After a fantastic first life coaching session last week which you can read about here, I was really keen for Session 2. My Life Coach, Deborah Chalk, has very kindly agreed to offer ten free life coaching sessions to our group. She started the session by giving us an overview of what to expect over the next nine sessions. The plan is to discuss and implement some useful coaching tools in the first few sessions, and after that do some direct coaching with each of us.
We then discussed the homework that Deborah had set at the end of our call last week. Deborah had asked us to practise being more mindful and conscious. Over the week and when we were able to, she asked us to record in a notebook the following:
- What am I thinking?
- What am I feeling?
- Where am I feeling it?
We discussed that over-thinking, a common trait in women, can lead us to lose contact with our bodies. We need to listen to our bodies more as it can help us to better steer through our lives. We should stop listening to so many of the thoughts that run through our minds, and reject the “I should’ and the “It is expected of me” thoughts.
In order to encourage us to do what works for us personally and to reject the pressures we can all feel, Deborah introduced us to The Body Compass Tool, from the work of best-selling author Dr Martha Beck.
What is The Body Compass Tool?
Deborah asked us to imagine a scale with -10 at one end, zero in the middle, and +10 at the other end. We were to shut our eyes, ground both feet and take three deep breaths, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. We were then to imagine a time in our lives when we experienced something negative, something that we would rate a -6 or -7 on this scale. Deborah advised us not to go full on -10 as it can be difficult to quickly shift out of a negative mindset once in that moment (and we only had an hour!)
We then worked through our body from our feet to our head finishing at our chin registering what we felt whilst thinking about the negative time. We were to think about the colours, the sounds, smells, taste and then to imagine holding the memory like an object in our hand.
Whilst thinking of my negative memory, I registered a feeling of sickness and nervousness. I felt I had a heavy heart and shoulders and a stiff neck. Deborah asked us to name the feeling so we are able to recognise it in future. I named it my ‘out of control’ feeling.
Deborah then told us to do a Taylor Swift and “Shake It Off”. I stood up, jumped around and shook my arms and legs to shake off any negativity in my body.
Next we were to imagine a positive life experience, as good an experience as we could, that we would rate between +1 and +10. Again going through our body from feet to head registering our bodily response. I noticed a fluttering in my heart and chest, a feeling of lightness and alertness, and I couldn’t stop smiling. It felt like I was walking on air. I named this my ‘YES!’ feeling.
This exercise enabled us to calibrate our body compass.
Now we had calibrated our body compass, for our homework we were asked to think about our daily tasks and how these rate on our body compass.
When thinking about this we can use another tool from Dr Martha Beck called The Three B’s, these are:
- Bag It
- Barter It
- Better It
So for example if one of our daily tasks is cleaning the house, we can:
- ‘Bag It’ by not doing it
- ‘Barter It’ by trading it in some way. Can we pay someone to do it? Can we ask someone to do it and in exchange you do something for them in return?
- ‘Better It’ by making it a more enjoyable task, for instance by listening to your favourite music whilst we do it
Basically if you cannot bag it or barter it, you need to better it. This is key to looking after our own wellbeing.
As an aside we talked about being a ‘multi-passionate person’. I found this a really interesting concept as I can identify with it, and I was happy to be able to put a name to it. I don’t know if you agree, but it seems to me that being interested in many things, and trying out lots of different hobbies can be viewed negatively. It feels like it shows a lack of commitment, or that you never finish anything and flit and float between things. Personally I love trying out new things, and learning new skills. My husband will attest to the fact that one day I feel like doing a spot of upholstery or baking, the next day I fancy getting the sewing machine or my watercolour paints out.
Being able to put a name to this feels like having permission that I don’t have to be a ‘one thing’ person.
That concluded another enlightening life coaching session. Why don’t you try The Body Compass Tool yourself and see if you can calibrate your body compass? Let me know how you get on by commenting below.