A Coaching Power Tool Created by Vladimir Bog
(Business Coach, ROMANIA)
It was this tool that I have discovered and optimized that made me consider getting a coaching certification and perhaps finding a way to better assist people in such need. So in a way, it is the tool before school.
Quite often we are confronted with feelings or emotions that affect our ability to perform at our best. We have all seen people paralyzed before an important presentation or stage performance, athletes wanting to run away before the competition for which they prepared for months, executives “losing it” when being exposed to situations that turned differently than their intent. Such emotional reactions obscure full potential.
A situation or a person seems to have generated an emotion that took control, making us, or better say our mind and body, REact without our actual will, in ways that we may not have chosen if we had a bit of space. What happened in the background was that our body sensors (senses) got in touch with the environment, contact occurred, awareness became aware of the contact and, based on our own databank of past experiences, labelled it as positive or negative. The sub-conscious initiated an immediate (re)action as a result of that, aimed at making the undesirable situation of a person disappear as quickly as possible, go away, lessen, never happen again.
The core of the issue is that we treat any such unpleasant sensation as permanent and ever-lasting. In reality, there is no sensation that is permanent; regardless of how intense a sensation is, it will eventually fade and disappear. But because our automatic (sub-conscious) mode is “action”, we FEEL an urge to act thus leaving the sensation “un-manifested” and therefore leaving a residue. By turning and running away from a sensation we do not actually get rid of it but hide it under the carpet. The problem is that, as the sensation has not completed its natural and full cycle of raising and dissolving, it remains alive and stored in the sub-conscious. As we advance, the stock of such incompletely manifested sensations” grows and they bundle randomly into unexpected emotions (bundles of sensations) like anxiety, panic, fear, lack of energy, weak desire to live, sadness, guilt, rejection, fury, hatred, etc.
The mistake often done is to address the emotion. As the emotion is a knot of physical sensations, it is particularly difficult to unknot it and it may take many sessions before that is achieved. The alternative solution is more effective and a lot shorter. We disregard the knot as a symptom and we go straight to the source, which is at the level of the physical sensations. By doing that we put aside the attempt of using logic to dismantle knots created by the sub-conscious, a rather Sysiphus-like attempt.
Below is a brief description of the simplified process:
- If the client goes through an intense emotional experience or can re-create a situation that resulted in one, the client is first asked permission to experience this technique. If permission is granted then the client is asked to close the eyes, re-live the situation that caused the emotional response and focus on the 2-3 most intense body sensations. Typically they would be in the area of heart, belly and head but in an infinite spectrum of manifestations, such as pressure, tension, tickling, heat, cold, void, etc. As long as the ability to concentrate on the sensations is sufficient, stepping out of the situation itself will occur automatically.
- The client is asked to allow the sensations to manifest until they disappear. We start by observing and allowing those 1-3 sensations to “do what they want”. They will change as this is in their nature to change, they will evolve, they will move, they will transform and eventually, they will fade and dissolve, thus living their full cycle. Having lived their full-cycle they pass away, they die of natural causes and never appear in that same form again. The difficulty here is to do nothing, to just observe while our sub-conscious jumps in and has the tendency to “do something about it” right away. Any sensation will disappear in a matter of seconds or a couple of minutes, at most. If it is not the case, it is an indication that the person is either concentrating too much and being too tense instead of just being a neutral spectator or is still immersed in the situation and not solely focused on the sensations.
- Once the respective sensations have disappeared from the body, the last stage is to open the eyes, then close them again and “replay” the situation in the mind and see if there is any residual sensation. If yes, it is usually something of considerably less intensity and it must be taken through the same cycle once again.
Once dealt with, that sensation (pressure, heat, tickling, tension, etc) and the connected emotions (fear, anxiety, fury, etc) will not manifest again. The effect of healing is definitive and permanent.
The explanation is that sensations are a part of nature and they are following the same laws and characteristics. An essential characteristic or law of nature and life is that everything is in a continuous movement. Any movement can be regarded as a vibration, a wave, a cycle. Any wave or cycle has a beginning and an end. Any such movement generates another movement, any wave generates another wave. Any intervention in the cycle leaves the cycle unfinished. In the case of our body sensations, we intervene artificially by assuming it is permanent and wanting to get rid of it. So we create this stock of unfinished sensations that bundle chaotically in emotions that eventually reach uncontrollable levels and negatively influence our motivation, efficiency, potential and ultimately our lives.
This power tool works particularly well with clients who find their ability to perform certain tasks shadowed by emotions and have a certain level of sensorial awareness.
Example of a dialogue:
Coachee: … and everyone in that coffee shop is judging everything I said.
Coach: how does that make you feel?
Coachee: it makes me feel exposed, like wanting to run away.
Coach: I would like to propose a little exercise, if I may. It would involve closing your eyes for a few minutes…
Coachee: Yes, sure, why not?
Coach: then let’s close our eyes. Breath in and exhale deeply three times at your own pace. Try to relax your body and keep it that way. Try to get in tune with your sensations.
Now, go back into that coffee shop and see how everyone judges everything you said. What are the main one or two sensations that you feel in the body?
Coachee: oh, there is a very strong tension in my stomach…
Coach: ok, then if it is not too painful, just observe it and see what it does and allow it to do what it does. It may move, it may change, it may transform into something different, just observe it and let it do what it does.
Coachee: now it moved through my throat right on the back of my had.
Coach: hmmm… just observe it and allow it to do what it wants
Coachee: and then it went down on my right hand and then seemed to just go out through my fingers…
Coach: so you are still in that coffee shop with all those people judging what you said. How do you feel now?
Coachee: …I don’t feel anything…hmmm, none of those sensations is here anymore…
Revivresensoriellement by Luc Nicon 2013, Synaptic Self by Joseph Ledoux 2002, The Hostage Brain by Bruce McEwen 1994.