Here is a thought for the day…Do you think there are instances in coaching where it is appropriate to open a dialogue around mindfulness or meditation and if so, when is it appropriate?
As a coach, we have to balance our desires with that of the client. Coaching is about teaching the client to learn about themselves. Not guiding them where we want them to go. I would think that it would be appropriate to open a dialog with a client about mindfulness or meditation if the client had a lot of stress or anxiety that needed to be addressed, or that was apparent. Some people are resistant to meditation. In fact, there was a client where I work just the other day that refused to attend his meditation class, stating that he can’t do that, his mind wont quiet, and it never works. Needless to say, he was very resistant. It got me thinking about alternatives for him. I have been exploring mindfulness and started looking for quick introductory ways to broach the subject. I found a helpful article with 6 easy steps that only take a few minutes a day:
One Minute Breathing - All you have to do is focus on your breath for just one minute. Start by breathing in and out slowly, holding your breath for a count of six once you’ve inhaled. Then breathe out slowly, letting the breath flow effortlessly out back into the atmosphere.
Mindful Observation - Pick a natural organism within your immediate environment and focus on watching it for a minute or two. Don’t do anything except notice the thing you are looking at. But really notice it. Allow yourself just to notice and ‘be’.
Touch Points - Think of something that happens every day more than once, something you take for granted, like opening a door for example. At the very moment you touch the door knob to open the door, allow yourself to be completely mindful of where you are, how you feel and what you are doing. Instead of going through the motions on auto-pilot, stop and stay in the moment for a while and rest in the awareness of this blessed daily activity.
Mindful Listening - Select a new piece of music from your music collection, something you’ve never heard before but makes you wonder what it might sound like. The idea is to just listen and allow yourself to become fully entwined with what is being played/sung, without preconception or judgement of the genre, artist, lyrics, instrumentation or its origin.
Fully Experiencing a Regular Routine - Take a regular routine that you find yourself “just doing” without really noticing your actions. Rather than a routine job or chore, create an entirely new experience by noticing every aspect of your actions.
A Game of Fives - All you have to do is notice five things in your day that usually go unnoticed and unappreciated. These could be things you hear, smell, feel or see. (James, n.d.)
It seems that we are always so busy, and I know that when I had a corporate 50-60 hour a week job, mindfulness was not at the top of my list. Connecting with the world on different levels can certainly help our clients to decompress and prioritize. Stopping to smell the roses is the phrase, I believe. Well, there is certainly something to be said about that. I thought that this article laid out some simple exercises that were not too taxing or time consuming to the busy executive. I am going to tuck it away in my “bag of tricks” and tack it on my wall for personal use.
James, A. (n.d.). 6 Mindfulness Exercises You Can Try Today. Retrieved from Pocket Mindfulness: http://www.pocketmindfulness.com/6-mindfulness-exercises-you-can-try-today/