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Welcome to Caring Coaching – a place to find support and solutions for the changes you’re seeking to make in your life, a place to get life coaching … the caring way.

Using a combination of psychology, life experience, common sense, personal development tools and NLP, I can make the process of change seem less complex, help you select the right option, or simply provide you with a source of support which may be not be available elsewhere in your life.

 

Where do you go from here?

 

And to arrange for your free initial consultation, click here, or phone/email me as below.


Email   /   07795 597177


 

 

Here’s a great video to watch – my thanks to Andrew Jenkins at PDx Consulting for permitting its use.

 

 

Where do you go from here?

 

And to arrange for your free initial consultation, click here, or phone/email me as below.


Email   /   07795 597177

 

Perspective, distance, clarity of thought, active listening not just waiting for their chance to speak, no emotional investment or involvement … oh and training. A professional life coach will have studied varying aspects of Psychology, some also the neuroscience behind body language and behaviour. The best remain life-long students, seeking out new and relevant practices and techniques to assist their clients.

Nevertheless, the question still gets asked. I’ve been asked it by friends, as well as by clients. So what does a Life Coach do that a friend doesn’t?

Well, let’s start with the fact that you seek a life coach when you don’t know what to do, or you don’t know how to do it. The reason for that is generally beause you’re too close – that old chestnut of being unable to see the wood for the trees. Well, one reason a friend may not be able to coach you is that they – also – are too close.

What if the change you want is one they don’t want you to make? Say it’ll mean that you won’t be as available to your friend as you were before, or even that you make such a large change that there is no part for them in your life – what then? Are they going to encourage you to make that change? Even if they know its what you genuinely want to do? Can they be that selfless? It’s asking a huge amount of any friendship.

What if the change they can see you need to make will be hard, with a risk of failure? Could they encourage you to take that path, without fearing for your future well-being? Again, its asking a lot of friendship.

A coach has no personal involvement in what decisions you make or what changes you choose. Their only motivation is to help and support you, to ensure you have the resources to get through that process, to achieve your aim.

Finally, your friends are lovely. They like you, they see the best in you. They don’t want to hurt you and they are more likely to tell you what they think you want to hear. Even if you ask them to be brutally honest, they are going to sugar coat that pill. And you know that. So, how do you treat what they tell you? Say your friend tells you they think you should be an actor – and its an opinion right out of left field. You cannot see how they came up with that idea. You might go away and think about it a bit, particularly if you value their opinion. But you might just decide that they’re nuts.

However, if through a series of conversations with a coach, with well-thought out questions being asked of you, with you carrying out the requisite research, you come to the realisation that you could be an actor – its different.  Now its something concrete, something tangible, not just your best mate’s opinion. And let’s face it, with that big decision, you need someone more dispassionate, less personally involved, so that you will believe it’s not just your mates being your mates and telling you what they think you want to hear.

I say again, a coach has no personal involvement or motivation – and you know this, because you hired them. They’re not your friend, they’ve got a job to do.

 


First posted 19 December 2015
© Caring Coaching – 2015

 

 

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I know that I bore you all to death with my views about the importance of self-care, but this is just a quick post. I recently read an article about self care being more than doing lovely things for oneself – you know, have a massage, take a bubble bath, stroke a puppy kinda thing. It was making the very valid point that self-care is a constant requirement for some, not just something to be practiced when life gets stressful.

And it was hugely important to be reminded about those who struggle with the everyday stuff like getting out of bed, going shopping for food, cooking and eating it, and clearing up afterwards. Things like changing the bedlinen, bathing as a methodology to keep clean not to luxuriate, picking up your clothes, doing laundry and putting it all away when clean. These may be the chores many of us do regularly, but to a person with mental health issues or who is suffering from severe fatigue, these are challenges – genuine challenges.

So when I came across the instagram account of Hannah Daisy, who’s a mental health activist and artist, I wanted to draw it to you attention. If you suffer from mental health or fatigue issues, go, take a look, and award yourselves those badges every time you succeed in carrying out those tasks of self care. Even if you’re not suffering, go and take a look, and then remember to congratulate everyone you know who is suffering when they achieve those small – but hugely important – steps towards caring for themselves.

Oh, and while you’re there, share some of that with Hannah, by leaving her your appreciative comments.

 


© 2017 Caring Coaching
originally posted 16th May 2017

grace

Our daily lives are so full of should’ve and ought to so, instead, how about we practice saying “no” when we want to rather than “yes” because we feel we should?

Here’s a couple of situational examples to express what I mean.

Telemarketing calls

These are a huge waste of time – what with the scripts they have to follow, their determination not to hear you say “no” politely, but far more insidious is how they can take advantage of the old and lonely. I’ve spent a fair amount of time un-doing ‘stuff’ that my mother has signed up for which she doesn’t really want and certainly doesn’t need. But she’s too polite, or she didn’t understand, or they persuaded her to take out a trial subscription which would be so easy to cancel (and oh how that isn’t true).

