Monthly Archive: January 2015

Striving Can Be Negative

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There is no place like the present. While it is good to have goals (and let go of the past), being oblivious to the present can cause you to have unsaid worries that plague you daily. If that sentence just struck a chord, keep reading.

It is very important to be present in the moment. To be mindful of what is going on, who you interact with, and where you are in life is very important to how you grow and move forward.  A constant effort to strive for a better tomorrow really removes the focus off of your actions today, which isn’t a plus for your overall mental health.

Owning past mistakes and poor choices made is a big cause for striving to improve one’s life. While wanting to grow is good, you have to be able to sit in the now and accept what has happened. Why are you where you are today? Don’t think in terms of where you need to be tomorrow without considering how you got to your state of mind, financial position, and current plight in life.  All of our actions are tied in to one another so understanding your purpose and your current plight is needed in order to grow.

Self-regulation is a big part of the human spirit. We often try to control situations and other people. We are constantly predicting outcomes and making decisions (good or bad) on your predictions. In this effort, we forget that there are minor and daily decisions being made in the now and these will influence tomorrow.  How aware are you of your present behavior?

Think of a goal that you are striving for right now.  You probably have a plan in your head that predicts your outcome without the possibility of anything going too wrong, right? Now, think about what you are doing right now. How do you physically or mentally feel? Is there someone in your life right now that is causing you to stress and strive for a better tomorrow? Are you addressing this person and their behavior? Have you thought about your present environment and how it is impacting your life or how you react to it?

You can change your life but it isn’t a positive change without the ability to truly be mindful of your present movement. Self-regulation is almost like automatic writing. This said, are you ready to be the true author of your life?

Coaching and Online Therapy

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Zenefits. PayPal. Facebook. Amazon. Uber. These are all companies that have revolutionized the way we do business within the online real estate of different, yet very important, daily industries. This said, online coaching and therapy is also moving in this direction. It helps people with limited time, travel resources, or a simple fear of in-person therapy to obtain life coaching from the convenience of their home!

I decided, like many of my peers, to provide services online because it better serves my clients. I am able to help more people without the pressure of showing up to an appointment on time or sitting in stressful traffic just to make it to the appointment. Someone – anyone- can now log on and meet with me in a confidential and face-to-face virtual environment that is comfortable and convenient for them.

When I coach my clients online, I’ve found that the trust and communication is improved. My clients are in their own space and feel more in control of the sessions. I’m able to free up my schedule more and cut the expensive brick and mortar costs to keep affordability a priority. I believe when my clients can afford to see me, they are able to show up more and do the work, which is another benefit of online coaching and online therapy sessions.

Coaching is about using therapeutic tools from the active listener point of view.  There is something informal about the virtual landscape that allows my sessions to be more direct and honest. It’s harder to bear fears, worries and doubts to someone you just met in an office-like environment. Online, however, all that goes away and my clients and I can really dive into achieving a true awareness of their feelings, their environments and what obstacles are in their way.

Technology has truly built a bridge to allow people to better connect with one another on a human level. The formality of an office visit is still beneficial for some, but more convenient for many who may need an 8pm appointment when the kids are asleep. Focusing on your self-care and improving your assessment and reaction of situations is always key, which is another reason my online sessions tend to be so productive.

If you’re unsure about online coaching, please email or call me. I’d love to set up an initial visit with you. It is always confidential.

Trust in Everyday Life

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Trust is associated with self-regulation and trust of self. When you discover you have trust issues, all your past and present behaviors come into question. You come to realize that how you respond to a situation with one person may be, in fact, inappropriate because your distrust from another relationship in the past could spill into the present.

While there is no erasing the past, there is present day healing and the ability to be coached into addressing the realities of today.  As a person in the now, you can use your damaged trust to either lean and support change in the direction of healing, growth and wholeness. Or, you can continue to be a creature of habit and self-destruct any ability to heal, grow or change that distrust.

