The word ‘mindfulness’ has been in use in the English language for centuries, with the meaning of ‘attentiveness’ and similar. The ‘mindfulness’ we talk about today, however, is somewhat different to that, and has its roots in Buddhist practices that date back some 2,500 years or so. But the fact that ‘mindfulness’ originates in Buddhist practices does not at all mean that practising it is of interest only to people who are interested in meditation and spiritual practices, or who wish to become Buddhists. Far from it.
Mindfulness practice in life coaching
Mindfulness has been practised in various forms since the beginning of time. It is recognised as an essential component of all traditions of spiritual practice. During the last few decades neuroscience researchers have also been able to identify the beneficial effects of mindfulness meditation on brain functioning. And hence it is also an integrated part of modern life coaching.
Mindfulness is about being present in the present; being fully present to your experience, as it actually is, moment by moment. It is about being ‘switched-on’, being awake and aware; to notice what is happening each moment, to fully experience each experience, rather than being lost in thoughts, opinions and judgements about your experiences.
By incorporating the practice of mindfulness in your life coaching, you gain skills which are very important for achieving positive outcomes.
For example, you develop a heightened awareness of all aspects of your experiences; sensory, somatic, emotional, cognitive, as well as of interpersonal dynamics. This then gives you better access to what is actually taking place in your personal challenges, and allows you to access more specific details about the dynamics of the issue that you wish to address in the coaching. And the more fully you are able to identify the details of what is taking place in your times of difficulty, the more likely it is that your coach will be able to find best angles to tackle the issue from, and the best solution strategies to introduce.
As a consequence of becoming more aware of the nature of your experiences, a different relationship to your experiences evolves; you learn to be less reactive even to painful experiences (whether physical or psychological), to allow the experience to be, to make space for the pain. And this is important, because the reactiveness is itself often a big part of what causes the challenges that you want to overcome.
By practising mindfulness in your life coaching you also increase your ability to distinguish between a thought and an actual experience. While this distinction may seem obvious at first, the reality is that a vast number of the personal and interpersonal difficulties that hold us back from living the life of fulfilment that we strive for are actually due to mistaking stories (thoughts, speculations, mind-readings, (mis)interpretations etc.) for facts (actual, lived experiences).
If you are struggling to find motivation, to achieve your goals, to live up to your full potential, to find the right work-life balance, or to overcome some other challenge, life coaching that integrates mindfulness practice will help you achieve positive, long-lasting outcomes – don’t hesitate, contact me today!
If you are interested in mindfulness practices in counselling and psychotherapy, mindfulness practice in overcoming common sleep problems, mindfulness practice to deal with chronic pain, or learning traditional mindfulness meditation, these links will take you to the main Integrating Awareness website (and will open in a new tab).