How? Just say “no” and “don’t call me again”, then put the phone down without waiting to hear any response. If they call again, say “I said don’t call me again”, and put that phone down – again – firmly. And don’t give it another thought. It’s your time and energy they are wasting and you’re worth more than that.

Energy Vampires

These are people – friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances even – who just use up all your time and energy. They hoover it up and leave you empty. Do they reciprocate? Do they offer anything in return? No …   Now, what I’m not talking about is the to and fro of friendship, where there are times the support flows more in one direction than the other. But it’s important we recognise those people who you hear from only when they want or need something of you, who when you call for some help with a problem, the only problem which gets solved is theirs, by you, because they keep changing the subject back to themselves. Those people who ask for your help with a project, leave you to do all the work and then take all the kudos for themselves. C’mon, nice people out there, you know what I’m talking about.

How? Practice saying “no” and nothing more, just that one word. As the saying goes, no is a complete sentence. Because if you find yourself offering up an excuse, you’ll just be giving them an opening to work with, a way to wriggle round and persuade you to say “yes” by removing your excuse. Don’t do that to yourself. If they press it, say “I’m afraid it just doesn’t work for me”. And stop there. Change the subject. Leave the room. End the call. Do whatever it takes and don’t feel bad. ‘Cos they won’t, they feel entirely guilt free about making use of your kindness, your time, your energy.

Now we get to the important one, the one that’s going to be hard.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Small stuff – hard and important? Yes, because this one is going to require you to look at those things that cause you to fret, those things that you give head space to, that you agitate about, maybe even find you nagging at your loved ones. Yup, that small stuff. The stuff that really doesn’t matter a damn in the grand scheme of things. And I get that holding on to those things may be your way of feeling in control of a situation you are uncomfortable being in, but it actually doesn’t work … at all.

Despite the fretting, the agitating, the nagging, you’re still going to feel uncomfortable and you’ll not just be driving everyone around you crazy, you’re also going to find yourself looking for more silly things to “control”. The thing is, refusing to face the inevitable isn’t an act of courage, it’s avoidance. Plain and simple. Really and truly facing up to things is powerful.  Because you stop giving it power … over you. And when you truly face up to the big stuff, when you genuinely accept it, when you act with grace in the face of inevitability, you won’t even think about sweating the small stuff, because it is just so utterly irrelevant.

How? Rather than fretting whether someone puts the milk in first or second, or how the dishwasher is loaded and hundred of other little things, work out what it is you’re avoiding and why. Then focus your energy on accepting it – or put your energy into changing it – and then you won’t give a damn about the small stuff. Trust me, you just won’t.

Get some help and support with this process if you need to. Just make sure you don’t practice avoidance any more.

 


© 2017 Caring Coaching
originally posted 21st February 2017

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In a year that most people on the planet would count as an annus horribilis, seeking the positives may well be a tricky ask.

This time last year, I suggested that resolutions were a waste of time and that setting goals – broken down into achievable steps – was the way to go. Equally, that looking back at the year with a positive eye to see what we were able to achieve, rather than focusing on “failures”, was the way to ensure that we could face the next year with heads held high and a spring in our step.

I know one person whose decision to do just that, coupled with their determination to achieve goals, meant that they were posting beautifully happy end-of-year photographs this December 31st. And how those photographs made me smile at a time of personal sadness.

But, if you’ve sat down and given 2016 a good chance, taken a damn good look and there really is no small nugget of satisfaction to be found, then damn its eyes, feel free to write off 2016 without a backward glance. Just make sure you truly leave it behind, let none of its negativity hang about you as you move forward into the new year. For some years are like that and there is little us mere humans can do about it. Or is there …?

Another person I know who writes wonderfully funny and inventive books has been rocked by the outcome of the recent election in their country.  Currently all their considerable energies are being directed into raising awareness of the wrongs which (have already been and) are about to be perpetuated upon their fellow countrymen and women.  How can I do anything but admire such dedication and fighting spirit? Even if they don’t succeed in their ultimate aim, they won’t be looking back one day, wishing they’d tried to do something about it, ‘cos they are – truly – giving their all.

I’ve decided that’s what I’m going to take from 2016: inspiration from two individuals. Two individuals who made decisions to do something about it. What the “It” is doesn’t matter. It’s what mattered to them … and so they’ve done something about it. And they’ve done it their way, and been true to themselves.

If you’re thinking “Is that what the rest of us have to do now? Find our “It” and do something about it?” ‘Cos that makes it sound easy … and I know it isn’t. Nevertheless, it wouldn’t hurt to take a look at our lives and see if that “It” is there, lurking away quietly at the back … would it? For even if we don’t find the big “It”, we may find other goals, changes or challenges that we’d like to take on. And it does no harm to practice on the smaller stuff first.

