A Real Life Coaching Session With My Life Coach | Part 2

Have you seen part one?

I share my real-life coaching sessions with my current life coach. We work on some road blocks and major good stuff here so sit back and open up the novel…


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Session #5

Me: I have been practising just choosing and going with it; but I’ve also been really stressed out especially the past few weeks because of culminating rehearsals, shows, exams, and work. I notice that I start to binge-eat during times like these to numb out and procrastinate!

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V: Really good self awareness about numbing out and procrastination.

DECISIONS:

Me: I have given the option of doing a task two ways and often overcomplicate things, so I’m starting small with the smaller decisions, like whether or not to eat my packed lunch or just go impromptu the day of (usually it’s the former!). Something that I try to tell myself is, “I trust myself. No second thinking. I’ve already decided and there’s no room for opening up this case again.” This saves me so much time and energy and MENTAL RESOURCES for things more worth my time–like homework!

V: I love this and think it is amazing! Small, safe-to-fail decisions are the prefect training ground for your decision making muscles 🙂

MINDFUL EATING ADJUSTMENTS:

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Me: The mindful eating has taken a bit of a back seat. I don’t always have the mental strength to want to do everything on my “to do list for mindful eating” but I haven’t compromised the chewing thoroughly part; making an effort to breathe 3 times and also say that I love my food, and also have it without electronic distractions has been on and off but I give myself the most immense grace for this and I’m excited to add it back to my routine when I get some other things off my plate (pun intended!)

 

V: Great self-awareness here, and I like the way you chose one element of mindful eating (chewing thoroughly) to focus on. Adjustments are necessary, and can’t always be easily foreseen. It’s good to build re-evaluation and adjustments into your goals so that if you need to tweak your parameters to meet your circumstances, you can.

SELF-REFLECTION: How did it feel to make these adjustments? Did it feel like giving up or bailing, or did it feel like an intentional shift, or something in between, or none of the above?

Me: I really like how you give me permission to “fail” at anything that I try putting my intention on because then my inner critic isn’t beating me up as badly! There are days when it feels AMAZING and I feel so in line and happy with my choices; not just accomplishing them and ticking them off my to-do list, but also enjoying them AS I’m doing them. As they say enjoy the journey more than the destination! Then there are other days I feel lack luster, and I’m doing the action just for the sake of it without much gratitude. These days are to be expected and in times like these I remind myself that the habit of the habit is more important than the habit itself. Just stay the course. My goal now is to keep up this practice and not really add anything new to my goals. Life is going to get more hectic with the (near end) of school and more shows coming up. I have rehearsals, rehearsals, rehearsals, essays, essays, essays, and passion projects my heart is set on (like this blog and youtube!)…and…I wonder if I still have a social life…wait, oh my gosh I still have to pay rent…so I need to keep up my shifts at work…yup, really not looking to add things to my plate right now! ^^

EXPECTATIONS, BIG PICTURE CHECK IN:

Me: I try to get all my stuff done earlier in the day! All that exercise, journaling and meditating, for example on a daily basis. I want to let go of my expectations. I know I can and I will. I don’t really rate my week; I usually rate my days. I suppose if I were to rate my week, Optimal would be 7 days, good would be 5, and OKAY would 3–just as you put it in the point forms. I can easily keep track of this (and I do!) in my life planner. IN fact, looking back on the weeks previous, I did everything I’ve planned for about 4/5 days out of the week, which puts me at a GOOD! I think it’s important for me to look at the bigger picture (the whole week) instead of the smaller pieces (day by day). I know this is something I’ll be in constant need of reminding when my ego steps in to guilt me.

V: Great commitment to letting go of expectations – I love the “I want to.. I know I can.. I will” aspects! I’m so happy that looking at the big picture has given you a better perspective on your consistency and progress. Tracking, in my opinion, can help or hinder. For example, rating each day was keeping your focus too narrow and you couldn’t easily see the larger trends. It seems like rating your week might be better.. For now. Re-evaluate any tracking you do to see if it’s helping or hindering, and if that’s changed at all.

 

SHOULD’s:

Me: I definitely have days I SHOULD myself! And on those days I tend to be more grumpy because of something that’s happened, or stressed out. Then everything that I enjoy becomes a should instead of a “get to.” This is something I’m totally conscious of! During those times, I want to realign myself by getting into a happier mood; that way I will WANT to do anything and everything.

V: The fact that you’re conscious of it, even when you find yourself not doing the thing, means you are on your way to changing it. Awareness is the number one thing. I also think it’s great to recognize many things can turn into ‘shoulds’ when you’re not super happy or are overextended. Keeping tabs on how ‘should’-y you feel in general could be a great metric for seeing if your energy and actions are in alignment.

