My coaching practice seems to have been dominated of late by executives who are suffering from “extreme busyness“. Back to back meetings, inboxes bursting with hundreds of unread emails, restructures, disaffected teams; how can anyone begin to think strategically – let alone even have time to think under such circumstances? And how can we, as coaches, develop some kind of mindful practice ourselves so that, in turn, we can be truly present for our clients?
There are vast amounts of research demonstrating that mindfulness practices – of whatever type – definitely help us to cope with all our challenges in a much more productive way, leading both to better business practices and greatly improved health. But how can we all find time to do this?
This morning, as I was walking my dog, I realised my major way of finding peace often happens during this morning ritual. I became acutely aware of a beautiful Sydney spring day – the jacarandas in bloom, the scent of jasmine, the bright green of new leaves and gorgeous spring blossom. This is one of the few times in my day when I completely switch off and am truly “in the moment“. Walking my dog has become a really special experience for me. He makes me laugh with his silly antics and even the small gesture of smiling at other dog walkers brings the serotonin (happy hormone) flowing through my body.
I find I’m spending increasing amounts of time trying to help my coachees find these small peaceful moments in their day. Here are 3 ideas:
- Using a mindfulness app can be incredibly helpful. Listening to a short meditation on a trip to work in the bus or on the train just for 10 minutes can really set up the day for success.
- Some people find journaling helpful.
- Others enjoy thinking of 3-4 events that have gone really well in their day and writing these down.
Once they start developing a mindful practice, these are some of the things my clients report back to me:
- They feel so much better physically and emotionally;
- They are aware of breathing much more deeply;
- Their thoughts and minds are so much clearer;
- Great ideas often seem to pop into their heads right after the mindfulness practice.
Working as a supervisor of coaches, I am also aware of how many conversations have happened recently in my supervision groups around this topic. With our world seeming to get faster and faster, trying to manage work, family, and life in general, we definitely need to find some ways to both have compassion for ourselves and just 10 minutes of mindful peace every day to help us through.