By Lauree E. Moss, Ph.D., CLC, PCC
Amidst the multitude of techniques and theories of transformation that assist us in making the changes we want in our lives, the one that always serves me best in my own life and coaching path, is a road I have coined, "The Body-Mind Road". This is a road we always travel on, whether or not we are aware of it.
Wise elders in the past, who often suggested taking several deep breaths before we approach a difficult task or when we are anxious, intuitively understood that our breath is our ally. It is also the action we need to take before and with any steps toward achieving a goal. Supported by our breath, we can make important decisions and choices infused by the elixir of life, oxygen!
To deepen your coaching skills and move you toward achieving your goals, paying attention to the body is a road easy to travel. By bringing attention and focus to your body and the nonverbal dimension in coaching conversations, you access the wisdom of the body and receive invaluable information.
By making body-mind connections, you go beyond the spoken word and become curious about such nonverbal occurrences as: the meaning of a sigh, a certain stance or posture, different sensations in the body, the tone or tempo of one's voice, etc. Being mindful of the nonverbal brings us into the present moment, enriches our here and now experiences, enhances self-awareness and empowers us to be who we want to be and do what we want to do. When we notice nonverbal occurrences, without judgment, we join with our clients in a process of discovery and awe.
Give yourself a breathing pause now…. What are you experiencing in your body and where do you experience it?
A definition of awareness* that most elegantly describes what I feel happens when we turn our attention inward is:
Awareness is the function of isolating new sensory motor phenomena in order to learn, recognize and control them.
It is only through this exclusionary function of awareness
that the involuntary is made voluntary, the unknown is made known, and the never done is made doable.
Awareness serves as a probe, recruiting new material for the repertoire of voluntary consciousness.
In a word, the unlearned becomes learned.
(*Thomas Hanna, Father of Somatics)
Awareness is the first step toward change. Body-Mind Awareness is the next step by noticing your breath and where you experience it in your body. Paying attention to breathing and integrating it into your coaching deepens many coaching tools: It enhances coaching presence; it provides more information in experimenting with possibilities and the rightness of choices, it assists us in shifting perspectives and it increases awareness of sensations. Each breath we take supports our reactions, thoughts and feelings. The power in breath is truly the power of the present moment.
Have fun traveling down the “body-mind road” well-traveled.
In a 70-90 year life span, you take about 500-630 million breaths. Isn't it inspiring to know that this powerful tool is within us, just waiting to be used to its fullest capacity?
Have you taken a deep breath yet?