What Lies Beneath Your Emotions – Reaction Formation
Fascinating. Time to notice and be present with our feelings and emotions. To notice the patterns and habits. Thank you Dr. Eric Perry.
Being present is simple.
Yet it can be tricky and elusive in a world full of distractions and concerns.
How often are we truly present with ourselves and our loved ones?
Being present, brings moments of rest, awareness and clarity to our daily lives.
Here in less than a minute I offer tips to become present to our mind, body and emotions, to cultivate awareness and to lean in towards more wellness.
Intrigued maybe the elementas approach is for you? If so then let’s connect… Lou
It’s been two years since I was lucky enough to travel to the mysterious and wondrous Tibet.
Today as we navigate a global pandemic again I return to this far distant land, to reflect on what I discovered. I share what I experienced in this ancient civilisation – a link between our wellness, compassion and living to our inner values.
Tibet’s 17th Century Potala Palace stands tall. Potala is a world famous cultural and historical icon. A towering ancient monument overseeing the rapidly changing infrastructure of Lhasa below. Today Potala watches the advancing tower blocks and western high street brands below; symbols of globalisation and our thirst for materialistic culture, our 21st century religion.
Potala’s heavily restricted and guarded access pays testament to Tibet’s complicated history, and current spiritual and political tensions. Heightened by the absence of the World famous figure of compassion and the Tibetan spiritual leader, His Holiness the 14th Dali Lama. His Holiness has been unable to return to Potala, (his winter home and palace) since his exile from Tibet in 1959.
Around the base of the Polala however, a mesmerising sight. Local Tibetan people, of all ages, connected together mindfully walking their early morning ritual, their daily Kora. Unfazed, walking clockwise in their Tibetan dignity, quietly chanting, prayer wheels and beads in hand. Dedicated in their devotion, to their deep spiritual roots.
Intrigued I ask Jigme my Tibetan guide “why are people walking round the Potala?“
“Lou mam, The Daily ritual of Kora, helps the Tibetan people bring peace of mind to their daily lives. They rise early before work to undertake the 30 minute circular Potala, maybe one or up to three times, a practise to show their inner faith, prayer, love and compassion for their spiritual leader and others.”
One cannot help but be touched by this profound show of devotion, their compassion, purpose and meaning. The Kora is a powerfully quiet and peaceful demonstration of Tibetan inner faith, a focus connecting inwards to their strong sense of intrinsic values. All set amidst the landscape of “The Cultural Revolution”, initiated in 1966 by China’s Chairman Mao.
Later chatting Jigme explained “In Tibet Buddhism there is no “I”, there is a “We”” , he continued knowing my interest, “I is for Illness, We is for Wellness”. A very different philosophy to the Western culture that I know so well that focuses on the ego and individualism, and often a lack of or little self-compassion. My guide smiled at me knowingly, as “I” in true Western fashion opted for the closest seat in the restaurant’s stove to warm up!
The lack of influence Tibetans have on their outside world is well known, from restrictions on access to information and lack of freedom to travel. At times we felt the officialdom with countless police and army checks, visas and controlled movements in our trip. My thoughts move to what I hear about the rise of and growing stress and anxiety in the Western World.
In my role as a coach I listen to clients voicing the restrictions they feel about their personal and work lives, their concern over personal wellness. I hear that their relationships, jobs, bosses or organisational cultures often fail to meet their basic intrinsic needs. Basic needs described by psychologist and neuroscientist Rick Hanson Ph.D., of feeling fulfilled, valued, safe and loved.
Turning again, back to Tibet. I notice the spirit of community with the Tibetan people. They appear unfazed and authentic, bringing a peaceful, calm antidote to the surrounding hostility and armed police presence. I observe the normal, every day, human interactions between the young officials and Tibetan children and Elders. I wonder are the Tibetans quietly revealing their ancient, inner secret, their sacred wisdom of wellness?
Going inwards, the Tibetans seem to be finding a way.
Now another mountain to climb as we make our way along spectacular hairpin bends and mountain passes to the roof of the world and Everest Base Camp.
Lou Booth (May 2018)
Do you know where you are heading? If not it may be time to stop, get your bearings and reset your inner compass.
Deciding where you want to be can sometimes be a little tricky! Especially if it feels like you are in the middle of a constant storm of uncertainty.
Taking time and space to assess your personal situation can make a big difference to your life. In giving yourself space in your schedule, you have chance to reflect upon your circumstances. Time to consider, your goals and to explore your current perceptions and reality versus your potential future.