One great example of this is a child of verbal trauma dealing with constructive criticism in the adult world.  Let’s say a 10 year old girl is verbally abused by an uncle.  Every time the child says something to the uncle, he lashes back with something like “that’s a stupid idea” or “you don’t know what you’re talking about.”  Now, those words cause distrust, anxiety, poor self-esteem and so forth.  The child grows up and is working a job were her input is important.  If a peer politely tells her an idea isn’t going to work, the child inside could explode with negative emotion or- far worse- never trust that co-worker’s opinion. The now adult child responds to the current situation from a place of distrust as a child.

Growth and trust in everyday life are important for us to reach our total selves. We have the capability, as humans, to evolve if we allow ourselves to really understand how we got from point A to point B and then work on empowerment, not sabotage.

The paradoxical theory of change is at the core of the Gestalt therapy change theory. The paradox is that the more one tries to be who one is not, the more one stays the same. (Beisser, 1970). As a coach, I help my clients understand how to really be centered in the now and accept why things are so they can become the person they are destined to be. Staying still is a result of distrust. While the cause of the distrust may not be fair (it usually isn’t), being enslaved to emotions and negative repetitive behaviors is a form of self-abuse.

If you have trust issues, it may be time to consider the why and then the now in order to grow in the future.

Boosting Our Immune System with Coaching

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Let’s talk your immune system. Many people believe that staying physically fit, drinking plenty of water, and ensuring you have the correct amount of vitamins and minerals in your system on a daily basis will help keep your immune system healthy and happy. While this may be true, it isn’t a one-size-fits-all “cure” for staying well.

You see, our mental health really does impact our physical health. I have clients, whom I coach online, who do all the right things (eating right and working out) on a daily basis and yet they are plagued with fatigue, depression and achy bones. How you mentally feel impacts your physical health.  Your immune system can become depleted if your mental health isn’t up to par. So, how do you boost your immune system with life coaching and through gestalt therapy?

First, understand the statement “It’s all in your head” doesn’t have to be negative. What is in your head has a real impact on day-to-day life.  Being mindful of your movement, feelings and your environment is important.  Consider this, there have been many studies on survivors of sexual abuse and those with post-traumatic stress disorder that suggest they have elevated levels of stress hormones. In fact, college students experience this same level of elevated stress hormones during exam time. These stress hormones create feelings of anxiety, depression, fear, headaches, back aches, and can lower the immune system so you become more susceptible to the flu.

Understanding that our bodies have interrelated parts is the first step toward boosting your immune system and helping achieve better mental health. As a coach who leans on the principals of gestalt therapy, I can help you understand the triggers that are depleting your mental and physical health. We can work together to achieve an awareness of these triggers and then an actionable plan to overcome fears and anxieties – even stressors – that diminish your health.  Let’s start the conversation today.

Ways to Reduce Stress at Work

Sometimes there is no way to escape the stress that comes alongside the responsibilities of work. We are either bound to our productive, work with people who trigger unpleasant emotions, or deadlines are sprung on us at the last minute.

I specialize in helping people understand the connection between their environments and stress and then how to overcome these triggers using my coaching methods. Does this mean all your stress will go away? Of course not, but you will learn how to better control your moods through mindful movement and meditations.

Personal mindfulness and practiced meditations are terrific tools for being able to cope with the unexpected in life- even with that one co-worker who just can’t seem to get along with everyone else in the office!  Knowing how to center one’s self in the moment and – in a sense- ease your foot off the anxiety gas pedal will work wonders for your mental and physical health.

The key to eliminate / reducing stress is to really clarify and understand where you are and why you feel a certain way. Stress is really a reaction to fear.  We are plagued by the unknown and therefore we, as humans, tend to ruminate (stress) about potential outcomes and how our lives will be negatively impacted by these possibilities. This said, by coaching my clients about their fears (aka stress), they are able to understand situations as a whole and from an objective perspective, leaving anxiety at the curb.

The creative process and ability to express one’s self becomes crucial when discovering not only how to objectively look at a situation and all the possible outcomes (pleasant and unpleasant), but it helps to develop one’s own coping mechanism to assertively understand what is going on within the environment that causes fear – and then how the trigger feelings (stress / fear) can be diminished through expression, communication and so forth.

