Her colourful coat begins to descend on our outer landscape, a sweeping technicolour brush. Magically transforming our natural landscape from rich shades of green to an artist’s pallet vibrant with rich golden ochre, oranges earthly siennas, burnt umbers and fiery reds.
A reminder of all I love about this world and the changing nature of everything, the good the bad, the uncomfortable, the comfortable, the happy the sad. The impermanence of it all.
We see this in our moods, our weather systems, the moving clouds, rain showers and sunny days and our thoughts, our feelings. Present in the beautiful nature that surrounds us from the trees, hills and seascapes to the seasons.
Recently I heard young man tell me he didn’t like change. He caught me unaware, but reminded me that an appetite for change can be less about age and more about our character. Our wealth of experiences and associations with change can mark our response and our attitude. As can our level of inner confidence to deal with change. As our world and our external landscape changes we will respond in relation to where we are in our life. This is relative to our inner world and current mental, emotional and physical wellness. Psychologist Rick Hanson talks about how we manage our challenges, protect against our vulnerabilities and increase our resources. Imagine having a true knowing and trust of our inner and outer resources to lead us through change.
On reflection I sense change is more unsettling when it happens without our permission, without ‘our say’. It often does. Much of my working life has been helping organisations and individuals to plan for and navigate change, or to help both deal with the impact that change has had on their lives.
This happened recently to a coaching client who in his words had a “Career change – but not through choice. “
“Having worked for a company I absolutely loved with a team of people I had grown and developed it came as a complete shock to be notified of a re structure and it was pretty clear that my role was to go and whilst other opportunities existed, whether it was hurt or middle aged stubbornness, that I opted for voluntary redundancy. Clearly, I was angry, upset and confused, and it was pretty clear to me that I needed a sounding board…..” Stuart
All eventually unfolds, the expression of trust and of patience ‘further along you will understand why, further along you will know more about’ that sees me through many transitions comes to mind.
“Lou was inspirational and provided me with the environment to safely vent, which I needed to. It was only then was I able to re focus, yes, I was challenged, it was at times uncomfortable, I didn’t know how to respond sometimes, but Lou persisted and it worked. Very quickly after only two sessions do I now have clarity, my confidence and self esteem is not just back, but far better, I have a new job already and excited. Thanks Lou,” Stuart.
Change can be unnoticeable. It can be exciting or challenging or dam right scary, activating our hidden fears! It can be absolutely major, reshaping our lives and relationships with family, friends and colleagues. It can impact our roles, our jobs, our health, our wellness. Change can bring gains or losses. Change can be minor from our favourite beauty, brand or food product being discounted, to shifts to our daily home and work routines, journeys and traditions.
Well worth a read is the book Lost Connections , author Johann Hari explores some of the issues around the “Causes of Depression and the Unexpected Solutions”. Hari brings into awareness the normal big and small changes we navigate. He talks about the benefits of living to our intrinsic value systems, where we can and the challenges of living in an unpredictable world. All can seriously cause havoc and impact different dimensions of our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health and wellbeing. Such awareness and building, restoring and retaining our wholeness and health is core to elementas wellness coaching.
I realised the importance of having certainty in change recently when I felt a subtle draft of change blow through areas of my life. I found myself rather perplexed when my some of my favourite and delightful food haunts from Todmorden to Brighton closed their doors. Silly really, especially as I pride myself as loving adventure travel. I know, with support, I’ve navigated some big and painful changes, close family and family losses over the last few years. A gentle reminder, that during big life changes I take joy in the simple and the familiar. And that certainty acts as an anchor to the choppy seas of change!
We often need anchors and ‘the certain’ to light our way in life’s storms. As I reach for Rick Hanson’s book “Resilience” where Rick clearly simplifies our three basic needs for safety, satisfaction and connection. Explaining why perhaps our mind likes and needs certainty and habits. That our mind is often on alert, constantly scanning to keep us safe. This is why I believe by keeping open to what is unfolding, yet retaining some routine helps at times of transition. Routine means we can rest and relax, and or focus on the areas of our life that bring us satisfaction and reward, bringing in the good.
