"Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath." ~ Eckhart Tolle
I'm going about my normal day. Doing my typical thing at work when I receive an email…THE email that is a bomb wrapped between “Hi” and “Thanks.”
“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Mindfulness is a buzzword with growing popularity in the mainstream media as well as in our daily lives.
Why is knowing what makes you truly happy such an important question?
Well, let me ask you in another way…
My husband and I adopted our first cat, Snorkel, two years ago. Typical story of “going into the pound
“We are human beings, not human doings. Don't equate your self-worth with how well you do things in life. You aren't what you do. If you are what you do, then when you don't...you aren't."
- Dr. Wayne Dyer
I’m a city gal – born and raised in multiple cities around the globe. Presently, I also live in a city. So, whenever I have free time or go on vacation, I tend to get excited about going to places where there is nature to enjoy – water in particular.
I learned that being in the country side or floating on top of a natural body of water brings me closer from the “doing” mind to the “being” mind.
What do I mean?
Most of us have a list of to-dos a mile long (and keeps growing)! And if you are one of the lucky ones (insert sarcasm), you have a to-do list for every compartment of your life – work, family, friends, etc.
How do we recognize when we are “doing” too much and not “being” enough? After all, we are human beings, aren’t we?
Lists are a great tool for organization and prioritization that can help with our productivity. But that’s exactly what it is – a tool – rather than a way of life (which may hinder us to really live our lives).
Take notice of how much “doing” you do a day versus “being” and how each mindset impacts the way you feel.
What are some ways you enjoy “being” without having to take a vacation to the Mediterranean?
The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. ~Albert Einstein
The answer to life’s greater questions involves engaging our right brain.
So why don’t we access our right brain when we need it? Well, it comes down to practice. In modern day life, we tend to favor the left over the right brain (because most societies reward it).
To overly simplify the brain anatomy, our left brain is in charge of our logical, rational and analytical thinking; our right brain is where intuition and creativity lives. Naturally, in a “big data” driven world, it’s easy to see how most schools and work environments will reward left-skewed brain thinking, problem solving and behavior. Now, there is nothing wrong with our left brain – in fact it can be genius when we use it to serve a bigger purpose (for instance, I need my left brain to write this blog).
The cost of favoring analytical reasoning over intuition to solve for life’s greater questions, is that we can miss out on insights to guide our inner-self toward our truth. Our truth does not always come with a list of facts and supporting data. However, the right answer will feel right in our bodies.
Our left brain identifies who we are, our ego and separates us from another being. It separates you from me. What’s fascinating is that when we disengage our left brain, we experience the world as a connected universe. I am you, and you are me, and we are both connected to the life source of the ocean and all lifeforms. This feeling and understanding of oneness can be experienced through our right brain at any time. We just need to tap into it. It is also by tuning ourselves into the frequency of the universe (like a radio station), where we can tap into our deepest intuition of knowing. This is where purpose, insights and innovation lives.
Dr. Tayler is a Harvard neuroscientist who at the age of 37 had a full-blown stroke in her home, which disabled her left brain temporarily. What would sound to most people a painful and tragic event, actually was a peaceful, joyful and beautiful experience where Dr. Tayler felt more connected to her joy and the universe than ever before. (she ultimately fully recovered, but still exercises how frequently she engages with certain pathways in her left brain). If you want to learn more about the mechanics of the brain and how it shapes our reality, I highly recommend reading “My Stroke of Insight” by Dr. Jill Bolte Tayler. The TedTalk video below will give you a preview to the book.
Here are three techniques to help you tap into your right brain and give your left brain a break (especially in moments when it’s not serving you):
1. Get out of your head and into your body– when confronted with a difficult decision (often times with a balanced pro / con list), feel it out. How does each scenario play out in your body? Does it make you feel good, excited or expansive, or does it feel limiting, icky and restrictive? (see previous blog for techniques to get out of your head and into your body)
2. Check yourself before you wreck yourself – be aware and catch the negative narrative running through your mind (often comes in the form of “don’t do that, you’ll embarrass yourself,” “who do you think you are for wanting…,” “you’re not good enough to….” These common thoughts are constant and not constructive. We experience them every day - while driving, in meetings, during silent pauses between conversations, while getting dressed in the morning, etc. As long as you engage in the narrative, it will never stop. Thank them for their service (because they once served a purpose) and let them go, as you are running the show now.
