Posts Tagged ‘Goals’

Group Coaching

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Group Coaching

Have you ever heard the expression “There is great strength in numbers”? It’s true!

Here are a few benefits to group coaching:

  • As your coach, I will always help you to hold the focus on the goals which are important to you.
  • You will find support and motivation from others as you connect with others in your group.
  • You will learn, grow and be inspired as you share stories and wisdom with one another.
  • You will benefit from accountability and watch your ‘to-do’ items move to the ‘done’ column.
  • Group celebration! You celebrate your success with the people who truly care about you.
  • You grow and move forward with a professional coach at a very affordable fee.

Weekly, Thursday mornings, 7–9 am
$100 per month, that’s only $25 per coaching session!

The adventure begins Thursday, November 3rd  –  Register Now!

To register visit the website: http://www.sandywalden.com/coaching/business-coaching.php or call Sandy to reserve your spot 414-378-8764

This group is forming now, space will be limited so if you are ready to begin living the life you know you desire, register today.

Namaste,

Sandy

 

 

Life Coaching – All Together Now, Shift

Saturday, July 16th, 2011

I learned to drive in a 1970 VW Beetle with a stick-shift. It was beyond awesome! 

Anyone who has ever driven a stick-shift, or to name it more correctly, a manual transmission; knows that in order to prevent burning out the clutch, you learn to listen to the car, to feeeeeeeeeel when it is time to shift. Guess what? People come with the same sort of clues. When we work together, you as the client, me as the coachm you will be encouraged to listen to your own guidance. What do you hear? What do you feel?

As you learn to hear and feel what you really want, you will easily and quite effortlessly learn if and when it’s time to shift. Here’s the good part, it’s so much easier than learning to shift that Bug. You will hardly hear the grinding at all. 🙂

You can learn how to listen and feel the messages that are guiding you, really. As your coach, I will encourage you to listen for that special sound, feel that vibration that is your inner guidance. This will allow you to decide if it’s time to make a shift. As your coach, I will offer thoughts, ideas and suggestions. Mostly, I will encourage you to discover just how your intuition is guiding you. For instance, if you are feeling bad about a situation in your past, we might discover if you have learned anything from the incident. If you have gained something beneficial from a past incidence, that knowledge may allow you to see the past issue as something of a gift. That my friend is a shift. Some are big, some are small. They happen if you’re ready, when you’re ready and in just the way you prefer.

You might say that life coaching is all about shifts, you might be right or wrong. For you, the coaching experience may well be all about shifts, or it may be about moving forward in another manner. That’s part of the fun! The path that you take when you work with a life coach is all up to you.

This journey is yours. You call the shots. You decide if you would like to take a peek at your past and find ways to shift into a more positive frame of mind. You decide what you prefer to deal with and in what manner. Of course your coach, (yours truly) will have suggestions which you may accept. Or not. You get to decide what is discussed and what is not. How cool is that?

I’m also going to ask you to take a look at what is happening in your world right now, today, this very moment in fact. How are you looking at situations, happenings, events? It’s my job to help you discover possibilities. Pretty exciting stuff really. When you explore possibilities, you will be encouraged to listen to and feel that guidance that we talked about a few paragraphs ago. And then you will shift to a place of feeling better. If you want to, if you’re ready. Shifting to a place that allows you to see and feel new possibilities. Shifting is huge.

Alright, I admit that I sort of nut-shelled the entire life coaching experience. But if I were to nut-shell it even more, I might well say that the entire coaching experience is about shifting. Are you ready to shift?

This week, I encourage you to take a few minutes a day. Sitting quietly, allow yourself to tune into your own thoughts and feelings. What do you really want in life? What would you prefer? Then let’s talk.

Namaste,

Sandy

 

 

 

 

Mr. and Mrs. Blue Jay – Terrific Life Coaches!

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

I’m always amazed at the adventure that is waiting right outside my door. 

Up here at the lake, Indy doesn’t have quite the freedom he does in Milwaukee. As the yard isn’t fenced in and I don’t want to encourage him to seek his own adventure, he is on a rope when he’s outside. A few days ago, he was out sniffing around under the apple tree. As I watched, a couple of blue jays became incredibly agitated. One stayed up in the branches of the tree while the other began swooping closer and closer to Indy. Both were beyond chirping, but screeching louder and louder. Sweet old Indiana was oblivious, so after just a short time I coaxed him away. I saw a nest up in the tree and assumed that was what all the ruckus was about.

