive for the ‘My Path into Coaching’ Category

Golden Gifts


A mom was driving her kids to school when she realized she left her mobile (Blackberry or iPhone) at home. It was to late to go back and get it… She felt very nervous. She wouldn’t be home before the afternoon to have her phone back! Nobody would be able to reach her, she wouldn’t be able to contact anyone, no bbmms, no twitts… Total isolation!She spent all morning not knowing what to do with her hands, she felt an almost unbearable void around her and inside her, she was distracted, unfocused… just like someone struggling to quit smoking, or quit drinking…she thought.

This woman had 2 choices:

1-Promiss herself not to forget her mobile anymore…. Ever.

2-Observe her addiction and reflect upon it.

In this second case, she had 2 choices again:

1-Justify: Mobile are necessary, something important could happen and I need to be reachable, plus, it’s nice and fun to receive bips and news and comments from everyone, it makes me feel integrated, alive, important, connected…

2-Look at the women she was converting herself into, ponder if that was who she wanted to be and decide if she would want to change her behavior.

 

There are events in our lives that come to us as mirrors, to help us look at ourselves, to stop and really observe what we are doing and how we are living. They are golden gifts but many times we don’t see them… or we don’t want to look at those mirrors.

 

 

What about this other story?

Many years ago, my friend K read an article about the humiliation people living in dictatorship have to endure. She was living at that time in a happy, free, nice country but she realized her marriage was a dictatorship and that she was living humiliated most of the time. This article came into her hands and she had the courage to look at the mirror. She decided she would not stand that anymore, she eventually divorced and wrote a thankful letter to the author, Vaclav Havel.

 

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Nietzsche: “He who has a why to live for, can bear almost any how.”

Logotherapy is a psychiatric technique that uses existential analysis to help patients resolve their emotional conflicts. It helps them choose productive futures, making personal choices and taking responsibility for them. It is not an abstract theory, it rather promotes creative applications. “Persons facing difficult choices may not fully appreciate how much their own attitude interferes with the decision they need to make or the action they need to take.”
Man doesn’t t behave from instincts nor from traditions, he has to make decisions. Sometimes he doesn’t know what he wishes to do; so he either wishes to do what other people do (conformism) or he does what other people want him to do (totalitarism).
People are experiencing “Existential vacuum” which is mainly a state of boredom. It can be compensated for by a will of power (will to money) (Freud) or a will for pleasure (Adler). But Frankl proposes to transcendent it with a Will for meaning.
Search for a non-abstract meaning of life, which has to be found in the world, not in the patient’s mind.
The search for meaning arises an inner tension rather than inner equilibrium, we need that tension, too much equilibrium is not synonymous of health.
“Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness.”

Frankl has identified 3 areas that can bring meaning to an individual’s life:
1-Creating a work or doing a deed.

2-Experiencing something or encountering someone through love.
(Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. Makes each ones possibilities come true. Expressed in its ultimate togetherness through sex.)

3-The attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering.
Suffering can turn tragedy into triumph and achievement.
If suffering is unavoidable, (otherwise it is masochism), there is a meaning in the way you bear it.
It is important to quote that nowadays unhappiness is underrated, which means that, if you are unhappy you might also find yourself ashamed of it.

“Human being is not in pursuit of happiness but rather in search of a reason to become happy.”
“There is a potential meaning inherent and dormant in all the single situations one has to face throughout one’s life.” So meaning might exist within our particular and unique way of responding to each situation of our life.
“Doesn’t the final meaning of life reveal itself, if at all, only at the end, on the verge of death?
It is a matter of dignity, not of usefulness.
“Everything, from life-threatening challenges to everyday situations, helps to shape the meaning of our lives.”

The present contains mass of possibilities, it is man’s choice to live them or discard them. The more he embrace, the more fulfilled his life will be. As time passes, he will not envy the young’s future possibilities and rather will enjoy the things he has done, the people he has loved and the sufferings he has bravely bared with. That’s why young people are attracted to old ones, because they perceive within them life treasures: the values they have realized, the meanings they have fulfilled.

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I was once searching for my purpose in life… I searched so hard!
I asked my dreams, I prayed to the universe, I address my parents and grand mother who passed away, I was hoping to find a beautiful, meaningful, magical, transcendent purpose for my life. I read, I wrote, I walked in nature, I meditated, I visualized myself doing different activities, I travelled, and then I came back home with no purpose. So I surrendered: OK, I wont save wales in Alaska, I wont be the CEO of the year, I wont be the new Award Winning Poet, I wont be a Triathlonist, I wont be …
I will just: 1) be happy and 2) be the special person that I am.
That’s all?
That’s too easy!
Well, I guess these are the purpose of my soul, these are the reasons why I AM.
Fame, Mastery, External Recognition are my Ego’s concerns…
Have I lost my ambition?
What is Ambition?
Excellence?
Can you think of something closer to excellence than the learning process of being happy, fulfilled, loving, and express the magic, the beauty and the infinity of my uniqueness?

