August 20, 2012
A life coach discovers how to slow down and to value starting the day with a centering ritual.
A ”Fond Farewell” Article
When I changed Support4Change to a new format, I needed to delete some articles that didn’t fit in the new site but were too good to completely throw away. So I have moved many of them here to the blog, where they will still be available and people can find them by using tags. Enjoy.
Ten Minutes, Ten Toes — No Problem!
BY LEA BRANDENBURG
Reprinted with permission
A couple of months ago, Life gave me an unusual vehicle for personal growth. And, because the Universe I live in is filled with humor and laughter, my lessons tend to show up via unusual channels. This particular opportunity presented itself in the form of painting my toenails.
The weather had just started to turn warm and my thoughts turned to wearing the new sandals I had just bought. And from the sandals, my thoughts then turned to painting my toenails. Sandals and painted toenails, bread and butter, peanut butter and jelly, hot weather and shorts — these just go together, right? The only drawback to this particular train of thought is that I got this brilliant idea — ten minutes before I was scheduled to begin my first coaching call for that day. Ten minutes, ten toes — no problem.
With fearless abandon I went to my medicine cabinet, selected a lovely shade of pink, put my foot up on the bathroom sink and started painting away. With one foot done, I moved to bring my other foot up and somehow the nail polish applicator flew out of my hand and landed deep in the bathroom sink drain . . . brush side up. Five minutes to go until my first call.
My brain is moving a 100 MPH. All I can think about is how to get the applicator out of the drain. So, I hopped into the kitchen, grabbed a knife and started poking around the drain. That doesn’t work. Then the phone rings. It’s my client calling early! It turns out it’s a friend calling for a phone number. I’m still trying to get the top of the nail polish out of the drain, talking to my friend and desperately hoping that the phone won’t fly out from under my ear and chin where I had jammed it so my hands would be free. The phone stays put, I give my friend the number and tell her I love and that I have to get off the phone. I hop back into the kitchen and get a pair of thin pliers. They do the trick and I resumed the painting process. By the way, I’m keeping an eye on the clock the whole time. And as my newly painted right foot hits the floor, the phone rings and this time it is my client.
So, what did I learn? Well, besides how important I think it is that the color of my toes match . . . I found that I was slightly off-center the rest of that day. I learned that for me to do my best work I need to be grounded. That and, of course, don’t try to paint your nails ten minutes before you are scheduled to begin working!
How do you start your day? What kind of centering rituals do you have? Are you aware of when you’ve completed one activity or project before your begin the next thing on your agenda? Do you find yourself running from one appointment to the next? Is your day an endless stream of activity?
By using some kind of centering ritual, we can condition ourselves to move into an appropriate frame of mind to begin our day, our work or our projects. A ritual can be as simple as walking around your chair once you’ve completed one activity and before beginning the next. Develop a ritual for yourself that takes you off of automatic pilot and helps to ground you in your body and the present moment. When you are grounded, with all your energies (mental, emotional, and physical) in harmonious balance, it is much easier to focus your attention. And with this focus and clarity, you can access your inner wisdom and increase your ability to produce and create.
© 2002, Lea Brandenburg
Lea Brandenburg is president of Creating Strategies in New York, NY, and has been coaching an international group of clients and businesses since 1997. Her areas of expertise and passion are interpersonal and business communication, intuitive intelligence and creativity. She is a graduate of Coach U, the coaching industry’s premiere and oldest training program, a member of the International Coach Federation, which is an association dedicated to preserving the integrity and ethics of the coaching profession, and a Founding Member of Coachville, the first on line coaching training company and portal. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.