A Coaching Power Tool Created by Minna-Maria Virtanen
(Life Coach, Transformational Coach, FINLAND)
When we need to make decisions, I guess many of us try to analyze situations and we count pros and coins. That can give us little more clarity, but we might still end up not knowing what to do, as we don’t know how much weight we give to different points of view. We can’t also predict how things are changing around us. In this kind of situation, whether it is myself or a client, my power tool is to turn to the inner wisdom. The aim is to go deeper into the process and feel our bodies. This way we can recognize where the voices/ideas come from and we can hear what is it that we want at heart’s level. Moreover, analytic thinking may lead us to follow fear-based ideas, because fear can often disguise itself to be rational and realistic. Using this power tool we can better ensure that we make our decisions freely and not guided by fear.
What are the best ways to connect to the inner wisdom and leave the analytic mind? I believe there are many ways of doing it and I will present two of them. For the first exercise, I have gathered the steps from different techniques I have heard over time.
Connecting the inner wisdom
I help the client to the ground and come present into the body. This at the same time brings her/him back to the present moment. Grounding can be done many ways, but in a coaching situation, one practical way is to ask the client to close her/his eyes, notice her/his breath and ask her/him to imagine to grow a cord or root from her/his coccyx to the center of the earth. I can also tell the client to set everything (ideas and emotions) that are not needed to move to the cord and to the earth. Next, I ask the client to bring energy from the earth to her/his feet, legs and the whole body.
Switch off the analytic mind and move to the clarity
I guide the client to turn off the analytic mind by imagining a switch and turning it off. Thisisverysimple, but useful visualization.
Lowering to the heart’s space
Next, I ask the client to move there awareness to their heart’s space. If they are feeling an emotion and I guide them to recognize and release that feeling like a cloud outside themselves and away from themselves.
I ask the client to ask the question they have right now about their life and I ask them to listen.
Then I ask them to say out loud what is the answer that they would tell themselves from the heart’s space.
In the end, I ask them to breathe three times, come back to the present and open their eyes.
Another method for recognizing inner wisdom is to give awareness to the body and how it feels when we think about a certain option. Before starting the exercise, I’d do the steps 1 and 2 from the previous exercise, so that the client becomes present in her/his body.
Then I’d guide the client to imagining the first option and ask her/him to sense and listen to her/his body. Then the client can take the other option and feel her body again. After experimenting I ask the client to describe what feelings came up to her/him. The choice that we do align with our inner wisdom is often described to be something that feels calm and inspiring at the same time. It also feels expanding and energizing.
For some people doing the exercises for the first time may feel difficult and it might feel that there’s no certainty that it worked. The more we practice the tools for hearing our inner wisdom, the more it becomes helpful for us.
If this was interesting to you, please have a look at my Research paper and Coaching model too!