Meditation should feel natural and effortless. You can meditate lying down or sitting up. You can meditate in silence, in nature, to a guided meditation CD or to music as it is your own unique preference. If it’s in silence or to music, you can visualize a place that brings you peace and calm such as a quiet ocean beach, sitting under an oak tree, on a bench next to a beautiful garden, in a forest next to a flowing stream, or on top of a mountain. If it feels one with you, that is the place. One begins meditation by closing the eyes and becoming aware of your breath and body. The focus is on the breath on the inhale and exhale while mentally counting to 3 or 4 on both the inhale and exhale. As your breath slows down to a rhythmic breath, quiet and clear the mind and move your attention to your heart space. Experience the stillness and relax the body slowly from head to toe starting from the top of your head. Once fully relaxed, you may begin to feel a release throughout the entire body. As you surrender and let go of the outside world, you free yourself of all low energies, become fully present as you turn inward to your own greatness, feeling your own truth. Meditation takes practice where you can work your way up from 5 minutes a day to 20 minutes or more a day. The practice of meditation has been clinically proven to lower the stress hormone cortisol in the body and the fight or flight response of the sympathetic nervous system. Today, meditation is used as a non-drug therapy for treating high blood pressure and coronary heart disease.
Awareness of Self-Defeating Beliefs
Becoming aware is the first step in ridding yourself of self-defeating beliefs.
In the book, Excuses Begone, by Dr. Wayne Dyer, he identifies 18 common self defeating beliefs that people struggle with.
According to Dr. Wayne Dyer:
Every self-limiting thought that you employ to explain why you’re not living life to the absolute fullest-so you’re feeling purposeful, content, and fully alive-is something you can challenge and reverse, regardless of how long you’ve held that belief and no matter how rooted in tradition, science, or life experience it may be. Even if it seems like an insurmountable obstacle, you can overcome these thoughts, and you can begin by noticing how they’ve been working to hold you back. Then you can embark on a deprogramming effort that allows you to live an excuse-free life, one day at a time, one miracle at a time, one new belief at a time (Dyer, 2009, p. 5).
Dr. Wayne Dyer illustrates in his book an “Excuses Begone Paradigm” involving 7 questions he developed with his colleague, Byron Katie to vanish long-standing self-defeating thought patterns and behaviors.
- Is it true?
- Where did the excuse (self defeating belief) come from?
- What is the payoff?
- What would my life look like if I couldn’t use these excuses?
- Can I create a rational reason to change?
- Can I access universal cooperation in shedding old habits?
- How can I continuously reinforce this new way of being?
Cheryl Richardson, author of the book, The Art of Extreme Self Care, says, “When you let go of control and allow others to take the wheel, you empower them.” She also shares it is not always easy, “allowing others to help means learning to surrender to the reality that there will be mistakes made and that things will not always get done your way…, that doesn’t mean it’s wrong.” Through Cheryl’s work on herself and as a coach with clients, she learned that, “the only way to create a successful life based on your values and deepest longings is to take your hands off the wheel and become masterful at asking for and receiving help.” She developed a “Things You Can Do to Support Me” list as a strategy for mastering this skill. Pick an area either at home or work where you could use the most aid. Then choose the person or persons you’d like help from and explain how the list works. Let this person know that you are ready to let go of the control and you would like his or her assistance. Consider the following questions:
- How many items will you include on the list?
- Where will you leave it?
- When would you like to have these items completed by?
- What should your support person do when he or she can’t meet a deadline?
- Who will ultimately be in charge if additional help is needed?
In addition, Cheryl recommends:
As you begin to work with the list, be sure to give your support person permission to let you know when you’re trying to take back control-when you start to do something you’ve asked him or her to do or when you’re interfering in the process (Richardson, 2009, pp 40-41).
When you let go of the wheel and let others in to help with the load, you create space for yourself to let go, breathe, center, quiet the mind and relax. Examples of taking time for your self could be booking a weekly massage, taking a daily walk, napping, drawing a bath with calming lavender, leaving work early, reading a good book, listening to your favorite music or just sitting in quiet with a cup of herbal tea. A little bit of self-care goes a long way creating oneness, lightness, renewal, energy, space, clarity and peace of mind.
As coaches, when we become aware of our client’s self-defeating belief that someone is or circumstances are controlling them, it’s an opportunity to make them aware that it is what they are choosing to believe in the mind that is resulting in a feeling of powerlessness. James Van Praagh often says, “Thoughts are things and they are very powerful.” There is an opportunity to ask our clients to share and become aware of these thoughts such as beliefs that are self-defeating and not serving them. Once aware, our clients can then exchange this current self-defeating belief for an empowering belief that will serve them daily. It is a gift to our clients who are experiencing noise in the mind to do the reverse, and quiet the mind, inviting stillness through daily practice of meditation connecting them to their oneness, their true natural self. When our clients are overwhelmed, we as their coaches can give them permission to practice self-care-that is to take time for the self, and to ask and allow others to take on responsibility; thereby, returning our clients to lightness and a sense of possibility.
In the example, how is Cindy hanging on to control to the disempowerment of others?
- What is the first question we can ask as coaches to support our clients who are feeling controlled by someone or some circumstance?
- List some coaching techniques or tools that can help our clients build the practice of allowing.
Dyer, Wayne Dr. (2009), Excuses Begone, Hay House Inc. Publishing, Carlsbad, California.
Hay, Louise, (2011), I Can Do It, Hay House Inc., New York, New York.
McLean, Sarah, (2012), Soul Centered: Transform Your Life in 8 Weeks with Meditation, Hay House Inc. Publishing, Carlsbad, California.
Richardson, Cheryl, (2009), The Art of Extreme Self Care, Hay House Inc. Publishing, Carlsbad, California.
Tolle, Eckhart, (2003), Stillness Speaks, Namaste Publishing, Vancouver, Canada.
Tolle, Eckhart, (1997), The Power of Now, Namaste Publishing, Vancouver, B.C., Canada.
Van Praagh, James, (2003), Meditations with James Van Praagh, Simon & Schuster Publishing, New York, New York.