When all is said and done: “I wish I had spent more time…”
When was the last time you sat in silence and thought deeply? Chances are you’re feeling overwhelmed as you juggle everything in your life. So you write lists and schedule calendars to get everything done. You try to keep the important things front and center, yet as the days and weeks pass, you get sidetracked by the busywork that seems to accomplish a lot, but in reality doesn’t get you closer to your goals. You’ve been sucked back into the vicious cycle of being too busy.
Being “too busy” is a symptom of the much larger condition – that of reacting to situations instead of making good choices. What can get you back on track? More lists? No! You need a solid foundation for change, and practicing mindfulness is a great way to do that. Mindfulness is the antidote to “too busy”.
Let’s examine seven ways you can replace busyness with mindfulness:
- Slow down, concentrate on one task, and be fully present and engaged. For example: How many tabs do you have open in your browser right now? Shut them all down except for one and fully concentrate on the information before you. Or when you converse with someone, give your entire focus to the person and listen closely to what’s said rather than looking around the room or thinking about something else.
- Stimulate creativity by being open to the possibilities. Your brain needs to relax to switch into its creative mode. When you’re “too busy” you’ll dismiss a new idea or opportunity as a distraction. Instead, carefully contemplate if it’s a way for you to grow and advance. If it’s not, dismiss it, or write it down for later consideration, and move on. If it is, spend time with it.
- Set priorities so you can engage in life more efficiently and effectively. Start each day with a review of what you want to accomplish and end each day with what you have accomplished. This will allow you to do the things you really want to do, giving you a sense of satisfaction.
- Build a routine that supports your health and minimizes stress. To live an incredible life, you’ll need to be committed to the wellness of mind, body, and spirit. Some people choose to stay “too busy” so they don’t have to confront or resolve issues in their lives. When you’re mindful, you enhance your ability to perceive what is experienced through your senses rather than building fear and stress over something that isn’t real, only a mistaken notion in your mind. So add one supportive activity to your routine until it becomes your habit.
- Renew motivation by sharpening your vision, the reason why you’re doing what you’re doing. You’ll be able to replace “I can’t” or “Why try?” with “Yes, I know I deserve to make a success of this and I have the resources to do so”. As events unfold, observe the experience instead of always engaging in it. This will increase your emotional stability and vibrancy, as well as, open up to you a full range of options.
- Establish good self-relations so you can think, plan, and dream. Depression and anxiety are signs that something is trying to wake up within a person. By acknowledging the purpose of a symptom, you are in a much better position to seriously reexamine your life and begin the process of living with renewed purpose. Taking time off is essential for recharging your spirit, mind and body. Even when you’re working, be sure to set boundaries and don’t be available all the time. This will help you keep your passion alive and discover your extraordinary purpose for being.
- Become centered through connections. Everyone needs cherished family and friends. Instead of being so focused on doing and accomplishing, mindfulness keeps you centered on being the person you want to be. Your family and friends can help keep events in perspective. At the end of life, no one ever says, “I wish I had spent more time at the office.”
Mindfulness provides access to powerful inner resources so you can change the way you see and ultimately experience each situation. It puts you in a better position to do something different. It empowers you to participate in the world at large, as you work with what arises instead of trying to escape. Is that what you desire? Are you ready to develop a more mindfulness and meaningful life? Please contact me and we can discuss the best way for you to do that.
Think for a moment about someone that you’re drawn to – can you picture him or her? You can probably identify certain qualities they have such as being charming, gracious, generous, sincere, honest, genuine, open, kind, compassionate, giving, loving…
However, we can gain additional insight into what makes them highly successful by reflecting on their behavior. What is it that they do that brings out the best in us?
When you mindfully observe the way they interact with others, their speech and their actions, then you can model their behavior within your own life. As you read the following list of 25 positive behaviors of highly success individuals, imagine how each item makes you feel. Then you can begin to comprehend how you can use these behaviors to extend this feeling towards others…
1. They step forward with hand extended, head slightly tilted forward, smiling, and expressing sincere delight when meeting you rather than waiting for you to come to them.
2. They respectfully call you by the name that you introduce yourself as, rather than presumptuously giving you a nickname.
3. They are fascinated by you, asking you who, what, where and why questions without prying into off-limits, personal territory.
4. They respect your personal space. If you’re a hugger, they’ll hug you. If you’re uncomfortable with physical touch, they won’t force the issue. (This involves some sensory acuity on your part. Always take your cues from others!)
5. They make you feel important, maintain eye contact as they attentively and patiently listen to every word.
6. They willingly reveal themselves openly and honestly as they show their genuineness.
7. They always keep confidential information confidential.
8. They avoid gossip by tactfully changing the conversation or walking away.
9. They listen more than they speak.
10. They give without expecting anything in return.
11. They recognize even the tiniest of efforts and expresses appreciation for what you’ve done and why you’ve done it.
12.They encourage you to reach your full potential.
