This will be the first post in a 3-part series called the Discovery of You. Today I’ll focus on getting to know your body (in a different way). My clients know a lot about themselves. They are smart, witty, accomplished, and willing to learn even more.
Invariably, during our coaching sessions, they discover a way to see a known part of them with new eyes, or they find out something they never knew before.
Things like habits, strengths, desires, quirks, you name it. Both they and I, find it a fascinating discovery. With this, they realize some new possibilities that open up for them. If they can see themselves in a new way then they can take that information and do something with it to create more of what they want in their life.
One of the tools I always utilize with my coaching clients at some point in our sessions is the Body Compass tool.
This I learned when I went through life coach training with Martha Beck.
I’m going to take you through a much shorter version of it, but you can use it to help gain some clarity for different areas of your life.
It’s important to know that your physical body is full of wisdom about what is going on in your life at all times.
It always knows if things are going well or if they aren’t.
We are often aware of the tension we carry in our shoulders, or when our stomach is in knots because we are stressed about something going on in our lives. This usually gets our attention.
However, we don’t often notice what physical sensations are going on in our body when things are going well in our lives.
Enter the Body Compass Tool.
This will only take a few minutes, so let’s begin.
Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down where it is quiet and you are free from distractions.
Take 3 slow deep breaths then close your eyes.
Now think about a time in your life last week when things weren’t going so well. This should not be the worst experience ever but one that did not hop your bunny. Once you’ve got that, put yourself back into that experience and notice what is going on with all 5 of your senses.
Now we’re going to do a quick body scan. Keeping the experience in your mind’s eye with all of your senses, start with your toes and feet and slowly move up your body noticing what physical sensations come up for you. Work your way up your legs, through your pelvis, stomach, chest, throat, and shoulders. Don’t forget your back as well. Last, let your attention move up from the back of your neck to the crown of your head, down to your forehead, eyes, nose, cheeks, and mouth.
What physical sensations came up for you? Write those down. Now give this overall experience a nickname like the “knotted stomach” feeling so you remember it in the future. Many of my clients say things like, my chest feels heavy, I’ve got a pit in my stomach, or my shoulders are scrunched up to my ears. This is considered a yuck-o experience.
Now we get to head to the other end of the spectrum and find something that was going well in your life last week. Got it? Good. Again, notice with your 5 senses what is happening at that moment. Back to the body scan. Again, start with your feet and move up like before, noticing what physical sensations come up for you. Now write those down.
Give that experience a nickname as well, like the “freedom feeling”. My clients say things like, there is just a lack of tension, I feel my face smile, my chest feels lighter. This is considered a hop-your-bunny experience.
To put this into practice right away, write down 3 things for your to-do list this week.
Visualize yourself in the situation where you are actually doing one item on that list. Again, use all 5 of your senses. Do a quick body scan and see what physical sensations come up.
Here is where this information can be super helpful. Did the sensations that came up for you feel more like the knotted stomach feeling (yuck-o), or more like the freedom feeling (hop-your-bunny)?
What I’ve found with my clients is that often they think they don’t mind doing something on their list then find their body isn’t quite on board with their brain and has another opinion.
The Body Compass tool is a great way to start getting physically in touch with you.
It brings a new dimension of you to the surface of awareness where you can discover some cool things. And awareness of where you are is the first step in making changes.
Don’t forget to do this with the other things on your list as well. See what comes up.
Next week we’ll talk about your thoughts and how they can either hinder or help you create changes in your life.
Your turn: Have you noticed certain physical sensations that have popped up for you when things are either going well,or not in your life? Leave a comment below, or email me, firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for spending some of your time with me today. I really do appreciate it and hope you found it helpful.
As always, take from here what works for you, share with your friends if you think they might benefit, and the rest you can leave behind.
Susan Grace McDiarmid, Life Coach email@example.com 907.374.6004
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