With the end of ONE YEAR, I’ve wanted to take what I’ve learned and take the progress I’ve made, and really take it to the next level. So I joined The Life Coach School, Self-Coaching Scholars. I will organize these posts, this year, by week. SCS Week 1, etc.
A week in the life of this self-coaching scholar (me) includes daily thought-dumps, 2 or 3 online classes per week, 2 or 3 podcasts per week, a theme per month, and a coaching call, where I get some personal one-on-one coaching with one of the coaches in The Life Coach School.
It keeps me busy enough that I am no longer blogging every day. But I would like to share what is happening inside my mind, in this work, weekly. Weekly posts.
Let’s look at an example of what I anticipate these posts to look like.
PRINCIPLES STUDIED THIS WEEK:
When I was in labor with Jono, I didn’t have an epidural. I was told by the nurse that when the pain’s the greatest, that’s when it’s the most important to focus and push – when it feels the least natural is when I need to be actively working.
Same with the habits I have intentionally introduced into my life over the past year. Healthy eating. Exercise. Curiosity instead of judgement – being the “watcher of my thoughts”. Writing. Praying. Meditation. My morning routine. The times when my life feels the most difficult are the times when I am least likely to want to follow my morning routine. I’ve noticed this about myself. But it’s really then that I need it the most.
I’ve noticed this about myself. My coach says, “We’re just looking at this, as a compassionate witness.”
What does that look like? What does it look like to not keep my commitments to myself, and, in turn, look at what happened in my thoughts and in my actions, as a “compassionate witness”?
FIRST STAGE OF LOOKING AT MY DECISION: We look backwards. Let’s use food as an example. It’s an easy example, right? This is what it would look like to look to be a “compassionate witness” to my thoughts and my decisions, using food and healthy eating as an example. We look backwards first. What did I eat yesterday? What was I thinking about while I ate it? Was I thinking, “This is such a small thing, it wasn’t that bad.” Or, “I am really stressed out, I deserve this.” Or, “I don’t want to be a slave to this plan!” Or, “This really isn’t working, anyway. I will never get to my target weight, anyway.”
SECOND STAGE OF LOOKING AT MY DECISION: We are looking at ourselves in the present. We get to the point when we can, while we are eating, ask ourselves the same questions, in the moment. What am I eating? What is going through my head right now – what thoughts am I having?
THIRD STAGE OF LOOKING AT MY DECISION: We will want to move toward becoming future-focused. We want to get to the point where we can, before the fact, plan for that moment when we are going to want to eat that thing. Julia’s birthday was coming up and I knew I would be making a cake for her the next day, and I knew that I would want to taste the batter or the crumbs or whatever. So I made room for this. I knew what my monkey brain would be saying, but I really wanted to make that decision from my upper brain, not my lower brain. So I made space. I made allowance. I could lick the spoon after the cake batter was in the oven.
My future-self trusted my past-self to make decisions that I knew I could keep. And then I could keep those commitments, and I maintained control.
This is the work! It’s in my mind, and it only works with compassion.
Each week, in the Self Coaching Scholars program, I am assigned a coach to work with that week. One of the things we do together in that coaching session that has benefitted me the most has been working the model together. I was under the impression that I was pretty fluent in the model. But, every time, without fail, my coach shows me a more clear way to work the model. This week my coach and I were working on my model surrounding my relationship with a dear friend, and someone I really look up to.
CIRCUMSTANCE: Jess is a woman that I have lived close to, off and on, throughout my life.
THOUGHT: I am not as classy as Jess, not as pulled together, and I’m afraid she will discover that someday.
ACTION: When I am talking to Jess, I am only thinking about what I am saying or what I am wearing or how I’m showing up – wondering what she is thinking of me. I talk too much. I don’t connect.
RESULT: I don’t show up as my true self when I’m with Jess.
The purpose of the model isn’t to change me at all. It’s to give me a better visual on what is really going on in my mind. Does that make sense. At the end of my time with my model, I did not have thoughts, feelings, actions, or results. But I did see more clearly where my feelings and my actions and my results were coming from. I was a “compassionate witness” on what is going on in my mind right now. I can look at that – I can sit with that and decide to love myself even while still sitting with this model.
And, when I’m ready, I can consider changing my thoughts to give me different feelings, actions, and results.
But first, I want to see.
Let me close this first post of the year with a thought about the work that I am doing in Self Coaching Scholars, and in my life with my relationship with myself – my past self, my present self, and my future self – and with others.
There is no right time.
There is not a time that will be better than now.
I promise this is true.
There will always be things in the way.
There will always be people who need you.
You will always be busy even if your busyness changes shape.
You must make time to pursue a dream, a goal or a curiosity.
You’ll have to create space in order to explore something new.
You’ll need to prioritize you and your development.
Nobody else will do it for you.
Nobody will come along and grant you permission.
It’s not their fault.
They’re not supposed to.
You’re supposed to.
You’re the one.
Take a step forward.
Do it today.
Stop waiting for the perfect time.
That time is now.