Most of us spend the vast majority of our lives between our ears, thinking, contemplating the future, ruminating about the past, going over our to-do-lists and “what if’s.” We postpone our dreams, putting them off, telling ourselves to wait until we have more information, resources and/or time.
People have told me things like, “I need a coach to tell me what to do.” But that is not what good coaches do. The truth is the more direction we are given in our lives, the more likely we are to resist. Self-determination is a key part of success and happiness.
This past weekend I attended a coaching conference hosted by Harvard Medical School. The most powerful experience occurred when we had to pair up with a stranger, turn our chairs so that we were touching back to back and take turns coaching each other. I was scared since my once shattered shoulder is only nine weeks out of surgery and my partner was an imposing 6’2” guy.
We noticed so many things about one another. Secrets uncovered in our bodies that our words would not touch. For example, I was holding him up, feeling overly responsible and vulnerable all at the same time. He was nervous to share sensing my tension. It was awkward. As we relaxed, an amazing thing happened, my partner said, “Hey, I just felt your shoulder relax.” Hearing him say that, I felt that someone understood me. The weight of the world that I often carry on my shoulders was released for a moment.
The lesson beautifully taught us that that when we tune into our clients, and ourselves we transcend words and our busy minds. Being quiet and still allows us to fully be there for another human being, even a stranger.
I invite you at some point in your day to stop what you are doing, get out of your head, and pay attention to your body. “What is your body telling you that it needs?” Try it on a loved one, watch and listen and open your heart that resides not just in the front of your chest but also along your back.