Active Meditation: Mindfulness in Action

Who has time to meditate with the fast pace of life and business nowadays?

No, you do not have to be sitting in the lotus position with your eyes closed to get best results as I first thought.

The reason I decided to write this article is because many of my clients are making themselves wrong for not making the time to meditate. They are telling me that they feel they need to create time for it to be most effective. In other words they are thinking they need to be meditating in a certain way for best results.

Can you relate to this?

I certainly can. Especially during my first attempts to meditate, with my head telling me that this is a waste of time, I have better things to do, where is this going to get me?

The monkey mind – chitter chatter – just wouldn’t slow down at all.

Yes, I had a very busy mind that would always be racing ahead.

How do I do this meditation stuff so that I can stop driving myself crazy jumping from goal to goal or project to project? Exhausting myself!!!

Trying to get it right. Only to find there is no right way. Let’s find your way.

There are many forms of meditation –
it is important to find what works best for you.

Ultimately, you want to feel like you are in a state of consciousness throughout your day for focused productivity, engaging communication and creative innovation. If not, you may find yourself reacting to situations and circumstances leaving you feeling exhausted at the end of the day.

  • This is where meditation and mindfulness can support you.

Yes, meditation can consist of sitting quietly and being with your thoughts and your breath. I don’t know about you, but as a high achiever and go-getter personality style, I found that style of meditation very challenging to do in the beginning. So I chose to start with creative visualization and deep breathing for only 5 minutes, and increased the time, as I gave myself permission to sit for longer.

Today, this has expanded into what I like to call ‘mindfulness in action’.

This means that I focus on my breath being conscious to my senses, as I take action throughout the day. This supports me to become a lot calmer, present and conscious inside of each activity, without reacting to outside circumstances. From this stance, I can make better decisions because of being grounded and connected with mind and body.

  • For example, if I am about to step into a meeting, I take a few deep breaths sending this into my body taking me out of my strategic mind racing ahead. With my first priority being to connect with my inner body being still in mind and body. My objective is to stay fully present to the environment, the people in the room, the language they are using, sensing what they are saying and what they are not saying.

Listening with a beginner’s mind, connecting with
all your senses will support you to become an
influential observer with inspiring presence.

Being the observer creates space to listen without judgment or pre-conceived ideas. Being the observer will support your active listening skills, which is much more powerful as you can take everything in using all your senses. If you jump in too quickly, you will not hear all. What is being said and what is not being said. You will then know exactly what to say or do that will make a difference inspiring everyone in the room.

I then take this home with me and remind myself to live being conscious using all my senses. Being fully present to my relationships at home, in my community, at work etc. creates a state of presence. This means taking powerful ownership of all your emotions.

If you have a busy mind, as I do, one of the best practices I choose is to focus on my breath as often as I can throughout the day. This creates space between your strategic mind and your creative mind.

For innovation and natural creativity to flow, it is important to create plenty of space for your mind to relax so that you can hear your inspiring vision and next steps from your innovative wisdom.

There are plenty of times I catch myself trying to work it all out from my strategic mind, to which I then push the pause button and take a deep breath; shifting my presence back into my body – not trying to work it all out in my head.

Notice whether you are getting in your own way by working harder or driving yourself to find the solution coming from force.

The best solutions will always come to you when
you are most relaxed.

I just noticed myself taking another deep breath with a slow exhalation, as I am writing this article. I caught myself realising that this is becoming more and more a natural practice inside my day.

  • Let’s push the pause button for a moment and ‘take a deep breath in’ – and ‘let it go’. I know, a little corny, but it works if done consistently.

It does take a conscious reminder in the beginning and with repetition; it will slowly become a natural part of your being.

This reminds me of when I was a personal trainer of the many times I would be coaching my clients to relax their mind and body for best results through the power of the conscious breath. It’s interesting how I find myself using this simple practice personally and with my professional coaching clients today.

  • Never underestimate the simple repetitive steps as they can create extraordinary results.

No matter what results you want in your personal and professional life, it is paramount to know who is showing up.

  • Are you being calm and relaxed from inside out?
  • Are you being present in a state of presence?
  • Are you fully listening with all your senses?
  • Are you communicating with language that inspires others?

Practice mindfulness in action throughout your day with greater self-awareness for best results in your personal and professional life.

If you are wanting to close the gap from where you are now to achieve next level success, contact me to book in for a 15-minute introduction to coaching conversation to discuss your requirements http://annettestanton.com/contact/

Transform your Life in 2018

Every year my husband and I have a celebration ritual next to our pool with a glass of champagne to reflect on the past year. In previous years, we found that we could not remember everything that we had accomplished, what we were grateful for, the people we met, the events that we engaged in, the projects we completed etc.

So I decided, in January 2017, to set up a large vase and placed it in the corner kitchen bench so we could see it every day as a reminder to reflect on our day. We would write on a post-it note with the date and whatever it was we were grateful for within that day. If we went to an event, we would place the tickets in the vase. Very quickly the vase was bursting with the energy of life’s gratitude.

Here is a picture of our life’s celebration vase.

Celebration vase

When it came time to go through our reflections, sipping on our chilled champagne next to the pool, we were both pleasantly surprised as to how much we had achieved, received, connected and engaged with in life.

As we reflected on our year, we both mentioned that we had so much more to be grateful for that we had not placed in the vase. Mark, my husband, also mentioned how surprised he was about how full a life we actually live without realising.

It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day busy schedule, with life skipping by so fast, we forget to really connect with the life we are living each day.

Transform your Life in 2018

One of the things that became clear to both of us by doing this was the pattern of what was most important in our life. The repetitive actions we took, what we were doing with our time, how we were exerting our energy, where we were spending our money etc.

