Leigh Taylor Wellbeing Coach at the Coaching Pod, Magazine Article, Feb 2022
The art of receiving self-care can become a true practice in loving kindness.
Take a moment to pause and reflect on this. Perhaps one of the most profound ways that the skill set of coaching can help, support and nurture us as coaches, is the opportunity to reflect and coach ourselves. As coaches we help other people and hold space for them to clarify strategies about their goals and dreams. Yet do we take the time to coach ourselves, and the space to reflect and nourish our own wellbeing? I’ve hosted and facilitated retreats for a long time, and I’ve noticed that the relationships we have with ourselves, as humans, are very tricky when it comes to self-care, balance and boundaries. In our own ways we may have unconsciously become prone to habits that self-sabotage and wonder why we feel low on energy, or struggle with mental fog or bouts of anxiety, stress, and worry, or even feel unwell.
We as humans, as women, need space to breathe, replenish and recharge. As a well-known Eastern saying goes,
‘If our compassion does not include ourselves, it is incomplete.’
It’s important that we make space for self-reflection and regular self check-ins, staying curious and exploring our inner landscape; venturing into the places where we might have blindspots, or be stuck in limiting belief cycles about our own wellbeing and our worthiness to receive time and space for rest and recharge. As a human, one can get into habits of thinking that every space and every moment must be filled to the brim, cramming in more in the quest for productivity. Many of us have a strong work ethic, and find it difficult to gift ourselves the space and time to simply be. We may even miss the simple things that afford us more ease and flow; we often don’t value or recognise the simplicity of easeful practices that replenish and nurture our personal growth beneath the superficial, which often act as mere band aids in the quest to feeling replenished. As coaches we do even better when we are well nourished in body, mind and heart. It serves us (and by default our clients, families and friends) well to take good care of ourselves, to nurture parts of ourselves we may be neglecting or delay enriching. Reflect I invite you to ponder these questions over the festive period, and to give yourself permission to receive these gifts. It may put you out of your comfort zone, but as coaches we are all about expanding our minds and hearts, right?
How do we gift ourselves more presence and honour ourselves with more ease and flow?
Can we approach self-care as an act of self-compassion?
Instead of feeling guilty or unworthy to receive these simple yet priceless gifts, how can we reframe quality time as gifts of love?
Is there a resistance, and if so, why is there resistance to self-care, slowing down and rest?
Could our habits of delaying quality times to replenish and recharge be a form of self-sabotage?
I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being. Even after all this time the Sun never says to the Earth, You owe me. Look what happens with Love like that, It lights the whole sky. Fear is the cheapest room in the house, I would like to see you living in better conditions. Háfiz
Reframe Let’s drop the idea that we need hours to rest, long weekends or that only sleep or a holiday is the solution to maintaining better wellbeing. Those things are great, and if we have the opportunity let’s enjoy them, but are these ‘special events’ sustainable on an ongoing basis?
Quality over quantity Gift yourself regular times to: (even 5 or 10 minutes is a great start)
Reflect – journal, ponder, doodle, play, sing!
Unwind – unplug from tech devices and simply daydream or lie on the grass
Spend time in nature – an immediate healing balm for the being
Practise silence – potent and profound.
On a recent retreat I facilitated, these words that one of the participants spoke struck a strong chord: ‘We can’t simply keep going without being replenished.’ We as coaches need space to breathe, replenish and recharge. Today more than ever we need supportive, gentle, and effective methods to maintain our own wellbeing and self-compassion. Have a joyous festive season and remember to include yourself in the gift of giving that really nourishes your being.
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