Sometime change is small and incremental, yet eventually it can add up to something bigger, valued or not! I am definitely learning of the benefits of being more mindful and present. To appreciate and be grateful for is, what is no longer and what may be.
So as Autumn beckons, I recall my favourite season. I bring out my favourite winter clothes, make some soup and take a joyful walk and rustle through Autumn’s tailcoat of leaves.
And I feel truly grateful for her annual familiarity.
Coach, Wellness Mentor, Mindfulness Practitioner
Peace can be often difficult to find in our busy, hectic day to day existence. Crowded out by the demands and commitments of daily life. Can you remember the last time you experienced the presence of Peace?
But where do we find real peace. You know those audible moments of silence and emptiness that bring some welcomed space to our day?
The moments when our world stands still, and we see our senses are arrested into a gentle submission of wonder?
I may find moments of peace walking in nature, in moments of stillness in my daily mediation, or maybe during a swim or a yoga session.
Personally I find more profound peace is far more difficult to achieve. It takes work. Would you agree?
However, undaunted, receptive and open-minded I found serendipity was at play, on a special birthday trip traveling in China and Tibet.
Image, Everest Base Camp. Tibet May 2018
And I was to happen upon the elusive Peace, in an audience of her full grandeur.
She mindfully met me in the shadow of Everest. In the limitless azure skies, resting beside the freshly flowing, glaciated, aqua waters. In the simplistic, uncomplicated natural landscape.
Here I felt peace, real peace. I found her in nature’s deafening silence.
She was arresting and profound. I can feel and almost touch her now as I type these words, she is firmly etched and home in my “inner scape”, and so I gratefully hold and recall Everest’s soothing majesty.
Can you remember, when and where you last encountered Peace? And are you truly receptive to her presence in your daily life?
Waves like thoughts and feelings, they roll in they roll out.
Sometimes big sometimes small.
We can’t stop them so watch them, appreciate them, witness their rise and fall.
Notice what happens when you do.
Notice the mindful moments of stillness.
Notice what happens when you pay attention to what is happening when it is happening (without a need for it be one way or another, without a preference).
And use the tip from Jon Kabat-Zinn
(Wherever You Go, There You Are)
“Try: Asking yourself from time to time, ‘Am I awake now?’”
Time to Study.
I have been learning with the Mindfulness Association for over three years. Training in Mindfulness, Compassion and Insights to become a Practitioner
Feedback from clients as well as my recent adventure to Tibet, lead me to decide it was the right time to continue this journey and gain a deeper understanding of Mindfulness.
I will be starting my MSc Studies in Mindfulness in August 2018, with the University of Aberdeen. I have made a commitment to study three years part time.
As a coach I am always encouraging people to step out of their own comfort zone and so I will walk my talk!
I hope to learn from the experts, meet lots of new people, share new ideas and gain a deeper understanding of the benefits mindfulness can bring to our everyday wellness and business thinking for myself and others.
So I have picked my inspirationally designed notebook to remind me of the new mental pathways and blossoms I intent to create. The books have arrived. Time to Study.
Please watch this space and see what unfolds.
My recent trip to Tibet brought much wonder. It made me think about the 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 poor 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)
“If you would have asked me 12 months ago to seek help from somebody in Lou’s profession I might well have responded in the typical blokey way….I don’t need help, I’ll sort it myself! Since being put in touch with Lou I have been so pleased with the results from our meetings. I find that using Lou as a bit of a sounding board and being open to her suggestions has really put the concerns I had about my work into perspective. There is no doubt that my relationship with Lou has had a positive impact on not only my work but my family life as well”
Wealth Manager Company Director- April 2018
Life is busy. With work and family demands it is often tricky to keep everything in balance. It can be easy to start to feel anxious, stressed or “crowded out” with too many work and family demands mounting up. Coaching can offer you an objective sounding board. It will bring you space and time in your diary to think differently about your life situations. It will offer a new perspective.
Referred by a business associate, my client a stressed company director did something different. He tried coaching. We brought in aspects of my wellness coaching to the sessions and the results are magical.
