Remembering the Wisdom of the Body

As part of promoting a tele-training that I am co-leading with Marlena Field, founder of Body-Centered Coaching. I wrote a blogpost for Marlena’s website, and I am sharing it here as well as I’m sure it’s food for thought and reflection for all ……

…. Since I first took Marlena’s tele-trainings years ago, and more recently her legacy program to become a Certified Body-Centered Coach, I have become increasingly grateful that I can coach my clients in this way.  It is heartwarming to witness the response from my clients on the impact body-centered coaching has for them.

My aha today is that coaching clients to access the wisdom in their bodies is inherently wise in itself!  When you think about it, why would we ever coach without including the body? Or as I like to say: the rest of the body (because the head is part of the body too).

Oh yes – our brains are wonderful sources of information.  But they are only one part of the wonder that is us.  Some suggest that we have several brains – our heart and our gut, in addition to our head, have knowledge for us.   However, the body centered coaching approach tells us that we also have valuable information in our muscles, our organs, our fibers –  in all of our being.   When we coach clients to solve their issues by accessing their wisdom wherever it is in their body, they experience new insights, relief, wonder, new possibilities, freedom, joy.

I recently coached a client who was struggling with which direction to take his career.  He was in the fortunate position of having several options at the same time and for each there were attractive pros and a few cons.   He was drawn by the ‘pros’ of them all and didn’t know which to pursue or which to let go of.
This client was in the midst of an MBA program, so my assumption and experience of him was that he lives primarily in his head, and wondered how he would respond to body-centered coaching.  But I realized I couldn’t help him in the traditional decision-making way of just examining pros and cons.

So with his permission to experiment, we visited each of those possibilities to see what information his whole body had for him (not necessarily to make a decision at this point).  During the coaching I thought the responses he articulated were somewhat head-based, and was concerned that he wasn’t getting it!  But when the coaching was over, he exclaimed:  “Wow! That was really insightful!  I now know which options are not right for me at all! Thank you!”

Yes, it is good to always remember that there is wisdom in body centered coaching, wherever it resides, and however it is expressed.

Spring at Last

For a girl who grew up in the cold cold winters of Winnipeg, Manitoba (35-40 below Celsius (or Fahrenheit – it’s all the same at that temperature) for 3-4 months or more, you’d think I would be the last one to complain about all the snow and cold we’ve experienced in eastern Canada this winter.

But no, I seem to have forgotten that ‘it’s just winter in Canada”, and have been longing for it to be over for many many weeks now. And lo and behold, on the last day of March, it’s well above zero, the snow is melting, the roads are dry, and we were able to go for a long walk without a biting wind whipping across our foreheads.

Such joy to smell the freshness in the air, and anticipate leaves on the trees, birds singing, children’s voices playing in the yards (the ones that aren’t glued to their electronics that is), and neighbours stopping to say hello.

Only last week a family of deer were foraging in our snow-covered backyard for something to eat – and chose some morsels from my flower garden. I didn’t have the heart to scare them away, though I did notice they were plenty plump. Must have scavenged a lot of gardens.

Soon the crocuses will peek out, the rest of the perennials will follow in due course, and spring will be in full bloom.

At this time of year, I always feel re-energized and newly inspired to do more of what I love to do in life.

What do you notice when Spring comes calling? What’s in the air for you?

Gratitude, Felt and Expressed

Yesterday afternoon I was close to the center of the city where I live – Kingston, Ontario –  on a very cold and crisp day– when I noticed a huge dark cloud in the sky.  I recall thinking, ‘that’s odd’, as it was lightly snowing, and then saw a huge flame in the center of the cloud.

Not normally a gawker, I found myself driving towards the fire to see where it was coming from, and then turned a corner to see what you all saw on tv or twitter. – a massive fire on our main street in town, a crane extending out of the fire and cloud of smoke, and a small, dark figure at the end of the crane. I heard a large bang, and decided it would be prudent to leave the area, went home and followed the dramatic story there.

This morning I am grateful for the firefighters, the military rescue team, the police, and all who managed this frightening incident with calm and skill.  I am grateful no one was killed or seriously injured. I am sad for those whose homes or businesses were affected.

I wish the crane operator a gentle recovery from what must have been a terrifying experience.

As I sit here in my comfortable family room with the fire on, I am reminded how grateful I am for every day of life.

So with this as a backdrop to the approaching holiday time – Christmas for those who celebrate it – a respite for those who don’t – let us all be grateful for the good in our lives and radiate that feeling to those around us and to the world.

I wish you all the best of the season, and a warm and wonderful introduction to the new year before us.

Questions and Answers

Sometimes inspiration comes where you least expect it. This morning, a new client of mine, who says she is eagerly anticipating exploring her path forward with me, (as I am with her) wrote that she saw an art poster while on vacation that inspired her, and that said in part:

“Perhaps the secret of living well is not in having all the answers but in pursuing the unanswerable questions in good company.” (My google search to discover to whom to attribute this quote led to Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, pioneer in the mind/body holistic health movement, inspiring me to explore her messages further).

What I, as a professional coach, love about this particular quote is how it succinctly describes the connection, the challenge and the charm inherent in a great coaching relationship.

Aren’t we all looking for the secret of living well? Asking the questions; pursuing the unanswerable ones; desiring good company in our exploration?

And yet the few words in the quote suggest so much else. That questions are paramount in our exploration. That there may not be answers to everything, but value in the exploration nonetheless. That searching for the answers alone can be a lonely road. That living well is a desirable goal. And so much more.

What do you see/read into the words above?

In the spirit of this new year dawning with its hopes, desires, expectations, and promises, I invite you to ask the unanswerable questions, and choose good company with which to do so.