3. Pay attention to your words – because your thoughts will affect what your body experiences. For example, think of biting into a juicy lemon. Really, imagine cutting a big wedge of lemon, then sticking the fleshy part into your mouth... then give the juicy pulp a nice squeeze with your mouth. As you’re thinking about this thought, your mouth is producing saliva and your muscles may be contracting and perhaps you may have even swallowed the imaginary juice. Our bodies are connected to our thoughts, but it does not know the difference between a thought shaped by your past experience, your parent’s and friends’ opinions, societal norms, media influences and your own personal truth. Once your thought is formed, it lives inside you and your body will react to it. How might labeling a task "painful" or "impossible" versus "a new experience" or "an opportunity" change the outcome?
What other techniques do you use to tap into your intuitive self? Share by commenting below.
Let's have some fun with technique #2 from the previous article. Here’s my current feel good playlist.
Do you feel any of these songs? Which one of these moved you? What are your go-to songs to get you out of your head and into your body and heart?
Are you happy? Not really. Do you think you can be happier? Don’t know. Would you like to be happier? Yes!
If this sounds like you, you might want to observe the default narrative in your mind. Take notice, do you have a habit of re-living the past or worrying about future events? We all do as humans, but we have the ability to choose how often we do this. Change this little habit, and experience the difference in your day-to-day life.
Our natural tendency is to dwell on the past (can breed regret, loss and shame) or focus on the future (can breed worry and anxiety). This way of existing can create a downward spiral if we are not careful because we do not have control over events in our past or future. It is impossible to affect or improve the outcome, but we can’t help but run the scenario over and over in our heads. This makes us feel trapped, helpless and unable to change our circumstances.
When we are living in past and the future, we're also missing the experience of what's right in front of us. How do you know you're doing it? You will notice that the “chatter” in your head is non-stop. This “noise” clouds our judgement and shapes how we experience the world.
So, what do we do? We practice being present. Living in the moment allows us to take control of our lives and appreciate the beauty and blessings we have right in front of us. Many schools of thought believe this is the secret to happiness.
You don’t need to be a yogi or meditate daily to achieve a state of presence.
Here are 6 easy techniques to get you out of your head and into your body and heart almost immediately:
Have other tips for practicing being present? Share your comments below!
Hi there. Thanks for stopping by. I guarantee you that you’re one of the first to review this blog, and I appreciate that.
I bet if you’ve come this far, you have some questions. I plan to use this place to answer your questions, start discussions and provide some nuggets for us to chew on.
First things first. Are you wondering…what’s coaching? What’s mind coaching? Why am I still confused about it?
Coaching is a generic term and takes on so many shapes – so of course you have questions. In our day-to-day culture, we relate coaching with sports coach, fitness coach, nutritional coach, career coach, acting coach, spiritual coach, business coach, leadership coach and on and on and on.
What’s a mind coach then you ask? It’s much closer to a life coach than any of the aforementioned types of coaches. But still, what do you think of when you think of a life coach? Tony Robbins? Marie Forleo? Eckhart Tolle? That’s all correct, but they are also synonymous with a motivational speaker, internet TV host and spiritual guru... thus confusing the “coach” terminology that much more.
For those who have had a life coach before, this is not a mind-blowing concept to wrap your heads around. But for those who are first-timers to coaching, this could be ridiculously confusing. I call the type of coaching that I do “mind coaching” to help differentiate what I do with all the other types of coaching out there.
Google defines a coach as, “a person who counsels and encourages clients on matters having to do with careers or personal challenges.” I’m ok with this definition, if it helps you understand what I can offer you.
I’m a gal who likes bullets, since I come from the world of management consulting. So, in 3 bullets, here’s what I offer my clients and have changed their lives:
What’s your experience with the word “coach?” Have you had a life or mind coach before? How did it help / not help you? Would love to hear your experience. Share your thoughts by posting a comment below.
Still have questions? Shoot me a message.