Last year I started a course in Holistic Life Coaching. Homeopathy heals present and past symptoms, Life Coaching is future based and allows us to explore areas that haven’t arisen yet but can cause anxiety. My aim is to put this all together for a well rounded healing experience. However, as a therapist, taking on a new area of study means that I too must put myself in a potential client’s shoes. So I jumped out of the comfort zone and went through the process I plan to engage new customers in.
I really enjoyed some of the practical techniques such as mindful breathing in – a technique in which you give yourself time (even 2 minutes is good), just to focus on your breathing and how your breath rises and falls. It felt like refilling my battery when I was tired and is something I am now actively doing before heading into a stressful situation. Walking in nature is a mindfulness technique which I love and was easy to adapt to my life; as you know I walk my dog daily anyway and being outside is for me an absolute essential for good mental health, but walking mindfully was different – .just walking where my mind took me, having no objectives (such as completing 5000 steps or doing a hill climb, which the goal-setting, driven part of me loves) was great for clearing my head.
I read a book in which Ruby Wax talks about how in western culture we are ‘mindlessly’ busy. On observing my own practice I could see how I can operate in this way; operating many tabs open on a laptop, dealing with many things at a time. For me it raised the question about being mindlessly busy or mindfully multi-tasking and this is about trying to be more present in what I do. Busyness does not equal success. In my homeopathic practice I see an increase in patients who cannot cope with the demands of modern life which results in stress, anxiety, adhd and depression and this is due to being mindlessly busy.
There were many times over the past month that I had lightbulb moments, being more mindful and self-compassionate really changes things. One of the hardest conversations with myself was mindfully considering goals. Being goal driven isn’t always a positive influence on our mental health and Liz Hall in her book Mindful Coaching writes “goals can close the door on potential opportunities”. It is switching from hard goals to a more soft-focused goal that is the key. I’ll be honest, this is something that I need practise with, but thinking it through is a step in the right direction, although culturally we are not set up to be less goal driven.
I’d spent some time over Christmas reading a couple of Books by Brene Brown, both talk about vulnerability. This was something I decided I wanted to explore mindfully; how my vulnerability can actually be my strength. It is an area that I would love to bring more into my practice. Talking to people about how their own perceived weaknesses are actually their strengths that need compassion, mindful acknowledgement and healing.
I also got my tarot cards out a lot during my month of mindfulness. Tarot is a brilliant tool for delving deep into the psyche, allowing you to ask yourself questions you never knew were hidden inside of you, taking you on a journey that is so deeply personal. Journaling cards picked out was a great way to engage in mindful self-compassion. I also love a technique called proprioceptive writing, in which you write for a 20 minute period with classical music on (as it stimulates a part of the brain) and write whatever comes to your mind and then you question yourself why you wrote that. Writing isn’t for everyone, but even taking that 20 minutes and having a meditative conversation with yourself can be just as kind to yourself. A bath is the perfect opportunity to mindfully engage with yourself!
“Mindfulness is the practical application of self-awareness, self-management, and social awareness; in short, developing mindfulness means developing emotional intelligence.” It sums up what my month of mindfulness has meant to me. Learning more about myself, learning how I react and that by listening to myself and by engaging with ideas that I have found challenging, that I will grow and learn from this.
Homeopathy for me is the ultimate in mindful medicine. With homeopathy we are asking ourselves how we feel, how we engage with ourselves, what symptoms we have and why we feel we have them. We are interacting with nature and the environment and encouraging ourselves to fulfil our potential. My love affair with my job continues to unfold……