What’s Your Body Barometer Saying Today?
Sometimes I find being a coach quite an arduous task, not because of the clients I work with or what’s involved in being self employed, but simply because I know the questions I don’t like to ask of myself. Through coaching I’ve really learnt how to listen to what my body is saying in terms of what is going on with my energy level, how susceptible I am to the latest bug, my level of motivation and even my intolerance level. And there are plenty of people who can vouch for the latter! Yet, when I stop and notice that my body has something to tell me, 9 times out of 10, the damage is done and I’m on maintenance duty rather than prevention. Doing something about it, no matter how late, is always better than not doing anything at all.
So, a few months ago in the throws of work, holiday planning, tax bills and all the usual family commitments, I stopped and asked myself 3 simple words – am I happy? My honest heartfelt answer was ‘no’. OK, yes I have a lot to be thankful for in terms of where I live, the choices I have around what I do for a living, having a wonderful family, fantastic friends etc, etc, etc….. But was I really, deeply happy? No.
After I got over the shock I quickly realised that my body had been giving me this message loud and clear for quite some time now, and I’d chosen to ignore it. What I noticed was my two main happy indicators were pointing to ‘low’ instead of the usual ‘high’. For me my breathing is my go-to barometer that highlights how deeply I can breathe with unconscious ease. My laugh-ohmmeter indicates how quickly I can burst in and out of laughter. We know that everyone has their own personal gauge for emotional states and understanding where yours starts and ends is always important before trying to assess, where are you now. Looking at my meaning of happiness and realising that things were out of place was a huge sense of relief as I had discovered a symptom and could now diagnose a cure.
What I did next was look at how I could quickly maintain the problem and then look at how to prevent in the future. So, asking more questions I was able to understand what was going on not only in body but my heart and mind.
In my maintenance role I considered:
• what I needed more of (smiling faces and making time to enjoy)
• what I needed less of (listening to my negative gremlins)
In my prevention role I considered:
• what I needed to let go of (having to do it all and delegate instead)
• what I needed to introduce (more quiet me time)
As individuals when we take time to admit there is a problem, or that really we want things to be different, we’ve created an awareness from which we can create choices. Awareness leads to choice, leads to action. Quite simply put – we can choose to be happy or choose to not be. So, today I’m choosing to be happy and to take time to check in with my various barometers and laugh-ohmmeters, and hey, even have some fun along the way!