Developing people – Mindfulness

woman-1000769__180I have attended a few different sessions on mindfulness over the years and seen the topic covered in many different activities. I therefore wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I signed up to hear Valerie Iles present on Mindful Coaching as part of the evening programmes provided by the Association for Coaching. Valerie provided a great insight and a wealth of experience, with the session drawing largely from The Compassionate Mind’ by Paul Gilbert.

What was particularly helpful was exploring the basic concepts and an overview of the Bhuddist theory, not what we would necessarily go through with our clients, however, for me it really grounded the relevance to coaching and our day to day lives and I have reflected some of my observations in this Blog.

We are in a world that is constantly changing, with life consisting of many joys and also sorrows. However, how many of us are craving for things to be even better or just additional things, we extinguish one craving only for another to emerge. Can we become more aware of our cravings and instead become more satisfied? Or as Valerie highlighted identify a ‘wholesome desire’ instead.

In helping our clients we also need to find the space to challenge their beliefs that whatever they are seeking will bring them happiness and encourage them to name wholesome desires and therefore balance their craving with contentment. In doing we can help them reduce their levels of stress and distress and be able to cope with problems as they arise, feel safe, be content and yet still feel alive.

So what were the five things that I took away..

  • Taking more time to notice the things that are good that are happening around you, it takes 12 seconds for the brain to register this.
  • Having five times as much positive feedback as negative feedback in our relationships
  • Drawing on an experience of being unconditionally loved (eg by a puppy) in the difficult times
  • Finding ways of being present – in tune with what is actually happening now, focussing on the situation in front of you
  • Calming the craving and striving

and how about providing more focus:-

  • through breathing exercises
  • through exploring patterns and taking five minutes to notice more
    • of what is around me on the bus or train or when I am out with the dog,
    • when I am distracted and jumping from idea to idea; or
    • repeating myself rather than noticing new things
  • through being present more often

Lots to think about on a personal level and also in my coaching and mentoring practice and some more reading..


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