Fast forward a couple of days. John was walking outside and heard a high-pitched chirping near the tree. As he got closer he realized that there was a pair of baby jays huddled together on one side of the tree, and a lone baby bird on the other side, at the base of the tree. Again, Mr. and Mrs. Jay came screeching in, swooping and screaming, telling John in no uncertain terms that they wanted him outta there! John respectfully backed away.

Here’s where I want to talk about why I see Mr. and Mrs. Jay as fabulous life coaches. You knew I’d get to it at some point and I don’t want to keep you waiting any longer. 🙂 You see, I Googled baby blue jays because I was worried about the itty bitty birds. I learned that once they have their feathers they do indeed leave the nest and begin living on the ground. They continue to be fed and as we saw so clearly, protected by their parents. How awesome, delightful and terrifying is this?

Mr. and Mrs. Jay are trusting their off-spring to grow in the way that is best for them, that’s what a good life coach does as well. Mr. and Mrs. Jay are there, but in the background until needed. Your life coach is there for you, in the way you prefer, when you prefer. Mr. and Mrs. Jay are trusting that their offspring will learn to eat, fly and protect themselves, because they know they have the necessary instincts and that they are capable of learning as they grow. Their goal is to be independent and strong. You also have the ability to determine your goal and to move into it in the time and manner which is right for you. These baby birds are just like me and they are just like you.

When we work together, it’s not about me telling you what you should do, how you should behave, or what direction you should move. Oh no-no sirree! My job is to know that you have the ability and instincts already. However, I am ready, willing and very excited to coax you along; and cheer you long and loud when you leave your own nest. I suspect that’s what Mr. and Mrs. Jay did to get the babes out of the nest. I will ask you questions and we will talk, this is a cooperative effort after all. When you make a move that leads you toward your intended destination I will cheer for you. I don’t think I can reproduce the interesting sounds that come out of the blue jays, but I suspect that’s truly for the best anyhow.

Once again, I’m grateful for the lesson. Mr. and Mrs. Blue Jay have released the ‘shoulds’, trusting in the instincts and growing abilities of their off-spring. I will do my best to follow their example.

This week I encourage you to find your own backyard adventure. What is the lesson? Allow yourself to be inspired!

Namaste,

Sandy

 

Hypnotism – It’s Not Like in the Movies

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

When I used to think about hypnosis or hypnotism, I had lots of ideas from old movies, many of them fun, most of them a bit scary. It turns out that none of them were accurate. That’s really good news!

The better news is how very useful hypnotism is for anyone who chooses to participate. And I do mean participate. I can’t hypnotize you if you choose not to be hypnotized. You can only imagine what a relief that is to my husband and grown sons. 🙂

Recently a man came into my office to relieve a bit of wound up nerves. In short, he wanted to become more calm and relaxed. His greatest fear was that he while he was under, he would tell me very personal, even embarrassing details about his life. Wasn’t going to happen. I began by assuring him that he would hear everything that I would say to him, and I mean everything. No secrets here.

Second of all, I assured him that because he was so concerned about answering questions with embarrassing details I simply would not ask him to speak at all while he was in the hypnotic trance. This is not always the case. Sometimes while a client is in the hypnotic trance I will ask a question or even several questions. That would have only escalated this gentleman’s fear and ramped up his nerves. So, I assured him that his hypnosis session would only consist of my talking to him, his only job while experiencing hypnosis was to focus on my words. Easy enough. He was also incredibly reassured to find that if I  had asked questions, he would not have answered them if he preferred not to. You do not lose control when you experience hypnosis. You still have choices and you will make the choices that are right for you.

It’s important to me for all of my clients to know what to expect when they experience hypnosis. We chat and I do my best to answer any questions that they can come up with and probably a few that they hadn’t thought of yet as well.

Be assured that you will not spill the beans to me while under hypnosis unless that is truly your preference. You are entirely and completely capable of lying if that’s what you want to do. You are in control. This is not the Twilight Zone or The Outer Limits.

Hypnosis is about allowing you to make the changes you choose to make in your life. Only you have that control, not me. As a recovering control freak, I find it very reassuring that I still retain control, even while under hypnosis. Whew, that’s huge relief!