And then, once you are more aware, more conscious, you will be better equipped to decide, what is your best way forward to your chosen destination? That may sound exciting, or scary. Or perhaps maybe even a little overwhelming? It can be, that is why we sometimes get lost or veer off course, pulled by the forces of our lifestyle choices and currents of our daily distractions.
How can coaching can help?
The coaching process is designed to help you unlock your potential. It offers you a personalised one-to-one support. A coach offers you a confidential space and acts as an objective sounding board. Coaching offers you a structured, professional process to help to work through your agenda. Your needs, wants and aspirations. The tools and practices are designed to help you free up you thinking, bringing new energy, and extra guidance to your decisions. Enabling you to unlock and harness your potential, so you can set sail confident it’s your best route of travel. Accompanied by tailored coaching support, motivation and guidance to help you keep on course.
“elementas, I believe that together we flourish ”
(Founder elementas coaching)
To book your first coaching appointment contact Lou email@example.com or call 07715714833 to learn more.
(Photos Mauritius Sept. 2017)
Can you remember the last time you were home? Truly Home?
I’m not talking about where you live; I’m talking about that pure contentment we feel, when all is well. Nothing to do, nowhere to be, those moments when we are safe, connected, and content with ourselves, and our life.
Can you recall a familiar space and place, where you belong, where you are truly connected, be that alone or with loved ones? A place where we can sense satisfaction, a non-craving. A space where we can be peace with ourselves and our world.
“To feel at Home – to feel comfortable and relaxed”source Cambridge dictionary
Some of you will be saying, “I know that space. I spend a lot of time there”………
Well read no more. Well done, share with others, help them find how to come home too.
For those of us on a journey, we need to keep learning to return to our home base, so keep reading………
We often inhibit a turbulent over stimulated world where can busyness is the norm at work and home. The news that sells best and grabs our attention and triggers the ‘fight, flight, freeze’ part of our emotional Brain to engage, is fear based. Triggering chemicals that can be keep us on high alert for hours after. As fearfulness is churned out by social and news platforms 24/7, it can be really tricky to switch off. Even if you are ok, someone you care about may be distressed. So how do we keep coming home to ourselves? Our Home base.
Yes sure we need to leave home, engage with the world and the external landscape that keeps taking us out. As with any trip or journey be prepared! Remember to make sure you keep strong and resilient with a supply of tools and techniques to keep safe. Then you can keep venturing out, safe in the knowledge that you can return Home often to reflect and regenerate.
As well as practical personal experience, I draw from the latest thinking of behavioural psychologists, neuroscience research, wellness experts and traditional, ancient Tao and Buddhist practices. I hope some of my favourite tips may resonate with you.
Ten Steps To Coming Home
1. Notice what and who triggers and distracts you and takes away your balance. Build in more breathing space or just plain avoid.
2. Figure what and who is toxic to your wellness, and notice how this disturbs your peace of mind.
3. Accept what is, leave it alone (the darts of our suffering), or at least don’t make it any worse!
4. Take small steps (again and again) make the changes you know will help you “tend to and heal your wound”.
5. Only give what you are ‘willing to give and receive what you are willing to receive”.
6. Find what really nurtures and nourishes you, and spend heaps of time there.
7. Remember to take in the good stuff, be really present in it and totally absorb it, and practice the science of gratitude.
8. Cultivate kindness and compassion for yourself and others.
9. Breath deeply, listen well and be more present and in the moment with those you love (they will notice!)
10. Return more often and quicker to your Home base.
“know yourself and you will win all battles”Sun Tzu
Notice how often you are happier in your inner landscape. It is here that you have true impact. Trust how your external landscape starts to looks, sound and feel different from this true vantage point.
If you want to know more or need support to cultivate you mental and emotional Home space, please get in touch – call me on 07715814833, or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Work Well: Live Well: Be Well
Be more relaxed and happier at work, more connected and present with the people and creatures that matter the most to you.
Live life with more clarity, more focus. Show up more with more presence. Imagine failing faster, making better choices, and confidently providing for and supporting others. Ultimately cultivating more joy, more personal reward, giving yourself permission to succeed and relax.
Well I believe you can do all this and it isn’t that complex.
Experts and researchers in the fields of evolutionary psychology and neuroscience seem to agree. I will make it simple and pass on my learning so you can easily do it for yourself.
If you are curious about your reaching your potential and are ready to take a fresh approach, let me show you how. Together we’ll bring to light to your personal blocks and any stubborn resistance.