This year I’m raising my glass to Vicki and to Isa-Lee, to thank them both for being so inspirational.

Those of you who’ve found your “It” – I’ll be cheering you along the road to the year’s end, for you’ll need little else. But I’ll also be offering encouragement and support to those who decide to take smaller bites at all things life changing.

Instead of a Happy New Year, may I wish that 2017 brings you contentment, satisfaction, or simply peace of mind.

 


© 2017 Caring Coaching
originally posted 3rd January 2017

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I’m going to have to admit to loving Christmas. I tend to go overboard with all the decorating, the gifting, the eating and the drinking. But even with my passion for the season, I’ve experienced Christmases which weren’t merry and Holidays that weren’t especially happy. It can happen to anyone; what’s worse, it can happen to some people every year.

This isn’t going to be a litany of the multiple possible reasons for that sadness, a method of making you feel guilty, or of enforcing thoughts of gratitude which should be felt. Rather, I’m holding out a hand to say that if you’re one of those people feeling sad in the build-up to the festive season and you don’t feel that you should because your life isn’t that bad … then, please stop, right there.

Firstly, remove that should word from your vocabulary of self-judgements. Secondly, feeling guilt that your life isn’t that bad because, let’s face it, there’s almost always someone who’s worse off … what good does that actually do – for you, or for them? Thirdly, this isn’t me telling you to “buck up”, it’s me saying: “it happens, be kind to yourself, be understanding, offer yourself some slack, allow the empathy to flow in your direction.”

If the reason for your less-than-joy is a one-off, or unexpected, just being kind to yourself may be enough … or all you can do, for now. But, if it’s something that’s going to come around year-upon-year, then we should be looking at how to make it easier for you.

Will that mean you deciding to go abroad on a holiday? Will you go solo, or will you join a group sharing a common interest or just a shared desire to get away from all the tinsel and jingle bells? Will you plan something special for yourself? A few days in a period cottage with a real fire where you can curl up reading and eating whatever takes your fancy? Or a top-notch country house hotel, where the service is stunning and the facilities to die for? Or will you stay at home, fill the larder with your favourite treats, mooch around in PJs with fluffy socks and cardigans, watching back-to-back episodes of shows you always wanted to see, or films galore? Will you volunteer to feed the homeless, or visit the elderly living alone, or offer to give a carer a break?

There are so many other options – and none is more right than the others, not even the more worthy ones – unless they are what you need to make the Holidays happier for you.  Do whatever it takes – because you are worth it.

And it’s only just December, so there’s still a little time …

 


© 2016 Caring Coaching
originally posted 1st December 2016

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… or as I like to think of it Mindfulness, but without the hippy dippy vibe.

This has been on my ‘to read’ list for ages. At the back of my mind, I wondered whether it would be too tempting for a comedian to turn everything into a punchline, but I kept hearing good things and it finally punched it’s way to the top of that overcrowded list.  My very short review is:  Read it!

For if you allow the brash, abrasive side of Ruby’s public persona to stop you, you’ll miss learning how your mind works. This book isn’t just about Mindfulness, it’s about Neuroscience. But that doesn’t mean you’ll get bogged down in scientific jargon, this is a book written for everyman. And, in my humble opinion, it does so with nice touches of self-depracating humour. There is a decided lack of ‘woe is me’ for a less than perfect childhood (very less than perfect by the way), instead her attitude reminded me of these words from Arthur Ashe:

                                                     “Start where you are
                                                     Use what you have
                                                     Do what you can”

Ruby isn’t a celebrity clambering firmly onto the Mindfulness bandwagon. Instead she has done her homework – by which I mean that she has studied and not just read about it. She trained first as a Psychotherapist, then went on to take a Masters at Oxford. For behind the crazy exterior is a woman who needs hard, scientific fact. How can one not take your hat off to her?

Two lines which struck me sufficiently that I noted them in my journal were:

“The main thing that calms your mind is compassion for yourself. I know that idea makes many people wince (it does have the whiff of patchoili oil), thinking they’re being self-indulgent, but being kind to yourself when you notice your mind has wandered calms down the vicious thought patterns, which in turn impacts the re-wiring of neurons.”

On kindness to others: “all our feelings ripple out to the next person; working like neural wi-fi (the emotional pass the parcel).”

The book ends with a series of exercises in Mindfulness which you can practice yourself. I did. But I’ll also be doing the proper 8-week training. And despite a fairly lengthy interest in Mindfulness, I’ve not even come close to that before. Kudos Ruby!

 


© 2016 Caring Coaching
originally posted 9th September 2016