Please rest assured that if you come to me to change your life, but you really don’t want to change. You will get the result you truly desire. Your brain is a wonderful and powerful tool. Your conscious mind may think one thing, but it’s your sub-conscious that calls most of the shots. That’s why we chat, and chat and chat some more. It’s important for me to understand what you really want to occur in your life. That way while you are under hypnosis or in the hypnotic trance I am able to offer you suggestions that will be effective.

It’s all up to you. You make the decisions. Your first really good decision is to investigate hypnosis. What can hypnotism offer you? Ask questions about a hypnotic sleep or hypnotic trance. Ask and ask and ask, until you are totally comfortable. After all, this isn’t a movie, it’s your life and you are writing the script.

Hypnotism, it’s not at all like I imagined when I watched the movies. Instead I find that hypnotism is much more exciting. Being hypnotized allows me to improve my life and that of my clients. That’s what hypnosis would look like in the movies if I were making the movies.

Namaste,

Sandy

We Live What We Believe

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Somewhere around the age of three or 4, people as a whole are pretty amazing. I am privileged to know a man who recognizes and appreciates just how amazing his 3 or 4 year old son is, day in and day out.

I see this gentleman every week and I’m always impressed with how his eyes literally light up when he speaks about his wife or his 2 children. His daughter is just a baby so she delights him just by cooing and breathing.  His son on the other hand is an entirely different kettle of fish. This man regularly shares the wisdom and the absolute joy that he receives from just playing with his little guy.

Apparently one of their favorite things to do is to play ball. Positioning themselves on their long drive, the little boy would hit the plastic ball, aiming at the tree waaaaaaaay down at the end of the drive. Dad would smile and cheer him on.

Recently all of this changed. A few weeks ago, we experienced some windy days. I don’t mean Dorothy and Toto flying off to Oz sort of windy, but pretty hefty winds just the same.  You guessed it; this man and his little boy were out playing ball. The wind was at the little boys back so when he hit the ball the first time and it whacked the tree at the end of the drive the man wasn’t the least bit surprised. Still he cheered his son, encouraging him to do it again and again. Which of course, the little boy accomplished easily.

Fast forward to their next play time. The man and the boy, outside playing ball, normal weather. Still, the little boy expects to hit the tree at the end of the drive just like he did last time. And he does. Again and again. Naturally the man continues to whoop it up, so excited for his son that he is continuously hitting his goal, the tree.

About a week or so later, it occurred to the man one day. That freaky wind that carried the ball so easily was no longer blowing. Still, his incredible little boy was regularly hitting the tree at the end of the drive. This is even more exciting! The man however is more clever than many might be in the situation, and he doesn’t tell his son that it was the wind that made that amazing hit possible in the first place, he simply keeps encouraging success and celebrating every hit.

No one told the little boy he could only hit the tree with the wind behind his back. So, for him it was simple truth that he could hit the tree. He proved it to himself and simply continued living that truth.

In 1954, Roger Bannister was the first man to prove an old truism wrong. It was believed that the human body could not run a mile in 4 minutes or less. That truism had been proven again and again since we began recording such events. But on that special day, Mr. Bannister broke the old record and made a new truism, of course the 4 minute mile could be run and several other men accomplished the same feat in that year.   

All of this matters because as human beings we are always programming ourselves. We read newspapers and yes, sometimes even books. We listen to television and radio; we speak with family, friends and co-workers. Learning what we can and cannot do.

This is one of the reasons why life coaching and hypnotism are so very powerful. We spend part of each and every session talking about the way you talk to yourself. What words are coming out of your mouth? What ‘truth’ are you telling? After all, we believe what we hear frequently, otherwise TV ads wouldn’t sell us on the belief that one toothpaste is vastly superior to the other brands on the shelf. How many of us have researched our toothpaste? Not me, still I believe that one is better for my little pearlies and so I buy it regularly, even keeping back up tubes available, because I have come to believe what I have heard.

We all do it, it is human nature. This is very cool because it means that we can teach or program ourselves any way that we choose. We’re doing it anyhow, so why not do it with deliberation?

I strongly encourage my life coaching clients to speak kindly to themselves, to be deliberate in framing their words and phrases. Because it matters what they say. Not only do others hear and come to believe what words they utter, but they hear and believe as well. Repetition does that for us.