You don’t have to go to work on a daily basis in fear of your job, hesitant about your performance, or worried about co-worker conflict. There is a better way to deal with uncomfortable feelings using a variety of mindful tools.  Want to learn more? Let’s connect on social media. You can also learn how to deal with uncomfortable emotions in just 3 minutes a day by clicking here: https://joyofliving.leadpages.net/7-day-meditation/

Rest & Self-Care

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We are beings of change. We start changing the minute we are born and all the way up until the time we take our final breath Some of us savor each moment, allowing the Zen of today’s current energy to align with our senses. Others tend to overlook living in the moment, often caught up in the details of tomorrow and deadlines of yesterday.

If you are the later type of personality, it is almost a guarantee that rest and self-care are not on your list of priorities.  Why? Aren’t you worth a few moments, if not hours or days, to really center yourself and collect your thoughts? The truth is many of my coaching clients need help with the rest and self-care part of life.  We live in a culture where everything has to be super-sized and not working 24/7 is almost shameful.

I believe that making room for self-care and rest within our lives has to come from a place of habit or  practice. We are conditioned by society to be constantly mobile, constantly working, constantly engaged. Who has time to think under these circumstances? I’m here to tell you the same thing I tell my coaching clients every day, which is that it is OK to be still. It is OK to put yourself and your needs first.  And if you’re thinking this is easier said than done, keep reading.

The paradoxical theory of change is at the core of the Gestalt therapy change theory. This simply means that the more we try to be what we aren’t, the more things stay the same. When we try to force ourselves to change, it won’t work because we are placing too many of our resources in the service of something we aren’t.  Change always happens, regardless of what we do or don’t do.  Change for the better only happens when we identify with our whole self rather than reject any part of ourselves we don’t like or want.   While this concept isn’t easy to grasp, my clients and I work together to co-create a plan for positive change .

I highly advise anyone who feels like they have no time for him or herself to reconsider their worth. Your ability to function can only go so far on fumes. At some point in life you will have to pay attention to the feelings of being overbooked, over budget, and over stressed. You will have to make a conscious decision to provide yourself with the gift of not only being still, but being kind to your whole being.

Still have questions? Let’s talk!

How Stress Impacts Our Everyday Lives

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Stress can be a great motivator at times. For example, if you’re working on a project with a deadline, the approaching time frame acts as a slight stress motivator to complete the task at hand. However, too much stress can be a very bad thing and impact your mental and physical health in negative ways.  This said, I want to share a bit about my coaching sessions and how I can help you gain control over unexpected or overwhelming stressful situations.

I really like to emphasize the exaggeration exercise. This is where I ask a client whom I am coaching to exaggerate a movement or gesture repeatedly. This practice is helpful, usually, when it comes to identifying  feelings attached to a stressful behavior or circumstance. In fact, it makes the inner meaning of the feelings and what they are associated with more clear.

Here’s a great example of tackling stress using the exaggeration exercise. Let’s say you start to really feel overwhelmed or anxious sitting in your home. You start pacing. Instead of trying to quiet the pacing with TV, your smartphone or a glass of wine, focus in on the pacing. Talk out loud and discuss with yourself how you feel about the pacing. You might say you don’t like the pacing. You may say that the pacing is nervous energy that makes you anxious. You might say the pacing is really unbearable but you don’t know what to do about it.  Once you talk out the pacing-related feelings, it becomes clearer what the pacing really represents in your life that is stressful, and the feelings associated with the pacing are actually associated with the real problem at hand.

Stress has been known to weaken the immune system, cause heart failure, induce hypertension and strokes, and it can lead to addictive behaviors when people self-medicate. Your stress doesn’t have to overwhelm your life. You can get a grasp on the feelings, and subsequent behaviors, associated with the source of your stress.  Once you do, you will be able to identify and handle these feelings in a more proactive manner.

If you feel like stress is starting to rule your life, please try this exercise and then contact me. I am available to provide virtual coaching to anyone regardless of where they are in the world. All sessions are 100% confidential.