13. They trust that you’re doing your best, and they look deeply into each situation for the reasons why you’re doing something rather than jumping to conclusions.
14. They lead by example and willingly “roll up their sleeves” to pitch in where there’s a need before being asked.
15. They are mindful of your feelings, expressing joy when you’re celebrating, expressing sincere sorrow when you’re saddened.
16. They dignify you and bolster your self-esteem and self respect by asking for your help and your opinion.
17. They wait to be asked before giving advice.
18. They look for and focus on the positive in you.
19. They remember their own mistakes, thereby giving you a pass when a mistake is made.
20. They don’t give up on you.
21. They sincerely and openly express their approachableness and humanness while maintaining professionalism.
22. They let you blossom as they gift you with freedom to express yourself within the necessary business or personal boundaries that must be set.
23. They collaborate rather than patronize.
24. They recognize everyone is at different stages of their life’s journey and they encourage, support and guide without stealing your freedom of choice.
25. They make you feel special, smart, and valuable.
Most extraordinary individuals have not achieved their personal and professional greatness by themselves. They’ve learned that we often need to see ourselves through the eyes of others before we can make real transformations. If you’re anxious to make a difference and would like me to mentor you, please contact me so you can reach your full personal and professional potential.
Are you going from feast to famine as you try to build a sustainable private practice? That can be so frustrating and stressful! It may even harm your health and relationships, if you don’t find an effective solution soon.
One thing I’ve learned over the past 13 years is that consistency is vital for making your clients feel comfortable working with you. It’s like when you go to a familiar business, with a familiar logo and you receive predictable service. Even if you aren’t consciously aware of it, your brain sees that consistency as reassuring and safe. The moment something is out of place, however, a red flag of warning goes up.
Here are three areas of business where consistency really matters when you’re trying to improve client satisfaction:
#1 Create a communication protocol.
The first point of contact is often when they telephone your office to schedule an appointment. Take a moment and consider how your prospective clients feel when they call you. Do you have a system in place for communicating with them promptly?
If you’re just starting your private practice, you may not have a support staff yet. It can be very difficult switching roles between therapist and office worker. Of course, you can’t interrupt your session with a client to run and answer the phone. On the other hand, ignoring that message until late in the week or possibly even the next week means they’ll likely call someone else. When they call you, they expect help fairly soon. Since you worked so hard to get them to call you in the first place, you don’t want lose clients by neglecting them.
Here’s a great solution:
On your answering machine leave an assurance that you’re there to help them and that you’ll return their call within 24 hours or less. And then do so.
Make it a priority to return phone calls promptly. Scheduling specific times on you daily calendar ensures that you have the time you need. If you schedule client visits back-to-back with no time in between for office work, you’re going to feel rushed and overwhelmed. Leave yourself some room for call-backs, you are going to feel more at ease and relaxed!
#2 Establish a clear cancellation and rescheduling policy.
Is it becoming more common for people to skip or cancel their appointments at the last minute? If you don’t train your clients to honor their appointments with you, your business will suffer and they won’t benefit from regular coaching and/or therapy.
Here’s a great solution:
At your initial session, clearly outline your policy and hand them a copy of it.
When making a new appointment, reinforce your policy by saying: “I’m committed to helping you on DATE and TIME. If you need to cancel this appointment, we require 24 hour’s notice or we will charge you X amount of money because this time is vital for giving my clients the best care possible. ”
It would be a mistake to either charge their credit card for a missed session without letting them know that’s your policy or letting their lack of attention slip by unnoticed. Of course, you can make exceptions if there’s a legitimate emergency. You can address this on an individual basis.
#3 Confirm your client’s perception of his or her goals.
Your clients come to you with an idea of what they want to achieve, but they may not have the words to convey that to you clearly. And over time, these goals may change. So it’s important to check in with them regularly to see if they’re satisfied with your working relationship and their progress.
When you do ask for feedback, it’s good to remind them of their progress. When they get discouraged and want to give up, don’t let them simply slip away.
Here’s a great solution:
When a client quits before their goal is reached, why not get her back through a free “Reconnect Session”? If you can’t afford to offer free individual sessions, you could include them in a group session for free. This expression of care may win them back as a steady client.
Building a sustainable private practice involves thinking and acting in a way that supports your business, you as a therapist or coach, and your clients. Want to know the secrets of keeping a steady stream of clients coming into your private practice as others transition out? I’d be happy to help. Contact me and we can schedule an appointment to discuss strategies that work.
“We act in accordance with our self-image.” ~ Moshe Feldenkrais
According to the latest report by the Institute of Medicine (IOM), 116 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. That’s a staggering amount of human suffering and lost productivity. Are you one of them?
Pain and mobility issues typically come from two sources — an underlying physical condition (like an injury or inflammation) and the subconscious way you hold your body and your movement (like tension or habitually walking with your head down). It becomes a vicious cycle of inflamed muscles aggravated by poor posture, which inflames the muscles more.