TRY: Saying “I choose to” or “This is my choice” to everything you are doing. You will likely discover very quickly what the real choices are, and which are obligations. Obligations are okay, and somewhat impossible to avoid altogether, and it’s good to recognize how much space and energy they take up in our lives just to make sure they don’t spiral out of control 🙂

Me: Good idea! Lately, I’ve been scripting into my journal a mediation–a prayer for more flow into my life. Look back exactly a year ago from today, I definitely an in more flow. I make the seconds count instead of counting the seconds (sometimes I still find myself doing the former but time is flying so much faster because I’m in flow with the energy of the divine now than before). I know I’m in flow when things are easy. When life is easy. Life isn’t hard–or doesn’t have to be. Another thing I think I could say to myself is “I am willing to…” because regardless of whether or not I execute the task, whether or not it happens, or happens to the degree I want it to, I was WILLING to do it, and for that my intentions are in it. I recognize that that’s the first step to making anything I want happen!

PROCESS GOALS:

Me: Good point! Showing up is doing the work itself. I never feel like I’ve done enough or I’m cheating myself because I don’t get the results I’m looking for and it’s a waste of time (“why bother at all?!”) but I also firmly believe that the more I show up, the more likely I am to eventually get it done, and showing up is a habit that can become ingrained in me.

I will use the same scale for mindful eating! For now I’ll focus more on the chewing, the saying and the breathing and even if I’m not in a “state of total bliss” when I put the fork in my mouth, I’ve shown up.

lack vs abundant thoughts

V: You could set process goals with what you’re working on currently. For example, you could have a note on your phone or a page in your notebook where you give yourself a check mark everytime you make a decision quickly and with ease. You could start to see how repeating the individual actions start to build a habit.

I’ll conclude by saying that I’m getting the impression that you have a lot on your plate right now, so I’ll leave you with this SELF-REFLECTION: What does balance mean to you? Does it mean all the important things in your life get an equal share, or some share of the time pie? Does it mean different things at different times? What do you need more of to have balance? What do you need less of?

Me: I think balance means in some periods of life I’ll have more of one thing and less or the other, and in other periods vice versa. I also have a minimum threshold that I keep as a bright line when it comes to sacrificing time for one task for another that’s more pressing. Crossing this line is a big no-no. For example, it is a non negotiable for me to have a morning and evening routine. This grounds me for the day and I’m not willing to sacrifice that; whereas I may sacrifice time to go to the gym that afternoon for finishing an essay due in 3 days. I’m a huge control freak though (<—just saying this makes me feel icky, because I’m self-identifying negatively but I want you to know what i mean/I want to express myself without censoring my words) and have to take changes really slowly, little by little because otherwise I get anxious, freak out, break down, procrastinate, numb out/binge. I can start adapting to changes that I foresee in the future by acting early–shifting my routine now so that when it comes time, I’m not FORCED into this new routine that’s completely out of my comfort zone.

During these times of change, I definitely need a helping hand–someone to reassure me, to hold me as I relearn to balance on the tightrope. I don’t know who to turn to though, but I have the strength of the universe by my side. <3


Session #6

V: Permission to Fail: Yes, absolutely having permission to fail and reframing failure as learning is huge when it comes to de-energizing the Inner Critic. Self-reflection: How do you give yourself permission to fail? How can you give yourself more permission to fail?

Me: It’s hard sometimes, to give myself permission to fail. I fear that it was a waste of time, energy, or effort on my part, or that I’m not good enough. I equate the results to my worth/capabilities when in reality, I’m certain athletes have days they are 10/10 and other times they can’t seem to get outta bed. It doesn’t mean that they’re weaker, it just means that on that day they’re not 100%, BUT THEY’RE STILL CAPABLE OF PERFORMING AT THAT TOP NOTCH STATE–they still have it IN them; they just can’t prove it today. To be honest, I don’t know how I can give myself more permission to fail. I suppose I just…rely on meditation for self-forgiveness when I do fail. I’m looking for suggestions here!

 

V: Activity: Write* a compassionate letter to your Inner Critic, and then write a letter back to yourself from the Inner Critic’s point of view. What came up? *or speak your thoughts into a voice memo and then listen to it later on.

Me:

Dear Inner Critic:

Get lost. I love you. Thank you for serving me in the wa you have for so long. Thank you for keeping me on my toes, for watching out for me, for wanting the  best for me, for protecting me,. Thank you for giving me this cocoon of safety. 