My client has brought more balance to his thinking and behaviours; which are benefiting him both in his professional life and personal life.
elementas “together we flourish”
elementas marketing, business mentoring, executive and leadership coaching, wellness coaching
Could an Eastern (soft) approach to exercise like Tai Chi, Chi Kung be more therapeutic for your body?
Or do you prefer more hard exercise like Football, Tennis, Jogging.
Evidence and new thinking suggests that taking a softer approach to exercise could increase your health and resilience. How does that sound?
A qualified Tai Chi/ Chi King teacher, I often show clients and friends simple moves and techniques to help them better support their wellness. This may be simple, free ways to explore stress relief e.g. using techniques like mindfulness and meditation, or quick exercises like deep breathing. Breathing well can help settle or positively interrupt a troubled mind within a few minutes.
I have recently come across this great blog by Renata Taylor-Byrne Lifestyle Coach-Counsellor. Renata pulls together a host of information to get us thinking about soft and hard approaches to exercise and how we can find ways to build wellness and resilience.
Some times we must unlearn what we have learned to become more well.
Photos www.facebook.com/ameliegraphie/ Lou teaching Tai Chi on the Erasmus Plus “Plant Grow Flow Project”, France 2016
Are you ever uncertain about your next step? Do the surrounding currents and forces of your life take you off balance?
Are you struggling to trust your thoughts and instincts? Or are your searching for a better way to be at work, or in your personal life?
Does the way foward appear fuzzy?
Maybe you are a little apprehensive about the next steps to take?
Well that is pretty normal. From time to time we all need a little support and direction. That “someone” to listen to us and to truly hear us. An objective sounding board, who has skills and resources to help enable us to find balance, maybe some new ideas our best way foward. Someone to help us to focus on what we really want, and maybe sometimes what we don’t want!
elementas coaching helps by creating space for you to reflect.
Space to explore your thoughts, feelings and ideas.
Space to try out different tools and techniques to bring more clarity to your mind.
Space to articulate and focus on your goals and to manoeuvre the “bits in between” so you can rekindle your spirit and confidently take your next steps to flourish and “flow’ with life.
How does that sound?
Find our more by clicking on the links below or contact Lou to book your first session firstname.lastname@example.org +44 7715 814833
A fun, creative and simple hands-on workshop designed to ignite your life!
As we move into the depth of winter, what could be better than to unlock and energise your dreams/ goals to light up your nights?
Together we will co-create YOUR PERSONALISED VISION BOARD to manifest more of the life you love.
* Relax and take time out for you
* Focus on your hopes and dreams
* Remove personal blocks, improve your confidence.
* Explore fresh ways to create and sustain your intention
* Discover more motivation and energy
* Refresh your goals for today, 2018 and beyond!
* Create your own personalised vision board
Your session will be facilitated by a professional coach, business mentor, artist and wellness practitioner. We will works with the four dimensions of wellness (mind, body, spirt and emotions) to highten your awareness. You will be shown ways to bring space to your (body, mind, emotions, spirit ) to tap into your inner energy and hidden potential with simple Tai Chi and Chi Kung moves. The evening will include relaxing, creative techniques including meditation and mindfulness and ancient hand mudras.
All designed to help you unlock your hidden thoughts ideas and aspirations and set your intention and flow.
Lou successfully uses Vision Boards to achieve her own on goals and ambitions- from her passion of travelling the world, to designing her home space, as well as creating her dream car and setting up a business and achieving personal wellness. This new series of monthly workshops will share Lou’s tried and tested ideas and techniques with others.
No prior experience, artistic skills or experience necessary. Join a lovely bunch of people an amazing evening. Your fee includes all artist materials and healthy light refreshments.
The workshop will take place in a special, beautiful and energetic space created to help you relax, unfold and flourish.
Small groups with limited places (4/5) to ensure a personal and rich experience. Cost £40 per space email Lou@elementas.co.uk or call Lou 07715814833 to book your place.
You may want to start collecting words, pictures and inspirations. Come in loose relaxing clothing and bring indoor shoes, your favourite blanket and/ or cushion.
elementas – “together we flourish” http://www.elementas.co.uk