While medical treatment addresses physical conditions, they often neglect the subconscious choices. How can you find the most effective solution if you’re ignoring a major component of the problem? That’s why the Feldenkrais Method® teaches a person to uncover the underlying way your brain and body are working, or not working together.
Let us be clear – The Feldenkrais Method® is a learning process, not a treatment. It helps you learn to better understand what your body is telling you and to improve your movements and interactions with the world around you. Through it, you engage muscles you’ve not used for quite awhile or didn’t even know you had – in a non-invasive, very gentle way. Many people, after trying it, marvel that so much can be accomplished with such little movements.
What are some of the benefits, besides pain relief, of Feldenkrais? You will…
- Improve the Basics: Achieve better balance and higher performance by learning to sit, stand, and walk with dynamic stability and balance. Learn skills for improving your sensory acuity and self-awareness.
- Move Smarter: Recover from injuries faster and understand how the whole body participates in the process of recovery. Encourage the development of new neuro-pathways.
- Sleep Better: Teach your body to rest well, improving sleep function for restoration, relaxation, and repair.
- Improve Posture: Learn to move more efficiently, with less effort and highest skeletal support
- Improve Your Self-Image: Moshe believed that our self-image is smaller than our potential capacity. Awareness Through Movement creates a favorable training ground for enhanced learning, improved thought processes, more efficient movement and positive learning, which in turn, improves the awareness of the person in relationship to self, others and the world.
- Have Fun: Feldenkrais is fun! Learning is fun! Feldenkrais is a way of learning how to learn rather than a therapeutic method to fix aches and pains.
There is an indisputable connection between the mind and body. And it is only by engaging the whole person that you can become aware and make mindful choices that support you. Are you ready to learn what you’re body and mind have been trying to tell you all these years? If you live near Ashland, OR, please contact my office to discuss the best option for your situation.
Six years ago, before I decided to sign up for The Feldenkrais Method®, a 4-year intense course in Eugene, Oregon, I often suffered from lower back pain. It seemed as if it would come up all of a sudden with no warning and no clue as to how it happened. At times, I would have to clear my schedule because the pain was so intense and debilitating. Perhaps many of you with high stress jobs where you sit in front of the computer all day can relate to having intense back pain for no apparent reason.
During the training, I learned to sense into myself more accurately and deliberately. The daily practice of body awareness through movement was a delightful discovery, an opportunity to know myself through my body in motion. Feldenkrais has enhanced the perception of both how I move and why I move. I loved it so much that the student has become the teacher. That’s me in the above photo teaching some of my clients an Awareness Through Movement® (ATM) lesson.
What is The Feldenkrais Method®?
I realize that many haven’t heard of this method, so let me give you a little background. It was developed by Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais, an Israeli physicist, engineer, judo master, soccer player and gymnast. After a knee injury, he began to pay attention to his own movements. Opting out of surgery, he turned to his knowledge of physics and using his own body as a research subject. Feldenkrais created a means of learning to move beyond habitual patterns of movement.
He believed that the central nervous system plays a key role in a person’s comfort, so he focused on encouraging awareness of the skeleton, muscles, and joints. This new awareness allows each body part to participate more fully in every action so that no one part is stressed more than another.
The skeleton is able to provide its intended support so the muscles feel more relaxed. This leads naturally to a decrease in tension and an expanded range of motion and flexibility. This new awareness helps a person understand their customary negative patterns of posture and movement and learn to create more functional ones.
He developed his discovery into a program called The Feldenkrais Method®. It allowed him to increase efficiency and range of movement, reduce stress, improve posture and flexibility, function and self-image with greater comfort and ease. After helping himself, he went on to help many others experience that same relief. Is that something you’d like?
How can you learn The Feldenkrais Method®? There are two ways of learning this technique:
Awareness Through Movement® (ATM) lessons. Generally these are group lessons. In a non-judgmental learning environment, the Feldenkrais teacher verbally guides the students in gentle and easy movement sequences. Students are supported in accepting themselves and their bodies by moving only within their ranges of ease and comfort. The emphasis is on curiosity, discovery and exploration, attending to the quality of movement, and especially observing one’s own internal process while performing the movement. The above photo illustrates one of these lessons.
Functional Integration® (FI). This is done in individual, hands-on lessons. The client lies fully clothed on a low table while the teacher uses gentle touch to explore ways that she can move more comfortably. The lessons are tailored to the individual and will be different each time. The quality of presence and touch in an FI lesson reassures the nervous system and can help restore inner balance.
Are you interested in exploring how this easy-on-the-body method can bring lasting pain relief and increased personal confidence? If you live near Ashland, Oregon, please contact my office and schedule an appointment so we can work out lessons that help you become more aware of movements that support you as a person. If you know someone who could benefit from this, please refer them to me so they can benefit, too.