Same goes when a client is experiencing hypnotism. We share a long, interesting conversation before the actual hypnotizing happens. At least I find it interesting. I want to learn as much about the clients’ true beliefs and desires as possible. Why? Because when they are experiencing a hypnotic trance, I’m going to offer suggestions to change the clients’ life in one manner or another. If these suggestions are accepted by the client, they will become their new truth. If you’ve ever listened to a hypnotist, you will have noticed that these new truths are repeated over and over in ways that the client prefers.

For example, if I were hypnotizing myself (and I do) to release unnecessary concerns about something I would tell myself something along these lines. ‘I release concerns regarding…as I trust that all is working out as it should.’ ‘I feel more calm, more at ease regarding…feeling better and better.’ In no way would I be lying to myself, that would be totally unacceptable, I would simply be introducing a new truth. Easing into feeling better, more calm, releasing concern that is not needed. That would form my new belief and I get to relax because after all, we do live what we believe.

One of my favorite people in the world frequently tells me that I frustrate her. She tells me that everything always works out for me and that my life is just silly easy, especially compared to hers. It makes me smile, which pushes her buttons, makes me smile more…you can see where this is going I’m sure. I’ve always shared my belief that life works out well if you expect it to do so. Just that simple. And it turns out that so far my life has worked out beautifully, and I expect that it will continue that way.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t had bruises and bumps, just like she has. The difference is that she believes the bruises and bumps will be hard, painful and difficult. Guess what? She finds the normal ups and downs of life to frequently be hard, painful and difficult.  I too have experienced pain and would not be surprised if life tosses a bit more my way from time to time. The man difference is that I absolutely, firmly believe that the pain will be lessened as time goes on and that I will learn from it, coming out a stronger and for me this is the key, a happier person. That’s my belief and for my life up to this point, it’s always worked out just that way.

What do you believe about your life? How can you change up your belief just a little bit to make today better? Are you willing to see yourself hitting the tree at the end of your drive? I bet you can.

 I encourage you to believe that you deserve success in whatever way you define success. This week I encourage you to believe that you deserve to be happy. This week I ask you to know that you live what you believe. Because my friend, you do.

Namaste,

Sandy

Meditation Musings – Changes

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

We Sit.
We Sit because it is what we do.
We Sit without thought of goal or gain.
We Sit.

This is the beginning of my morning meditation and has been for longer than I can remember.

This is the Way I was taught, many years ago. Meditation is something I do because I am a meditator. It requires no other justification. I am a meditator for reasons even I don’t understand. I know only that it is a part of me. It is what I do.

However, while this attitude is wonderful and embraces meditation as a pure practice, the fact of the matter is that my Way is not the only Way and many people would like to have a reason, a goal if you will, for doing something on a daily basis. Even if the reason for Sitting is simply to enrich the spiritual aspect of one’s life, many people feel that if they invest several hours a week in a practice they should get something more out of it.

And, yes, even as I speak the words, I understand that if I have no other purpose my meditation completes me and that is a goal and/or gain.

So, let us move from the ideal to the practical.

True meditation, on a regular basis, often brings insight, patience, and balance to one’s life. Just sitting quietly in the Now can cause one to see and feel things in ways that most non-introspective people don’t understand.

When we have made that connection between our conscious and sub-conscious mind by using meditation there are many places we can go and things we can do with this connection.

After the phrases mentioned above my meditation turns to my affirmations, those things I wish to emphasize in my daily life. Experience has taught me that affirmations should typically be short and positive in their wording:

“I live a life of kindness and compassion.”
“I recognize and accept that all creatures wish to experience happiness and avoid suffering.”
“I enjoy making healthy choices.”

Affirmations of this nature can remind you of what you want your life to look like and when you start or end your day with these positive statements they often stay with you as you move out of the zendo and into your world.

When someone cuts you off in traffic, instead of reacting with anger and outrage, your remembrance of the fact that you live a life of kindness and compassion is an antidote for the negative emotions you might otherwise feel.

When faced with the unexplained actions of someone close to you, remembering that all creatures wish to experience happiness and avoid suffering might help you in your search for the true context of the actions that puzzle you.

If, when ordering food in a restaurant, you are reminded that you enjoy making healthy choices, it becomes easy to order a salad rather than a burger. It’s been my experience that if I’m going to argue with myself about such a choice I might just as well make a good choice, and even if I choose the burger I’m doing it mindfully and the next time I will most likely make a good choice simply because I’m aware of what I’m doing and know that making healthy choices is better for me.