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We become significant when we bring our baggage to a situation, weighing ourselves down with beliefs, notions and learned behaviors. Significance shows up most often when we are attached to the outcomes, ask yourself: “What am I attached to here? What baggage am I bringing?”  Step down from the “ought to be”, “should be”. Step down from the rigidity and significance of a judgmental attitude and connect with your humility and a more neutral point of view. Consciously create a new and lighter reality. Lightness is about a mental attitude that honors the Game of Life in all its complexities. We are present in the moment, free of judgments that can bind us to old ways of thinking. Treating things with lightness even though some things are extremely important to us, can free us up to enjoy more of life and be more effective when facing our everyday challenges.

 

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What is this force that drives us to look for more happiness and satisfaction in our lives?

And the contrary: What is happening to people who DONT WANT TO KNOW why they feel bad and what they could do to feel better? Stuck in darkness…

I have clients who come to me with a strong desire to clarify their anxiety about some issue in their life,they are very AWARE of what they want to work on, they use me to open doors and reveal different perspectives that can help them find their truth, they are very clear about WHAT is bothering, they just need some LIGHT to see what they KNOW IS THERE, accessible to them, but still in the shadow.

I have other clients who don’t know where they want to go, what they need to get better. They are lost. They don’t even know if they want to do something about it. It seems to hard. There is no light and no shadow for them, no place to start. The clue is to find a thread to pull out from the messy reel and start the journey. It often has to do with reconnect with dreams. It is never about a magic solution like loosing some weight or finding a partner. It is about loving and trusting themselves, it is about connecting with the enjoyment of life. It is about awakening desire and get rid of fear. The questions are: Will the client be willing to face his fears? How much can the coach help that process?

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I see some parallelism between the basic needs mentioned by Maslow and the first chakras:

THE PARALLELISMS:

Chakra 1 is about our sense of safety.                            

              This is the first 2 steps of the pyramid: survival and security.

Chakra 2 is about our capacity to enjoy life.                

              This one is not present in Maslow (western culture?).

Chakra 3 is about our self empowerment.                    

              This is present in the top steps of the pyramid.

Chakra 4 is about our fulfillment sharing with others.        

               This is in the center of the pyramid.

Chakra 5 is about the expression of ourself.                      

                This is present in the top steps.

THE DIFFERENCES:

The 4th Chakra is more than the relationship and affection described by Maslow, it is about opening our heart to all and everyone.

Enjoyment is not considered a necessity of the self to Maslow .

I GUESS those differences speak a lot about the different perspectives of the West and the East, I am pleased to reflect upon them!

ABOUT THE CHAKRAS:

I can feel the progression of the chakras in myself: my search for what makes me feel secure (1), to be able to open my self to trust and the enjoyment of every detail in life (2), to build the strength of my self and appreciate the discernment of my values (3), to look for connection with others and the universal energy (4), to express my singularity into the wholeness of plurality (5).

I believe we perceive the world through those different levels of energy and we need all of them to live a fulfilled life.

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Self trust is a place of peace, of  limpid energy, where being and doing is joyful and alineated with the wholeness. It is self nurturing. It is different from feeling confident, because confidence is about the external world, trust is a more intimate and inside energy.

My self trust varies in time more than in areas. It shows more when i do things rather than when i am still. It is easily shaken when i feel disconnected from my loved ones or when i am in conflict with circunstances. It shows the most in my intellectual or physical challenges and less in my emotive and creative self. I have implemented a structure in my life to grow and support my self trust in those areas (mainly meditation and being aware of my creative dwell).

I guess trust is essencial to close relationships. If you don t trust someone, you will maintain yourself at a certain distance. Which is OK for a lot of relationships but not for close ones, not for coach/client.

I guess trust in relationship is based on authenticity and appreciation. No trust can grow without them. Trust is also about relating with the heart, connecting with the essences.

Trust motivates the coaching process. If I don t trust my client, my energy will be low, I won’t feel confortable to work with that person and this would affect the process. If the client doesn t trust me, either me as a person either my skills, that could drop his intention and commitments towards the process, that could hold back his confidence to open himself and prevent his self exploration.

Structures to strengthen self trust:

Meditations and visualisations.

Be aware of ours strenghts and values.

Acknowledgement.

Always look for a learning perspective of the “negative” events in life.

Stay non judgmental, growth oriented.

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