This created a clear opening as to our evolving vision, goals and next steps for this coming year knowing these were all in alignment with our true values.

Our next step is to create a vision map matching our vision, goals and values.

Are you living your inspirational vision in alignment with your true values?

Make sure 2018 is your best year yet. If you have been thinking about hiring a coach to partner you in transforming your life, then please contact me http://annettestanton.com/contact/

A little more about vision mapping (exert from The Power of Vision book) http://annettestanton.com/author/

Vision Mapping

The brain works with sensory images and associations radiating from those images. Every day, you take in images, which affect your life. Using selected images (goals) and associations (values) will support you in maintaining focus on what you do want to attract.

A vision map is a collage of pictures, photos, inspirational words etc. of your goals, values and vision. You can’t buy a vision map; it is important that you spend the time to collect pictures based on your own goals, values and vision. When you bring colour into your images (goals), this adds extra vibrancy and energy, suggesting the possibility of creative thinking in achieving your goals.

When I first started creating vision maps for myself and facilitating vision mapping in workshops, I would place all my goals and vision onto one map. This worked really well, though today I do it a little differently. I have fun every year collecting pictures and photos to make up my three separate vision maps in the areas of business, personal life and travel. All of my vision maps are hanging in my office and my home so that I can view them daily.

Vision Success Tip

Creating your Vision Map

Choose whether you would like to begin with one vision map, or separate your life into three or four areas. Get yourself a large sheet of cardboard and place a photo of you and your family in the centre. Starting in the centre allows you to express yourself freely and spread out in any direction. Now collect pictures and inspirational words from magazines or the internet and paste them on your vision map. The end result will be a colourful vision map of what you truly desire. Look at it every day and take in the colour and life of the pictures as though you have already achieved your vision.  

Transform your Life and Business to New Heights

Are you interested, or even curious, about how The Coach Approach can transform your business and personal life? Become the game changer today!

Ask about my One on One Coaching Programs, or you may prefer my Group Coaching Program for individuals, teams and organisations.

With over 35 years of coaching and mentoring experience working with executives, business owners, coaches and entrepreneurs, I will coach you to gain clarity of direction and partner you in taking action towards living your inspirational vision with confidence, presence and freedom.

Contact Annette today for an introductory coaching session email: http://annettestanton.com/contact/

Your Body’s Intelligence: Living and Working in your Free-Flow Zone

What does it mean when it comes to working and living in your free-flow zone? Whatever is going on in your personal and professional life right now, there is a great diamond in there that is ready to evolve into brilliance. There is something about being in your zone that will open up new opportunities with less effort and stress. 

This week I was with a client who is an entrepreneur, very much a go-getter personality with 3 types of business. One of the things he brought up during our coaching session was that we enjoyed taking time out, at different times, throughout the day to go and do something physical that he enjoyed doing; like go for a run. This gave him some sort of outlet that had him really connect with his body.  

I congratulated him because what that indicated to me was that he trusted his free-flow zone. For him to truly be focused and to naturally allow his entrepreneurial spirit to fulfil his potential, then he needed those breaks in between. When working with your strategic mindset, it is important to consciously be connected to the body through some form of physical activity. This was his method of doing that.  

Some of the things I like to do to stay connected with my free-flow zone are to walk in nature with my dog, creative visualization, meditation, conscious deep breathing, swimming, channel writing, jogging, gardening etc.  

One of the things he then said to me was that he wanted to not feel guilty about taking time out during the day because of the old 9-5 mentality. I mentioned that I was reading an article recently about how leaders in major organisations today have developed a greater awareness around the importance of having those breaks in between.  

Your Body’s Intelligence: Living and Working in your Free-Flow Zone

It’s interesting how the subject of innovation, creativity, and diversification often comes up and how to develop these qualities. The interesting part about this is that these qualities will develop naturally when you give yourself plenty of space in your mind and body by taking regular breaks. It is not something you can work out in your mind. It lies inside the listening of the space you form when you create mind – body – soul connection. It occurs naturally, when you become the observer of yourself, with the important part being that you stay connected. It is an inner body connection.  

Often we talk about staying connected now via social media, networking, collaborations etc., about being connected and the value of connection. What does connection truly mean? It means that you are truly connected with who you are, your real self, what are your true core values that you live by (walk your talk) and your deep knowledge of why you do what you do. This way of being will activate a new communication style gaining a natural interest in others and getting to know who they truly are with open curiosity.  

It’s not about being connected through language or through commonality alone. Yes that’s one level of it, but I can tell you that if you go underneath all of that, staying connected with your true self, trusting and acting on your free-flow zone – staying connected with your body’s intelligence – no matter where you are, no matter who you are with, no matter what the conversation is about, you will naturally connect with inspiring presence.  

One of the things I challenged my client with this week was to wholeheartedly trust his free-flow zone by putting it in action. To notice the guilt, and take action anyway. The guilt trip is the old business model that did not work for him any longer.  

I mentioned to him that it sounds like he is readjusting to the natural formation of a new business model that looked very different for him – of mind – of body – of soul. Staying connected with the head-heart-gut. Whatever language you prefer. It is important to match your own evolution with awareness; otherwise, you will continue to hit the glass ceiling trying to fit into someone else’s vision. 

So when you stay connected, you will be in your free-flow zone and you will know exactly the right action to take in direct correlation with your inspirational vision. You will also hear the intuitiveness – the gut feelings – the hunches – knowing the right actions you need to take at the right time. Instead of the head taking over, you want your body to be connected and then you will naturally bring your strategic mind in through the body’s intelligence.