And so, after a while, the affirmations become a part of you.

You don’t have to try to live a life of kindness and compassion, it just happens. And when you engage in thoughts or activities that don’t reflect this pattern you recognize it and realize that you are acting in a manner that is not normal for you. This often leads one to contemplate, perhaps in the next meditation session, why you reacted in such a manner and, when coupled with the gentle persistence we use in meditation, could allow you to identify a larger issue or situation that might need to be dealt with.

There are many sources for meditations that use a variety of affirmations. The easiest is your own mind. Decide what your affirmations will be and recite them to yourself on a daily basis during your meditation. If your desired affirmations are common you might be able to find a generic meditation recording that will allow you to absorb them as you listen. If your affirmations are unique to you or your situation you might wish to find someone who can make a recording that is tailored to your specific needs.

When I craft a custom meditation for a client I always start with an interview, either in person, by phone, or via email. Questions are asked in order to understand what the client wishes to accomplish with their meditation. I am also searching for phrases, attitudes or experiences that will help me craft the message in a way that makes the most positive connection possible. I explore when and how the client meditates, including what they are usually doing both before and after Sitting.

Once this interview is completed I create a recording that is specific to the information gathered. A custom meditation typically has three components: the affirmations, background sounds, and brain entrainment beats.

Affirmations have been discussed and often the client provides some or all of the affirmations, they need only be tweaked to place them in a short, positive manner. While affirmations can be made sub-audible, or subliminal, recordings provided by my label, Indigo Sangha, usually have audible vocals

Background sounds, usually nature or environmental sounds, are crafted to help the listener relax and connect with themselves in a comfortable manner.

Brain entrainment beats are designed to help the meditator move into a receptive frame of mind, usually leading them to a mental state that helps make the connection between the conscious and sub-conscious mind. If one meditates in the morning, after hearing the affirmations, the mind might then be led to an active, engaged state. If meditation is done at night, before bedtime, the mind might be led, instead, to a sleep or pre-sleep state. Entrainment beats can be audible or sub-audible and their construction is determined by information gathered in the initial interview.

It should be noted that this process only suggests to the brain that it go into these states. It is still necessary that one be receptive to the entrainment and a proper time and place should be provided. Entrainment beat recordings should never be listened to while driving a car or operating machinery.

Whether one uses generic or custom meditation recordings the technology should always be seen as an aid to our Way and not a substitute for proper practice or contemplation. Even with the use of this remarkable technology one should still remember that the process of being mindfully in the Now is what separates meditation from all other activities.

Namaste,
Jim

Open House – Welcome!

Friday, November 12th, 2010

I want to take this moment to invite one and all to our Open House!

Monday, November 15th

3-7pm

13825 West National Avenue

New Berlin, Wi 53151

Your Hosts

Serenity

Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance – WOCA

Café of Life Chiropractic

New Berlin Chamber of Commerce

Also Featured

Mary Kay Cosmetics

Shorewest

ANEW

Insight

Miche Purses

Tupperware

…and more

This will be a great opportunity to sample services, ask questions and learn about wonderful services and products.  Some of the services and products featured will be:

Life Coaching – Reiki – Hypnosis – Animal Reiki – Meditation – Vitalistic Chiropractic Care – Cosmetics & Skin Care    Spiritual Coaching – Biofeedback – De-toxifying Footbaths …and so much more!

Wrap up your holiday shopping with purchase of products or gift certificates.

We look forward to seeing you Monday.

Namaste,

Sandy

Hypnosis – Will It Make You Quack Like A Duck?

Saturday, November 6th, 2010

I’ve always been fascinated with hypnosis. I suspect too much time watching old B movies when I was a kid gave me some interesting though way off the mark ideas.

As years went by I learned bits here and there about hypnosis. I learned that hypnotherapy was a valuable and very real option to help one improve their life. Everything from weight loss to stress management. But I still had some thoughts and ideas about hypnosis that were very inaccurate. Maybe fun to think about but not even close to reality.

Wanna quack like a duck? That’s the first thing I wanted to ask anyone who questioned me about hypnosis when I began learning about it. Of course the actual fact is that I can’t make anyone quack like a duck, sing like Sinatra or play football like Favre unless it’s something that they want to do already. Hmmm…perhaps I should make that just a bit clearer. If deep down you are willing and would like to quack like a duck then you will do your best rendition of quacking when asked to do so under hypnosis. Will you sound just like Donald Duck or a mallard? Probably not, but you would quack away to the best of your ability. Again, only if it is something that you choose to do.

