Coach Approach Blog

Coach Approach

Can hopelessness be creative?

Some people think coaches are overly optimistic, always focusing on the bright side and not willing to take a hard look at challenges. But you know that at Awaken, we model coaching skills that really help with overcoming obstacles, getting creative, and trying something new and brave. It takes a powerful love that's refreshing, strengthening, and invigorating. 

Drawing on the work of Steven Hayes, one approach is to develop "Creative Hopelessness". A core tenet of coaching states, "if what you…

Read more…

The freeze frame technique for getting unstuck

If you're like me, sometimes you get stuck in ruminating - having the same thoughts and feelings stuck on repeat with no movement or positive action. It's exhausting. The brain seems to have a mind of its own, quickly taking you on a path to nowhere.  

Wouldn't it be fun if you could get back in charge of yourself? 

The Freeze Frame® technique, developed by the HearthMath Institute, gives you a chance to find more efficient options and resolve problems and conflicts that may be depleting your en…

Read more…

What kind of squirrel are you?

Our friends the squirrels go through some distinct seasons.

Those that live in northern climates know just when it's time to start stockpiling for the cold winter months. They remind us that it's good and right to think and plan ahead and to conserve an investment of energy and calories for times when those are less abundant in the natural way of things.

For humans, this includes choosing what nourishes and sustains us long-term, through the cycles of life. It includes trusting that more goodn…

Read more…

Boundaries in or boundaries out?

Skin is beautiful: the largest organ in the body with astonishing sensory abilities. I was recently at the beach on the Kenyan coast, reveling in the soft, white sand, enjoying the warmth of the sun, the breeze on my face, and the refreshment of a saltwater pool. My skin made all of those gorgeous sensations possible.

Skin protects: I added protection to the skin on my feet by wearing my Tevas when walking in places with coral and sea urchins. I protected the skin on my face and arms by wearing…

Read more…

Do I hold on or let go?

Holding Close and Setting Free as a Way of Living

"Holding close and setting free is not a common concept. Most people tend to think in terms of “holding on” or “letting go”—choosing one or the other. The idea of holding something or someone close and, at the same time, setting them free—two gestures becoming one—opens a new world of possibilities.

For me, holding close and setting free has become a beautiful and grace-filled way of living. I believe that the highest form of relationship—wheth…

Read more…

What if I don't feel like paying it forward?

Sometimes people get a little tired of helping the world. Fears, limitations, uncertainty, or just plain old fatigue might hold us back. What if you have a mortgage payment to make, kids to take care of, aging parents, responsibilities galore, and you think that only those with unlimited funding or free time can do the difference-making work?

And yet, don't you love to be around people who love being alive, who love what's happening at the moment, and who just enjoy themselves? And even bette…

Read more…

What do coaches do again?

Today, I want to give you a little more insight into the coaching profession. More and more people are hiring coaches, and yet few people know what coaches actually do, or what skills they are trained in. 

What's your why? What makes it important to you right now to learn to grow as a person, communicate more effectively, listen more attentively, or encourage others in their growth?

Coaching skills are highly transferrable and exceedingly valuable - you can use them as a grandmother, as a line…

Read more…

Are you your mom?

Some of us had caring mothers or other care-givers who consistently provided kindness and support. Some of us had more difficult experiences.

Our natural ability to be gentle and kind to ourselves has been shaped by those early voices of safety and nurture, or lack thereof. Good news!  According to one of my all-time favorite teachers, Kristin Neff, even if you did not feel secure with your parents or care-givers as a little one, you can still learn to feel secure by practicing self-compassion …

Read more…

Treasures from a littler you

I could only fly when no one was looking, and not for very long. But when I was alone in the house, if I wore my favorite Peter Pan outfit, I could glide down the staircase silently, hovering gently a few inches above the floorboards. 

I also knew how to climb high into a tree, waaaay above the roof of the house, and feel the breeze swaying me and the ever-narrowing tree trunk and my fingertips covered with sap. My muscles were strong with the feeling of having run and leaped and clung to the l…

Read more…

Whose reality is correct?

Have you ever gotten into an argument with someone about what REALLY happened? It can get pretty crazy-making.

Memory is a weird thing, and our brains are excellent at deleting and distorting most things and selecting the pieces that fit into a pre-conceived story that makes sense (and that makes us look good). Especially when we're feeling self-protective.

Even as adults, we can get into our own versions of "Did not!" "Did too!" ad infinitum. The best of us, in our worst moments, can be caugh…

Read more…