If coming home, connecting and living to your value system strikes a chord, and my approach resonates, then let’s share a cuppa and talk about unearthing new insights.
Over the years I have had the pleasure to meet managers, leaders and owners to discuss business and life experiences. Most are coaching in a similar style. Looking for a different approach? I can highly recommend Lou to guide you to your balanced lifestyle and business achievement” Darren
Think less about what you have to do, more about the way you want to do it!
And let’s do in your life time!
Executive Business and Wellness Coach Post Grad Certificate Mindfulness (MSc)
BA (Hons) DipM MCIM Chartered Marketer
Have you ever found yourself feeling lost? Lost in the familiar, the normal, the known?
Or do we only get lost on an unfamiliar route, when we’re in a new situation or when we are out of our depth?
We may look around us and know we are lucky, a nice job, lovely friends, partner and family. Yet sometimes we can still feel lost, overwhelmed with it all, do you ever recognise that feeling?
Or maybe we are just dealing with the challenges of life, that we all face be that: stress, loss, change, illness. And perhaps we have lost ourself a little in we middle of it all, trying to make sense of it all?
As a coach, my training, expertise and experience enables me to help people make sense of what’s going on. To help them feel less lost. To find their own insights. However to gain this wisdom, I had to experience and understand vulnerability, to get lost myself and so I share my story.
In my mid-thirties I became the first in my circle to get divorced. A catholic, country girl it was a hard pill to swallow. Now years later I realise it wasn’t such a disaster, althought at the time it felt pretty horrendous! My life changed beyond all recognition, and importantly without my permission!
I felt heart-broken, rejected, set adrift and lost. Yes lost, and on reflection it was a bit like being in a car-crash inside. All my friends were having children, buying bigger homes, and nesting. And then my dad timely left my mum for a new partner.
I was forced to re-think my life, to sink or swim. And I swam, literally each day in the local pool in my lunch break and cryed! I took the holiday planned with my ex to Peru, Machu Picchu, but ‘solo style’ crying in the heart of breathtaking beauty the Andean Mountains. I remember observing impoverished young Peruvian children and thinking “Lou you are an adult you will be ok, they are children”.
Often from our suffering, emerges great wisdom. For this I turn to Viktor Emil Frankl, Austrian psychologist as well as a Holocaust survivor, associated wih the powerful quote:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space Is our power to choose our response” In our response lies our growth and freedom.” Victor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
From the space of the Andean Mountains, I had made a life changing decision, without realising. Back in the Uk later in the year, I left the safety of my steady job as Marketing Development Manager to volunteer in South American, in a small town called Cochabamba, Bolivia. I bravely stood up for myself, and negotiated a three-months Sabbatical with my boss. I ventured out of my comfort zone, and then disappeared off map from all I knew, for a while to lick my wounds.
I took myself out of my stretch zone and to the edge of my panic zone at times, smiling to myself about being ‘brave but stupid”. It was the hardest but best thing I every did. It helped me survive and more, I restored the old the person I thought I had lost. I built new resources and resilience to take me through the very tough few years which were to follow and the effort to rebuild my life in the UK.
In South America, working with abused, abandoned and lost children, I found myself. I realised my life was not that bad. I travelled, backpacker style in a jeep to the heart of the breathtaking Bolivian salt lakes Salar de Uyuni, with a kind, funny medical student, and bright, young fellow companions. We giggled a lot, staying in $1 a night hostels and submerged in natural landscapes that even Sir David Attenborough would marvel at.
Staring at the stars of the South Hemisphere, I was falling in love with life again. So powerfully captured in a verse from my favourite poem “The Dance” Oriah Mountain Dreamer:
“Take me to the places on the earth that teach you how to dance, the places where you can risk letting the world break your heart. And I will take you to the places where the earth beneath my feet and the stars overhead make my heart whole again and again“.
In these three most memorable months of my life, I started to trust again, and unfurl and flourish amidst kindness; to others and from others. I was accepted and started to accept myself. I was nourished by my host Bolivian family’s love. I taught arts and craft to vulnerable children, as well as found adventure with my travel companions. It was here I would also to gain first hand practical experience of the psychology of compassion that in years to come would support my pathway to a deeper love of coaching others and a MSc Studies in Mindfulness.