That’s a pretty important fact. Here are a few other pertinent and often misunderstood facts about hypnosis or hypnotherapy.

* Anyone with a normal mind can be hypnotized. So much for the theory that ‘my mind is too strong to be hypnotized’. That simply isn’t true. In fact, anyone who is able to follow simple directions and focus their mind for a short period of time is capable of being hypnotized.

* We go easily into hypnosis all the time. Did you ever arrive at a destination while driving and not remember some or all of the route? You were most likely involved in highway hypnosis. You were intently focused and simply chose not to notice outside events. In the event of an emergency you would have reacted accordingly, someone pulling in front of you or stopping suddenly. It is a light trance.

* You cannot be hypnotized against your will. This one is a very big deal to me. After all, I don’t want anyone putting me into a trance if I choose otherwise. You are fully capable of resisting and simply not going into trance if that is your preference.

* A hypnotist cannot, simply cannot, let me repeat that one more time just for the sake of clarity, can not make you do something that is against your will. For instance, if you do not want to rob a bank, if that is not something that you would choose to do, perhaps you are morally or ethically opposed to this suggestion, then rest assured this is not a suggestion that any hypnotherapist can give you that will work. Just not the way our brains work, hypnosis or not. And may I say I am very grateful for that!

Learning about hypnotism, and working with clients using hypnosis has been wonderful for me and I hope for them as well. Each time I work with a client using hypnotherapy I am amazed one more time at how hypnosis can help us to make our world a happier place.

Being hypnotized feels great. Not much different than the way I feel right now typing this blog sometimes. There are several levels of trance, but I want to assure you, that you are always able to come out of hypnosis any time that you choose. You can’t get ‘stuck’ in hypnosis. Another fact that made me very happy. For instance, if you were to be under hypnosis, or in trance and your hypnotherapist walked out of the room and simply didn’t come back, you would have nothing to worry about. You would either gently fall asleep and take a nap or you would easily come out of trance and be able to simply go about your business.

Needless to say, I will have lots more to say about this topic in the future. I have recently added hypnosis as one of the services available in my business, Serenity. It’s truly my pleasure to use hypnosis as one more valuable tool to work with clients achieve their very best life.

So, no worries. When we work together with hypnotherapy, you don’t need to be concerned. You will not leave the session quacking like a duck. Unless of course you really want to quack like a duck. Let’s talk. 🙂

Namaste,

Sandy

Life Coaching and Accountability

Saturday, August 28th, 2010

Once again I have to say how incredibly grateful I am to my clients, they’re simply the best.

Temporary State Fair tattoo to show off my improving biceps.

A few months ago I realized that each and every one of my holistic life coaching clients was an athlete to one degree or another. Hmmm, the odds of that seemed a bit extreme but there you have it. At the same time I had been becoming more and more aware that I was not nearly as physically fit as I had been in the past. This my friends is called a clue!

One day I received an email from a friend of mine telling me about a great deal on a physical fitness boot camp being offered. Uh oh, another hint from the Universe. I decided that maybe I ought to pay attention so I signed up for the boot camp.

The truth is that I really do not like to exercise in a gym.  I walk a lot with my good boxer buddy Indy but I was not looking forward to this boot camp. Oh, did I mention that the starting time for boot camp is 5:30 am and that it is 30 miles away from my home. This means getting up at 4 am to go and do something that I have told myself for the longest time that I truly dislike.

Maybe this needed a bit more thought; after all I had only invested $40. so backing out wouldn’t crush me financially. However, I knew I would be deeply disappointed in myself if I did back out. So, once again thinking about the fact that all of my life coaching clients were athletes, I decided to share my trepidation with them. That’s just what I did. I contacted each and every one of those amazingly fit coaching clients and told them that they were part of the inspiration that drove me to this desperate act. I also asked each life coaching client if they would care to turn the tables, would they hold me accountable for my intentions as I held them accountable for the plans they made during their coaching sessions.

The response didn’t surprise me at all, but it did thoroughly warm my heart. Each and every one of my amazing coaching clients enthusiastically agreed to hold me feet to the fire. Okay, they were kinder than that, but I needed to know that I was going to be asked about this process and how I was handling it.