I release you. I release you from sticking onto me like a goo on my back. I hear you. I hear what you have to say, but I also have to let you go. I need to get out of this cocoon and spread my wings. There’s so much out there, I promise I won’t forget you, and if I need you again I know exactly where you are, and I’ll come find you. I know you want the best for me; and the best for me is to be positive to myself, to love myself forward and indulge in high vibes. That’s how I heal; and it seems counterintuitive, but I no longer invite space for negative vibes especially at a time when something bad’s happened. Wouldn’t you say that to be right?

 

(as the inner critic):

Okay. I will try to witness you go through your life without negative feedback. To be honest, I’m tired of worrying, and being angry and naggy too. I don’t like it. This would be a break for me. I’ll try it. 

 

(as me)

I still want to be friends. Okay? Can we make peace? I really, really want this to work. 🙂 Come here. Let’s hug.

 

-embrace-

V: Energy: Sometimes life feels inspiring and sometimes it feels humdrum. Good job recognizing that and making consistency the habit. The goal to stay the course and not add anything new shows hella wisdom! That is more than enough at many times in life, especially seasonal ‘thangs’ like exams 🙂 Self-reflection: What are your May – December or May – September goals? What are you looking ahead to?

Me: I’m looking forward to diving more into my business, finding 3 clients and a job that pays $20/hour! School ends in April. I’ve been actively searching for jobs nearby and working at the library was one of them. It’s been on my list of possibilities for a while because it’s closeby, and somewhat active. Guess what. I quit my call center job the other day and I. FEEL. SO. FREE. I’ve never done anything so impromptu–I was literally sitting there at my cubicle the other day, dreading the work, feeling so tired, like the energy and life force was sucked outta me. And thought, “What is keeping me here? My work should energize me. I should be excited to head to work every day.” And right then and there, I got up and talked to my boss. She was so supportive of my decision and that night, I resigned. I cried a little bit. I was happy and sad, lost and confused and excited! Two days later, I checked the library website and among ALL the locations and ALL the positions, the location near me and the position I was opened up! AND GUESS WHAT–IT PAYS NEARLY DOUBLE WHAT I MANIFESTED PER HOUR! (37 I believe). I applied right away. This is mine. This position is mine. This is not a coincidence. <3 I’ll keep you updated, V!

 

V: Affirmations: Sounds like it’s good to keep working with the theme of “I choose” and “I am willing to…” “Life is easy” seems like a good one to pull from your observations about being in flow 🙂 Balance: Great idea to think about the non-negotiables, so when it’s necessary to strip away some of your regular routine. Being proactive is key – looking ahead to busy times and giving yourself advanced permission to scale back or strip away what’s not absolutely necessary. In my experience this is a long learning curve, and if you keep this a priority, you will eventually come up with an arsenal of tools and strategies that work for you in order to allow you to successfully adjust your schedule and routine easily and efficiently 🙂

Me: Ultimately, I think the phrases “I am willing to…” is a great way to be self-compassionate to myself when I do screw up, or something doesn’t go my way. 

V: Reframing: The term control freak sure is negative… what else could you call it? Passionately organized? Intensely involved? High standards? Recovering perfectionist? Obsessed with order? Sometimes making a term funny and / or cute, and personal, goes a long way to change your relationship with that thing, whatever it is.

Me: Passionately organized! Oh my god, I LOVE IT! I’m taking that one. Another thing I’ve been reframing is to work less. I equate working less to being lazy, or unproductive, being a fat blob sitting idly waiting for the world and their life to pass by. But instead I see it as actively receiving–I’m creating space to receiving. In fact, I’m busy receiving from the universe its sign and opportunities and I can work at my own pace, however “slow” or “fast” it may be. I’m still actively doing something. I’m receiving–and this is a graceful and humbling period in my life that tests my patience and faith.

V: Support, Compassion and Encouragement: Absolutely we all need reassurance and encouragement from supportive people in our lives. Activity: How can you use the 3 elements of self-compassion (mindfulness, common humanity and self-kindness) to reassure yourself?

Me: “Mindfulness is a non-judgmental, receptive mind state in which one observes thoughts and feelings as they are, without trying to suppress or deny them. We cannot ignore our pain and feel compassion for it at the same time.  At the same time, mindfulness requires that we not be “over-identified” with thoughts and feelings, so that we are caught up and swept away by negative reactivity.”

^These are all concepts that I’m familiar with already, but I don’t have tangible actions that I’ve been putting them into action. For example, that quote on mindfulness–I often try to use visualization on my own terms (perhaps it’d help with some touch therapy and someone else guiding it) to detach myself from the bubble of thought, but at the same time it’s hard to ignore reality.

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I hope you enjoyed this series, I had a lot of fun journaling! Have you ever had a “conversation” with your inner critic?