In the unfamiliar and naturally beautiful terrain of the southern hemisphere, I started to wake up again. The language barriers, materialistic poverty and my non-judging companions took me to a different place. In Bolivia I was named Luisa, the girl from England. I realise now she had fallen to sleep and got lost. Yes I was still suffering great emotional pain, it was real, but I was starting to live again. To have moments of goodness and be in what mindfulness and compassion expert and clinical psychologist Professor Paul Gilbert, calls the ‘flow of life’, I was discovering my truth of the matter.
I write this article again in Bolivia. Drawn back to a continent that makes my heart sing. A place to reconnect with my Bolivian family and make sense of the loss of one of my oldest friends to terminal cancer by helping others. My friend could not join this trip, but I hope maybe it helped her, in her last days to know and to support her spirit.
Yes I listened to “the call”, when Bolivia kept coming into my consciousness for six months before. So I planned and I made time for a working vacation, in the shadow of the magnificent Andes. I decided to work with a local project http://boliviadigna.org . I choose to raise money for, and volunteer in the children’s hospitals including cancer care (in memory of my friend) and in projects where children are most vulnerable.
So, I have listened to my heart and returned to the continent where I first learned to dance and where I started to feel whole again. I am grateful.
To find out more about how coaching can help to find yourself again. Drop me a line- Lou@elementas.co.uk
In my role as a coach, I often challenge and support people to move out of their comfort zones. Encouraging them to move into their stretch zone, with support. It is in this zone where we can start to live to see our potential and where we flourish.
Often what holds people back is the shadow of low self-confidence and their fears of the unknown. Self-doubt then creeps in to keep us stuck and uncertain, we often tire of the ‘trying’ to change. As well, we have those deliciously addictive past experiences, events and perhaps unknowns. The more unconscious deep barriers, habits and patterns that stop us from doing what we think we would love to do. Or even more sadly, simply keeping us stuck living a stressful life, with heaps of fear and anxiety.
For a second, stop and take a deep breath. Can you imagine a more relaxed life with more joy! How good does that sound?
It is key that I have empathy and appreciate just what it means to feel out of our comfort zones. And so I regularly challenge myself to explore my comfort zones. Yes I do have very solid comfort zones! This year I have chosen to live and work in Bolivia again for just over a month. I travelled to Buenos Aires on route to Bolivia, and got to spend a short break in the beautiful “Home” hotel in Argentina. To inspire my motivation and passion for colour, design and interiors.
I always get a little bit nervous before travelling and this time it was no different. In fact, after months of fundraising for the project and working out how best to pack all the additional resources I was taking to the support the project, really proved a challenge. As well as letting clients know I was planning to work from a different part the world!
So how did I succeed, well I started early, as things generally can and do go wrong, I put a plan in place. I was patient and let go, “took my foot of the gas” so as to speak when all was not working to plan. I trusted but kept up the effort of doing what I could do, priortising, saving up, creating an ideas mind map, speaking to people, asking for help, showing vulnerability at times, focusing on supporting others. I clearly understood my motivations and inspirations and built them into my plan. I kept to my daily meditation and compassion practices, allowed space when I got anxious and stressy. I also did what I increasingly realise is key (and scientific research backs up), I turned to loving kindness; the antidote when I am being too tough on myself, and expecting too much of others. This is definitely work in progress!
As I promise to hold your hand on your journey of change, I need to know what it is like to be on the other-side. This experiential knowing helps me keep a sense of perspective and it enables me to be objective, authentic and compassionate to you and your journey.
The confidence we get from making personal changes is amazing. Yes it is hard, and it does not always happen overnight. I often have to remind clients I am not a magician and habits may have taken a lifetime to form. Sometimes it is a life-long journey to undo habits and patterns, it takes courage. I believe doing the work of letting go, allows us to achieve our potential and flourish as individuals and as human beings. We are all connected. Eloquently articulated below by Albert Einstein.
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
(Image Buenos Aries capturing nature’s beauty and spaciousness for the sharp, clear blues skies)
The changes we make impact others in our lives. Please do not underestimate the power of your light in your own changes, albeit seemly small, to potentially to make a huge difference to yourself and others.
Do you ever give yourself enough time to stop and think? To reset your inner compass?
Life gets busy with work, family, friends and hobbies. Before we know it another year has gone. We may feel we are never going to do what we have dreamed about, that new project, new hobby or idea.
Coaching can help us focus. It can give use chance to articulate and make plans, sounding out our ideas. Coaching offers space to think about our intentions (what) and our motivations (why). Coaching conversations can help us become more mindful, more present and more aware of what is really important in the here and now.
And as they say in Tibet, ‘If you take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves.’