This accountability has been incredibly important to me. One particular morning I awoke earlier than normal, around 3 am. Polished off a pot of coffee, did a bit of work and got very comfy in my chair. It was rainy outside and generally yucky. It most definitely felt like a good morning to spend curled up in my chair, drink more coffee and read a book until it was time for my first client meeting. And then I thought about those holistic life coaching clients of mine, I knew they would ask about boot camp. I knew I would not be judged for deciding to stay at home, but I also know that I would be supported and cheered if I actually tied up my sneakers and did the work. Needless to say, that accountability did its job. I have great attendance and know I’ll finish the program. In fact, I’ve signed up for another boot camp when this one is completed. My clients are already helping me to set new goals.

That’s very much how the¬¨‚Ć holistic life coaching process works when clients come to me. Thoughts are expanded upon, fears are examined and aspirations are encouraged. Accountability is very important. I always encourage my clients to take steps that they plan and ask them about their results. There is no brow beating if they have not completed their intended course, instead we take a look at the decision making process and the client determines if it’s time for another attempt or if an alternate route is preferred. Knowing that I am going to ask, prompts many a coaching client to take a step outside of their comfort zone. That is how progress is made.

Thanking my Higher Power for the clues and my clients for holding me accountable, I will keep at this process to regain strength and flexibility. For the record, the Divine clearly has a sense of humor. In the time since I made the commitment to this boot camp, not one of my new holistic life coaching clients is an athlete. I guess the message has been received and it’s okay to move on. Makes me smile.

I encourage you to share your intentions, goals and aspirations with someone you trust. If you give them permission to support and encourage you, you will likely find progress much easier. Accountability is a wonderful thing.

Namaste,
Sandy

Meditation Musings

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

As Serenity expands it’s Group Meditation offerings I’d like to take a few
moments to talk about how we view meditation and how our groups tend to work.

Modern science tells us of many benefits of meditation including lower blood
pressure, stress level reduction and better sleep patterns. Most of us who
practice meditation would add to the list, a better understanding of ourselves
and a generally calmer attitude towards life’s travails and petty indignations.
Some form of meditation seems to be a part of most civilizations and some
methods have been in use for thousands of years.

I was an occasional meditator for many years and mostly practiced when I felt
the stress in my life becoming overwhelming. One day it dawned on me that if
meditation could help when I was under a heavy stress load, perhaps, if used on
a regular basis, it could keep my stress load from building up in the first
place.
As I practiced on a more regular basis I began to study the different types of
meditation disciplines. I was struck, not by the differences, but by the
similarities. I also found that my own meditation technique (crafted  by 40
years of intermittent practice) fell into none of the traditional methods. And
yet, I benefit enormously from my practice.

I don’t find it surprising that humans have found such diverse ways to touch
that place we touch when we meditate. We are an endlessly creative species. And
the similarities within all these practices? Well, how many shapes can a wheel
be? They were all created to get us to that place we go when we  sit. That is
their greatest commonality.

My friend Sandy says that when she prays she’s talking to God, when she
meditates she’s listening to God. I start my meditation each morning with the
affirmation “I sit, I sit because it is what I do, I sit without thought of goal
or gain‚Äö√Ñ√π. Our respect for each other’s Way is evident and when you come to our
group your Way will be equally respected.

If you’ve never meditated before we can certainly help you find your own Way.
There’s nothing magical or difficult about it. You don’t have to sit
cross-legged on a funny cushion (but please don’t mind if I do). You don’t have
to “stop your thoughts” (unless you want to). If you do nothing but sit quietly
in a calm and supportive atmosphere you will begin to reap the benefits of
meditation.

Our groups usually meet for 90 minutes. First we typically have a short reading
and/or discussion about some aspect of meditation. We then have 30-45 minutes of
meditation, which could be a guided meditation recording, meditation appropriate
music, or guidance by a group member. We then have a short time to unwind,
discuss the day’s meditation, journal or sit quietly. Whatever the group
prefers.

We presently have our Wednesday morning group which meets from 9:30-11:00 am but
if you would like to see a group at another time or in another format, let us
know. We will be expanding to evenings and weekends as new groups form. We have
a $5 fee per session to help defray the cost of the space, tea, and water.

As these groups grow I’m excited about meeting people with techniques new to me
and those who wish to begin meditating for the first time. Who knows what we’ll
learn?

Nemaste,
Jim